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The Cold, The Wight and The Wight Walker


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#1 wolfmaid7

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 06:49 PM

It is widely accepted  that the White Walkers are the ones that raise the dead and will use them to destroy Westeros. I will offer an alternative to this belief by showing that they are not the ones responible for the Wights.This notion about the wws held by Westeros is not based on anything else but misguided beliefs that when put under the microscope is prooven to be false.Besides the hasty belief of Westeros which is purely based on ancient stories.There is no evidence that the wws have this power. But the text does show us who could have such an ability.

 

Spoiler
His father looked up. “Who’s there?” he asked, turning … … and Bran, frightened, pulled away............ “Winterfell. I was back in Winterfell. I saw my father. He’s not dead, he’s not, I saw him, he’s back at Winterfell, he’s still alive.”No,” said Leaf. “He is gone, boyDo not seek to call him back from death

 

The Cold

Hints in the text implies that there is another force behind the Wights and for the purpose of this analysis i will use the coined term in the prologue to refer to this entity."The cold" is an entity separate and autonomous  from the WWs and it is and has always been responsible for raising the dead, killing those injured,or sick.I ask you to remember that this story has its share of skinchangers and greenseers. Individuals that have the ability to wear the skin of any animal and have the ability to whole in thrall servants.How do i know that this entity exists?According to the Worldbook

Spoiler

 

Skinchangers/Greenseers have the ability to subjurgate any creatures will to claim their body, we see this with Bran and his use of Hodor. We see this with V6 with Orell's eagle,his driving out of Haggon. But more importantly we see him exhibit this same dominion in his attempt to take Thistle. Had he not been so weak there is no doubt he would have taken her as well.

 

"Varamyr could take any beast he wanted, bend them to his will, make their flesh his own. Dog or wolf, bear or badger...Thistle he thought"

 

What v6 showed that is of most import was the ability to travel and have affect on the external world as a disembodied Skinchanger

 

Spoiler

 

Spoiler
hare; Varamyr was inside the owl, inside the hare, inside the trees. Deep below the frozen ground, earthworms burrowed blindly in the dark, and he was them as well. I am the wood, and everything that’s in it, he thought, exulting. A hundred ravens took to the air, cawing as they felt him pass. A great elk trumpeted, unsettling the children clinging to his back. A sleeping direwolf raised his head to snarl at empty air Before their hearts could beat again he had passed on, searching for his own, for One Eye, Sly, and Stalker, for his pack. His wolves would save him, he told himself. adwd,prologue.
 
Spoiler
 
Spoiler
(Does this sound familiar).
 
When first he saw the Black Gate these were Bran's words
Spoiler

Sum

What is going on with the Wights is no different to what skinchangers and to a greater capacity greenseers do when they "take" another body. So whoever is controlling the Wights has that power and ability and is using it to not control the living but the dead.The only thing that has that juice is a greenseer.What i like about the story of the Shrouded Lord and what happens on sorrows is eerily similar to what is going on North.However the story of the Shrouded Lord is a Greenseers tale of someone who gets replaced every so often.In this tale though there are two(for another posts).

 

The Cold and Wights

 

All through this novel GRRM has been hinting at what's controlling the dead giving us first a riddle and giving us this answer in one simple phrase,and again people notice it but they don't see it.There is an unatural cold and wind that precedes/accompanies the Wights.Take into consideration this 

 

"Do you think the Wights are gone?" Sam asked Grenn

Why don't they come finish us?"

"They only come when it's cold "

Yes" said Sam ,but is it the cold that brings the Wights or the Wights that bring the cold?"(Sam,asos,pg.448-449). This riddle by default as us to contemplate if one or the other is responsible for said other.Grenn's answer i believe is right "they come together" and again it hakens back to the skinchanger thrall relationship.To the phrase.

 

"The cold winds are rising, and men go out from their fires and never come back ... or if they do, they're not men no more, but only wights, with blue eyes and cold black hands. Why do you think I run south with Stiv and Haliand the rest of them fools?"

 

The cold winds are rising. Mormont feared as much. Benjen Stark felt it as well. Dead men walk and the trees have eyes again. Why should we balk at wargs and giants?” ACOKs,Jon

 

When the Wights attacked  the Fist the storm they brought with them was crazy cold winds and a danm blizzard  ASOS,pg11-15. Later we get Sam's account.Noticebly absent from his tale and even when he and Grenn were speaking was WWs.

 

He emerged beneath a sky the color of white lead. A snow sky, Sam thought, squinting up. The

prospect made him uneasy. He remembered that night on the Fist of the First Men when the

wights and the snows had come together.(affc sam chpt 5)

 

"That won't help you none when the White cold comes,Gilly had spoken of the White cold  as well"(Sam.asos,pg.445).

"He gives the boys to the gods.Come the White cold,he does"(ACOK,pg.370). The white cold or the mist is the blizzard that they come with.Note such Weather anomaly occurs with the Wights.

 

"The Others come when it is cold, most of the tales agree. Or else it gets cold when they come. Sometimes they appear during snow-storms and melt away again when the skies clear. They hide from the light of the sun and emerge by night... or else night falls when they emerge."

 

"Snowflakes swirled form the dark a dark sky and ashes rose to meet them,the grey and the white whirling around each other as flaming arrows arced up a wooden wall and dead things shambled silent through the cold. Beneath a grey cliff where fires burned inside a hundred caves.Then the wind rose and the white mist came sweeping in,impossibly cold and one by one the fires went out"(ADWD,Mel,pg.408)."

 

"Oh, my sweet summer child,” Old Nan said quietly, “what do you know of fear? Fear is for the winter, my little lord, when the snows fall a hundred feet deep and the ice wind comes howling out of the north."

 

When the snows came though snow and sleet and freezing rain, its bloody hard to find dry wood or get your kindling lit, and the cold some nights our fires just seemed to shrivel up and die. Nights like that, you always find some dead come the morning. Less they find you first( ADWD Jon,58).

