Game of Thrones is a show that was built on fan theories and Reddit forums. Sadly, there aren’t a lot of mysteries left to solve, although a new one was one added in the season seven finale: Does the undead dragon Viserion breathe fire or ice? The season finale’s director was quizzed on it; even Neil deGrasse Tyson has weighed in. But HBO is giving us some major mixed signals... the latest being a freaking coffee cup.
The general consensus is that undead Viserion is an ice dragon that breathes blue fire. Of course, some have disputed that he can be called an ice dragon at all, since George R.R. Martin described ice dragons in his books as practically a different breed, larger than normal dragons and “made of living ice.” However, just because A Song of Ice and Fire says one thing doesn’t mean it’s what Game of Thrones is going to go with.
HBO’s Game of Thrones Viewers Guide states Viserion is both an ice dragon and breathes blue fire. (“Tormond and Beric watch in horror as the Night King, riding Viserion, uses the dragon to blast blue fire at the icy Wall…The ice dragon continues until a breach opens.”) “Dragon and the Wolf” director Jeremy Podeswa said something similar to Huffington Post. (“It’s certainly still fire—it has the ability to burn the Wall and melt snow.”) That seems pretty rock solid, right? But then...
In the HBO Store, as pointed out on Reddit, there’s an item called the “Game of Thrones Ice Targaryen Sigil Mug” (the design is also on some t-shirts). It takes the traditional Targaryen House Sigil and turns one of the dragon’s three heads blue to represent how the Night King turned Viserion into an undead dragon walker last season. But take a look at the description for this mug:
The Game of Thrones Ice Targaryen Sigil Mug is a new take on the Targaryen sigil design. Now that Viserion has been turned to an Ice Dragon by the Night King, he is shooting ice and not fire. This 11oz Mug is a great new addition to your Game of Thrones collection-perfect for at home or in the office.
He is shooting ice... AND NOT FIRE.
This stupid mug consumed my very soul and dominated the io9 staff chatroom this morning. What does this mean? Did an HBO Store copywriter simply make a mistake? Or did this actually get approved by someone who knew the truth? Is HBO deliberately trying to trick us? Just like the rumor they’re filming multiple endings to season eight, maybe they’re splashing their sites with different theories about Viserion to confuse fans to the point of insanity. Or... or did that aforementioned HBO Tech Writer get ambitious while writing up a product blurb and decide to change the fabric of the entire show simply because they could? I’d say that would make me mad, but I’d actually be impressed. Good for you, copywriter, I applaud your gusto.