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Why a real Moon Door fall might not spell certain doom

History suggests someone could possibly survive a fall from the dreaded "Game of Thrones" Moon Door in the Vale of Arryn, but they probably wouldn't want to.


Warning: Do not read if you haven't watched "Mockingbird," the latest episode of "Game of Thrones."

The Moon Door in "Game of Thrones" is the thing of nightmares, as we were reminded at the end of Sunday night's episode. Legend has it that bodies plunging from the open hole thousands of feet above the ground would break apart upon impact. How likely is that outcome in real, non-Westeros life? Time magazine asked Jim Hamilton, who runs the Free Fall Research Page, a site dedicated to recording the accounts of the few who've survived a fall of thousands of feet without a working parachute.

Based on his estimate of a Vale of Arryn Moon Door 2,000-plus feet high, Hamilton said the faller would reach 125 miles per hour and suffer broken bones and near-certain death -- but not necessarily shatter.

"It would depend on the surface you hit," Hamilton said when asked if someone who fell from the Moon Door would snap apart like a twig. "Maybe if you hit a rocky beach. People who fall into meadows or marshes or sand leave a human-shaped impression on the ground. They almost tend to bounce sometimes. I would think that would be more likely than breaking apart."

What's more, the faller might actually live to tell about it.

In World War II there were accounts of a handful of fortunate people who fell out of burning airplanes from high above the sky and survived (Hamilton's site includes stories of free fall survivals from over 18,000 feet). Survivors typically landed on softer ground or encountered things like tree branches that slowed their impact velocity. Though they survived, it was often with injuries that would stick with them for a lifetime.

Despite such amazing survival stories, we wouldn't plan on any characters who met their demise at the Moon Door making appearances in future episodes (the view did seem to show rocky cliffs all the way down). Because we (and that probably includes Sansa) would really hate to deal with any more of Lysa Arryn's batty behavior.