As episode three of Game Of Thrones' seventh season once more reminded us, all men must die. Some are poisoned, some are slain in pointless battle and some are forced to watch their children rot in front of them as their own life ebbs away agonisingly. With the show hurtling towards its no-doubt stunning end-game, death will be an even more discomforting bed fellow for fans as long-standing favourites become firm, legitimate targets.
But it's not just the human characters who are set to be under increased threat this season. In the final four episodes, there is a very real chance that one of Dany's dragons (at least) will become the biggest casualty in the great war of Ice and Fire. Quite how they'd fall remains to be seen, but there are hints and foreshadowing all over the place to suggest it's very, very likely...
Given the shorter series run, there's absolutely no way the show will drop in sub-plot details that aren't hugely important. The Iron Bank come back because there's a major pay-off coming. The Catspaw dagger appeared in the Citadel texts because it will play a major part in a coming storyline. And Qyburn's scorpion was introduced because it matters just as much.
It might not even be the means of killing a dragon specifically (as it's questionable whether dragons will even attack King's Landing), but it functions in this season as a reminder of the surprising fragility of the creatures. There may be some cynicism around the insubtlety of just shooting a dragon down (particularly when they're billed as so fearsome), but it's key to remember that it wasn't so long ago when dragons died out.
We may not actually see one of the scorpion's bolts pierce a dragon's hyde, but you're supposed to pick up the ominous sense of doom around them. For the first time, they're a target that can be removed.