Why Did Silverwing Refuse to go Beyond The Wall? Was She Afraid of White Walkers?

silverwing and alysanne

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Episode 10 of season 1 of House of the Dragon allowed us to hear the name of Silverwing being mentioned for the first time when Daemon brought forward the idea that there were still dragons in Dragonstone that were yet to be claimed. Of course, Silverwing is one of the older dragons that are still alive by the time of the Dance of the Dragons, as she once belonged to Queen Alysanne Targaryen, who went as far as the north while riding this dragon. But the thing about Silverwing was that she refused to go beyond the Wall despite being a docile and obedient dragon. So, why did Silverwing refuse to go beyond the Wall?

It was never mentioned why Silverwing was afraid to go beyond the Wall, but it is possible that she understood the magic of the Wall and the purpose behind the construction of this huge barrier. Of course, she might have also sensed that something evil was brewing beyond the Wall and was afraid of it.

The fact that Silverwing was afraid to go beyond the Wall was one of the most interesting events that happened during the early part of the Targaryen dynasty, as this was probably the story’s way of telling us what the Wall was for. So, with that said, let’s take a good look into the possible reasons why Silverwing refused to go beyond the Wall.

Why Did Silverwing Refuse To Go Beyond The Wall?

The first mention of Silverwing in House of the Dragon was in episode 10 when Daemon talked about the dragons that were yet to be claimed. He said that both Vermithor and Silverwing were still residing somewhere in Dragonstone and were yet to have their riders after they had lost their first riders nearly 30 years ago. Of course, according to history, Silverwing was the dragon of Queen Alysanne Targaryen, who was the wife of King Jaehaerys.

Alysanne and Jaehaerys on Silverwing and Vermithor 1
Queen Alysanne Targaryen on Silverwing and King Jaehaerys I Targaryen on Vermithor, by Sanrixia

During the time when Alysanne and Jaehaerys were ruling the Seven Kingdoms, they often went out to ride on their dragons. Silverwing was said to be quite close to Vermithor, as it was often observed that they coiled together. This showed that the two dragons were probably also mates, similar to how Jaehaerys and Alysanne were married to one another.

Out of all of the dragons in the Seven Kingdoms, Silverwing was said to be the most docile, as she was actually quite receptive to humans, regardless of whether or not they were their riders. She was also one of the most obedient dragons to ever exist, as she never disobeyed Alysanne throughout her entire life. But there was an interesting event during the time when Alysanne was still Silverwing’s rider.


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When Queen Alysanne was in Winterfell for a royal visit to the north, she grew restless waiting for King Jaehaerys and Vermithor to arrive. That was when she took her dragon to Castle Black. However, while Silverwing was at the Wall, it was clear that something was bothering her, as she would hiss and snap at every gust of wind that came from beyond the Wall.

Moreover, Alysanne tried to fly Silverwing beyond the Wall three times, but the dragon always veered south whenever the queen attempted to do so. This was interesting to Alysanne because Silverwing had never refused to obey any of her orders before that time. In that regard, it was clear that the dragon did not want to cross the Wall. So, why is it that Silverwing refused to go beyond the Wall?

One of the things that George RR Martin wrote in his books was the fact that the Wall was said to be constructed magically as there were magical runes etched on it to make sure that it was able to keep out whatever the First Men tried to keep north of the Wall during the time that they constructed it. This happened thousands of years ago, as the reason why the Wall was constructed became lost throughout history.

Of course, we all know that the true reason why the Wall was constructed was to keep the Night King and the White Walkers away from the rest of Westeros. In the book, it was said that the Wall’s magic kept them from crossing it. Meanwhile, in the series, the magic of the Wall was not something that was explored a lot, but it was clear that it was still there to make sure that the Night King and his Army of the Dead would not be able to threaten the Seven Kingdoms.

Considering that the fact that Silverwing refused to go beyond the Wall was something that was stressed in the book and not in the series, we can make the assumption that there were magical forces that allowed the dragon to understand that it shouldn’t go beyond the huge structure.

The Wall is sort of a representation of the entire “ice and fire” motif of the books, as it was meant to keep both worlds separated from one another. It not only acted as a barrier that kept the ice of the north away from the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, but it also kept the fire of the south from what was beyond the Wall through the magical runes that the Children of the Forest etched on it. In that regard, it is quite possible that Silverwing also understood the magic behind the Wall and that she knew that she shouldn’t be crossing it at all.


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Of course, this magical concept wasn’t something that we saw in Game of Thrones because of the fact that Daenerys was able to go beyond the Wall with all three of her dragons when she rescued Jon Snow and the companions that he brought up north to get proof of the fact that the Night King and the Army of the Dead existed. 

It is interesting to note that the wording of the book indicates that Silverwing REFUSED to go beyond the Wall, and that means that it was never implied that she CANNOT go beyond it. This heavily implies that the dragon was aware of what the Wall was for and what it kept out of the Seven Kingdoms. There is also the fact that the book also says that she hissed at every wind that blew from north of the Wall.

Was Silverwing Afraid Of The White Walkers?

The fact that Silverwing reacted to the wind that blew from north of the Wall heavily implies that she understood what was beyond the Wall. And yes, we are talking about the Night King and the White Walkers.

night king

Dragons have always been regarded as intelligent creatures, and we know for a fact that they are capable of sensing things that normal humans are not capable of sensing. That means that the wind that blew from beyond the Wall may have been carrying a scent or anything else that allowed Silverwing to understand that there was something foul and evil in the far north.

This may imply that Silverwing may have indeed been afraid of the White Walkers up in the north, as she understood that there was something there that not even she was capable of destroying. Take note that dragonfire didn’t affect the Night King at all during the Battle of Winterfell. As such, this could mean that Silverwing knew what was waiting for her beyond the Wall, and she didn’t want anything to do with it.

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