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Neil DeGrasse Tyson Discusses The Scientific Plausibility Of Game Of Thrones' Dragons

author

Rosie McCall

Staff Writer

clockSep 26 2017, 16:22 UTC

Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

World-renowned astrophysicist, TV personality, science communicator, and all-round amazing human, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, is known to pull apart some of the scientific discrepancies (or, should we say, liberties) in our favorite movies.

Whether he's highlighting the impossibility of Sandra Bullock's space hair in Gravity, debating lightsaber physics with Professor Brian Cox, or predicting who would win a fight between Superman and Batman (Superman, of course), he brings a little extra science to pop culture.

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The latest fantasy show in his firing line: Game of Thrones

If you've been contemplating the scientific plausibility of the Game of Thrones dragons, you'll be pleased to know they get Tyson's seal of approval. 

He's been discussing the good, bad and "intriguing" science of GoT on Twitter. When it comes to Danaerys' dragons, he says their wingspans are "suitably large", which they need to be to carry the dragon's weight during flight.

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He compared the wings of Rhaegal and Drogon to those of Renaissance cherubs, which are "aerodynamically useless".

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He likes the way the dragons forfeited forelimbs for wings, like flying dinosaurs and modern-day bats and birds. 

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Tyson also gave an explanation for the zombie dragon's blue breath. Instead of ice, he reckons Viserion is breathing blue fire. This is three times as hot as regular fire and could help explain how he was able to obliterate the Wall. It's an impressive feat considering it had stayed standing for eight millennia and seven seasons up to that point.

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There is, however, one science-defying moment Tyson is not having. And no, it is not the wights or Westeros' unusually long seasons, but the position of the chains the White Walkers use to pull Viserion from the water. He says they should be straight, not curved.

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And he was a little surprised by the zombies' swimming abilities.

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Still, all in all, it looks like the Game of Thrones show creators have done a fairly good job and get the Neil DeGrasse Tyson thumbs up (which is more than can be said for Star Wars).

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Maybe next time he can fill us in on the physics of flying broomsticks and time-traveling DeLoreans.


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  • GOT,

  • dragons,

  • white walkers,

  • ice dragon,

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  • game of thrones science,

  • neil degrassetyson