The Wolves of Winter was the sixteenth story of the Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor comic series, published in 2017. The story featured Bill Potts' first appearance in the ongoing Twelfth Doctor comic series, even though it was published only a few days after she left the Doctor in The Doctor Falls. It featured the return of two Martian species from Doctor Who - the Ice Warriors and the Flood.
In Bill's first comic adventure, the TARDIS crashes into the heart of a Viking camp! But this is no interactive history lesson, and it seems that a terrifying alien force has taken hold over the icy kingdom. As the snow melts, the Doctor realises that he is about to face an unwelcome face from the past...
In the North Atlantic in the 9th century, a Viking ship sails the ocean. Sundvik, Grimvald and other Vikings sail in the ocean after a deadly battle until Sundvik orders everything to be thrown overboard so the enemy will think they have crashed into rocks and died. He questions if he should throw away “the treasure”, but ultimately refuses to give it up as they fought for it in the battle. When they reach land, they soon begin to carry out supplies, but Grimvald is uncertain about resting on the land. They soon try to seek warmth in a cave but inspect it to see if it’s safe.
Back on Earth, two objects appear; one object crashes into the mountain while the other one crashes into a different spot. As they settle down, the TARDIS lands and the Vikings capture them. In the cave, as Halfdan inspects the crashed object, the shadow of something stands behind him. He tries to touch the object but it shines in a bright white light, blinding him. He looks around as the shadowy creature appears closer behind him.
Outside, the Vikings are shocked by the interior of TARDIS and try to determine what god the Doctor might be. After Torkal starts to complain about her husband, Halfdan, who has not come out of the cave, the Vikings tell the Doctor about the objects that fell into the mountain, and the Doctor suggests finding Halfdan as he could possibly be in danger. The Doctor, Sundvik, Bill, Torkal, and Grimvald along with other Vikings go to find Halfdan, and Sundvik orders Asmund to split up the group and examine the other objects that crashed. The Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver to scan the area and it picks up an entity, but it is confused on whether it’s human or not. In the cave, the group light up their torches and the Doctor suggest they split up.
On the other side of the mountain, Bill and Grimvald examine the other object that crashed and see a spaceship. Grimvald tries to attack but Bill stops him and drags him away. The Doctor on the other side examines markings and symbols on the walls and has a bad feeling about the situation. He walks forward and stands in shock to see three Ice Warriors coming toward them. One of the Ice Warriors explains that they are on a dangerous mission.
Meanwhile, Bill and Grimvald explore the cave pathway but they find water everywhere and avoid it to not get wet. Bill stops and sees Halfdan pouring water out of his hands in a pool of water. Suddenly two Ice Warriors appear, water streaming from their hands and mouths, and surround Bill and Grimvald. They are infected by the Flood.
Grimvald uses his torch to force the infected Ice Warrior away from them. The Doctor and the other Ice Warriors hear them and go to check out what is happening. Grimvald and Bill run away from the Flood and run to the Doctor, but an infected Warrior and the infected Halfdan find them. The infected begin to spray water at them but before they can infect anyone else, the Ice Warriors use their sonic weapons on them. Grimvald comforts Torkal of her loss.
Back at the camp, the lead Ice Warrior, Sskoll explains how during the pandemic of the Flood on Mars, the only way they stopped it was by freezing the Flood in a glacier, but before putting the contaminated sand in the glacier, Haathi became infected and stole a ship to Earth. The Ice Warriors followed, hoping to stop the spread of infection.
Meanwhile, Asmund has discovered the Ice Warriors and plans to attack them. In the cave, a shadow appears behind the Flood, and it is revealed to be Ingiger. Asmund attacks, ignoring a radio signal from Sundivik telling him that they are allies.
On the other side of the mountain, a Viking and the two Ice Warriors see the infected Ice Warrior and Halfdan come out of the cave but it’s too late for them to do anything, and the two spray water on them, infecting them.
The Doctor tries to comfort Torkol but she is angry about his decision to try to make peace with the Flood instead of destroying it. Bill brings the Doctor his bag that he had asked her to get from the TARDIS.
Asmund and his warriors take over the ship and take weapons. The Ice Warriors then begin to block and guard the exits so the Flood can’t escape and enter the ocean while Ingiga and Sundvik try to translate the writing on the wall of the cave. The Doctor and Bill put on space suits that seal shut and the Doctor prepares to communicate with the Flood. Asmund and his friend Wulfstan test their weapons and shoot at the boat but a shadow stands behind them, revealing a monster that attacks them. It bites Asmund, and Ingiger commands it to come back to the ship.
The Doctor and Bill approach the infected Ice Warriors and try to convince them that the Doctor will take them to a planet that has more water than Earth, but when the Doctor mentions that the planet won’t have hosts that are sentient, the Flood refuses the offer. The infected Warrior tries to infect them by spraying water on them but the suit protects them and they run away. They run into Asmund and Wulfstan, who are now mind controlled, and run away from them as well. They then run into Sundvik and Ingiga and ask to see their treasure.
