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In the TV series, Daenerys Targaryen is immune to fire. However, I am curious about a small technical aspect of this. As can be clearly seen in the below picture, taken from season 6, her clothes are totally burned, while her hair is intact. How can this be? Common sense tells that fire immunity will protect only the skin. Or at least my common sense. So, is this explained somewhere?

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    Because it's part of her actual body? What makes your common sense more common than mine, or GRRM's for that matter? ;-) By that, her eyes wouldn't be protected either. – Napoleon Wilson Nov 20 '16 at 22:48
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    facts-on-screen clearly trump "common sense". Her hair did not burn, ergo, her hair is flame-proof. – KutuluMike Nov 20 '16 at 22:51
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    Who says it’s about living cells? It is magic, after all. But even scientifically speaking, if her cells are made out of flame retardant her hair easily could be too, just as flamingos deposit dye in their feathers (for example), – Obie 2.0 Nov 20 '16 at 22:52
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    If her hair should burn (as it does in the books) her nails should burn also, seeing as these are extremely similar, from a chemical and biological point of view. So, in a rare occurrence, this time the adaptation is more logical, authentic and better written than the source material, despite the outcry from some die-hard book fans. – Ghoti and Chips Nov 21 '16 at 10:14
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    @GhotiandChips "I am Daenerys No-Nails of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt-with-the-exception-of-noncellular-biomaterial, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons" - just doesn't have the same ring to it – user56reinstatemonica8 Nov 23 '16 at 11:56
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The only explanation is magic. She is conducting a powerful, blood and fire ritual to wake the sleeping dragons.

In the books, her hair does burn off. But even there, it is the magic of the ritual protects her.

Vox has an interesting discussion on it.

...in various interviews and discussions with fans since then, Martin has attempted to dispel what he has called the 'common misconception' that Targaryens are immune to fire. Years ago, he described what happened to Dany as "unique, magical, wondrous, a miracle," but said it 'probably' wouldn't happen to her again, and stressed that many other Targaryens have burnt to death.

But the Vox article also points out that there are there are three instances in the show of Dany being fireproof, so the rules for the television adaptation may be different.

  • Good overall answer, but as a small point on contention the scene in question is when Dany burns Vaes Dothrak, not the birth of her dragons. – Skooba Nov 21 '16 at 17:46
  • @Skooba I didn't see reference to a specific burning scene in the question, although the image used is indeed from S6. Regardless, the burning at Vaes Dothrak also includes human sacrifice of multiple Khals (de facto kings) so it is in the same category as the pyre from which the dragons were hatched. – DukeZhou Nov 21 '16 at 18:21
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    "adaptation"... – Möoz Nov 21 '16 at 20:30
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This can be explained without (extra) magic

If Daenerys is immune to fire,
If Dany's hair is part of Dany,
And if Daenerys' clothing is not part of her,

One could reason that the hair would not burn and the clothing would.

As Obie pointed out in the comments, hair can be produced by fire resistant cells to also contain fire resistant materials, despite the fact that hair is not composed of cells, furthering the "it's part of her" arguement.


Additionally, saying "but hair is flammable, just like clothing" is not a valid arguement:
Humans tend to cook in flames, yet in these circumstances, Dany doesn't, so you could extend her range of fire resistance to every organically conceived part of her body.

  • Human body is human body - it can't be fireproof without magic. – Mithoron Nov 21 '16 at 17:13
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    @Mithoron For clarification I mean "more magic" i.e. saying she's fireproof encompasses her hair without needing to add additional explanation through magic – Zxyrra Nov 21 '16 at 17:17
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    Interesting point of view, thanks. @Mithoron we can't know. Technology is like magic, nanobots can do wonders, and humanity just started to explore them. Though this kind of diverts from the original question here. :-) – Shadow The Princess Wizard Nov 21 '16 at 18:57
  • @ShadowWizard I thought about mentioning sufficiently advanced tech. ;) but thought that such body wouldn't be human in the same sense as we say it now, but yes it's getting far from topic. – Mithoron Nov 21 '16 at 19:06
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Out of universe explanation:

In the book, her hair does burn. It's quite easy to write that happening.

In the series, they'd have had to go to the effort of making her at least look bald, then seem to gradually grow her hair back. Seeing as walking unharmed from a fire in a fantasy setting is always gonna be "because magic" then ya may as well leave her hair on. She looks better with it anyway.

Losing the clothes is far easier to achieve from a production standpoint, she doesn't look any worse without them, and her suddenly appearing in clothes next scene is easily explained - so they can be allowed to burn.

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