WhiteWalkerTexasRanger

Did The Wildlings wake The Others?

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I figured that the white walkers came back because the dragons came back, but then I remembered the prologue of AGoT which was before The Mother of Dragons. Then I figured they came back because they knew the dragons were coming back or something. After reading the last Jon chapter, where Ygritte was crying while climbing The Wall because they couldnt find the Horn or Joramun(however it's spelled), she mentioned digging up graves and "releasing shades". I have no idea what shades are, but I assume theyre dark spirits or something? and the only dark spirits in the north that i know of are the others--at least i think theyre dark spirits(maybe theyre natures balance for humanity or something, who knows). Anyways, i migth of missed something really stupid obvious that points to their come back, or maybe this means nothing idk. Did the wildlings wake the others while searching for the horn in the frost mountains, or did they start trying to get south because they already were awake to begin with? and if thats not the case, then what are "shades"?

Edited by WhiteWalkerTexasRanger

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I'm currently re-reading the books, and just finished this section. I was wondering the same. The Others hadn't been seen in thousands of years, supposedly, and now they're back. Was it the wildlings who released them?

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This is my working theory as well, but others say no because Mance united the wildlings in order to fight the Others and he dug up the horn in order to defeat them. From my reading, however, Mance united the wildlings to defeat the Night's Watch and he dug up the horn to wake the giants and bring down the wall.

 

So my timeline looks like this: Mance breaks his NW vows either just before or just after Jeor Mormont becomes the Lord Commander. He gains a number of wildling followers over the next few years, but not all of them. They head into the Frostfangs to find the horn, despoil the crypts and waken a number of Others, perhaps even the Nights King. When the Others start preying on Thenns, Hornfoots, Nightrunners and other clans, they put aside their differences to fight their new common enemy, not realizing it was Mance who woke them up in the first place.

 

The only glitch is that Craster has apparently been sacrificing his sons to the Others for some time, which would predate Mance's despoiling of the crypts. But for all we know, he's been leaving his sons to just die in the woods and be eaten by wolves, etc., and only recently have the Others been taking them.

 

And of course, this assumes that the Others do not originate from the Land of Always Winter, and that whatever Bran saw in his coma dream is even more dangerous.

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The Others clearly haven't come in thousands of years, though. The Night's Watch completely forgot their purpose, changing from protecting the land against the Others to protecting the land against the wildlings. This was clearly said. The Others have passed into myth. No one even believes in them anymore. They forgot what obsidian was for. Even the wildlings don't know, and if the Others were still a threat, they would have known. Mance didn't go looking for the horn to defeat the Others, Ygritte said as much. He went looking for it to bring down the wall, and in digging for it, woke up the Others.

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The Others clearly haven't come in thousands of years, though. The Night's Watch completely forgot their purpose, changing from protecting the land against the Others to protecting the land against the wildlings. This was clearly said. The Others have passed into myth. No one even believes in them anymore. They forgot what obsidian was for. Even the wildlings don't know, and if the Others were still a threat, they would have known. Mance didn't go looking for the horn to defeat the Others, Ygritte said as much. He went looking for it to bring down the wall, and in digging for it, woke up the Others.

But the reason that Mance and the Free Folk wanted to get south of the Wall in the first place is to get away from the Others. The arrival of the Others is the reason why they're attacking the Wall. I assume the Others have been 'awake' a bit longer than since the start of the events in AGOT.

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I don't think it's ever been clearly established which came first. The wildlings are desperate to get south now, but if there is any text that suggests the walkers were out and about before they started digging for the horn I'd love to see it.

 

We do know that the horn is supposed to wake the giants and destroy the wall, which is what Mance would want to do if he intends to destroy the Nights Watch. But that is exactly what he does not want to do now that the walkers have risen, unless he has no other choice.

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I think the thing that awoke the others was the extinction of the dragons. Dragons were their biggest threat and once they became extinct they saw their chance to finally conquer Westeros. They have been in hiding ever since their defeat thousands of years ago. Since the dragons all died they have been building up their strength by collecting an army of wights and whatever the heck they are doing with Craster's sons. They have started to probe and put pressure on the wildlings which has caused them to unite to face (or run away from) the threat under Mance. 

Sucks to be them tho, because they didn't get the news about Dany and her three dragons over in Essos...

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The Wildlings have been wanting to pass the Wall - and take control of the richer (by comparison, though still poor in Westerosi terms) lands of the North Kingdom - for a long time now: long since they forgot that the Others existed. They have been raiding the Northern lands - for crops, animals and even people: Mors Umber's daughter was one of those taken, and Mors is known to blame Mance for it. And they say they oppose slavery, but what would Mors's daughter be but a slave, if she was taken there and held against her will?

