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In s06E04 Daenerys

sets Dothraki hut on fire and emerges unhurt. How is this possible, she is not immune to fire.

Now I am aware she did this once before but G.R.R.M. went on record and said that:

I paraphrase: The birth of dragons/comet was a one time event only. That's why she wasn't burned by the fire (her brother dies to burns) and this will not happen again.

Now the only explanation I have is that TV show is different from books, but this seems a major plot point that should somehow transfer to books as well.

  • Fair point: That answer explains that she might demonstrate fire immunity in the future, but doesn't explain what characteristics of this event make it special. – Adamant May 20 '16 at 8:16
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    Not to mention, in the books as well, Dany is unhurt by fire more than one time. First when her dragons hatched, second when she claims Drogon for her ride at pit in Meereen. – Aegon May 20 '16 at 8:21
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    Good lord, peoples. GRRM is the guy who can't keep characterizations consistent for two pages straight, who can't finish a plotline to save his life, and who enjoys screwing with his readers, and you're expecting him to (a) tell the truth when asked a direct question, and (b) keep his facts straight? – Martha May 20 '16 at 14:59
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    Related. – Beofett May 20 '16 at 19:50
  • If this happens in the books we will have to wait to see just how. The TV show runners appear to disagree with GRRM and think that she is actually immune to fire. – curiousdannii May 20 '16 at 23:19
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GRRM did say that it was a one time event however it does not seem to have held up. In the books as well, Daenerys has shown ability to be (almost) unscathed by fire more than once. First when she gave birth to her dragons as you mentioned. Second when she claimed Drogon at Draznak's pit as Ser Barristan recollects:

Her hair was aflame. She had the whip in her hand and she was shouting, then she was on the dragon’s back, flying.

We know that part is true because Chapter sixty three of Dance with dragon says:

She ran a hand across her stubbly scalp where her hair had burned away, and felt more ants on her head, and one crawling down the back of her neck. She knocked them off and crushed them under her bare feet. There were so many ...

And as we have Dany's own account as well:

With a hiss, he spat black fire down at her. Dany darted underneath the flames, swinging the whip and shouting, “No, no, no. Get DOWN!” His answering roar was full of fear and fury, full of pain.

However, counter argument here would be that Daenerys tried to get away from that fire so she escaped with no more than her hair burned which is unlike the first event when she went into a pyre completely. But I suppose it is a weak argument because come on, it's dragon fire. Daenerys must have makings of a great athlete if she can be that quick.

But we do know that Targaryens are not fireproof, this is something that appears to be unique to Daenerys.

  1. Viserys Targaryen died of being burnt by molten gold.
  2. Rhaenys Targaryen was burnt to death by Vhagar and Sunfyre. (We can't be sure though that if it was the fire that killed her or the fall. But we do know her corpse was so badly burnt that it could not be recognized and that she was indeed dead).
  3. Rhaenyra Targaryen was burnt by Sunfyre.
  4. Aegon II was paralyzed due to injuries given by fire of Rhaenys Targaryen's dragon Meleys the Red Queen.
  5. Aegon V was burnt with Prince Duncan Targaryen at Tragedy of Summerhall. That left House Targaryen family tree limited to one lonely branch of Jaehaerys II.
  6. Aerion Brightflame died after drinking Wildfire. I suppose we can call it internal chemical burning.
  7. All deceased Targaryens are burnt in a funeral pyre which further shows that their bodies are not fire proof, as pointed out by Arnaud.D. David has provided a good counter-argument for that. He suggests that this supposed immunity could be tied to life-force of Targs (Even though that is disproved by numerous occasions of Targs dying due to burning).

This shows that Daenerys did continue to display her resilience against fire in future events of books as well. As you have noted as well, Show is heading into a completely different direction. How did Daenerys manage to appear unburnt out of the cottage? I fear the only speculation we can make is that Show runners are going to build on her supposed immunity to fire even further.

We can't have solid arguments in this regard because GRRM has never given us any details as to what exactly made Dany fireproof during birth of her dragons so we can't find similar patterns in future events she might show knack for being fireproof.

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    In addition, according to this link (westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/Asshai.com_Forum_Chat), the Targaryens were traditionnally incinerated after their death. So certainly their dead bodies can burn. – Arnaud D. May 20 '16 at 9:19
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    It might be worth adding that during the panel where he was asked about Danny being immune to fire, after the first question, the asker followed up with (paraphrased) 'So is Dany going to be immune to fire again' to which GRRM said (verbatim) 'Probably not'. So even he isn't sure if her not being immune is definite. – SGR May 20 '16 at 10:31
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    Wasn’t Daenerys making a comment about Viserys’ apparent missing immunity when he died? That this disqualified him for being a “true dragon”? – Holger May 20 '16 at 10:58
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    Being able to incinerate a body in death does not necessarily disprove any fireproofing in life. The proofing could come from some magic connected to "life force" or very slightly more sciencey could be a property/function of the body's cells that stops when the cell dies. – David Spillett May 20 '16 at 11:12
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    @SGR Also I believe he said that a long time ago, before ASOS was published... – Arnaud D. May 20 '16 at 11:34
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Only to supplement Aegon's comprehensive answer, I will add up a few things:

Daenerys in the first book claimed she always liked her baths hot, hotter than any anyone else can withstand.