 

Below, the world had turned to ice.Fingers of frost crept slowly up the weirwood, reaching out for each other. The empty village was no 
longer empty. Blue-eyed shadows walked amongst the mounds of snow. Some wore brown and some wore black and some were naked, their flesh gone white as snow.A wind was sighing through the hills, heavy with their scents.adwd prologue.
 
As you can see from the above there is an anomally in the weather that comes with the Wight hordes its a snow storm/white cold/mist etc.If you are weak and dying you are killed and raised by it.The Wights present itself as a tool and weapon of 'the cold" because otherwise it would only be limited to killing the weak. The wights can attack and kill the healthy.Perfect killing tool.
 
The most remarkable of these cases was Torwynd,Tourmond's sickly son who died in camp and subsequently rose among the others in camp.How did that happen? No WWs tiptoed into camp and just whammied him.And also the account at Hardome.People were dying and rising and ever present was what Mel observed in her visions of the Fist and at Hardome. A cold wind accompanied by the dead.

 

Spoiler

 

Spoiler

 

The above examples disprove something said in the annals:

Spoiler

 

I believe the preceding is when both were being wighted.Notice that this twitching and flaying are visual signs exhibted by something being skinchanged. Hodor a weaker mind twitched much like v6 who was weakened because he was dying.Compared to the stronger Thistle who behaved much like V6's Shadowcat who would buck like hell when he tried.

 

Sum

So what is the cold,it is the force that holds the dead enthralled by taking their bodies.Much like a skinchanger/GS would do with the living.Given this it is not a great leap to say that a Greenseer is behind the Wights not the wws.We have from GRRM what the wws are and what they weren't.They aren't dead ,they are sidhe like;there is that nod to Elementals again.But GRRM never said that the wws are Necromancers and in text barring what characters believe because of stories, there is no evidence that the wws have the power to call back the dead. Mel is right in this when she says:

 

The White walkers

 

Nature Elementals

As far as the nature of Westros goes, beings such as the COTF , WWs  even Dragons are Elementals. Elementals are Nature Spirits and/or Nature Angels who rule over all aspects of nature.In the world of magic  Elementals create balance. Air Elementals are spirits that govern communication and inspiration and are represented by such things as birds, butterflies and the wind. Water Elementals oversee govern adaptability. Fire Elementals govern the divine spark in all and is heavily intertwined with spirituality and passion. Lastly,Earth Elementals work with humans and are the guardians of sacred sites and ancient groves and temples.So what does this mean WRT ASOIAF? It means that all these elementals serve nature and have a purpose integral to how the land is supposed to run.Not evil or good just a tool to protect the balance,now you can run afoul of them and incur some backlash but they aren't out to kill mankind.The WWs are part of the Old Races:

 

"North of the Wall, things are different. That's where the Children went, and the giants, and the other old races". (A Game of Thrones, Ch. 66).

 

"Is the Wall as big as Craster use to say?" Gilly asked."Bigger". Sam tried to sound cheerful."So big you can't even see the castle's hidden behind it.But they're there you'll see.The Wall is all ice,but the castles are stone and wood(ASOS,Sam,pg.640).

 

There is noway the Wall could have been built without ice magic. GRRM had said that the WW's can do things with ice we can't even dream of.Who are the only creatures in this series that can manipulate ice? Therefore,it stands to reason that the WWs helped in building the Wall.But if they helped build the Wall what was its purpose? To keep "the cold" on the Northside during that time 

 

GRRM has told us many things about the wws what they are and what they aren't Necromancers isn't on their resume

 

Necromancy animates these wights, yet they are still only dead flesh. Steel and fire will serve for them. The ones you call the Others are something more.Melissandre

 
 

Note: WightWalker instead of WhiteWalker was a little joke on my part.Thanks guys :)

(Editing in progress)


Edited by wolfmaid7, 15 November 2014 - 11:34 PM.


#2 Prince of the North

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 07:25 PM

You put a lot of work into this and that's very commendable but it seems to me that our very first experience with the Others in the prologue of AGoT would go against the thought that they're simply misunderstood. Also, just FYI - it "White Walkers" not "Wight Walkers" /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

#3 wolfmaid7

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 07:36 PM

You put a lot of work into this and that's very commendable but it seems to me that our very first experience with the Others in the prologue of AGoT would go against the thought that they're simply misunderstood. Also, just FYI - it "White Walkers" not "Wight Walkers" /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

You put a lot of work into this and that's very commendable but it seems to me that our very first experience with the Others in the prologue of AGoT would go against the thought that they're simply misunderstood. Also, just FYI - it "White Walkers" not "Wight Walkers" /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />


The prologue in AGOT is one of my point:

Firstly,i'm not sure what you are speaking of experience with the WW. My point was they are not some invading force bent on killing.

1. Ser Waymar and one WW had a duel while the others stood back an observed,Ser Waymar lost the duel and they finished him off.That was the end of that.Outside of a duel,there is no evidence of WW attacking humans.
2. Secondly Wight/White was a clever twist on my part ( WightWalker) Walking the Wights/ Dog Walker walking dogs get it ? /cool4.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':cool4:' />

Edited by wolfmaid7, 05 August 2013 - 07:38 PM.


#4 Prince of the North

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 07:44 PM

The prologue in AGOT is one of my point:

Firstly,i'm not sure what you are speaking of experience with the WW. My point was they are not some invading force bent on killing.

1. Ser Waymar and one WW had a duel while the others stood back an observed,Ser Waymar lost the duel and they finished him off.That was the end of that.Outside of a duel,there is no evidence of WW attacking humans.

