Mulled Wino, on 17 April 2012 - 08:30 AM, said:
This first statemenet is a constant souce of infuriation to me as I read all of the novels. I understand more the Southron's point of view of making fun of grumpkins of whatever but the NW's refusal to acknowledge and adjust their actions after all they see and hear (including Mel/Stannis/John/Sam's experiences) makes me nuts.
Well now wait a minute, you're taking things out of sequence here. Until the two NW men came back as corpses who then reanimated as wights, there had been very little physical evidence to support proof that the Others were out there up to that point in the story. The only other 'proof' we've had was at the very beginning of Game of Thrones and that man was beheaded by Ned Stark for being a deserter plus they thought he was crazy in the head. The wildlings have said it, but you have to remember the low regard the Night's Watch has of the wildlings as that's been their only real enemy for generations on the wall. Rangers have disappeared on scouting missions (Benjen Stark) and one at another post watch said he'd seen one, but as there hadn't been any true evidence (such as attacks or dead bodies etc) there was no way for Mormont or anyone to confirm the existence of the White Walkers in any way those south of the wall would believe. Sending Alliser Thorne to KL with the wight's animated hand was supposed to be the first evidence Mormont could put forward.
Later in the books, once Mormont and his crew north of the wall are chased, attacked and killed by Others, its now perfectly obvious without a doubt they do exist.
So I will defend 'TheWander's' statement: "It seems to me that the Night's Watch doesn't realize the White Walkers are returning, or else they are refusing to realize it. "
I think its true the Night's Watch has not fully come to grips with the reality of the White Walkers returning from legend status of thousands of years ago - at this point in the story. The bits you're referring to, with Sam, and later Melisandre/Stannis etc. have not happened yet in the series.
Edited by Envie, 17 April 2012 - 02:20 PM.