But when Game of Thrones‘ seventh season ended with the White Walkers marching through the Wall we had no idea exactly what Viserion was or how he did it. Had he been turned into a wight soldier or an actual ice dragon? Was he breathing blue flame or a type of concussive force? Now, thanks to the release of the Emmy-nominated script, we seemingly have an answer to both. Except it might not tell us exactly what we think, but it could tell us something even more important.
The Emmys posted online the script for “The Dragon and the Wolf,” which earned show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss a 2018 nomination for Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series, and it appears to definitively answer the both the “wight or ice dragon” question and what exactly came out of Viserion’s mouth. This is what the script says after Tormund sees Viserion flying to the Wall (bold our own):
“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…
…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.”
Blue flame. Ice dragon. That should seemingly be the end of it, but the problem is those two facts don’t fit together with the Westerosi legends–which always seem to prove true–about ice dragons. In A World of Ice and Fire, the compendium book about the history of the Seven Kingdoms, the old tales say ice dragons “supposedly breathe cold, a chill so terrible that it can freeze a man solid in half a heartbeat,” which is the opposite of a flame.
Every high school chemistry student knows the blue part is the hottest point of the flame, so rather than freezing anyone (a la Superman’s breath), Viserion seemingly melted the Wall (a la Superman’s eyes), which would make him even more dangerous than Daenerys’ two living dragons. And the script really hammers home that was a flame coming from his mouth. It also says, “The ice dragon shoots forth a steady stream of blue fire, thick as a tree trunk,” and, “The Wall cannot withstand the fire. Thunderously, it begins to give way, sending pieces falling into the sea like a calving iceberg.”
But even if the script is right–and this is either a different kind of ice dragon or the legends were wrong–when you watch the scene, Viserion doesn’t seem to melt the Wall. It mostly breaks off in huge chunks and comes crashing down, as though it was being hit with a powerful concussive force (think Cyclops’ eyes knocking someone back). Is Viserion’s flame so hot it’s instantly turning the ice to steam? Maybe, but at no point do we see any running water, and we’d expect at least some from ice that thick.
Using “Ice dragon” in the script doesn’t mean as much when Viserion doesn’t have any of the main physical properties of ice dragons as described by Westerosi legend. It says ice dragons are made of literal ice! And even if they say he was breathing a blue flame, that’s not what it looked or acted like.
So no, the script doesn’t really end the debate, it changes it. The question now is whether the legends are all wrong, or if we are merely debating semantics and they are calling him an “ice dragon” because he belongs to an ice demon. Ultimately the answer to either won’t help the living in the Great War with the dead, not when the script has a far more important revelation, which does seem to indicate the Night King’s dragon is not a wight.
“(The Night King’s) done the same thing to Viserion that he did to Craster’s sons. Only those were babies, and this is a dragon.”
Well then! That means Viserion is not a wight (one of the undead soldiers raised by the White Walkers) like we had been debating. He’s apparently a White Walker dragon, which is a huge difference. When the Night King or any other White Walker raises corpses they become zombie soldiers (called wights) who don’t have the ability to raise the dead, and they can be killed much easier than White Walkers. Wights also “die” when the White Walker who resurrected them is killed, like we saw when Jon killed one in season seven.
But what the Night King did with Craster’s sons was different. He put his fingernail under one’s eye and transformed a living baby into a White Walker baby, and this is presumably how White Walkers are “born.” The script says this is what the Night King did with Viserion when he touched him (maybe physical contact is the key), which would make Viserion much more powerful and dangerous, and also a lot harder to kill.
White Walkers are ice monsters, so does a White Walker’s dragon technically qualify as an ice dragon whether it fits our definition or not? Turns out the answer doesn’t really matter, not when a White Walker Dragon is on the loose.
What do you think? Do we have real answers now or more questions? And what does this all mean for the show’s final season? Let us know in the comments below.