Ah, then we have a very different reading of the first prologue. I interpret that situation as a trap laid by the Others for the Rangers. Also, I interpret the "duel" between Waymar and the Other as the Other toying with Waymar - he even seemed to make some jest to the other Others and then laughed. Also, what do you make of Craster's seeming sacrifices of his sons to the Others?

2. Secondly Wight/White was a clever twist on my part ( WightWalker) Walking the Wights/ Dog Walker walking dogs get it ? /cool4.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':cool4:' />

Ah, I see. That is actually pretty good /biggrin.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':D' />

#5 wolfmaid7

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 07:45 PM

Ah, then we have a very different reading of the first prologue. I interpret that situation as a trap laid by the Others for the Rangers. Also, I interpret the "duel" between Waymar and the Other as the Other toying with Waymar - he even seemed to make some jest to the other Others and then laughed. Also, what do you make of Craster's seeming sacrifices of his sons to the Others?
Ah, I see. That is actually pretty good /biggrin.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':D' />


hehehe i will have to work on my jokes lol.

Definitely if we add your interpretation to to mine,then this enemy who was portrayed as an evil entity that hates humans seem less so.I can think of some Knights and Lords in Westeros that have done way worst than that.

There are many thoughts concerning the sacrifice of Crasters sons: I have a long theory on that but at the end i believe Craster's sons and the sheep he's been giving up goes into making the armor and the swords of the WWs.There are too many uncertainties for me at lease to think that the WWs are his sons.

Edited by wolfmaid7, 05 August 2013 - 07:58 PM.


#6 Mart of house Stark

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 08:49 PM

Following this theory....now why is the Cold out of control at this point in the story?

#7 Prince of the North

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 09:27 PM

Definitely if we add your interpretation to to mine,then this enemy who was portrayed as an evil entity that hates humans seem less so.I can think of some Knights and Lords in Westeros that have done way worst than that.

So, are you saying, basically, that it all depends on one's perspective whether the Others are evil or not? If so, then I certainly agree with you. After all, the wolf doesn't think of itself as evil as it brings down the deer but the deer certainly thinks the wolf is evil!

#8 wolfmaid7

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 10:18 PM

Following this theory....now why is the Cold out of control at this point in the story?


I think "the Cold" was out of control before,but it was always around.The long-night occurred when there was a massive populous of men.-What changed was the introduction of Men and their ways,they brought death on a greater scale (war).Not only that,but they breed indiscriminately and killed in the same manner so whereby "the Cold" claimed a few before with man now in the picture there is more to kill and more to raise.The variable ofcourse is man's propensity for war,and war brings death by the sword and disease when there is a breakdown in infrastructure causing more people in confined spaces.The archives state that the WWs come when its cold or vice versa either way "the cold" and the WW were natural to the land.Currently,there is war in the land,a outbreak of disease is probably going to happen and on cue "the Cold" is here which means in the wake of more death due to war and disease,there will be more Wights.Hence the reason i believe the WW are paying a visit to Craster's more frequently,as Gilly stated.They know they'll be working overtime.

So, are you saying, basically, that it all depends on one's perspective whether the Others are evil or not? If so, then I certainly agree with you. After all, the wolf doesn't think of itself as evil as it brings down the deer but the deer certainly thinks the wolf is evil!


That's certainly true,the common view in the land is that they are evil,but its easy to to deem them that when:

1. Misinformation has been spread about them for generations

But more than that,they have yet to kill anyone un-provoked.I liken them more to the Pilot fish relationship with the Shark-The Shark in this case being "the Cold".

#9 GoldenVale

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 10:24 PM

Even though I mostly disagree this is a great post!
I agree that there might be some misunderstanding as far as the roles of the WWs, I still think they are mainly antagonistic.

Just to be clear you seem to be suggesting that the WWs aren’t evil or are misunderstood "The Cold" is what turns corpses into Wights and the "Cold" itself is some sort of entity or phenomenon acting separately from the WWs but that the two still seem to come together, "symbiotic" as you say. However what you lay out sounds more like servitude that symbiosis. You don't seem to mention what the WW get out of it (if you did and I missed it I apologize. Whatever they are they do come with the Cold (or the Cold comes with them) and they certainly don't seem friendly to humans (And the COTF who fit into your Earth elemental analogy.




-------------
Based on textual and first hand experiences this is an entity separate from the WW’s and it is and has always been responsible for raising the dead and in some instances killing.

The Others come when it is cold, most of the tales agree. Or else it gets cold when they come. Sometimes they appear during snow-storms and melt away again when the skies clear. They hide from the light of the sun and emerge by night... or else night falls when they emerge. Some stories speak of them riding the corpses of dead animals.... Men who fall in battle against the Others must be burned, or else the dead will rise again as their thralls...

The above texts indicates that the observer recognizes that there is a connection between “the Cold” and the WW’s.Now “the cold” as I will show later down is not the normal seasonal cold. What is clear is that we are dealing with two different creatures that may have a symbiotic relationship. The above quote shows a cause and effect that could be seen either way at first value but on closer inspection it is evident who and what is doing the following.

"What do you think might have killed these men, Gared?" Ser Waymar asked casually. He adjusted the drape of his long sable cloak. "It was the cold," Gared said with iron certainty. This was after discussion about the condition of the Wildlings bodies.

"If Gared said it was the cold . . ." Will began. "Have you drawn any watches this past week, Will?" "Yes, m'lord." There never was a week when he did not draw a dozen bloody watches. What was the man driving at?

"And how did you find the Wall?" "Weeping," Will said, frowning. He saw it clear enough, now that the lordling had pointed it out. "They couldn't have froze. Not if the Wall was weeping. It wasn't cold enough." Royce nodded. "Bright lad ( AGOT prologue).

