Season 7 of Game of Thrones set up a number of mysteries and ambitious plotlines, and the potential payoff has both show-only and book-reading fans salivating. One of those mysteries was what exactly Euron’s gift for Cersei was going to be, and some who have read A Song of Ice and Fire were excited about the possibility they’d soon see Dragonbinder in Game of Thrones.
Dragonbinder is a magic, allegedly dragon-controlling horn has only appeared in the books so far, but it's closely associated with Euron Greyjoy, and it makes sense as the sort of gift any Mad Queen would be happy to have.
There were plenty of other theories as to what Euron meant when he said he’d be bringing Cersei a gift, and it turned out he meant kidnapping Ellaria Sand so the queen could torture her. But the Dragonbinder theory was definitely fun. After all, it’s the theory that has sorcerer pirates with magical dragonbinding wind instruments, so it’s really not much of a competition. Let's learn about Dragonbinder, and find out if Cersei can use it to beat the dragons.
In both A Song of Ice and Fire and the Game of Thrones television series, Euron Greyjoy returns to the Iron Islands in time for a good, old-fashioned Kingsmoot, where he wins the Driftwood Crown with promises of glory for his pirate-y people. In the books, however, his swift political campaign is decidedly more badass.
Book Euron shows up with a literal boatload of treasure, proving that he’s well-versed in the arts of reaving and pillaging. He also announces his presence by having one of his thralls (servants) blow a ridiculously large horn, which silences the assemblage and allows Euron to start making his speech.
Euron tells the people of the Iron Islands that his big horn can bind dragons to the user's will, hence the creative name Dragonbinder, and informs them that three dragons have been born in Essos. Euron’s plan is to steal the dragons, and then use them to conquer Westeros. This idea is met with raucous approval by the Ironborn, who elect Euron their king. He neglects to mention, however, that the dragons belong to Daenerys Targaryen.
Dragonbinder is impressive based on appearance alone, and can best be described as “heavy metal.” It is six feet long, and allegedly made from the severed horn of a gigantic, black dragon. It’s banded with red gold and Valryian steel, and the bands are covered in High Valyrian characters.
When someone blows the horn, these “glyphs” glow white-hot. The horn is warm to the touch, smooth, and shiny, but the reflection it gives back is described as “twisted.” Basically, Dragonbinder looks like something out of Tolkien on steroids.
There’s a lot of turnover when it comes to official Dragonbinder hornblower. See, one blast of the massive instrument will kill any mortal man, which is why Euron uses his thralls instead of blowing it himself. When one of Euron’s men uses Dragonbinder at the Kingsmoot, he collapses afterwards, with blisters on his lips and blood running from his tattoos. He dies shortly thereafter, and an autopsy reveals his lungs have been completely charred black.
Dragonbinder is said to bind dragons to the will of the horn’s master, which would appear to be Euron Greyjoy — at least for the time being. However, it has only been sounded once in the story so far, and it wasn’t near any dragons at the time, so nobody knows for sure if the horn actually works or not. It's certainly effective at murdering dudes.
In Game of Thrones, Euron wants to marry Queen Cersei, but in the books he’s got a different Queen in his sights. Book Euron secretly plots to marry Daenerys Targaryen, and he hatches a scheme that involves sending his brother Victarion (who's not in the show) with Dragonbinder to Meereen, in order to bind one or more of Dany’s dragons.
From there, Euron expects Daenerys to agree to return to Westeros with Victarion, so that she can marry Euron. It really shows how poorly the Greyjoys understand the Targaryen temperament. Still, if Dragonbinder actually works, and Euron does gain control of a dragon or two, it would undoubtedly put Daenerys in a difficult situation.