In Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6, after

the dragon was killed/injured by Night King and fell into water,

the wights lifted it out using chains.

From where did they get the chains?

  • 4
    They are magical creature who can create snow zombies, so getting a chain doesn't seems too tough.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 6:39
  • 6
    @AnkitSharma Creating a Steel chain (Steel not ice) require fire. How the heck did they make it? Did they steal it? From whom? Wildlings can't work steel, they can't even make decent swords. Night's Watch? Why would Night's Watch drag a huge chain to Northern Wilderness?
    – Aegon
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 6:44
  • 11
    Better question is how they tie the dragon with chain, as they don't go in water.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 6:48
  • 3
    @AnkitSharma Nah their minions can go into water and come out of it. They're already dead so hypothermia is not going to kill them again. Only fire can
    – Aegon
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 6:56
  • 5
    I think there is no in-universe answer. But there was a fishing village and port beyond the wall: Hardhome. It is very possible that they can find chains there.
    – Endery
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 9:26

4 Answers 4


The actual answer is shown onscreen. Across the lake from the Night King's original position, around the bend of the hill, there is an old wooden dock with chains wrapped around it. You can see it in two shots:

  1. the aerial shot of Viserion being pulled out of the hole in the ice, on the left-side of the screen, the dock is clearly visible.

  2. Moments later, in the side-angle shot of Viserion being dragged across the ice, the ruins of the dock is in the foreground, out of focus. It has an identical chain draped over the posts of the dock.

Aerial, dock on left Dock and chain in foreground

  • 2
    Good catch! @Thom
    – madmada
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 23:58
  • 1
    Note as to where the chains could have come from, though speculative - Hardhome. We see the white walkers there and it is a port described as Hardhome sits on a sheltered bay and has natural harbour deep enough for the biggest ships afloat. If it is very deep it seems logical it would have big chains for the ships. Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 16:22

Simply put - they found it in a ditch.

Edit to make this a somewhat more serious answer.

Maesters dispute if the base of the Wall was made of stone, but they generally believe builders of the Watch used sledges to transport ice cut from frozen lakes in the haunted forest. Wiki Source

If I was going to move a giant block of ice across leagues of frozen wasteland, a sturdy chain sounds like something that would come handy. Any number of reasons could leave a chain left behind - wildlings or wights harassing the builders, adverse weather, accidents (frozen lakes are pretty dangerous) or simple negligence. In a snowstorm, a chain like that would be hidden beneath snow within a half hour making it very difficult to locate again.

  • The chain didn't look like it had been lying in a ditch for centuries, though. It looked freshly made. Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 12:19
  • I would argue that being frozen beneath a pile of snow would be the best way to conserve steel. After then dunking said chain to a lake to rinse off whatever rust might have accumulated, it would appear pretty fresh for sure.
    – MKK
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 13:56
  • @MKK Rusting just needs Iron and oxygen. Snow has oxygen. How would that conserve steel?
    – Aegon
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 10:13
  • 2
    @Aegon If the chain stays at a subzero temperature, it will be covered in frost which will protect it from most environmental factors. In my experience, thing's don't rust in the winter. They do so very aggressively though, when the snows melt. This would pose a problem for you and me, but not creatures whose main party trick is producing ice cubes from thin air.
    – MKK
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 13:15
  • 3
    @Aegon the oxygen in water doesn't rust steel, it's the oxygen in the air that dissolves into the water. If there is no liquid water, it doesn't accelerate the electrochemical reaction by allowing things to diffuse quicker and stabilize intermediates. Additionally, reactions are slowed when the temperature drops.
    – Nick T
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 17:11

One possible explanation is those are ice chains.

Even Martin said that Walkers use ice in ways human's don't know. What we see in the show is that thier weapons are very powerful and able to destroy normal steel weapons, with Valyrian steel being the exception. Their weapons are not made of normal steel, but look as if made from ice. Only it has to be some special ice that is very strong and sharp etc. If so, it is not unthinkable that they can produce ice that will not melt or will very slowly melt in cold water. This kind of chain would be lighter in weight but would be stronger than normal steel chain.

Personally, I think ice chain would be obvious in-universe explanation. Anything else would bring us more surprises :)

  • 3
    Watching the episode I'd have to disagree the chains are clearly really dark, even black. Whereas everything we've seen the white walkers create so far has been a bluey white colour. Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 8:10
  • Well, it is more possible that show writer didn't even think about this in the first place and that we are now filling the holes. However in-universe colors are not to be proof of anything. It is said that Balerion's fire was black, not normal red-based color. Also, they could do anything with ice as far as we know, even creating something that might be black. They have black outfits so they are at least not unfamiliar with the color. Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 9:01
  • Not saying it is impossible just implausible with the evidence we have. Also they found them theory seems more logical to me especially with @Thom's answer. Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 9:13
  • I posted this on scifi stack exchange and got blasted saying that "the movies and the books are different" w.e., I still think ice chains make the most sense.
    – user55826
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 20:03

The Night-King called the show-runners. Hey David/Dan, I’m on a freakin’ glacier in the middle of nowhere in Iceland. I have 1′000′000 wights but none of them is a black-smith. Can you help me out and bring some chains when you come up?

