Macgregor of the North

The White Walkers are the Others. The Others are the White Walkers.

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It's long been debated that there are possibly three tiers to the Icy threat the humans, Giants, the Cotf... well generally everybody and everything are in mortal danger from. 

The Wights.
The White Walkers. 
The Others. (Who many think we may have not seen yet). 

It all stems from an early piece of text from GRRM. Shown below:

"The greatest danger of all, however, comes from the north, from the icy wastes beyond the Wall, where half-forgotten demons out of legend, the inhuman others, raise cold legions of the undead and the neverborn and prepare to ride down on the winds of winter to extinguish everything that we would call "life." 

While pondering this I thought I would go read the original outline pages again as it has been a while since I had. 

NOW. Before anybody jumps to the conclusion that we can't take anything at all we read in them pages as a guide for the story we are reading etc etc blah blah... 

Hear me out. 

The very piece of text I stated above is as old as all these first pages so everybody's idea of three tiers already rests on these ancient pages and pieces of text of GRRM's already, so this is merely an exercise of comparison. 

With that out the way, I'll proceed.

In what GRRM lays out as a rough guide for book one - A Game of Thrones, he has instances in that book, early on in his proposed three book series, where the Others appear. 

Catelyn flees the burned Winterfell with Bran and Arya and seeks refuge at the Wall. Jon turns them out and they travel onward North of the Wall where they meet Mance Rayder. 

This is where they get a glimpse of "the Inhuman Others" as they attack the Wildlings encampment.

There is no mention of the Wights or White Walkers, but GRRM gives us a glimpse of the creatures he calls the Others, with no apparent plan to hold them back for later in the second or third book as some kind of hidden power to be revealed riding Ice spiders.

GRRM always had the idea of the Others being the highest level of the threat from the North, his "beautiful Sidhe made of Ice" creatures have always been the worst thing imaginable that can come from the North, and here he is unleashing them in physical form, and by name, as early as the first book of his planned three, just like he does with the books we ended up with. 

There never has really been much evidence of the Others being a held back power that was going to be unleashed later by the looks of it. 

The White Walkers are the Others, and the Others are the White Walkers. I don't think there was much of a plan, if any plan, to have the White Walkers appear to us with armies of Wights, only for there to be another darker threat to come in later books called "the Others". 

I believe we meet the Others in the Prologue of A Game of Thrones and there is no other version of them we will see, except to read of them in higher numbers and possibly riding on the backs of massive Ice spiders. 

I'm no literature expert but when reading the AGOT Prologue, which I realise is mostly from the POV of Will, there are instances where GRRM is simply explaining the setting or the surroundings etc. as he does many times throughout his books. 

In regards to certain (if not all) instances in the AGOT Prologue where GRRM mentions the Others, I believe there's a case to be argued that these are examples of GRRM narrating the scene and not relaying Wills thoughts. 

If this is the case, that only backs up my idea that GRRM actually presents us with the Others in the very first chapter of the whole epic series. Actually GRRM himself naming these beings as the Others. Unless I'm horribly mistaken.

So I'm proposing that When Waymar and Will meet the Others. So do we. Old Nan maybe was right. 

"little children are born and live and die all in darkness while the direwolves grow gaunt and hungry, and the white walkers move through the woods."

"You mean the Others," Bran said querulously. 

"The Others," Old Nan agreed."

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It's prettty much established. They only use "White Walkers" on the show so it won't get confused with the "Others" from Lost.

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I am not sure of you have ever read George's story The Glass Flower? It is worth a read, or a listen. Here is a link to a reading of that story, narrated by the alluring Claudia Black.  https://youtu.be/yYkx4QriXgk?t=563

I think I bookmarked it at the point where they start talking about the White. (Verified spelling) This entire story is like a blueprint for the base theme of ASOIAF, without a doubt. Everything from a glass flower, to playing a game of mind, to the concept of one reaching a cycle of life-death-life, and so many other things that it would make a too-long-to-read post to compare everything.