The above quote is the nail in the coffin, only Gared saw the bodies of the Wildlings, and to him they were frozen stiff in place. One woman was leaning on a post and the others were instantaneously frozen in whatever state they stopped in, meaning that there was a dramatic drop in temperature. They had no bruises or any signs of trauma, they died quickly. However, Ser Waymar contradicts Gared’s statement by indicating that the Wall was weeping, it was warm so they couldn't have frozen. I tend to believe Gared’s first- hand account of the Wilding bodies and that it was “the Cold”. The immediate question who is doing the killing of those that die without trauma.
-----------


I can’t speak as to what definitely killed those Wildlings and I can’t even deny that it wasn’t the Cold that killed them. Here you seem to be pretty much correct. The Cold probably kill them. Then they get up as Wights and leave (supposedly with the help or guidance of the WWs as you suggest). Even if they aren’t killing them directly they’re still somewhat implicated here.

-----------
Before their hearts could beat again he had passed on, searching for his own, for One Eye, Sly, and Stalker, for his pack. His wolves would save him, he told himself.

That was his last thought as a man.

True death came suddenly; he felt a shock of cold, as if he had been plunged into the icy waters of a frozen lake. Then he found himself rushing over moonlit snows with his packmates close behind him. Half the world was dark. One Eye, he knew. He bayed, and Sly and Stalker gave echo ( ADWD Prologue).

It can’t get more clearer than this,V.sixskins own death came at the hands of cold so shocking that he died.It was like he got hit with an Avada Kadava spell and there were no WWs around only “the Cold” and Wights.
------------

I admit here again that I may have misinterpreted the passage but I took that death scene a bit differently. Reading that chapter I was under the impression that Varamyr was half way (or even ¾ of the way) to being dead and that he was barely clinging to life. Thus when he seemingly gathers the last of the energy he has left (“He summoned all the strength still in him, leapt out of his own skin, and forced himself inside him”) and attempts to warg and take control of Thistle, a plan which we know violently fails. I took it that the energy expended in the attempt, took its toll on his already dire health and that’s what killed him. The mentions of cold and such I took to be a poetic description of his death.

------------
A man can fight the dead, but when their masters come, when the white mists rise up … how do you fights a mist crow? Shadows with teeth … air so cold it hurts to breath, like a knife inside your chest … you do not know, you cannot know … can your sword cut cold?( ADWD,Jon Chp 58).

I often thought that the WWs could take on a misty form, but this can’t be true .Again I can see this is just another misidentification of something by human eyes. The WWs are ice made flesh that wear badass armor and carry swords none of which would be necessary if you could travel and kill in a mist form. This may well have been a visible sighting of “the cold”

When the snows came though…snow and sleet and freezing rain, its bloody hard to find dry wood or get your kindling lit, and the cold…some nights our fires just seemed to shrivel up and die. Nights like that, you “always” find some dead come the morning. ‘Less they find you first( ADWD Jon,58).

This is Tourmond’s account of what happens to some of the Wildlings, “the cold kills” them. Yet he is making an assumption without seeing it himself that the WW and “the cold” are one in the same, so exactly how do the WW kills?
-----------------

Again I took it more as poetic language. We have seen accounts of WWs seemingly slippiong out of nowhere. Typically when we see them they are stealthy, hanging back in the shadows. This is what I think Tormund really means, but his fear and the awesomely mystical nature of the WWs make him exaggerate this.


----------------
If the WW can kill without touching someone i.e V.sixskins why carry a sword? Just pass by and woop people will drop like flies. It is clear that the WWs have and are quite capable of using weapons when they are accosted as Waymer did by pulling his sword first.Note: the WWs had been gone a long time before Waymar rose as a Wight.



“In that darkness, the Others came for the first time, They were cold things, dead things, that hated iron and fire and the touch of the sun, and every creature with hot blood in its veins. They swept over holdfasts and cities and kingdoms, felled heroes and armies by the score, riding their pale dead horses and leading hosts of the slain. All the swords of men could not stay their advance, and even maidens and suckling babes found no pity in them. They hunted the maids through frozen forests, and fed their dead servants on the flesh of human children (AGOT Bran chpt 24)

This is Old Nan’s retelling of what happen during the Long-night, no doubt as our own history has told us the oral tradition is prone to inaccuracy so I’m accounting for the same here. I have no doubt that the crux of Nan’s tale is accurate but I think that the actions of the Wight were thought to be under the influence of the WW which is what I doubt. I believe that the role of the WW is to lead the dead (those risen by the Cold”) away, and to heard them ( Wights) and the human remnants left North of the wall. It is highly likely that the role of the WW’s during the long night have been distorted and the truth as always lies somewhere in between.

Lumping together of all these creatures of the cold as “Others” in itself is problematic the WWs seem to be a natural hazard if you mess with them but not this invasion spoken of in years past. Mormont speaking to Tyrion in AGOT about fishermen seeing a WW on the shore was spoken with such a nonchalant tone it was unbelievable .From the text there is no evidence that shows that the COTF or men fought WWs, but there most certainly exist evidence to support that the problem was the Wights. Nan’s entire tale with the exception of WWs riding dead horses seems to point to again the Wights being the problem not the WWs.

They’re never far, you know. They won’t come out by day, not when that old sun’s shining, but don’t think that means they went away. Shadows never go away. Might be you don’t see them, but they’re always clinging to your heels.

Again, if anything we can accuse the WWs of being are stalkers and herders, they have not outright attacked any human which in itself is odd for creatures that supposedly are hostile to humans. Tourmound informs Jon in addition to the above that the Others never came in force, but they lost outriders and the sick who died on account of “the cold”. Here we have it again this tangible, cold but what the WW’s were doing were following the Wildlings and collecting those that fell victim to “the Cold” we have no statement from Tourmound that the Others killed anyone of them only that “the Cold” did the killing.
---------------

First I don’t think that Waymar can take the blame here, or at least not all of it. Yeah he draws first but he doesn’t outright attack, at least not at first.

