Game of Thrones ice dragon scream came from drunk fans

Chicago viewers recorded "tortured" shrieks that were then melded into the season 7 finale of the HBO hit.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, generational studies. Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
2 min read

Daenerys' dragon Viserion is now an icy threat, but his scream has an interesting history.


Fans rarely have a chance to make a permanent mark on their favorite shows, but Game of Thrones fans did just that.

The show's sound designer, Paula Fairfield, used fans' screams to help fill in the deadly screech of Viserion, one of the show's dragons, Fairfield told Vanity Fair magazine.

Viserion, of course, is the dragon who was transformed into a terrifying ice dragon by the Night King. The noises he makes were transformed accordingly, with Fairfield telling the magazine she wanted the sound filled with "the tortured screams of the dead army."

She sneakily asked a group of Thrones fans who watch the show at the Burlington bar in Chicago to "get a little drunk, and then scream as if you're being tortured." The recording of their shrieks was then melded into the sound that became Viserion's season 7 finale wail as he fires his icy flame at the Wall.

"I had assumed we would be melting small folk or tortured small folk or small folk on fire...you get the idea," fan and musician Morgan Drase told the magazine. "When the episode was over, I was confused because there were no small folk in the final scene. Paula told me we were the dragon, and I lost it and just started texting my band mates: 'IM A MOTHA FUCKIN ICE DRAGON'"

In a video shared on YouTube, Fairfield (in baseball hat and glasses at far left) watched the episode with the Chicago fans, and after it ended, told them how they'd contributed. 

Keep your eyes and ears on the dragons when Game of Thrones finally returns in 2019, Fairfield said that while she doesn't know any spoilers about the plot, she assumes that Viserion will eventually face off in a fight against his not-undead brother, Drogon.

Inside the workshop where Game of Thrones swords are made

See all photos

Game of Thrones final season: Here's how to watch and what to expect.

CNET Magazine: Check out a sample of the stories in CNET's newsstand edition.