33

So we know that the Unburnt (e.g. Daenerys Targaryen) are fireproof, and presumably the Night King is one of the Unburnt.

However, the Night King's clothing is unharmed after an extended blast of dragon's fire (Game of Thrones S08E03), unlike Daenerys' previous encounters with fire. Why is this?

  • 45
    Is "Unburnt" a group or quality openly described in GoT, or was it just a title taken up by Daenerys after she spent a night in a bonfire and emerged... unburned? I've always thought the second. Are there any connections implied between Daenerys' and the Night King's powers, beyond that one effect? – Upper_Case Apr 30 at 20:49
  • 7
    In researching this further it sounds like Daenerys just took that title, and there is no “class” of unburnt people. Plot holes and fan service aside, that would explain why the two powers might have different sources/effects. – catichenor Apr 30 at 22:31
  • 6
    The "unburnt" isn't a category or group. It's just Daenerys, so I'm not sure what you can extrapolate from that. – PoloHoleSet Apr 30 at 23:30
  • 6
    @Upper_Case that's correct. "Unburnt" is a title that Daenerys has claimed, not any sort of category of people. – kuhl May 1 at 3:22
  • 8
    Plot twist: he is naked, that's his skin. – Jack Aidley May 1 at 10:38
66

Possible in-universe answer:

  • Whatever charm he used to shield himself from fire surrounds him, leaving his clothing and weapon unharmed.

Narrative answer:

Nudity is often used to connote vulnerability. Having the Night King appear sky-clad after a display of power meant to sink everyone's hearts would have produced a contrary effect. (Plus, I doubt anyone wants to see a White Walker's willie!;)

  • 6
    Interesting point about the narrative, although when we first learned that Daenerys was fireproof, her nudity symbolized her in-vulnerability. – catichenor Apr 30 at 20:17
  • @catichenor great point about inverting conventions. In that scene, she has just given birth, so the nudity makes sense. – DukeZhou Apr 30 at 20:18
  • 1
    @void_ptr Given that this is Game of Thrones we’re talking about here, your tl;dr is drastically inaccurate. Neither boobs nor lack thereof have ever been a reason to avoid nudity in the series. – Konrad Rudolph May 1 at 9:41
  • 1
    While nudity often connotes vulnerability, it can also do the opposite, and show sheer brute strength. Have you forgotten (the cinematic marvel, cough) Scorpion King? Quick recap: The Rock was fully clothed for most of the movie, much to the surprise of the viewers. Until the finale, in which he finally shed the shackles of civilisation and ascended to a new level of power (or some such nonsense). Anyway, the situation is clearly different here but I’m sure they could have made it work, cinematographically. I find an in-Universe answer more compelling. – Konrad Rudolph May 1 at 9:46
  • 1
    Maybe add that WW’s clothes also get destroyed by stabs with valerian steel – Oct18 is day of silence on SE May 1 at 13:39
103

Daenerys appears to be protected though an immunity (or at least, a high resistance) to fire, whereas the Night King appears to be protected through the sheer cold that radiates from him.

While it isn't depicted consistently, fire in the vicinity of the Night King does tend to snuff out, as seen in S06E05 "The Door" when the Children of the Forest create a firewall to defend the Three-Eyed Raven and Bran from the Night King, who simply walks through the fire and snuffs it out.

Put in a more 'computer gamey' way, Daenerys's fire resistance ends at her skin, whereas the White Walker's cold is more like an aura effect.

  • 1
    He also summoned/projected the cold with the cold front that enveloped the dragons, snuffed out the residual effects of their fire, and prevented the defenders of Winterfell from igniting the trenches by more conventional means. Good analogies in the answer. – PoloHoleSet Apr 30 at 23:32
  • 14
    This answer makes more sense than the one marked correct. – Rui F Ribeiro May 1 at 8:50
  • Very good answer, based on facts and observations within the show. – The Anathema May 1 at 14:17
  • 2
    @RuiFRibeiro I agree that it's an excellent in-universe answer! (Where I just indicate that the Night King's magic may be an area of effect, Ingolifs presents a prior referent.) – DukeZhou May 1 at 16:44
  • 3
    Can i just add the Daenerys is not fire proof. GRMM and the producers have stated this multiple times. It was 1 time thing that happened. – GamerGypps May 2 at 14:55
1

The simplest answer is that he was. Those aren't clothes, they're just an integral part of his being. Otherwise, they wouldn't have shattered into a million ice crystals when he did.

Grantedly, I have no source to support this theory, but it does feel internally consistent.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .