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Game of Thrones Dragon Science Explained by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

By Brian Gallagher — September 25th, 2017

Fans are bracing for a long wait between Game of Thrones Season 7, which came to a close last month, and the final season, rumored to have six feature-length episodes with production starting next month. Among those apparently trying to pass the time before the new season arrives, either in late 2018 or possibly in early 2019, is noted astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who shared some interesting observations about Daenerys Targaryen's (Emilia Clarke) dragons from this season. If you still haven't caught up with the penultimate season yet, there will be SPOILERS below, so read on at your own risk.

Over the weekend, the Neil DeGrasse Tyson Twitter feed featured a number of interesting statements about Daenerys Targaryen's dragons, and one of the most controversial scenes of this past season. In the sixth episode this season, Beyond the Wall, Daenerys Targaryen brought her dragons north of The Wall, to save Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and his group that included Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer), Tormund Giantsbane (Kristian Nairn), Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) and more, who were trapped, surrounded on all sides by the Night King's army of white walkers. While most of the group made it out alive (sorry, Thoros of Myr), one of Dany's dragons, Viserion, named after his brother Viserys, was killed by a deadly-accurate spear throw, with the episode ending with the dragon being dragged out of the frozen lake, and resurrected by the Night King.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson helped shed some light on aspects of these dragons, and the scene where hundreds of white walkers used massive chains that seemingly came out of nowhere, to drag the deceased Viserion out of the frozen lake. While Neil DeGrasse Tyson doesn't chide the show for this sudden mysterious emergence of these massive chains, or the fact that white walkers, (or as Tyson calls them, the "frozen dead dudes") probably can't swim in the lake to attach these chains in the first place, he pointed out that the way they're pulling the dragon out is "bad physics," since the chains would need to be straight, and not "curve over hill and dale."

However, he did go on to praise the producers for getting the size right for Dany's dragons, who were mentioned by director Matt Shakman as being the size of 747 jets. The astrophysicist stated that, "the Dragon Wingspans are sensibly large, as their body weight would require for flight." He even added in another tweet that the "sensible wingspan" of these Game of Thrones dragons, "contrasts with aerodynamically useless wings of Renaissance cherubs." He also compared the Thrones dragons to those seen in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, who, "forfeited their forelimbs to make wings, like birds & bats."

He also revealed that the blue dragon, resurrected by the Night King, would be able to breathe fire that is three times hotter than the orange flame from Dany's other dragons. It's possible that this is why the blue flames were able to destroy The Wall at Eastwatch in the final moments of the Season 7 finale, with the season coming to a close as the Night's King and his white walkers were able to set foot in Westeros. Of course, none of these tweets have anything to do with the upcoming final season, but take a look at Neil DeGrasse Tyson's thoughts on the dragon physics of Game of Thrones.

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