Also I’d like to know what the WWs intended to do once they showed themselves. They could have been long gone but they appear and surround him. This coupled with the fact with the WW seems to mock him and clearly enjoys killing him. Then the rest join in for the “cold butchery”. This does seem a little bit antagonistic.

And you make a good point as far as Old Nan’s story is concerned, that it might be an apocryphal tale but it there are a few things that seem to allude to there being a conflict. The Wall being built in the first place, the fact that the tale exist (it has to come from something), the fact that COTF (who I admit are ambiguous as far as their tendencies and motives are concerned but still) used weapons made of obsidian the one thing we know of that hurts WWs. There was a conflict and they were at the center of it and their actions of late suggest their motives don’t bode well for everyone else.



-----------------
The Wights:

These seem to be the real problem, all killings and violent actions have been committed by them. Othor and Jaffar attacked Mormont.Thistle went after the wolves to which V.Sixskins was a part of and Ser Waymar dispensed of Will. These are a few examples of the actions of the Wights. All of these Wights were touched by “the Cold”.
So we have the players and what they’ve done, what does this mean?


1. The Cold kills people it touches and raises them after. Even if “The Cold” doesn't kill you if you’re touched by it you will rise.
2. The WWs role could be that of a pilot fish to a Shark. The WW’s accompany “the cold” in order to collect and carry off the dead.
3. The Wights are the problem and without the WWs to lead them off the world of men would be toast.
4. No textual evidence to show that the Others were defeated, which makes me believe that the WW’s were responsible for getting rid of the Wights. How else do you get rid of millions of Zombies if you’re army is decimated? One possibility is the WWs are natural phenomenon, not evil just doing their job keeping the balance by cleaning up after “the cold”. When their task was done they left because “the cold” had already run its course and claimed its victims.

I’m still working on cleaning this up, because I missed some citations because I don’t have my books and I’m going from memory, so please tell me of those that I could have added and poke holes too it will help in cleaning it up.
------------------


Here is where I mostly agree with you. However I think the Others are openly killing humans to gather dead, to make Wights. For a higher purpose of doing damage to the rest of the world. Whether or not they are naturally occurring I don’t know but I say they definitely seem antagonistic.

Please let me know if I misunderstood anything you said.

#10 wolfmaid7

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 11:36 PM


Even though I mostly disagree this is a great post!
I agree that there might be some misunderstanding as far as the roles of the WWs, I still think they are mainly antagonistic.

Just to be clear you seem to be suggesting that the WWs aren’t evil or are misunderstood "The Cold" is what turns corpses into Wights and the "Cold" itself is some sort of entity or phenomenon acting separately from the WWs but that the two still seem to come together, "symbiotic" as you say. However what you lay out sounds more like servitude that symbiosis. You don't seem to mention what the WW get out of it (if you did and I missed it I apologize. Whatever they are they do come with the Cold (or the Cold comes with them) and they certainly don't seem friendly to humans (And the COTF who fit into your Earth elemental analogy.




-------------
Based on textual and first hand experiences this is an entity separate from the WW’s and it is and has always been responsible for raising the dead and in some instances killing.

The Others come when it is cold, most of the tales agree. Or else it gets cold when they come. Sometimes they appear during snow-storms and melt away again when the skies clear. They hide from the light of the sun and emerge by night... or else night falls when they emerge. Some stories speak of them riding the corpses of dead animals.... Men who fall in battle against the Others must be burned, or else the dead will rise again as their thralls...

The above texts indicates that the observer recognizes that there is a connection between “the Cold” and the WW’s.Now “the cold” as I will show later down is not the normal seasonal cold. What is clear is that we are dealing with two different creatures that may have a symbiotic relationship. The above quote shows a cause and effect that could be seen either way at first value but on closer inspection it is evident who and what is doing the following.

"What do you think might have killed these men, Gared?" Ser Waymar asked casually. He adjusted the drape of his long sable cloak. "It was the cold," Gared said with iron certainty. This was after discussion about the condition of the Wildlings bodies.

"If Gared said it was the cold . . ." Will began. "Have you drawn any watches this past week, Will?" "Yes, m'lord." There never was a week when he did not draw a dozen bloody watches. What was the man driving at?

"And how did you find the Wall?" "Weeping," Will said, frowning. He saw it clear enough, now that the lordling had pointed it out. "They couldn't have froze. Not if the Wall was weeping. It wasn't cold enough." Royce nodded. "Bright lad ( AGOT prologue).

The above quote is the nail in the coffin, only Gared saw the bodies of the Wildlings, and to him they were frozen stiff in place. One woman was leaning on a post and the others were instantaneously frozen in whatever state they stopped in, meaning that there was a dramatic drop in temperature. They had no bruises or any signs of trauma, they died quickly. However, Ser Waymar contradicts Gared’s statement by indicating that the Wall was weeping, it was warm so they couldn't have frozen. I tend to believe Gared’s first- hand account of the Wilding bodies and that it was “the Cold”. The immediate question who is doing the killing of those that die without trauma.
-----------


I can’t speak as to what definitely killed those Wildlings and I can’t even deny that it wasn’t the Cold that killed them. Here you seem to be pretty much correct. The Cold probably kill them. Then they get up as Wights and leave (supposedly with the help or guidance of the WWs as you suggest). Even if they aren’t killing them directly they’re still somewhat implicated here.

-----------
Before their hearts could beat again he had passed on, searching for his own, for One Eye, Sly, and Stalker, for his pack. His wolves would save him, he told himself.

That was his last thought as a man.

True death came suddenly; he felt a shock of cold, as if he had been plunged into the icy waters of a frozen lake. Then he found himself rushing over moonlit snows with his packmates close behind him. Half the world was dark. One Eye, he knew. He bayed, and Sly and Stalker gave echo ( ADWD Prologue).

