Warning: Spoilers of “Game of Thrones” season seven, episode seven “The Dragon and the Wolf.”
The war between the living and the dead has finally come south to Westeros.
In an unforgettable season finale, the Night King harnessed the fallen Viserion to breathe blue flames at the Wall that has kept Westeros safe for centuries. Fans watched in horror as the Wall fell, taking men like Tormund with it, and the dead slowly and deliberately marched south into the land of the living.
It was epic.
But to be fair, fans had guessed the Wall would fall years ago.
The Wall was always going to fall
The Wall was always a major presence in Westeros. Men, both honorable and not so honorable, were sent to defend the Wall from around the Seven Kingdoms and become brothers of the Night’s Watch. It loomed large in Old Nan’s tales, served to protect the Northerners from the wildlings (or so they thought), and it’s massive and mysterious presence was always a source of wonder.
Of course it had to be knocked down. To truly put everyone in harm’s way and reach the climax of the story, the White Walkers and their army would have to head south of this magical Wall. One could argue that George R.R. Martin built this huge ice monolith for the sole purpose of knocking it down.
The question wasn’t if the Wall was gong to come down, but how. And that’s where fan theories really varied.
Many fans posited it would be brought down by a legendary horn known as the Horn of Winter or the Horn of Joramun. In the books, the wildlings pretend they found the horn and tell Jon Snow that the real horn has the ability to “[wake] giants from the Earth” and is powerful enough to bring down the Wall.
Melisandre later burned that fake horn in “A Dance with Dragons.”
“The Horn of Joramun? No. Call it the Horn of Darkness,” she said. “If the Wall falls, night falls as well, the long night that never ends.”
Because that horn wasn’t the real deal, however, some fans thought that the White Walkers could be in possession of the true Horn of Winter and use it against the living. Others think Samwell Tarly is in possession of the true horn since he found an old war horn with a cache of dragon glass at the Fist of the First Men. Alt Shift X has an amazing breakdown of all these theories.
Ice dragons and the Wall
Another, wilder theory was that an ice dragon was hibernating within the Wall, and that when it was awoken, the Wall would be destroyed.
George R.R. Martin has mentioned ice dragons in his book series before, which some fans took as a clue that they would be an important part of “A Song of Ice and Fire.” He even published a children’s book in 1980 called “The Ice Dragon,” long before “A Song of Ice and Fire” first came out in 1993.
Here’s what Martin said about ice dragons in “A World of Ice and Fire”:
These colossal beasts, many times larger than the dragons of Valyria, are said to be made of living ice, with eyes of pale blue crystal and vast translucent wings through which the moon and stars can be glimpsed as they wheel across the sky.
Whereas common dragons (if any dragon can truly be said to be common) breathe flame, ice dragons supposedly breathe cold, a chill so terrible that it can freeze a man solid in half a heartbeat […] As ice dragons supposedly melt when slain, no actual proof of their existence has ever been found.
As book readers have noted for years now, ice dragons are also mentioned most frequently by Jon Snow in “A Song of Ice and Fire,” as explained by Redditor LiveVirus here. Since Jon spent most of his time at the Wall, this bled into other fan theories about ice dragons actually living/hibernating inside the Wall, and that the horn of Joramun would be able to awake the dragons, or “wake giants from the earth.”
This theory was indirectly related to another magical horn in Westeros — Dragonbinder. In the books, Euron Greyjoy returns from his travels with what he says is a magical horn that can control dragons and bend them to his will.
What if Joramun’s horn can do a similar thing, but for ice dragons?
Is Viserion an ice dragon?
I think after this final scene, we can all agree that Viserion is not an ice dragon, but a White Walker or wight dragon that can breath blue flames.
Martin has also specifically said in the past that ice dragons are a different species than “common dragons,” which are the type we assume Daenerys “gave birth” to. Just because Viserion is now undead doesn’t make him an entirely new species of dragon.
So no, Vision is probably not an ice dragon. Still, considering that fans for years have posited that the White Walkers would bring down the Wall with some sort of dragon, it was satisfying for many to watch Viserion fulfil that fan theory, at least in part.
What this means for season 8
Ultimately, no matter how the Wall fell, it means bad things for our heroes in the final season of “Game of Thrones.”
Now that the White Walkers and their army of the dead are able to march on Westeros, the first major house in their line of fire will be Winterfell. In the finale, Jon and Daenerys were heading to Winterfell, where they will arrive just in time to learn of Jon’s true parentage from Bran and Sam and that the army of the dead are at their gate.
Winterfell could likely be the first major battle to kick off the final season. Though we have no idea when it’s coming back, we’ll all be waiting with bated breath.