It actually makes sense that Mance was originally searching for the Horn of Joramun either to bring down the Wall, or at least to use as a blackmailing tool under the pretence that it could, to get his folks richer lands.

If this *was* one of the things that woke the Others - and it may not have been, the timing may be coincidental - then it makes sense that suddenly his priorities change, and he does NOT want the Wall destroyed any more. But he dares not yet tell this plan to many of his own people: Ygritte, for example, still believes that destroying the Wall is their aim, even though that is now "because the Wall prevents them fleeing southwards away from the Others".

Mance, however, now believes - and it may have been Dalla and Val who persuaded him - that the Wall must continue to stand, against the Others - but he cannot wait for the Others' actual arrival to make his attempt at passing the wall, because by then it will be too late if the Others arrive at the Wall before the wildlings have passed it. So he has to actually make his best attempt to get his men past the Wall, and shelter behind it, even while most of the Watch still have not seen the Others and still do not believe in their threat: the few that have - the remnants of Jeor Mormont's Great Ranging, most of whom were killed by the Others or their walking wights - are outnumbered by the ones who were left behind, many of whom don't really quite believe in the real threat, or believe that the Wall itself will protect them against the Others, and that it is the wildlings that they should be guarding against.

And the wildlings themselves are going to have to, at least in part, change their culture as they come south: even if the Watch did not prevent them, an undisciplined mob would have only strength in numbers. Used to living by hunting and gathering, they seem not to have much knowledge of farming: if they did, they would know the importance of being able to hold and own land, and not necessarily living by the law of the strongest - indeed, sometimes, having laws that protected the weak against the strong, and then needing to have enforcers of those laws, and someone to keep the enforcers in order. A hunter can go where the game is to be found: a farmer is tied to his crop.

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I have wondered before if the waking of the White Walkers had something to do with Lord Rickard Starks death in Kings Landing. I think the Starks have a connection to the WW and I think this death by fire was a catalyst for more than just Roberts Rebellion. I could be completely off base here but maybe the Stark line being threatened, it started the wheels in motion. If the war is between Ice and Fire, then a Stark murdered by Targaryen using fire as his weapon, is what made the Other rise!

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I'm not sure of Ygritte's exact words, but if she says something like 'we' woke them, maybe it's just the Wildlings in general she's speaking of, in which case it could have happened at any stage, possibly while a previous band were searching for the horn?

i dunno

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This is one of the enduring mysteries of the whole series: Why did the Others return? Why now? It could be the Wildlings did it while searching for something, ostensibly the Horn Of Joramun.

But I think the question that needs to be answered first is: Where were the Others for the last 1000 years? Where did they go? Becauase it seems Ygritte is suggesting they were woken from graves or something like that. What, are they ice cicadas? They go hide under the frozen soil to re-awaken even 1000 years?

That just doesn't seem right to me. I'm of the opinion that there was some sort of long-forgotten pact between the Others and Men, and somehow that pact got broken and now the Others are coming to get revenge/remind Men of the pact. What the pact was, or how it got broken, could have been something to do with the Wildlings.

I actually think it might be something like this: All the Men that live north of the wall are "livestock" for the Others, since it seems like they can't sexually reproduce. So the Others come and take babies with the intent of converting them into more Others. The Wildlings are to provide these babies, with a certain quota each year from each tribe. Mance, being from south of the Wall, convinces the Wildlings that this was a barbaric, unfair practice, and they should just run away. In refusing to give more babies to the Others, the Wildlings broke the pact and now the Others are chasing them/coming for revenge on Man.

But really, anyone else's guess is just as good as mine.

Edited by Aegonzo The Great

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I find this topic really interesting however I am kind of reading all your different views to see if I can come up with one that I consider the most plausible; still I am quite at a loss here it would seem.  There has to be a connection between fire and ice as opposites though, a bit like the Seelie and Unseelie in Celtic mythology (winter and summer Courts).  My view is that both have to be in balance and so far Winter (Ice) appears to be winning.  However in the normal cycle in mythology one reigns for half the year and the other for the other half.  What he have here is that the balance "somehow" has been disturbed.  Still not sure at all which theory, if any of these exactly, I endorse.  The Citadel is predicting a very long winter but long winters, and even long summers have happened in recent memory so the imbalance has been going on for some time.  Maybe not to the point it has gotten to now but Old Nana talks about it and so do other characters even when talking about their ages, like how many summers have you seen? etc   Not sure where this taly with the main question though, i.e. what woke the Others.  The extinction of the dragons could make sense though but I am also convinced that by the end of the series both dragons and Others will be gone, if not extinct (which with the Others it would be a stretch) I reckon in either a truce or something (truce between Men and Others though).  Now 

Spoiler

the show suggested, although this may be different in the books, that the Children of the Forest created the Others to prevent Men from taking over their way of life, sacred trees etc, which sounds again very Celtic myth like to me.  I could certainly see the sense in this, however it still doesn't explain why they were "sleep" as it were and then they just woke up.