It can’t get more clearer than this,V.sixskins own death came at the hands of cold so shocking that he died.It was like he got hit with an Avada Kadava spell and there were no WWs around only “the Cold” and Wights.
------------

I admit here again that I may have misinterpreted the passage but I took that death scene a bit differently. Reading that chapter I was under the impression that Varamyr was half way (or even ¾ of the way) to being dead and that he was barely clinging to life. Thus when he seemingly gathers the last of the energy he has left (“He summoned all the strength still in him, leapt out of his own skin, and forced himself inside him”) and attempts to warg and take control of Thistle, a plan which we know violently fails. I took it that the energy expended in the attempt, took its toll on his already dire health and that’s what killed him. The mentions of cold and such I took to be a poetic description of his death.

------------
A man can fight the dead, but when their masters come, when the white mists rise up … how do you fights a mist crow? Shadows with teeth … air so cold it hurts to breath, like a knife inside your chest … you do not know, you cannot know … can your sword cut cold?( ADWD,Jon Chp 58).

I often thought that the WWs could take on a misty form, but this can’t be true .Again I can see this is just another misidentification of something by human eyes. The WWs are ice made flesh that wear badass armor and carry swords none of which would be necessary if you could travel and kill in a mist form. This may well have been a visible sighting of “the cold”

When the snows came though…snow and sleet and freezing rain, its bloody hard to find dry wood or get your kindling lit, and the cold…some nights our fires just seemed to shrivel up and die. Nights like that, you “always” find some dead come the morning. ‘Less they find you first( ADWD Jon,58).

This is Tourmond’s account of what happens to some of the Wildlings, “the cold kills” them. Yet he is making an assumption without seeing it himself that the WW and “the cold” are one in the same, so exactly how do the WW kills?
-----------------

Again I took it more as poetic language. We have seen accounts of WWs seemingly slippiong out of nowhere. Typically when we see them they are stealthy, hanging back in the shadows. This is what I think Tormund really means, but his fear and the awesomely mystical nature of the WWs make him exaggerate this.


----------------
If the WW can kill without touching someone i.e V.sixskins why carry a sword? Just pass by and woop people will drop like flies. It is clear that the WWs have and are quite capable of using weapons when they are accosted as Waymer did by pulling his sword first.Note: the WWs had been gone a long time before Waymar rose as a Wight.



“In that darkness, the Others came for the first time, They were cold things, dead things, that hated iron and fire and the touch of the sun, and every creature with hot blood in its veins. They swept over holdfasts and cities and kingdoms, felled heroes and armies by the score, riding their pale dead horses and leading hosts of the slain. All the swords of men could not stay their advance, and even maidens and suckling babes found no pity in them. They hunted the maids through frozen forests, and fed their dead servants on the flesh of human children (AGOT Bran chpt 24)

This is Old Nan’s retelling of what happen during the Long-night, no doubt as our own history has told us the oral tradition is prone to inaccuracy so I’m accounting for the same here. I have no doubt that the crux of Nan’s tale is accurate but I think that the actions of the Wight were thought to be under the influence of the WW which is what I doubt. I believe that the role of the WW is to lead the dead (those risen by the Cold”) away, and to heard them ( Wights) and the human remnants left North of the wall. It is highly likely that the role of the WW’s during the long night have been distorted and the truth as always lies somewhere in between.

Lumping together of all these creatures of the cold as “Others” in itself is problematic the WWs seem to be a natural hazard if you mess with them but not this invasion spoken of in years past. Mormont speaking to Tyrion in AGOT about fishermen seeing a WW on the shore was spoken with such a nonchalant tone it was unbelievable .From the text there is no evidence that shows that the COTF or men fought WWs, but there most certainly exist evidence to support that the problem was the Wights. Nan’s entire tale with the exception of WWs riding dead horses seems to point to again the Wights being the problem not the WWs.

They’re never far, you know. They won’t come out by day, not when that old sun’s shining, but don’t think that means they went away. Shadows never go away. Might be you don’t see them, but they’re always clinging to your heels.

Again, if anything we can accuse the WWs of being are stalkers and herders, they have not outright attacked any human which in itself is odd for creatures that supposedly are hostile to humans. Tourmound informs Jon in addition to the above that the Others never came in force, but they lost outriders and the sick who died on account of “the cold”. Here we have it again this tangible, cold but what the WW’s were doing were following the Wildlings and collecting those that fell victim to “the Cold” we have no statement from Tourmound that the Others killed anyone of them only that “the Cold” did the killing.
---------------

First I don’t think that Waymar can take the blame here, or at least not all of it. Yeah he draws first but he doesn’t outright attack, at least not at first.

Also I’d like to know what the WWs intended to do once they showed themselves. They could have been long gone but they appear and surround him. This coupled with the fact with the WW seems to mock him and clearly enjoys killing him. Then the rest join in for the “cold butchery”. This does seem a little bit antagonistic.

And you make a good point as far as Old Nan’s story is concerned, that it might be an apocryphal tale but it there are a few things that seem to allude to there being a conflict. The Wall being built in the first place, the fact that the tale exist (it has to come from something), the fact that COTF (who I admit are ambiguous as far as their tendencies and motives are concerned but still) used weapons made of obsidian the one thing we know of that hurts WWs. There was a conflict and they were at the center of it and their actions of late suggest their motives don’t bode well for everyone else.



-----------------
The Wights:

These seem to be the real problem, all killings and violent actions have been committed by them. Othor and Jaffar attacked Mormont.Thistle went after the wolves to which V.Sixskins was a part of and Ser Waymar dispensed of Will. These are a few examples of the actions of the Wights. All of these Wights were touched by “the Cold”.
So we have the players and what they’ve done, what does this mean?