I am not claiming George is putting Westeros in some thousand worlds universe, just that he has his own theme that he sticks to and it seems apparent that his earlier works of short stories and novellas seem to be him (subconsciously) organizing his thoughts for ASOIAF.  More so than that outline that doesn't even fit with the story we have now.

I think the name White Walkers and Others is interchangeable for the "lower" ranking beings. However, there could be a leader of the Others, the Great Other, as Mel calls him. She seems to refer to a Great Other in the singular form, as opposed to the more common"the Others", or even plural (which are different), "wights". Who knows, the Great Other could be Bloodraven??? We just don't have enough info yet because George was oh so clever in lining up so many crucial cliffhangers when he did. George lubed us with a shot, but still hasn't delivered the pint.

  • A Storm of Swords - Davos III

"The war?" asked Davos.
"The war," she affirmed. "There are two, Onion Knight. Not seven, not one, not a hundred or a thousand. Two! Do you think I crossed half the world to put yet another vain king on yet another empty throne? The war has been waged since time began, and before it is done, all men must choose where they will stand. On one side is R'hllor, the Lord of Light, the Heart of Fire, the God of Flame and Shadow. Against him stands the Great Other whose name may not be spoken, the Lord of Darkness, the Soul of Ice, the God of Night and Terror. Ours is not a choice between Baratheon and Lannister, between Greyjoy and Stark. It is death we choose, or life. Darkness, or light." She clasped the bars of his cell with her slender white hands. The great ruby at her throat seemed to pulse with its own radiance. "So tell me, Ser Davos Seaworth, and tell me truly—does your heart burn with the shining light of R'hllor? Or is it black and cold and full of worms?" She reached through the bars and laid three fingers upon his breast, as if to feel the truth of him through flesh and wool and leather.
Edited by The Fattest Leech
Verified spelling

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I didn't know this was a matter of debate. Agree with OP... White Walkers are the Others. 

I have yet to see anything within ASOIAF to make me think otherwise. 

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I was going with what @Winds of Winter blow cold said because I thought that was the deal.   And I was good and fine with that but I remembered back to my 1st reading thinking there were 3 tiers of enemy or bad guy.  That's when my friend explained The Great Other to me. Damn you @The Fattest Leech.   That was beautifully explained and threw me right back to my lesson.  So whether I knew it or not I always thought there were 3 tiers of enemy.   I play around with the swords more than anything in this blasted tale.   Was just sharing my opinions in a new thread before stopping in here.   It was in composing my reply in this other thread that it occurred to me that the strange blade, the 13th blade, is so different it has to be for TGO. Gads, my paradigm is slipping.   

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28 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

I was going with what @Winds of Winter blow cold said because I thought that was the deal.   And I was good and fine with that but I remembered back to my 1st reading thinking there were 3 tiers of enemy or bad guy.  That's when my friend explained The Great Other to me. Damn you @The Fattest Leech.   That was beautifully explained and threw me right back to my lesson.  So whether I knew it or not I always thought there were 3 tiers of enemy.   I play around with the swords more than anything in this blasted tale.   Was just sharing my opinions in a new thread before stopping in here.   It was in composing my reply in this other thread that it occurred to me that the strange blade, the 13th blade, is so different it has to be for TGO. Gads, my paradigm is slipping.   

Getting people to curse me is what I do best :cheers:

and I know your sword talk. Good stuff. 

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12 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Getting people to curse me is what I do best :cheers:

and I know your sword talk. Good stuff. 

I saw someone do it before and you seemed to be delighted.   Just trying to keep the momentum going.   

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13 hours ago, Winds of Winter blow cold said:

It's prettty much established. They only use "White Walkers" on the show so it won't get confused with the "Others" from Lost.

Not true. The White Walkers are in the books too. 

