The Game of Thrones Ice Dragon Debate may Finally be Settled
Last season’s Game of Thrones brought us an almost absurd amount of drama and intrigue. The Stark Sisters increasing acrimony and the threat of Arya killing Sansa. Dany’s march on Westeros and all the complications involved. Cersei’s death grip on power in King’s Landing. The first use of Dany’s dragons against an army of Westeros in that epic “Spoils of War” episode. The absolutely insane plan to go north of the Wall and capture a wight. Tormund’s growing crush on Brienne. We could go on and on, but really, nothing quite captured viewers attention like the Night King’s slaughter and resurrection of Dany’s dragon Viserion. The moment Viserion was dragged out of the icy water (with those baffling chains which we’re still confused about) and turned by the Night King into the ultimate wight (or so we thought), a debate began raging across the Internet. Is Viserion an ice dragon now? Is he a massive wight? Is he breathing ice? If he’s breathing blue fire, doesn’t that mean he’s still technically a regular dragon? It looks like we may finally have some definitive answers on these questions thanks to the Emmys.
The script for “The Dragon and the Wolf” was posted on the Emmys website (along with the scripts for Game of Thrones‘ fellow nominees), and the moment where Viserion burns down the Wall with his blue flames answers these questions. First, here’s that scene again to refresh your memory about what got everyone so excited in the first place.
Here’s how the above scene reads in the script:
But then a stranger sound comes from the north. Tormund looks to the sky, and sees a mote on the horizon, coming in fast.
It’s moving so fast we don’t get a clear look at it or the NIGHT KING on its back before it is upon us…
EXT. EASTWATCH, NORTH SIDE OF THE WALL
…hitting the Wall with a blast of blue flame.
Bran’s meaningful birds take flight.
A massive chunk of the Wall breaks free ahead of Tormund. The ice dragon glides away, and we get our first clear look at him, and at the Night King on his back. He’s done the same thing to Viserion that he did to Craster’s sons. Only those were babies, and this is a dragon.
So there it is, Viserion is an ice dragon, but not of the variety that George R.R. Martin wrote about in his books. In “A Song of Ice and Fire,” Martin describes ice dragons as a totally different breed, larger and made of actual “living” ice. But then in HBO’s Game of Thrones viewer guide, Viserion is described as an ice dragon that breathes blue fire, even though he was clearly a regular dragon before the Night King got to him. Even GoT director Jeremy Podeswa echoed this sentiment to HuffPo, saying that Viserion still clearly breathed fire (it melted the Wall after all). Considering we now have the words “ice dragon” in the actual script, it seems pretty definitive that Viserion is an ice dragon, not a wight, and that Game of Thrones version of ice dragons are different from Martin’s book versions. It’s also intriguing to learn that Viserion was turned by the Night King’s touch after he was dead. This means that the Night King can turn anybody (or any creature) alive or dead. This is bad news for our heroes of Westeros, and makes the Night King an even more formidable threat.
When Game of Thrones returns in 2019, we’ll likely see Viserion and his blue fire faceoff against Dany’s remaining “regular” dragons, and the question of what precisely he is will suddenly be moot when the flames, no matter their color, are raging.