The Night King knew that Jon and his companions were coming. He set a trap to lure Dany up North, so he could capture one of her Dragons to bring down the wall.

In Episode 5 (Eastwatch) we see that the Night King’s greenseeing abilities far surpass Bran’s. This is the relevant passage from the Episode 5 script:


Bran lies with warg-white eyes in his tower room, controlling all the ravens.


The ravens fly through the sky, covering ground, crossing north of the Wall. As in Winged Migration, we cut into their POV: an army of 100,000 dead men blankets the surrounding hills and fields, marching in formation. White Walkers ride dead horses in their midst. They're in no rush. Their pace is slow, steady, inexorable as the grave. The Army of the Dead is finally marching on the living. The Night King knows when he's being watched. He looks up at the ravens and the ravens scatter, as if at a gunshot.

If you then watch episode 6 (Beyond the Wall) and you keep in mind that the Night King is the most powerful greenseer in Westeros, you realize that the Wight Polar Bear attack wasn’t random. It was meant to kill Thoros, the only red priest in Westeros with a proven track-record of bringing back the dead.

Wasn’t it super-convenient when Jon & Co. attacked the White Walker patrol, that one wight in this patrol was reanimated personally by the Night King and didn’t decay when Jon killed the White Walker? enter image description here

As you can see, the island on the frozen lake is clearly visible from the place where they captured the wight. This led me to believe that the Night King had a plan. It was crucial for the Night King’s plan that Gendry knew they had captured a wight in a good condition and that his companions were safely trapped on an island of a frozen lake. And that he made it back.

The Night King carefully chose this setup in order to increase the likelihood that Dany with her Dragons would intervene. It wasn’t coincidence that he waited hours if not days and only attacked ten minutes before Dany’s arrival. By having Dany land her dragon on the island, he created a diversion which allowed him to either hit Dany on the ground or to down Viserion or Rhaegal.

He targeted Viserion and Rhaegal because if his Ice-Missile misses, nobody would notice and he would get another chance to shoot again. If he shoots at Drogon on the ground and misses, everybody would flee leaving him possibly without a dragon. Remember, the Night King’s goal was to capture a dragon as intact as possible, turn it into an ice-dragon spewing blue fire, so he can burn down the wall. enter image description here

Like Qyburn, the Night King prepared for Dany’s Dragons by building a dragon-killing weapon: An ice-missile. Just look at how far Viserion is in the screenshot above. Unlike the Lannisters, the Night King not only had a weapon, he also used it like a pro. And that means a lot of practice.

And now you’re asking where he got the chains from? Look, if you can prepare an ambush of this magnitude and a dragon-killing missile, and you practice how to use it, wouldn’t it be just basic due diligence that the Night-King’s lieutenants also think about sourcing the chains? Those chains look like anchor chains from (sunken?) ships captured when they overran the Wildling towns like Hardhome.enter image description here

Yes, those chains are big, but these ice-missiles are scary… enter image description here

I just can tell you that when I was done watching this episode, I just thought, OMG, they’re really really f***ed.

That said, I wouldn’t call Jon’s botched mission a failure because we learned a lot. First, killing a white walker also kills all the wights it turned. So if Jon kills the Night King, all his wights will vanish with him as well. Second, when they captured the wight, the wight screamed for help in the language of the White Walkers, which means that wights and White Walkers communicate with each other. Third, this mission made Dany firmly commit to Jon’s cause. And only with Dany’s armies, Jon’s Northern alliance stands a chance against the Night King’s army of the Dead.

  • 4
    Your greenseer argument makes no sense just because he knows he's being watched doesn't mean he's a greenseer. The rest of your answer is answering a different question which is just massive speculation based off of your first claim. And your actual answer is that they found them which has already been answered. I fail to see exactly what this brings to the table no matter how well crafted it is. Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 8:17
  • It's a well thought out and articulated answer, but it is 100% speculation being presented as fact. -1 from me for now, I'd ask that you add into your answer to make it clear that this is a theory based on the evidence provided, rather than the official story line.
    – kuhl
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 16:49
  • 1
    The Night King was a Child of the Forest long ago. So far only two people have noticed Bran warging and spying on them: the previous Raven, and the Night King, who even interacted with Bran (touching him) during a vision. The logical explanation is that the Night King is either a greenseer, or has powerful but distinct magic that may as well do the same thing. While this answer contains speculation, it is grounded in known facts and uses logic to come to a conclusion.
    – user9311
    Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 22:53
  • 1
    While watching this episode, I came to similar conclusions: the Night King clearly was expecting company, and was prepared to deal with a dragon. Given neither him nor his army were south of the Wall to do any scouting, he must have been able to see something through magical means.
    – user9311
    Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 22:55

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