Edited by Macgregor of the North

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12 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I am not sure of you have ever read George's story The Glass Flower? It is worth a read, or a listen. Here is a link to a reading of that story, narrated by the alluring Claudia Black.  https://youtu.be/yYkx4QriXgk?t=563

I think I bookmarked it at the point where they start talking about the White. (Verified spelling) This entire story is like a blueprint for the base theme of ASOIAF, without a doubt. Everything from a glass flower, to playing a game of mind, to the concept of one reaching a cycle of life-death-life, and so many other things that it would make a too-long-to-read post to compare everything.

I am not claiming George is putting Westeros in some thousand worlds universe, just that he has his own theme that he sticks to and it seems apparent that his earlier works of short stories and novellas seem to be him (subconsciously) organizing his thoughts for ASOIAF.  More so than that outline that doesn't even fit with the story we have now.

I think the name White Walkers and Others is interchangeable for the "lower" ranking beings. However, there could be a leader of the Others, the Great Other, as Mel calls him. She seems to refer to a Great Other in the singular form, as opposed to the more common"the Others", or even plural (which are different), "wights". Who knows, the Great Other could be Bloodraven??? We just don't have enough info yet because George was oh so clever in lining up so many crucial cliffhangers when he did. George lubed us with a shot, but still hasn't delivered the pint.

  • A Storm of Swords - Davos III

"The war?" asked Davos.
"The war," she affirmed. "There are two, Onion Knight. Not seven, not one, not a hundred or a thousand. Two! Do you think I crossed half the world to put yet another vain king on yet another empty throne? The war has been waged since time began, and before it is done, all men must choose where they will stand. On one side is R'hllor, the Lord of Light, the Heart of Fire, the God of Flame and Shadow. Against him stands the Great Other whose name may not be spoken, the Lord of Darkness, the Soul of Ice, the God of Night and Terror. Ours is not a choice between Baratheon and Lannister, between Greyjoy and Stark. It is death we choose, or life. Darkness, or light." She clasped the bars of his cell with her slender white hands. The great ruby at her throat seemed to pulse with its own radiance. "So tell me, Ser Davos Seaworth, and tell me truly—does your heart burn with the shining light of R'hllor? Or is it black and cold and full of worms?" She reached through the bars and laid three fingers upon his breast, as if to feel the truth of him through flesh and wool and leather.

Hey TFL. 

Even if there is a Great Other, a singular leader to oppose R'Hllor, it still doesn't take away from the fact the Others are the White Walkers and the White Walkers are the Others and we have seen them already. 

I made this thread to combat the idea that there are White Walkers, and there is still yet to be a group of other beings called the Others still to descend out of the North. 

And in regards to the Great Other, it may just me some mass of energy or power that is kind of immobile, or stationary up in the Lands of Always Winter. The source of the Icy power if you will. 

GRRM doesn't really go in for the Dark lords and all that so I'm not sure it's a terrible being we will see ride forth to battle. 

He has also said we won't be seeing any gods bursting into the story to change the story in any dramatic way, and Mel refers to the Great Other as a god, one of only two as your quote states. 

Infact, I'll share a wee thought I have. 

When the second moon exploded and sent pieces crashing to the "earth". I think two landed on magical land masses in the polar opposites of the land of always Winter and Asshai, creating the Others and Dragons, Ice and Fire. 

This stones caused such a massive magical upheaval in these areas it actually evolved these beings. Or something. 

R'hllor and the Great Other may not be actual beings that walk on two legs. Maybe more just like an entity of power or something, which powers all magic to their respective side of the spectrum, Ice and Fire. 

Im rambling now sorry, I haven't even begun to properly order these thoughts but I felt like letting a little bit leak out.

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@The Fattest Leech

The Great Other is Bloodraven? No you didn't go there on my boy! 

Elaborate all you like, feel free to crack open that can of worms, I'll discuss anything to do with Bloodraven. 

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I think the Others are evil greenseers. Or at least, ancient greenseers who inhabited Weirwoods like Bran is learning to do. In their weirwoods, they can live forever. But when the First Men cut down their spiritual trees, they somehow devised a ritual that allowed them to transfer their consciousness to Ice Crystals in the Far North, or perhaps to some place beyond the Curtain of Light at the end of the World. And they obviously became vengeful and twisted. Note the rather telling reference by Bran when Leaf tells him about the Children dwindling. He thinks that men would not accept death so passively, men would be wroth. Well, I think a large faction of the Children were wroth indeed. And became the Others.