1. The Cold kills people it touches and raises them after. Even if “The Cold” doesn't kill you if you’re touched by it you will rise.
2. The WWs role could be that of a pilot fish to a Shark. The WW’s accompany “the cold” in order to collect and carry off the dead.
3. The Wights are the problem and without the WWs to lead them off the world of men would be toast.
4. No textual evidence to show that the Others were defeated, which makes me believe that the WW’s were responsible for getting rid of the Wights. How else do you get rid of millions of Zombies if you’re army is decimated? One possibility is the WWs are natural phenomenon, not evil just doing their job keeping the balance by cleaning up after “the cold”. When their task was done they left because “the cold” had already run its course and claimed its victims.

I’m still working on cleaning this up, because I missed some citations because I don’t have my books and I’m going from memory, so please tell me of those that I could have added and poke holes too it will help in cleaning it up.
------------------


Here is where I mostly agree with you. However I think the Others are openly killing humans to gather dead, to make Wights. For a higher purpose of doing damage to the rest of the world. Whether or not they are naturally occurring I don’t know but I say they definitely seem antagonistic.

Please let me know if I misunderstood anything you said.



Thanks for replying:

Your point about the relationship between the WW and 'The Cold" is an excellent one,and it is something i've thought about and i think the answers lay in the next two books. The WWs could well be in servitude to "The Cold" ,but absent knowing what the WW do with the dead once they've collected them, i had to put that on the back burner.

Again though, that doesn't make "the Cold" evil,as the quote from the archive stated they both seemed a natural occurrence so they aren't out of place in the cycle.

V.sixskins death was pretty clear,there was no poetry in that,what he felt was tangible,quick and shocking.

I wouldn't say that the WWs behavior were antagonistic their behavior was not unlike men,in fact we have seen some knights and lords of Westeros act worst.I think what they were doing was the same thing they were doing with the Wildlings observing/stalking. Had Ser Waymar not drawn his sword i would of liked to see what would have happen.However,going with Sam's encounter with the WW on the horse at "the Fist of Men"(ASOS) ,he was seen which was stated in Sam's POV and the show.Yet the WW didn't harm him,because i'm assuming Sam was no threat to him.

I think there was a conflict with the Wights yes,not the WW's as there is no text saying the COTF were allied with men against WWs.I'm not going by the wiki because it is subjective.

Old Nan characterized the Others as dead,but we know the WWs aren't dead they are something else.Again mis-identification of the foe.How does a decimated army,defeat millions of Wights let say you kill the WW,what becomes of the Wights? How to you kill them when you're army is made up of them.The only way was for the WWs to lead them away that was the help given to mankind.The Dragonglass was used by the COTF as weapons, speaking from our history,it could have been a good faith gift as alliances usually dealt with exchange of gifts.Who knows what men gave them.

Edited by wolfmaid7, 07 April 2014 - 06:49 PM.


#11 alienarea

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 12:11 AM

It's a great post, wolfmaid7, sure lots of effort, but it doesn't work for me.

Because of the wall.

If the White Walkers are herders (just imagine Puddles croon Rawhide), and never come with force, you don't need a wall.

If the cold is a separate entity, as I understand your post one without a body, you don't need a wall, because the cold would crawl over unseen. And ice would be the wrong material. Fire might help, if anything.

If the wights are the problem and you already have the wall why not simply let the wildlings pass? Without a source for wights there aren't wights.

#12 Black Crow

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:06 AM

/agree.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':agree:' />

#13 Crannogman Pride

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 04:03 AM

I agree that our understanding of the White Walkers is probably flawed. But simple herders of the dead serving the natural order seems silly. They seem to be man-like, just frozen and magical.

Maybe the Night King had it right, and the future is in a human-other union. We don't need to trust Old Nan or Melisandre or any folk tales or religions. They all have been quite wrong about certain important facts.

#14 Mart of house Stark

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 05:55 AM

I really, really like the theory of the Cold being a character of importance in the story. But the WW would herd and control the Wights why? Do they dispose of them or use them against men? I have a feeling the cold kills, the dead men turn into wights and the WW herd them against men. I bet the Cold comes with Winter, mostly...

#15 Ser Endrew Tarth

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 10:52 AM

Interesting idea about the cold, but as others above I don't feel the whole theory comes together well. Could the cold be the "will" of the "Great Other", or could the cold be The Great Other? I'm always wondering if Mel was correct about there being servants of the Great Other, as in men who agree with their agenda...

#16 Mart of house Stark

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 11:19 AM

I f their God is fire, surely the Great Other could be the deadly Cold...

#17 Mr. Wolf

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 12:09 PM

Even though I mostly disagree this is a great post!
I agree that there might be some misunderstanding as far as the roles of the WWs, I still think they are mainly antagonistic.


/agree.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':agree:' />

2 things refute this theory:

1) As Fernando pointed out, the Prologue in GoT leads you to believe otherwise. (great name btw, is Carlos Danger stalking this community too??)
2) End of HBO Season 2 leads you to believe otherwise. There you clearly see the WW's leading the Wights /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> to the wall. Clearly they are in command of the dead things.

I think the real question is 'why' does the cold come, why do the WW's come with the cold, why didn't they come like this during previous winters?

Which comes first the cold or the WW's? I believe we can answer this. The cold comes and then the under certain conditions the WW's can come. And there seems to something about the severity of those conditions which dictates the magnitude of the WW's force. How often does Westeros get a real winter once every 7-10? If the WW's came every winter the NW's would be better prepared and we would know more about them. As it is, Sam has to dig through volumes of dusty ancient books to even read any account of WW's.

So I agree that the Cold and the WW's and the Wights are separate. Something unknown causes the Cold to come and when it does the WW's grow in power. When the Cold comes, dead things rise. I think you are right that the Cold creates the Wights, but I think the WW's can control the dead who have been reanimated in this manner. I dont think they are herding, they are leading, preparing for battle.

The great mystery which i hope is uncovered in WoW is what is the unknown cause of the Cold. Why now? Why to this extent? I believe Bran/Bloodraven/CotF are going to discover that and hopefully how to defeat it.