Spoiler

 

 

I do believe there is a Stark connection with the Others somewhere but some people, not sure if this has been said in the books openly of not, if so I have missed it lol that the Night King was a Stark when alive.  Oh, could have been taken from one of Old Nana's stories, something about him mating with an Other.

Still, however, grasping at straws here because I think we are missing something without which is extremely difficult to puzzle this out.  In the meantime, enjoying all the theories :)

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On ‎12‎/‎20‎/‎2016 at 2:37 PM, Aegonzo The Great said:

This is one of the enduring mysteries of the whole series: Why did the Others return? Why now? It could be the Wildlings did it while searching for something, ostensibly the Horn Of Joramun.

But I think the question that needs to be answered first is: Where were the Others for the last 1000 years? Where did they go? Becauase it seems Ygritte is suggesting they were woken from graves or something like that. What, are they ice cicadas? They go hide under the frozen soil to re-awaken even 1000 years?

That just doesn't seem right to me. I'm of the opinion that there was some sort of long-forgotten pact between the Others and Men, and somehow that pact got broken and now the Others are coming to get revenge/remind Men of the pact. What the pact was, or how it got broken, could have been something to do with the Wildlings.

I actually think it might be something like this: All the Men that live north of the wall are "livestock" for the Others, since it seems like they can't sexually reproduce. So the Others come and take babies with the intent of converting them into more Others. The Wildlings are to provide these babies, with a certain quota each year from each tribe. Mance, being from south of the Wall, convinces the Wildlings that this was a barbaric, unfair practice, and they should just run away. In refusing to give more babies to the Others, the Wildlings broke the pact and now the Others are chasing them/coming for revenge on Man.

But really, anyone else's guess is just as good as mine.

My guess is that it all has to do with blood magic; namely, the infusion of fire (dragons) blood and ice (Others) blood into human bloodlines. The dragons, of course, are the Targaryens, while the Others are Starks, through the Night's King. The NK would have been killed before his last son from his Other bride was sacrificed, a la Craster, and that child would naturally inherit Starks lands and titles. (This being is still alive today, BTW, and appears as a well-known character in the series, but that's a different topic).

In an event, the fusion of ice and fire blood is a very bad thing, which was why the Pact of Ice and Fire was never consummated, probably due to warnings from the Green Men.

Jon Snow, of course, represents that fusion, which is why the Others are on the move.

Oh, and I think they want their sword back from the Daynes.

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Posted (edited)

On 9/4/2015 at 9:01 AM, Craster'sFavouriteSon said:

But the reason that Mance and the Free Folk wanted to get south of the Wall in the first place is to get away from the Others. The arrival of the Others is the reason why they're attacking the Wall. I assume the Others have been 'awake' a bit longer than since the start of the events in AGOT.

I'm rereading ASOS and my impression is that the Wildlings are moving south as a protest against the Wall and the rule of the kneelers. Like @John Suburbs, my impression is that there is a change in the world- dragonglass candles suddenly functioning, the pyromancers at KL finding it easier to produce wildfire, the entrance of the three-eyed raven/crow and other elements in the narrative I'm sure to have missed seem to point to a change in a world where people have forgotten the uses of dragonlass.

 

I'll be glad to learn otherwise, and I'm off to continue rereading ASOS whilst sipping a goblet of blood orange juice.

Edited by Prof. Cecily

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Posted (edited)

On 09/08/2015 at 7:48 AM, WhiteWalkerTexasRanger said:

I figured that the white walkers came back because the dragons came back, but then I remembered the prologue of AGoT which was before The Mother of Dragons. Then I figured they came back because they knew the dragons were coming back or something. After reading the last Jon chapter, where Ygritte was crying while climbing The Wall because they couldnt find the Horn or Joramun(however it's spelled), she mentioned digging up graves and "releasing shades". I have no idea what shades are, but I assume theyre dark spirits or something? and the only dark spirits in the north that i know of are the others--at least i think theyre dark spirits(maybe theyre natures balance for humanity or something, who knows). Anyways, i migth of missed something really stupid obvious that points to their come back, or maybe this means nothing idk. Did the wildlings wake the others while searching for the horn in the frost mountains, or did they start trying to get south because they already were awaketo begin with? and if thats not the case, then what are "shades"?

The white walkers appeared before the dragons hatched from those eggs, and before the wolf Ghost found the dragon glass. At the very start of the books, Nights Watch came upon some white walkers who appeared as if they were dead folk. What could've triggered them off was the birth of Jon Snow, the Prince that was Promised?

Edited by Wolfgirly

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