Note that a lot of the Others' magic is very similar to warging. They effectively "warg" corpses. And I believe that in order to create a White Walker, they need to sacrifice a human baby, to allow a greenseer to take physical form as a so called "Other". A Neverborn, in effect.

So the Others we have seen are effectively just the "Ice suits" worn by the spiritual entities that are the real enemy. So no, there aren't other, physical Others. But the Others we have seen are not their true form. Their true forms are spiritual. And when you pierce an Other with a Dragonglass blade, you break this spell, and the greenseer is forced out of the Ice body. Without the spell holding it together, the Ice suit then melts into water.

Also note the association with a warg leaving his body after death, and "cold". Varamyr feels an immense sense of cold as he is forced from his body and his spirit desperately seeks a host for a second life. Similarly, Jon feels the "cold" when the 4th knife strikes. So it is not unreasonable to think that a greenseer inhabiting a weirwood would also sense this cold when his spirit is forced out of the tree when it is cut down. And perhaps for a powerful greenseer, there is a way to live on in this "cold, deathlike" state. Hence the morphing into spirits of Ice and Death. We obviously need more info to understand the exact mechanism at work. But I'm quite confident that it is greenseer power at heart, morphed into a kind of Death magic.

Also bear in mind that since greenseers derive their power from the life and death cycle of living things in Nature, perhaps the dead greenseers who became the Others need blood magic to artificially sustain their existence in the lifeless Lands of Always Winter. And perhaps that is why they need to keep killing living things, to use the power of Death to pay for their artificially extended lives.

 

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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4 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I think the Others are evil greenseers. Or at least, ancient greenseers who inhabited Weirwoods like Bran is learning to do. In their weirwoods, they can live forever. But when the First Men cut down their spiritual trees, they somehow devised a ritual that allowed them to transfer their consciousness to Ice Crystals in the Far North, or perhaps to some place beyond the Curtain of Light at the end of the World. And they obviously became vengeful and twisted. Note the rather telling reference by Bran when Leaf tells him about the Children dwindling. He thinks that men would not accept death so passively, men would be wroth. Well, I think a large faction of the Children were wroth indeed. And became the Others.

Note that a lot of the Others' magic is very similar to warging. They effectively "warg" corpses. And I believe that in order to create a White Walker, they need to sacrifice a human baby, to allow a greenseer to take physical form as a so called "Other". A Neverborn, in effect.

So the Others we have seen are effectively just the "Ice suits" worn by the spiritual entities that are the real enemy. So no, there aren't other, physical Others. But the Others we have seen are not their true form. Their true forms are spiritual. And when you pierce an Other with a Dragonglass blade, you break this spell, and the greenseer is forced out of the Ice body. Without the spell holding it together, the Ice suit then melts into water.

What do you mean by Ice suit? 

The Others are flesh and bone and blood.

And there is no term that exists such as Warging. 

A Warg is exclusively somebody who is bound to a Wolf. This person can slip the skin of his Wolf but he doesn't "Warg" it. 

Just like nobody in the whole story can "Warg" anything. Bloodraven doesn't Warg Ravens and Bran doesn't Warg Hodor. 

If you mean the Others skinchange the corpses then that has never been proven. There is some sort of Necromancy at play of course but it's not confirmed anywhere that they are Skinchanging corpses. 

If that were the case wouldn't the Wights be smarter? The Others are smart, how come when they skinchange their Wights they become Dumbasses?.

 

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9 minutes ago, Macgregor of the North said:

What do you mean by Ice suit? 

The Others are flesh and bone and blood.

And there is no term that exists such as Warging. 

A Warg is exclusively somebody who is bound to a Wolf. This person can slip the skin of his Wolf but he doesn't "Warg" it. 

