‘Game of Thrones’ Gets a Physics Lesson From Neil deGrasse Tyson

Celebrity scientist says the characters on HBO’s fantasy series aren’t pulling their chains the right way

Last Updated: September 25, 2017 @ 11:31 AM

Yes, “Game of Thrones” is a fantasy series and, as such, is immune from many of the laws that bound us in the real world. But you might not want to tell that to Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Celebrity scientist Tyson took time out from his apparently not-so-busy Sunday this week to break down the physics of the HBO series, issuing a series of tweets critiquing the show on a scientific front.

Tyson’s verdict? Dragon wingspans good, chain-dragging technique not so hot.

“Everybody all caught up on #GameOfThrones? I have a comment or two, if anybody is interested…” Tyson began his physics lesson.

Apparently presuming that someone was, in fact, interested, Tyson continued with his thoughts on the swimming abilities of “frozen dead dudes.”

“I thought the frozen dead dudes couldn’t swim, but aside from that…,” Tyson tweeted.

“Bad Physics in #GameOfThrones: Pulling a dragon out of a lake? Chains need to be straight, and not curve over hill and dale,” Tyson continued.

Tyson then offset his criticism with some kudos, writing, “Good Bio-Physics in #GameOfThrones: The Dragon Wingspans are sensibly large, as their body weight would require for flight.”

“The sensibly large wingspan of Dragons in #GameOfThrones contrasts with aerodynamically useless wings of Renaissance cherubs,” Tyson added.

The scientist continued on his positive streak, tweeting, “Good Biology in #GameOfThrones: As in #LordOfTheRings, Dragons forfeited their forelimbs to make wings, like birds & bats.”

Tyson then held forth on the varying heat of dragons’ breaths, writing, “Intriguing Thermal Physics in #GameOfThrones: BlueDragon breath would be at least a factor of 3X hotter than RedDragon breath.”

Monday found Tyson continuing on his “Game of Thrones” jag, though on a slightly less scientific bent.

“In the #GameOfThrones Universe, to ‘bend the knee’ represents the very highest form of respect and loyalty,” Tyson noted, perhaps in reference to the recent “take a knee” protests in sports.

Read Tyson’s reflections on the physics of “Game of Thrones” below.