39

Major spoilers for the Season 7 finale of Game of Thrones.

Did Viserion (Night King's dragon) breathe ice or fire to bring the wall down?

Reasons for Fire:

- It is a dragon...
- It looks like fire, just blue...

Reasons for Ice:

- The Night King's magic is ice based.
- The Wall does not appear to be melting, but exploding

25
+100

As Dawny33 speculated, and speculated correctly. It was fire.

This is confirmed in an interview by The Huffington Post with director of the episode "Dragon and the Wolf", Jeremy Podeswa, when asking the all important question "Was it Ice or Fire?". (Emphasis mine throughout)

“The way I looked at it was, when the sept burned down, that was green fire, and so then the dragon is going to have some kind of blueish fire,” he said. “It’s certainly still fire — it has the ability to burn the Wall and melt snow. But it’s going to have a different kind of magical quality to it, because it’s coming from an undead dragon.”
The Huffington Post in an interview with Jeremy Podeswa

This is re-confirmed in an interview with IndieWire where he discusses the humour of the acceptance of Green fire but not blue fire, although that 'chemically' the two would be different, coming from a dead being.

“It’s funny because people really accepted the green fire [of wildfire], which burned down the Sept [of Baelor] and the sea battle in the earlier season,” said Podeswa. “I think that fire can have many different manifestations. I think that the ice dragon fire is clearly still fire because it does melt The Wall and tear it down, but it had a particular quality because it’s coming from an undead dragon. So what the chemical nature of that is and the chemical nature of fire would actually be different coming from a non-sentient being. So there’s definitely some thought into that of what that should actually look like. But obviously, an ice dragon is going to have an icy kind of fire but it’s still fire.”
Jeremy Podeswa breaks down the final episode for IndieWire

Finally, when talking about the amount of practical vs visual effects used in the episode with The Hollywood Reporter, Jeremy Podeswa reveals that there are interactive elements with the scenes where the "flame" tears the wall down.

"... And there are many interactive elements also that people might not be aware of, like the dragon flame and the impact of that and what it does in terms of the effect it has on the Wall..."
The Hollywood Reporter in an interview with Jeremy Podeswa

In addition, the official script to Season 7 Episode 7 "The Dragon and the Wolf" states that it was indeed blue fire:

Hovering near the base of the Wall, the ice dragon shoots forth a steady stream of blue fire, thick as a tree trunk, strafing back and forth along the base of the Wall.
"The Dragon and the Wolf", page 62 - Official Script

  • 2
    @TheLethalCoder um... what? This is what the director wanted it to be? It's what they came up with working with the visual effects team and the show-runners. Whether or not this is what it'll be in aSoIaF is a different matter. – Edlothiad Aug 30 '17 at 8:58
  • 3
    The director is the WoG here. He doesn't watch this back and be like "oh ya when I saw what they made this is what it looked like". He decides what it looks like. He creates the flames. In the same way you pick out random words (which are entirely irrelevant) to support the directors "opinion" here are some words that suggest certainty “It’s certainly still fire, like the dragon flame, it’s still fire and the list goes on. This is the canonical answer. It IS fire. But you may believe it to be opinion if you please. – Edlothiad Aug 30 '17 at 9:07
  • The way he looked at the design of the fire is what he's talking about. They took the idea of the green fire for Wildfire and were like "Why can't we have blue fire", the key there is "the dragon is going to have" this was demonstrating the thought process before they brought the creature to life. If you look into the interviews you'll find this: **You're so well-supported on a show like this with such great people that I knew I wouldn't be doing it alone and we would figure out this problem together, with me and the visual effects department and with my cinematographer and with [showrunners] – Edlothiad Aug 30 '17 at 9:18
  • 1
    WoG more like WoD... just more show heresy!!! :P – Attack Helicopter Aug 30 '17 at 11:37
  • Well, can't argue with it if that's what they wanted it to be. – Slacklord the Terrible Aug 30 '17 at 14:00
24

It is fire

The thing which the dragon was breathing radiates like flames, which only fire can do. Never seen any creature in Scifi breathing ice which radiates flames

enter image description here

Also, one can clearly see black and grey smoke coming out of the wall wherever the blue fire touches it. Ice on ice creates white smoke. But here, it is more greyish towards the upper side of the smoke, which again supports the view that it is fire.

enter image description here

Viserion is known to be smaller than his other two brothers, Drogon and Rhaegal. So, unless and until he magically grew very strong under the aegis of the Night King, there is no way he could have breathed ice so strong which can bring down another ice structure like the Ice Wall [which stood strong for 8000+ years]. So, it should be fire.


To be warned that all the answers here would be speculation. We shall only (probably) know in the next season.

