In "The Dragon and the Wolf" (Game of Thrones, S07E07), this happens:

it is shown that Viserion breaks the Wall with his breath.

I don't think he breathes ice. Does anyone know?

What does dead Viserion breathe if it's not ice?

  • 14
    In chapter 41 of The Winds of Winter (book six), it's detailed that the Night King imbued upon Viserion a magic that corrupts his dragonfire to have the ability to "undo the threads of magic instilled upon the Wall by Brandon the Builder and the Children of the Forest", so I assume that's the show's visualisation of this magical dragonfire...**Just kidding**, this literally only just happened and we caught a brief glimpse of it with no explanation and it is based on nothing yet described by the books, so nobody can know, only pure speculation. Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 7:29
  • 3
    same conversation here: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/168185/so-was-it-fire-or-ice
    – andrew
    Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 7:41
  • @GhotiandChips Sounds like an answer there...at least good enough for now.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 8:16
  • @GhotiandChips Can I ask, how do you know it's chapter 41? I've only ever seen them labeled as POV titles like they are on awoiaf (eg. Sansa I, etc.) Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 9:29
  • 7
    @Edlothiad Well, to spell it out, I was joking, so I completely made the whole thing up and just plonked a random chapter number. Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 9:43

2 Answers 2


Reproducing my answer from a similar post from the Scifi site

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.

  • 1
    But you're trying to apply science to a magical being that was reanimated by magic and is destroying a magical structure. Also, the thing is animated by Hollywood. Not sure we can assume that GoT got the color of smoke exactly right, or that the dragon or wall would act as expected.
    – kuhl
    Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 12:44
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    @kuhl But, that is the only logical explanation one can make from the scenes aired till now. :)
    – Dawny33
    Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 12:50
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    I agree it's fire but I disagree with the smoke part. Fire on ice doesn't create smoke...it creates water. I'd suggest that this is more likely powdered ice/snow than smoke. Any "grey" color is due to lighting...ice doesn't create ash which is what smoke effectively is.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 15:26
  • Among my friend circle it's referred to as nuclear fire, as it very much looks inspired by Godzilla Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 18:20
  • Definitely considered fire but the creators knew the flames had to be different, recent interview with Director Jeremy Podeswa confirmed this, "...That was really helpful to figure what the flames should look like, what color they should be..." article here
    – cheshire
    Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 22:28

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

And as the icing on top. Here's the clip of it again!

  • 1
    great answer with sources instead of speculation!
    – Luciano
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 9:38

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