When it comes to making a bid for power on Game of Thrones, having a dragon or two in tow is the way to do it. The first Targaryen who conquered Westeros did it with a dragon to fly in on, and now the very latest is set to do the same. With their sheer size and style, dragons make for an impressive spectacle; their fire-breathing capabilities also ensure subjects will fall in line. But fans have long speculated about a chillier cousin to Daenerys' fire-breathers that might have a part to play in the future of Westeros. And there are some ice dragon theories every Game of Thrones fan needs to know.
But first things first: what is an ice dragon? Luckily, it's fairly self-explanatory. In a companion guide to George R. R. Martin's book series, written by Martin himself and titled The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and Game of Thrones, ice dragons are described as "colossal beasts, many times larger than the dragons of Valyria." They're located in the Shivering Sea north of Westeros and are made of ice; they also breathe cold instead of fire. They definitely sound cool (pun not intended), but what impact could they have on the story? Some fans have tried to find out.
A Chilling Transformation
One theory, discussed by the Independent, speculates that the ice dragon won't come from the Shivering Sea, but somewhere much closer. If one of Daenerys' dragons is killed during the fight against the White Walkers, it could be resurrected by the Night King as part of his army. A regular dragon becomes an ice dragon.
Winter Is Coming
In a G.R.R.M. short story called "The Ice Dragon," the titular beast melted and became a lake. Though Martin has said the story has no connection to the A Song of Ice And Fire universe, fans have still jumped on it as a hint. There is an icy cold lake outside of Winterfell by the weirwood tree, and Asoiaf.westeros.org user BL00DoftheDRAGON wonders if perhaps that lake was actually a dormant ice dragon.
R + L = J
Of course, the idea of an ice dragon could just be metaphorical, as explained by Reddit user Azor_ash_hi. Jon is a Targaryen and a Stark who was raised in the North and served at the Wall: in terms of heritage, he could easily be considered an ice dragon.
Ice & Blood
Reddit user Rhaegar_DragonPrince also wondered if the ice dragon might actually be a person, but went in a more unexpected direction. According to them, the "ice dragon" might actually refer to Dany after she is killed and rises again as a member of the Night King's army. A Targaryen wight would quite literally be an ice dragon.
In the A Song of Ice And Fire series, there is a horn called the Horn of Joramun that can allegedly destroy the Wall. Reddit user PorscheUberAlles theorized that someone who possesses the horn will do just that — and in the process release the ice dragon that lived within the Wall. People have long thought magic was involved in the creation of the Wall, and an ice dragon makes about as much sense as anything.
The opposing forces of ice and fire are hugely important to Game of Thrones thematically, so it would make sense for fiery dragons to have icier foes out there somewhere. They just have to make their presence known.