  • 11
    It doesn't even have to be magic blue fire, just a variation of the dragon's fire chemical composition into propane upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/08/… (type IV). almost any gas whose fire reaches above 1,200–1,700 °C and below 2,020 °C will burn blue. – CptEric Aug 28 '17 at 7:27
  • 1
    Yes but we have ice magic in this series. Fire kills wights. The WW can NK can quell fire, yes, but this in not an example of that. It makes little sense that the NK would be able to or want to use fire. – Attack Helicopter Aug 28 '17 at 15:31
  • 1
    @Skooba The NK doesn't get to choose what Viserion breathes. Or, does he? – Dawny33 Aug 28 '17 at 15:34
  • 12
    Nothing catches fire. And arguing that it has to be fire because it radiates like fire when it's a magical blue energy emitted by an undead mythical beast is a gamble. – Slacklord the Terrible Aug 28 '17 at 16:17
  • 2
    "It isn't Ice therefore the only possible thing it can be in the whole entire universe is FIRE". Wut? Lightning? Magical force of magic? Anything? – Shane Aug 28 '17 at 19:42
24

As the other two answers say it was fire, I will take the other position: it wasn't fire.

When the undead dragon breathes on the encampment at the top of the wall, we see no items catching fire:

Every time we've seen the living dragons breathe, things have caught fire. Furthermore, the damage to the wall is inconsistent with fire damage to ice; we do not see melting, we do not see smoothed surfaces where the "fire" has hit. We see particles which could be steam -- or they could be dust, particles of the wall, etc.

We do see jagged edges and flying debris consistent with physical impact. This is inconsistent with the fire of the living dragons, which has been shown to hit humans without explosive force, simply lighting them on fire:

dragon fire

Given a lack of signs consistent with fire damage, we are left with what we do know: it is some variety of force-causing emission which acts differently than the fire breathed by living dragons. It may be ice, or it may be something different entirely.

  • 10
    Thank God someone said it. If Viserion is breathing fire, how is he maintaining his Zombie undead form then? Fire is supposed to free them of NK's hold right? +1 – Aegon Aug 28 '17 at 16:31
  • 1
    @Aegon at the same time the fire never touches the dragons. They breathe their ignitable liquid and it becomes fire outside their body. – Brad Aug 28 '17 at 17:06
  • 7
    @Brad It's fire inside their mouths. We're always clued in when a dragon is about to breathe fire with a view down their mouths. – Slacklord the Terrible Aug 28 '17 at 17:16
  • 1
    Also looks quite like the cold gun from The Flash – Izkata Aug 29 '17 at 3:19
3

It is some kind of magic fire, it was definitely fire as

it brought down a huge portion of the wall which was made of ice and generally, fire melts ice! (Though the impact was different than from the previous episode when Dragons were vanquishing the Wight walkers and ice)

In chemistry, we do have substances which burn with a blue flame.

We need to wait for the dragons to fight each other to know which flame is stronger.

  • 6
    We also have ice magic.... makes just as much sense to have ice. – Attack Helicopter Aug 28 '17 at 15:32
  • 2
    Fire melts ice does not imply that something that destroys ice is fire. Take a sledgehammer to a block of ice and it will break it too. There are plenty of things that could in theory destroy ice. It could for example have been just something that has a lot of force behind it such that it destroyed huge chunks of the wall which then weakened it structurally to collapse. Yes, it might have been fire but there are also other possibilities that you have said nothing to rule out. – Chris Aug 28 '17 at 18:34
  • @Chris I didn't see Wight-Viserion spewing sledgehammer from his throat! Maybe you didn't read the word "generally" in my answer. – ABcDexter Aug 28 '17 at 18:37
  • 3
    Yes. Because I was saying that it was literal sledgehammers coming from his throat... – Chris Aug 28 '17 at 18:39
  • @Skooba It could be anything magical then. We can only speculate till we actually know what it is, which is when Viserion fights other dragons. – ABcDexter Aug 28 '17 at 18:41
2

I'm certain it's magical dragon fire... White walkers have blue eyes and the dead they reanimate have blue eyes too. Also, those magic sphere bombs that Leaf had were blue. I'm guessing this type of 'un-dead' magic has a blue quality.

-2

I believe that it was ice. There was no evidence that the wall was actually melting. Furthermore, magical ice could glow quite easily with White Walker magic behind it: normal eyes don't glow after all.

While the wall isn't melting, it is exploding/cracking. Which is consistent with the reaction of "normal" ice to a rapid drop in temperature.

I would imagine that Viserion's "ice breath" is far colder than anything we have seen before, just as Valyrian dragon's fire is hotter than anything else.

Plus the fact that the writers would have to be trolling us for it to be fire, considering that that is the wight's weakness. And we know that Viserion is a wight, because a "wight" is literally a "ghost, or something that was dead". Vs the White Walkers which are loosely based off of the Winter Sidhe, the Unseelie of Scottish legend. The White Walkers take human children just as the fae did changeling children, and the White Walkers have a type of alien life which is completely "Other" to humanity but still very much alive.

  • The word of god answer above clearly states it was fire of sorts. – Gallifreyan Sep 1 '17 at 8:37

protected by Attack Helicopter Aug 30 '17 at 11:42

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.