#18 tbc

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 12:44 PM

/agree.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':agree:' />

2 things refute this theory:

1) As Fernando pointed out, the Prologue in GoT leads you to believe otherwise. (great name btw, is Carlos Danger stalking this community too??)
2) End of HBO Season 2 leads you to believe otherwise. There you clearly see the WW's leading the Wights /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> to the wall. Clearly they are in command of the dead things.

I think the real question is 'why' does the cold come, why do the WW's come with the cold, why didn't they come like this during previous winters?

Which comes first the cold or the WW's? I believe we can answer this. The cold comes and then the under certain conditions the WW's can come. And there seems to something about the severity of those conditions which dictates the magnitude of the WW's force. How often does Westeros get a real winter once every 7-10? If the WW's came every winter the NW's would be better prepared and we would know more about them. As it is, Sam has to dig through volumes of dusty ancient books to even read any account of WW's.

So I agree that the Cold and the WW's and the Wights are separate. Something unknown causes the Cold to come and when it does the WW's grow in power. When the Cold comes, dead things rise. I think you are right that the Cold creates the Wights, but I think the WW's can control the dead who have been reanimated in this manner. I dont think they are herding, they are leading, preparing for battle.

The great mystery which i hope is uncovered in WoW is what is the unknown cause of the Cold. Why now? Why to this extent? I believe Bran/Bloodraven/CotF are going to discover that and hopefully how to defeat it.


All the GoT prologue shows is that Others don't like the Watch. Which makes sense on numerous levels historically.

The WW are better understood as the cold equivalents of Dragons.

#19 wolfmaid7

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 12:56 PM

It's a great post, wolfmaid7, sure lots of effort, but it doesn't work for me.

Because of the wall.

If the White Walkers are herders (just imagine Puddles croon Rawhide), and never come with force, you don't need a wall.

If the cold is a separate entity, as I understand your post one without a body, you don't need a wall, because the cold would crawl over unseen. And ice would be the wrong material. Fire might help, if anything.

If the wights are the problem and you already have the wall why not simply let the wildlings pass? Without a source for wights there aren't wights.


Alienarea thank you for your feedback,its great to say that your post adds credence to my theory and another theory we have spoken of on Heresy-The Wall.You and i have the benefit of being the reader so we know things and can see things the characters can't.It has been discussed many times that "The Wall" must come down because it is upsetting the balance,we throw this around a lot but never delve deeper into exactly how does the Wall do that.You are correct the Wall is a problem and i subscribe to the theory that it does upset the balance in a way,now i will explain how i think it does that.

I will first go back to my above quote taking from the archive which proves that "the cold" and the WW are natural occurrences to the land they are part of the cycle of life,death and rebirth.In a cycle where down to the lifespan of ceratin inhabitants are dictated that is crucial because what that does is keep the population in check.What was not natural to the land was man and his ways so now we have the introduction of a species to an otherwise balanced working.As i said before man did two things; destroyed and breed indiscriminately the moment they set foot in Westeros and i from the text there is no doubt that when it came to the peculiar of the pact they benefited the most( to the victor went the spoils).Man essentially in the land is the perfect virus and in the past where you had a population of little to contend with COTF,giants,direwolves etc for a few WW and "The Cold" that was perfect.

Back to the Wall- what do we know? We know that if a dead person is touched by "The Cold" they will rise as Wights.Othor and Jaffar are examples of that.They rose while they were on the Wall so the Wall did not prevent that.What prevented the Wights from rising at first was that it was light and because it was warm.Later the temp dropped and they rose.So what i'm saying is that the Wall does not guard against "the cold".It was already inside of them.

Even if the Wall did prevent "the cold" the Wall will not be standing for long.

ASOS.Bran p.377

Old Nan use to say the NW isn't strong as it was in Bandon's day or Queen Alysane so more gets through.

ASOS Bran P.515
On the other side were monsters and Ghouls but they cannot pass so long as the Wall is strong.

ADWD Bran p.73

They cannot pass so long as the Wall is strong and the men of the NW are true.

I will say that the Wall is not strong and the men are no longer true so more ( the Cold) will get through.The problem is the WW may not be able to pass the wall because they'll probably get shot down by Dragonglass arrow heads thus they will not be able to herd the dead so there will be none of them south to do so when " the cold" moves south.

#20 wolfmaid7

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 12:59 PM

I think that you guys are missing the point.

Yes the WW are leading the Wights, It is essential and crucial that the WWs control the dead,that needs to happen.They are the only ones that can control the wights when they rise,but they are not leading them to destroy mankind.On their own without the WWs yes,they will totally eat everything insight but not with the WW.The Wall will not guard against the Cold when it moves south,no man will attack it because it can't be seen.Those left on the Wall will attack the WWs when they get there,not for the realm but for survival this will be a big mistake because they will keep the WW's from going South to gather the large amount of Wights that will be rising there.That is their part in the cycle.

The WWs are following "the" cold and 'the cold" is heading south because that is where the most death will be taking place.The WWs will be stuck on the other side of the Wall fighting.

Ask yourselves during the longnight how is it that scores of wights that made up armies and citizens alike were beaten.? There is no evidence that the COTF allied with men beat WWs,not at all.So how do you get thousands of walking dead to take a hike when you got no army and the number of Wights outnumber you?

Also if the Wights are already attracted to eating the warm blooded,why do you need WWs to lead them?They will go where they sense blood you don't need anything to lead them,just let them do their stuff kill and eat.Why lead things to destroy and kill if on their own that's what they do anyway?

They will kill,make more wights,who will kill and on and on and on.It is only with the WW controlling them that they won't do this.

Here's the problem,the amount of dead rising outnumbers the WW.Now we know why the WW are making frequent visit too Craster's


Edited by wolfmaid7, 26 December 2013 - 10:25 PM.