Just like nobody in the whole story can "Warg" anything. Bloodraven doesn't Warg Ravens and Bran doesn't Warg Hodor. 

If you mean the Others skinchange the corpses then that has never been proven. There is some sort of Necromancy at play of course but it's not confirmed anywhere that they are Skinchanging corpses. 

If that were the case wouldn't the Wights be smarter? The Others are smart, how come when they skinchange their Wights they become Dumbasses?.

 

Don't get pedantic with the warging terminology. Most of us use warging as shorthand for skinchanging.

As to your actual point, we don't know what Others consist of entirely, but the fact that the entire body effectively melts into a puddle of water when it dies suggests that rather than skin and bone, it consists of different types of Ice and sludge inside. But we need to learn more to be certain.

As for the nature of the "skinchanging" into corpses, well, I'd imagine that the number of Other greenseers is limited. So, just like Coldhands is almost certainly merely a meat suit worn by Bloodraven, so the Others warg into corpses with their Death magic. But, due to the corruption of their magic by them being from beyond the veil of Life and Death  (the Curtain of Light at the end of the World), and perhaps due to their limited numbers, the bond is not as strong as a living skinchanger's would be.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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1 minute ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Don't get pedantic with the warging terminology. Most of us use warging as shorthand for skinchanging.

As to your actual point, we don't know what Others consist of entirely, but the fact that the entire body effectively melts into a puddle of water when it dies suggests that rather than skin and bone, it consists of different types of Ice and sludge inside. But we need to learn more to be certain.

As for the nature of the "skinchanging" into corpses, well, I'd imagine that the number of Other greenseers is limited. So, just like Coldhands is almost certainly merely a meat suit worn by Bloodraven, so the Others warg into corpses with their Death magic. But, due to the corruption of their magic by them being from beyond the veil of Life and Death  (the Curtain of Light at the end of the World), the bond is not as strong as a living skinchanger's would be.

Thing is there is no "Warging" terminology. The word does not exist in the story at all. But if it's your choice of term, then go you, feel free. 

As to my point, we know Others consist of bones, flesh and blood. That's a fact. They are a living being. Something very unique to the story.

The last part you left there is wild speculation. Which is fine of course, but absolute speculation in every sense of the word with no text that can back it up.

Im not so sure that Coldhands is almost certainly just a meat suit worn by Bloodraven. I think there's more to him than that  but I think as the story progresses we will learn more on that. 

If there's quotes you have that show Bloodraven is the one controlling Coldhands could you show them?. 

And what do you mean a living skinchanger? The Others are not dead. 

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14 minutes ago, Macgregor of the North said:

Thing is there is no "Warging" terminology. The word does not exist in the story at all. But if it's your choice of term, then go you, feel free. 

As to my point, we know Others consist of bones, flesh and blood. That's a fact. They are a living being. Something very unique to the story.

The last part you left there is wild speculation. Which is fine of course, but absolute speculation in every sense of the word with no text that can back it up.

Im not so sure that Coldhands is almost certainly just a meat suit worn by Bloodraven. I think there's more to him than that  but I think as the story progresses we will learn more on that. 

If there's quotes you have that show Bloodraven is the one controlling Coldhands could you show them?. 

And what do you mean a living skinchanger? The Others are not dead. 

What do you base the assertion on that we know the Others consist of bones, flesh and blood? Where is that referenced in the books?

As for the Others not being dead. I am saying that the greenseers inhabiting them returned from or were corrupted by, the veil of Death - as depicted by the "coldness" that a skinchanger experiences when his host body dies and he is ejected.

Death and cold are closely linked to each other in Martin's story. And Death paying for Life is a well established theme too.

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

What do you base the assertion on that we know the Others consist of bones, flesh and blood? Where is that referenced in the books?

As for the Others not being dead. I am saying that the greenseers inhabiting them returned from or were corrupted by, the veil of Death - as depicted by the "coldness" that a skinchanger experiences when his host body dies and he is ejected.

Death and cold are closely linked to each other in Martin's story. And Death paying for Life is a well established theme too.