Also,

When Drogon saved her from the pit, she was attacked, or caught in crossfire, by it and suffered some minor burns. Note that Dragon fire burns hotter than wildfire which burns hotter any regular fire, maybe her immunity to fire has some limits.

To quote from the book:

"Her skin was pink and tender, and a pale milky fluid was leaking from her cracked palms, but her burns were healing."

However, in the very same chapter, we also have this:

"The fire burned away my hair, but elsewise it did not touch me. It had been the same in Daznak’s Pit. That much she could recall, though much of what followed was a haze."

So, it appears GRRM seems to contradict with himself, or within a few days, her minor wounds healed. I believe GRRM also contradicted with himself when he suggested Daenerys not being burnt is only a one time event.

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    +1 for mentioning that she had burnt other parts as well. I was thinking I had missed something. Cheers! – Aegon May 20 '16 at 11:44
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You're basically asking: "how is she immune to this fire, when she is not immune to fire?"

The only sensible answer is that, yes, in this continuity, she indeed is immune to fire, at least in this situation. There is no other possible explanation.

Recall that GRRM is human, and can change his mind… and that the TV series exists in a separate universe to that of the books.

Also recall that even if we take GRRM's words at face value for this continuity, something still allowed Dany to walk through fire the first time around. Clearly the same sort of "miracle" is at work here, too.

2

The real answer is "because the show's writers said so." You're not going to get a decent in-universe explanation because the real problem has nothing to do with heat.

A better way of phrasing your question is "how is she immune to carbon monoxide poisoning, oxygen deprivation and smoke inhalation?" In an enclosed space, those are far deadlier for anyone not in direct contact with the flames. Unlike dragon breath (which is presumably magic, rather than the result of burning hydrogen-bearing compounds in the presence of oxygen), we have extensive real-world data on the mechanisms by which ordinary fires kill.

See this excellent post WWII study exploring the mechanisms by which flamethrowers kill people in enclosed spaces. It doesn't matter whether or not Daenerys is immune to fire because that isn't what would kill her.

flamethrower plus goats equals data

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    I don't find your approach fruitful. We are looking for consistencies in the physics and other mechanisms. If the Earth in a fantasy roleplay is consistent, it is a better fantasy Earth. That's why many people do not like Harry Potter or the Sword of Truth. Any question asked in this fashion asks if what is happening is happening for a reason, or if it is spontaneous. And people do not like spontaneity. They wonder if they can see similar scenes later. – C.Koca May 20 '16 at 23:42
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    My point is that it's just a show. If you take it too seriously, you'll quickly realize the whole thing is full of holes because TV writers don't understand thing like biology, medicine, chemistry, physics, etc. Just accept that she wasn't killed by the fire and the crowd of people outside were tremendously impressed. It's just a plot point to give her control over a dothraki army. That's why she wasn't harmed by the fire. – Jim W May 21 '16 at 7:46
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    I composed a huge response, but it appears it can be done more elegantly: 9gag.com/gag/ab0NOvp – C.Koca May 21 '16 at 11:06
0

GRRM's original answers in 1998 and 1999 about how Dany's immunity to fire was a "one-off event" (as you put it) were more about debunking the notion that all Targaryens were immune to fire:

1998:

Lastly, some fans are reading too much into the scene in GAME OF THRONES where the dragons are born -- which is to say, it was never the case that all Targaryens are immune to all fire at all times.

1999:

Granny: Do Targaryens become immune to fire once they "bond" to their dragons?

George_RR_Martin: Granny, thanks for asking that. It gives me a chance to clear up a common misconception. TARGARYENS ARE NOT IMMUNE TO FIRE! The birth of Dany's dragons was unique, magical, wonderous, a miracle. She is called The Unburnt because she walked into the flames and lived. But her brother sure as hell wasn't immune to that molten gold.

Revanshe: So she won't be able to do it again?

George_RR_Martin: Probably not.

Note that second answer:

a. does not entirely close the door on Dany being able to be immune to fire in the future. "Probably not" is not "no," and this was an interview twenty years ago.

b. is ambiguously phrased. "So she won't be able to do it again?" could mean either the birthing of her dragons or the walking through the flames.

So being purely nitpicky and pedantic, it is possible to reconcile GRRM's statements with the notion that the "one-off event" granted her the permanent fire resistance alluded to the book quotes in your other answers. GRRM really wanted to close the door on "All Targs are immune to fire, all the time" misconception that was floating around at the time.

But really, I think the explanation you present ("that TV show is different from books") is essentially the correct one. The evidence we have in the books (hinting at some resistance, but stating unambiguously that Dany can be burned) is flatly contradicted by the show. In the books she is not immune to fire, in the show she is, and GRRM's statement simply doesn't apply one way or the other.

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