Neil deGrasse Tyson

The world’s most famous astrophysicist and science educator Neil deGrasse Tyson has weighed in on the science of fiction numerous times. Most recently, he turned his mind to fantasy with a series of tweets taking down the less obvious science dos and don’ts of ‘Game of Thrones.’ First, he questions the use the chains in dragon retrieval.


The less scientifically minded of us called shenanigans at this scene merely by questioning how zombies came into possession of such chains. Tyson’s comment is more damning. Chains could only work as a means to pull such a beast if there is tension. The show depicts chains that are clearly not tense. The only Wights that have any ability to lift the dragon are those at the very front of the line before the chain is seen going downhill.


Neil gives the show credit here while throwing shade at the useless wings of Renaissance cherubs in a following tweet. These cupid-like characters have wings too small to lift their bodies. The dragon’s wings, it seems, are up to the task. Tyson goes on about dragons…


Here he is referring to evolutionary theory. An animal would not evolve wings like, say, Angel from the X-Men, in which the wings are totally independent from the arms and/or legs. There must be a benefit to an animal’s chance to survive and procreate at every stage of the evolutionary process if the new traits are to be selected and built upon. In other words, a lizard can’t give birth to a baby lizard with giant wings, but a lizard could give birth to a baby lizard with a mutation that gives a little armpit webbing that slows a fall. This webbing could then grow generation after generation until it’s something like a wing. This all assumes that the Lord of Light or some other GoT god didn’t create dragons with magic, of course.


With his last dragon observation, Tyson refers to how hotter flames appear as a different color. Red flames are hot, orange are hotter, yellow are hotter still, and blue are the hottest. This might explain how the Wight dragon took down the wall so easily.


And finally, Tyson comments on the politics of the day. Athletes may be taking a knee in protest, but some consider it the most respectful thing one can do. Just ask Daenerys.