 

 

 

Right here.

ASOS BIG SAM SLAYER I:

"When he opened his eyes the Other's armor was running down its legs in rivulets as pale blue blood hissed and steamed around the black dragonglass dagger in its throat. It reached down with two bone-white hands to pull out the knife, but where its fingers touched the obsidian they smoked. 

Sam rolled onto his side, eyes wide as the Other shrank and puddled, dissolving away. In twenty heartbeats its flesh was gone, swirling away in a fine white mist. Beneath were bones like milkglass, pale and shiny, and they were melting too. Finally only the dragonglass dagger remained, wreathed in steam as if it were alive and sweating. Grenn bent to scoop it up and flung it down again at once. "Mother, that's cold."

 
 

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12 minutes ago, Macgregor of the North said:

Right here.

ASOS BIG SAM SLAYER I:

"When he opened his eyes the Other's armor was running down its legs in rivulets as pale blue blood hissed and steamed around the black dragonglass dagger in its throat. It reached down with two bone-white hands to pull out the knife, but where its fingers touched the obsidian they smoked. 

Sam rolled onto his side, eyes wide as the Other shrank and puddled, dissolving away. In twenty heartbeats its flesh was gone, swirling away in a fine white mist. Beneath were bones like milkglass, pale and shiny, and they were melting too. Finally only the dragonglass dagger remained, wreathed in steam as if it were alive and sweating. Grenn bent to scoop it up and flung it down again at once. "Mother, that's cold."

 
 

Blue liquid for blood, white glasslike skeleton. Could all be exotic types of Ice, and ice-sludge. It seems pretty obvious that they need Craster's sons to be sacrificed to give them life. Only Death can pay for Life, as Martin has established. So they are not natural biological entities. They need magic to become animated. The Neverborn, as Martin calls them.

My extrapolation is simply that they are then inhabited by the twisted greenseers that were ejected from weirwoods cut down by the ancient First Men.

 

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15 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Blue liquid for blood, white glasslike skeleton. Could all be exotic types of Ice, and ice-sludge. It seems pretty obvious that they need Craster's sons to be sacrificed to give them life. Only Death can pay for Life, as Martin has established. So they are not natural biological entities. They need magic to become animated. The Neverborn, as Martin calls them.

My extrapolation is simply that they are then inhabited by the twisted greenseers that were ejected from weirwoods cut down by the ancient First Men.

 

Yes they are Icy beings that melt when hit with certain weapons that include fire in their properties but they are still living beings with a bone skeleton, flesh, and also blood which is why I questioned what you meant by an "Ice suit". 

They sound like a living organism that has Icy armour on to me and not a spirit in a suit of Ice. 

Yes it is obvious that they take Crasters baby sons, "with the stink o life" and they are used to generate Others somehow. 

It is likely a blood sacrifice that powers the creation of more of these beings. Gilly says when the Wight approaches them that it wants the baby for "the life". 

The Others are also appeased by sheep when there are no sons so it's a blood thing by the looks of it, as in blood is important to the Others in regards to what feeds there power possibly but it's a human baby boy who stinks o life that is what they need to fully generate more of their beings, which are indeed made up of solid substance like bone, flesh, and also blood, but if hit with a certain fiery power they can still melt. 

We as humans are also made up of solid substance but if we were to be hit with a fiery force strong enough, we would also melt until we were no more. 

And it just so happens that Obsidian/Dragonglass/Frozen fire is strong enough to do that to an Others solid body, bones and flesh and all. 

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@Free Northman Reborn

Remember, GRRM does not call the Others the Neverborn like you say. 

"The greatest danger of all, however, comes from the north, from the icy wastes beyond the Wall, where half-forgotten demons out of legend, the inhuman others, raise cold legions of the undead and the neverborn and prepare to ride down on the winds of winter to extinguish everything that we would call "life." 

He says the Others raise the Neverborn. 

This is what my OP is about, as this suggests three tiers to the Icy threat. 

But my OP set out to prove that if there ever was a plan for that, it's not in place now.

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