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This article is about the magical creatures. For the Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series episode, see "The Ice Dragon".
"Bloody ice dragon! Gods be good, now that I would love to see."
Gared Tuttle[src]

An ice dragon is a legendary creature somewhat resembling a dragon, but made of ice and breathing cold instead of fire.

History

"The Lost Lords"

If Gared Tuttle chooses to tell Jon Snow that he intends to find the North Grove, Jon will laugh and say that Old Nan used to tell him and his half-siblings a tale about it that featured ice dragons and trees as tall as the sky.[1]

"The Sword in the Darkness"

Duncan Tuttle delivers some ironwood to Castle Black and gives his nephew Gared a map that belonged to Lord Gregor Forrester that seems to show how to find the North Grove. Gregor has written on the map that the North Grove is located "beneath the watchful eye of the Ice Dragon".[2]

''The Ice Dragon''

It is revealed that the Ice Dragon referred to by Gregor Forrester on the map for the North Grove meant the constellation of 'The Ice Dragon', rather than a literal Ice Dragon. The North Grove is located in an Ironwood forest below the constellation.

Behind the Scenes - Viserion

Viseron dragon finale

Viserion, called an "ice dragon".

In Season 7, Viserion is killed and then raised back to life by the Night King.[3]

This led to considerable online debate about what exactly undead-Viserion is: simply a "wight-dragon" like the undead wight-horses, or perhaps somehow turned into a "dragon version of a White Walker", much as how the Night King turns human babies into White Walkers. Moreover, the basic nomenclature was unclear, given that the HBO Viewer's Guide referred to Viserion as an "ice dragon", and said that he was shooting blasts of freezing ice-breath out of his mouth instead of fire.

Due to the Season 7 finale being submitted for an Emmy nomination, the script was made publicly available in August 2018 - clarifying a few points but raising further questions and contradictions:

  • The script directly refers to Viserion as an "ice-dragon".
  • The script explicitly gives the description when the Night King appears at the end that "He's done the same thing to Viserion that he did to Craster's sons. Only those were babies, and this is a dragon."[4] Clearly stating the TV writers' intent that he's not just an undead wight.
  • The script specifies that he is breathing fire, albeit very hot blue-colored fire, instead of calling them ice blasts (the Viewer's Guide recap was in error on this point).

This raises several Issues:

  • The Night King didn't do the same thing to Viserion he did to Craster's sons. Viserion was clearly dead and had to be resurrected. In contrast, Craster's sons explicitly needed to be delivered alive to be turned into White Walkers - otherwise the White Walkers would just be converting any human babies they found from slaughtered wildling villages, etc. The TV writers seem to be claiming that the Night King both raised Viserion back to life and turned him to some kind of dragon equivalent of a White Walker.
  • Viserion probably won't die like this in future novels, and it may be an invention of the TV series. This might not even be how The Wall itself is breached in the novels. In the behind the scenes videos for the Season 7, showrunners Benioff and Weiss referred to this as an idea they came up with: that the wondered what could breach the Wall, and decided it was an undead dragon - even though George R.R. Martin himself has said he planned out major events on that scale in the upcoming novels. So whatever TV-Viserion is now might just be an invention of the TV writers.
  • That isn't what an "ice-dragon" is, properly speaking. An "ice-dragon" is a mythological creature of legend in the world of Westeros: a dragon made out of living ice, much as the "Ice spiders" of legend (which have been mentioned in the TV show) were literally made out of ice. These legendary "ice-dragons" also breath blasts of freezing-cold, in contrast to how normal dragons breath fire. If TV-Viserion is a flesh-and-blood albeit undead creature, and the script confirms that he's breathing blue fire instead of cold...what, exactly, makes him an "ice" dragon now? It seems that the TV writers simply re-used the name, incorrectly, because they thought it sounded exciting.
  • More information may come in Season 8.

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, ice dragons are said to roam the Shivering Sea and the White Waste. They are said to be larger than the dragons of Valyria and made out of living ice, with pale blue crystal eyes, vast translucent wings and very cold breath - which can instantly freeze people and things solid, a mirror opposite of how the breath of regular dragons burn them. There is a constellation of stars to the north called the ice dragon, with blue eyes that point north.

If they do exist they are probably not closely related to regular dragons - which are said to be fire made flesh - though given that all dragons are heavily implied to have a magical origin, for all anyone knows they may have a shared or at least related magical source.

As he does in "The Lost Lords", Jon Snow recalls several times the stories that Old Nan told of ice dragons when he was a child.

George R.R. Martin published a children's novel in 1980 titled The Ice Dragon, which follows a young girl who forms a bond with an ice dragon. The world that it is set in contains several similarities to the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, but it also contains several differences. Some publishers suggest that it is set in the same world, though this has been a topic of some debate.

See also

References