Jon Snow Will Ride A Zombie Ice Dragon, This 'Game of Thrones' Fan Theory Explains How

Last week on Game of Thrones, Jon Snow amazed Daenerys Targaryen when he shared a special moment with Drogon. But a popular fan theory says he's got more dragon-related surprises up his sleeve.

Please proceed with caution: This post is dark and full of spoilers.

Two years ago, back in Season 5, I_Am_The_Grass posted a theory on Reddit that one day Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) would ride an ice dragon. That would certainly tie in with the Fire and Ice theme, as Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and her dragons are the "fire" in this storyline.

Sunday's Season 7, Episode 6 wastes little time in setting the stage for fans to chew on this theory. In "Beyond the Wall," Daenerys flies north with Drogon and Viserion to rescue Jon Snow and his band of seven from certain defeat and un-death by the Night King and his White Walkers. Thoros of Myr dies after being mauled by a undead polar bear and freezing to death, but the other humans escape alive. Sadly, we can't say the same for Viserion.

The night king turns out to have uncanny aim and a lethal spear fashioned from a shard of ice. To Daenerys Targaryen's and Jon Snow's horror, the young dragon crashes to the ice and slides underneath. Soon after, Jon Snow is overcome and appears to drown in the icy water as the others are forced to leave without him.

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Benjen Stark mounts Jon Snow on his horse and sends him to the Wall. [Image by HBO]

Then, two startling things happen. First, a half-frozen Jon Snow clambers out of the water and onto the ice. Then his uncle, Benjen Stark, rescues him and sends him to the wall on his horse. Benjen, as you may recall, was a ranger for the Night's Watch until his fateful encounter with a White Walker. The Children of the Forest saved him from becoming a wight, but couldn't make him human enough to bypass the Wall's powerful spells and return to Castle Black.

Meanwhile, the White Walkers dragged Viserion out of the water and turned him into a wight. Or, as some fans thought, an ice dragon.

Ice Dragon? White Walkers drag Daenerys Targaryen's dragon, Viserion, out of the water and the Night King turns him into a wight.
Viserion becomes a wight. [Image by HBO]

I_Am_The_Grass saw something like this coming two years ago. Although much of what he wrote is out of date, some of it is uncanny. "The Song of Ice and Fire is two-fold," he explained on Reddit. "Fire kills Ice (Dany's dragons killing the wights) and then Ice kills Fire (the Ice Dragon killing Dany's dragons)."

So where did he get these crazy ideas? George R.R. Martin (GRRM), actually. It turns out the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire (ASOIF) book series -- which Game of Thrones is based on -- has made several references to ice dragons. Nerdist gathered several of these Ice Dragon references for those who haven't read the books.

In the third novel from the ASOIF series, "A Storm of Swords," an ice dragon appears in Jon Snow's thoughts. "The ice pressed close around them, and he could feel the cold seeping into his bones, the weight of the Wall above his head. It felt like walking down the gullet of an ice dragon."

The fifth novel, "A Dance with Dragons," also has Jon Snow thinking about the ice dragons from tales Old Nan used to tell him as a child.

  • "The wind was gusting, cold as the breath of the ice dragon in the tales Old Nan had told when Jon was a boy."
  • "The road beneath the Wall was as dark and cold as the belly of an ice dragon and as twisty as a serpent."
  • "The snowfall was light today, a thin scattering of flakes dancing in the air, but the wind was blowing in from the east along the Wall, cold as the breath of the ice dragon in the tales Old Nan used to tell."
None of the other characters in the books think about ice dragons so frequently.

Photo: Old Nan telling Bran old tales in Season 1.
Old Nan told the Stark children about the Ice Dragon and other old legends. [Image by HBO]

"A Clash of Kings" and "A Storm of Swords" also mention a constellation called the Ice Dragon that appears in the northern skies, with a blue eye pointing north and a tail pointing south. Nerdist explains characters use this constellation to navigate. When Bran gets lost, he remembers Osha telling him to find the wall by following the eye. Sam Tarly and Gilly look for the Ice Dragon's tail when they make their way to Castle Black. On another occasion, Jon Snow sees the Ice Dragon in the sky and feels comforted.

George R.R. Martin also mentioned ice dragons in other books he wrote. The constellation is seen in his second Dunk and Egg book, "The Sworn Sword." In "A World of Ice And Fire," a companion book written by others with consulting from GRRM, ice dragons are said to live in the Shivering Sea north of Essos. The description reads:

"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."
Oh, and another thing: Ice dragons are portrayed as superior to fire dragons.
"And when the ice dragon opened its great mouth, and exhaled, it was not fire that came streaming out, the burning sulfurous stink of lesser dragons. The ice dragon breathed cold."
GRRM also wrote a children's book called "The Ice Dragon" in 1980. Before Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen even existed as a glimmer in his eye, he created Adara. His website describes her as a five-year-old "winter child" born during "the worst freeze that anyone, even the old ones could remember." Adara befriends an ice dragon who later helps defend her home against an attack by fire dragons.

In 2014, Macmillan published a new edition of "The Ice Dragon" with lavish illustrations by fantasy artist Luis Royo.

I_Am_The_Grass found many parallels between this tale and Game of Thrones. In the end, Adara's ice dragon melts into a pond of cold water. He wrote, "I believe that the pool of water at the Godswood in Winterfell was left by an Ice Dragon." He also sees parallels between Adara and Jon Snow.

"The character that tamed the ice dragon in the book (Adara) was born in the long winter and her skin was cold to the touch. At the fourth stab [Hardhome in Season 5], all Jon felt 'was the cold.' Jon will be reborn in the winter and his skin will be cold as well."
When Jon Snow emerges from the ice-cold water freezing but alive, is he reborn as Daenerys Targaryen was reborn when she emerged from the flames as the Mother of Dragons in Season 1, Episode 10? Will he find a way to tame and take control of the Night King's newly-acquired ice dragon? Or will he somehow acquire one of the über ice dragons of legend as the one dragon to rule them all?

Other fan theories hold that the ice dragon is frozen within the Wall (AnakinGabriel), melted into an ice-cold pond at Winterfell (BL00DoftheDRAG0N), or that Jon Snow is the ice dragon. An earlier report from Inquisitr says this last theory is borne out by a video Emilia Clarke posted on her Instagram. Here, you can see Kit Harington goofily imitating a dragon. "I mean, JEEEZE," she wrote. " one pet of a dragon and he thinks he's one of them."

[Featured Image by HBO]