Major spoilers for "Beyond the Wall" (Game of Thrones, S07E06)

In "Beyond the Wall" (Game of Thrones, S07E06) we see the newest member of the army of the dead ...

Viserion, one of Daenerys' three dragons, was killed and we see the Night King himself resurrect the beast, and we see it wake up with blue eyes.

Usually, from what we have seen (particularly in "Hardhome" (Game of Thrones, S05E08)), a dead thing can be resurrected as a wight from a distance, remotely, and any White Walker can cause the turn.

enter image description here
—Night King resurrecting dead wildlings remotely, by merely lifting his arms, "Hardhome" (Game of Thrones, S05E08)

But a White Walker is exclusively created by the Night King touching the victim (again, from what we've seen), other than the way the original White Walker was created.

enter image description here
—Craster's newborn baby being transformed into a White Walker by having the Night King touch him, "Oathkeeper" (Game of Thrones, S04E04)

Just looking at these two different methods of resurrection, the way Viserion is resurrected seems much more similar to the White Walker type than the way wights are made. It's possible that turning dragons is an entirely different puzzle, even to a wight, so the Night King had to see this through, personally, and touch him.

The difference between a barely conscious, telepathically controlled drone of a wight and a seemingly more conscious, self-aware and powerful White Walker is significant enough that it warrants having an answer.

Is Viserion a wight or a White Walker?

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    Can we split the difference, and call it a Wight Walker? Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 14:41
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    Why do you put a spoiler box at the beginning but end your question with a sentence that can spoil everyone? Maybe you consider that once we have read the first warning, we go back and don't see the spoilers below, but I just want to be sure.
    – SdaliM
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 16:27
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    @GhotiandChips I appreciate you marking my answer as accepted but I fear you've only done it because it is what you believe as well. I personally would leave it unaccepted until we get an official answer not something of speculation. Though the choice is completely yours. Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 10:07
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    @TheLethalCarrot A year later and it seems your reasoning and suspicions (and my intuitions to agree with them) ring true Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 17:58

3 Answers 3


White Walker

With the release of the official script for Episode 7 we see that he is indeed a White Walker Flyer.

A massive chunk of the Wall breaks free ahead of Tormund. The ice dragon glides away, and we get our first clear look at him, and at the Night King on his back. He's done the same thing to Viserion that he did to Craster's sons. Only those were babies, and this is a dragon.

Game of Thrones, Season 7 Episode 7, "The Dragon and the Wolf" - Official script

Although we don't know for sure I'd say it is a White Walker.

A White Walker is created by the Night King placing his hand on the subject, like with Craster's baby boys:

enter image description here
—Craster's newborn baby being transformed into a White Walker by having the Night King touch him, "Oathkeeper" (Game of Thrones, S04E04)

Also compare the eyes of the White Walkers and the wights:

enter image description here
—A wight which I believe is from Hardhome, "Hardhome" (Game of Thrones, S05E08)

As you can see a wights eyes are a lot cloudier than the sharp clue of a White Walkers.

Now compare those of Viserion's:

enter image description here
—Viserion opens his eyes after the Nights King touches him, "Beyond the Wall" (Game of Thrones, S07E06)

As you can see his eyes more closely resemble a White Walker than a wight.

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    Great answer, but I think there's other cases to disprove this theory. When we saw the army of the dead march out of the mist (S07E01?), the wight giant had a blue eye that gives off light. That's different from the wight girl you linked, whose eyes seem bright blue but without giving off light. If the Giant is considered a wight and has a "lighted" blue eye, the same could be true of Viserion.
    – Flater
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 9:59
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    The giant seems to be a resurrected corpse (look at the rest of his face, rotting lips etc). The Walkers we have seen so far do not have rotting corpses. Mummified or freeze-dried, but no decomposition. The giant also seems less present of mind than the white walkers, and marches with the troops rather than with the walkers. Combining this, I'd say that he's a wight.
    – Flater
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 10:09
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    FYI, your 2nd picture (the "Wight from Hardhome") is actually from S1E1. That's the girl that the ranging party sees at the beginning of the pilot. I also don't believe the eyes are a useful argument, partially since the example provided is from several seasons before. It's possible the CGI changed in the subsequent years.
    – kuhl
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 18:12
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    While this might have seemed the best answer at the time, in light of Viserion dying like a wight (collapse, not shatter), and having been created at least partly like a wight (after death), it would seem that Viserion was a wight. I just re-watched the ending of hardhome, and some of the newly animated wights have fairly bright blue irises. It could be the cloudiness is due to something else - how long you've been a wight and/or dead, for example... Commented May 8, 2019 at 11:54
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    @TheLethalCarrot yeah, but surely by now we've learned not to rely on the scriptwriters to get these things right. ; ) Commented May 8, 2019 at 13:02

Pretty sure it is a wight.

To my knowledge or understanding -

Wight = dead thing that Night King or Night Walkers raise from their dead state.

Night King - first White Walker, created while still living my the magic of the Children of the Forest and dragonstone through the heart.

Other White Walkers - male babies sacrificed by wildlings, alive, to the Night King and transformed.

The main difference being that none of the White Walkers were killed before transforming.

I could be completely wrong about the non-King White Walkers, but that was always my impression/understanding.

Since the dragon was dead, it would be a wight.

EDIT: Please note Lethal Carrot's update with the script and the speculation about the eyes. It looks like that answer is more accurate than my own conjecture about how this works.

  • Yes, I detailed the difference in the question. Though I appreciate the dead pre-transformation difference, I was more focused on the style of transformation (Night King personally placing his hand on the dragon and leaving it there, a la Craster's newborn). The fact that the dragon had only just died (if he fully died, at all) may play a factor. Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 18:46
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    I take that to be more the Night King giving special attention to the wight he always wanted. If it was re-animated under the ice and was flailing about trying to break free of the ice trying to find an opening, or trying to craw through an opening, that could damage a very precious weapon, so they dragged it out, first. Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 18:49
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    I don't think there's any indication that the dragon survived that spear. It was spewing gouts of blood everywhere, rolled over dead, upon the crash, and was it would have taken a long time to harness it up and use wights to drag it back to the surface. Quickly getting to a temperature where the body shuts down all its metabolism and processes to almost nothing helps people to survive those kinds of drownings, sometimes, but that's a matter of more minutes, not big time spans, and that's straight-up drowning, not also with massive blood-loss injuries, I think. Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 19:00
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    @GhotiandChips - Don't know the science behind fictional, mythical, magic creatures? Shame on you! Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 19:09
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    Previously, GRRM's strong logic did actually facilitate a lot of pseudo-scientific explanations for a lot of the fictional stuff. Of course, though, the show is, figuratively and literally, a different story. Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 19:16

I think we can say from the latest episode that

Viserion was a wight, not a white walker, otherwise, he would have shattered like the other white walkers, instead of crumbling and collapsing like the wights.

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    This is the correct answer. White Walkers shatter when killed, wights just de-animate. Commented May 1, 2019 at 17:53

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