On a Viking ship, the same creature attacks a Viking. Upon finding the man alive but without his mind, the Doctor recognises the names of the Vikings and realises who is behind the attack just as Ingiger arrives.
As Ingiger walks toward the Doctor and his friends, the Doctor orders everyone to remember things they have faith in, which hurts Ingiger. They then escape and Astrid reunites with Sundvik. Ingiga suggests they leave the island and the cursed treasure, which is what Ingiger is after.
Meanwhile, the Ice Warriors are done with the nonsense of the humans and Doctor and start to collect weapons, planning to disintegrate anything in the cave for the sake of the world.
In the TARDIS, the Doctor tells Bill of how he met and fought Ingiger in his seventh incarnation and how he stopped him by using his own allies against him. He realises then that Ingiger is what caused the TARDIS to land in the island.
Back at the cave, the Ice Warriors fire upon the Flood and move deeper into the cave.
The Doctor tries to think of what Ingiger's goal is and how to stop him. Outside, a black gas covers the sky and Sundvik orders everyone that they are leaving the island. The Doctor, in his mental state, then talks to a copy of the controlled Asmund and Wulfstan and connects the points together, but they remind him that Bill isn’t protected. Bill is attacked but she uses her faith in the Doctor to hurt Ingiger. She makes it back to the TARDIS and the Doctor, having discovered that the island has a volcano, tells her to get Skoll and Sundvik to use their forces as a distraction so the Doctor can get there.
The Doctor and Torkal enter the volcano caves and the Ice Warriors use their ship to create a loud noise. The Doctor uses this distraction to sneak past the Flood and mind controlled humans, but comes face to face with the same monster that attacked Asmund and Wulfstan: Ingigeror Ragnavold. He tells the Ragnavald how Fenric plans to replace the Haemevores with the Flood and infect the oceans of the world, something which neither of them want to happen. Ragnavald explains how the weapons Halfdan stole can create a feedback loop triggering an explosion which can erupt the volcano and orders the Doctor to run before it explodes.
As the Doctor and Torkol are fleeing, the Infected Halfdan approaches but Torkol pushes him down before he can use his water to infect both of them. She holds him down and the water splashes and touches her, infecting her. With her last words she yells for the Doctor to run and save everyone before she turns into a Flood zombie.
The Doctor escapes the volcano and tells everyone to leave. Ingiger senses the betrayal of Ragnavald and orders the Flood to go into the ocean and spread the infection through the world but it is too late; the device explodes, causing the volcano to erupt. The lava destroys all traces of the Flood, though Ingiger escapes and chases after the Vikings in their ship. The Doctor and Bill watch it go and they see a polar bear before entering the TARDIS and leaving for their next adventure.
- Twelfth Doctor
- Bill Potts
- Ingigeror Ragnavald
- Ancient One
- The Doctor says Henry III kept a polar bear at the tower. The Doctor caused a stir when he let it out for a swim in the Thames.
- Odin's ravens are called Hugin and Munin.
- This story is a rare example of using the dating system of CE (Common Era) over AD (anno domini or "In the year of our Lord"). Although becoming more commonplace in academic circles, CE and its counterpart, "BCE" are uncommon in fiction.
- Bill remarks how the Vikings do not have horns. This is an in-joke reference to criticism levelled at The Girl Who Died, which featured stereotypical (and historically inaccurate) horn-wearing Vikings. The Vikings seen in this story are depicted closer to how they appear in the popular TV series Vikings.
- Bill and the Doctor previously encountered the Ice Warriors in the TV episode, Empress of Mars, which was clearly the former's first encounter with them. Her recognition of them in the second issue places this story some point after that episode.
- This story acts as a prequel to both The Curse of Fenric and The Waters of Mars though both occur in the Doctor's personal past.
- The Doctor tells Bill that he once fought a werewolf with the Koh-i-Noor. (TV: Tooth and Claw)
- The Doctor laments "Vikings. Again!" He also finds himself mistaken for Odin again. (TV: The Girl Who Died)
- The Ice Warriors carry the Flood. (TV: The Waters of Mars)
- Bill recognises the Ice Warriors. She had described them as being like The Vikings. (TV: Empress of Mars)
- The Doctor tells Sskoll that he is a friend of Grand Marshal Skaldak. (TV: Cold War)
- The Doctor tells the Vikings that Ragnarok was "a long time ago" and that "they made [him] play the spoons". (TV: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy)
- Putting on a spacesuit with the Doctor again, Bill is pleased that she does not have to pay for oxygen. (TV: Oxygen)
- The Doctor recognises the names of the "Asmund, Grimvald, Torkal, Halfdan. Brave Viking warriors." as he comes into contact with a messenger of Fenric. (TV: The Curse of Fenric)
- The Doctor encounters the Ancient One again. (TV: The Curse of Fenric)
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