To balance the warmth of these loving unions, “Game of Thrones” naturally brought chills with a scene up north where the zombie version of Viserion, Daenerys’ dragon that was killed by ice javelin in the previous episode, breathes fire on The Wall, which came a-tumblin’ down. Whereas the living Viserion breathed the expected orange flame, undead Viserion breathed blue. The color and texture of the flame confused many viewers.
“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.”
Waiting patiently for The Wall to tumble are a group of White Walkers and their mindless army of the dead, the wights, which have been an ongoing presence since the first season, but are seen in force this season heading south to conquer the living. Since dragons, wights, and White Walkers are all fantasy creatures, their characteristics and the rules of how they operate must first be made up, then adhered to.
“There was a determination about how wights move when they’re not in attack mode, and how that is different from when they are in attack mode,” said Podeswa. “Yes, there are many discussions on how they look ahead of time, what their degree of decomposition is and their decay, what’s the most dramatic or the scariest or plausible, all those things, what’s the precedent from before and what hasn’t [been]. So there were many, many conversations about that and many back and forths with makeup people and costume, hair and visual effects and how those things are going to manifest per every episode. Nothing goes by without an enormous deal of discussion and contemplation.”
When Zombie Viserion makes his flying debut, swooping through the air and flaming The Wall, it’s clear that this is a wight: There are signs of decay in the wings and body.
Podeswa explained just how decayed Viserion was allowed to be: “Everything comes from a sense of logic, so I guess in this particular instance with Viserion, what were the wounds that he suffered before he died? What happened to him underwater and when he was dragged up? All of those kinds of things folded into the discussion of what he should appear to look like when he’s resurrected. Where it goes from there is anybody’s guess. I’m not sure if the newly undead or born-again undead are trapped in a certain kind of moment or whether they decay forever.”
In the worst-case scenario for the Night King though, if Viserion became too decayed, would he still aerodynamic enough to fly?
Podeswa laughed and said, “I’m sure there are people who can answer that question for you, but I’m not going to be that guy.”