rotting sea cow

What is the Others plan?

98 posts in this topic

This has been bothering me for a while

Taking the following words to hearth

"They cannot pass so long as the Wall stands strong and the men of the Night's Watch are true"

We reach the conclusion that both parts (the Wall and the brothers) are fundamental in keeping the Others at bay. The Wall, we learn, is a incredible physical barrier and a strong defensive position, which also has powerful spells embedded that the Others cannot easily erase. The Night's Watch are also not only important to man the Wall, but apparently their vows are magic too. I believe then there are no "holes" in the Wall, not bypassing it, otherwise it would make no sense.

To pass the Wall, the Others need either to destroy the Wall, somehow, or to break the NW. Or both.

It seems that they have mostly focused on the later. First the corpses taken to CB raise from the death and attempt to murder a competent Lord Commander. Then they go on shepherding the Free Folk  to attack the Wall (and break the NW) but they never attack the wildings in true force. 10 or 20 thousands more wights do not further their cause.  But when the NW rides to meet the wildings in battle, the Others attack them and only a handful of brothers make it alive, severely weakening the NW. There is strategic thinking there.

One has to wonder whether the Others are aware of the political situation of Westeros or whether they can influence events via dreams, etc. But there is no evidence so far they are doing the later and it is not a prospect I like because it erases responsibility.

One has also to wonder whether the Jon's post-assassination chaos can be considered as a further weakening of the NW, which can create some opportunity for the Others.

Now, it turns out that there seems to be a way to bring down the Wall, via the so-called Horn of Winter or Horn of Joramun.  People have speculated the horn was finally  found, initially by Benjen and the by Ghost and Jon, given to Sam and brought to Oldtown. At arm length of our favorite villain: Euron, who is also speculated to be a greenseer run amok and may have some connection to the Others.

So, the idea around is that Euron get hands on the horn and blow it, bringing down the Wall (whilst the Others sit waiting comfortably?)

So. What is the Wall for if it can be brought down so "easily"? Why is so tall? What are the spells for?

Giving the strategic thinking displayed by the Others, somehow I don't feel comfortable with this idea of blowing horns and relying in some crazy fuck. There must be some kind of showdown or battle or display of force by the Others that threatens the Wall, even if they fail. The Wall should show its force, before falling.

Thoughts?

 

 

 

 

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I didn't think of this but it makes sense. I don't think euron would get the horn but if the nights watch is important then they have done a great job of killing them and hurting them. Makes sense why the dead corpses jon put in the ice cells didn't come back but the ones that attacked mormont did. 

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I do think Euron is after something specifically in Old Town. I'm not sure if the horn is that thing though. Sam only just arrived, how would Euron know? And if he did know somehow magically, it would have been easier to intercept Sam before he got there. There is likely all sorts of magical stuff in the citadel and I think it is something there, likely tied up with the faceless men. Perhaps they are both after the same thing?

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3 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

This has been bothering me for a while

Taking the following words to hearth

"They cannot pass so long as the Wall stands strong and the men of the Night's Watch are true"

We reach the conclusion that both parts (the Wall and the brothers) are fundamental in keeping the Others at bay. The Wall, we learn, is a incredible physical barrier and a strong defensive position, which also has powerful spells embedded that the Others cannot easily erase. The Night's Watch are also not only important to man the Wall, but apparently their vows are magic too. I believe then there are no "holes" in the Wall, not bypassing it, otherwise it would make no sense.

To pass the Wall, the Others need either to destroy the Wall, somehow, or to break the NW. Or both.

It seems that they have mostly focused on the later. First the corpses taken to CB raise from the death and attempt to murder a competent Lord Commander. Then they go on shepherding the Free Folk  to attack the Wall (and break the NW) but they never attack the wildings in true force. 10 or 20 thousands more wights do not further their cause.  But when the NW rides to meet the wildings in battle, the Others attack them and only a handful of brothers make it alive, severely weakening the NW. There is strategic thinking there.

One has to wonder whether the Others are aware of the political situation of Westeros or whether they can influence events via dreams, etc. But there is no evidence so far they are doing the later and it is not a prospect I like because it erases responsibility.

One has also to wonder whether the Jon's post-assassination chaos can be considered as a further weakening of the NW, which can create some opportunity for the Others.

Now, it turns out that there seems to be a way to bring down the Wall, via the so-called Horn of Winter or Horn of Joramun.  People have speculated the horn was finally  found, initially by Benjen and the by Ghost and Jon, given to Sam and brought to Oldtown. At arm length of our favorite villain: Euron, who is also speculated to be a greenseer run amok and may have some connection to the Others.

So, the idea around is that Euron get hands on the horn and blow it, bringing down the Wall (whilst the Others sit waiting comfortably?)

So. What is the Wall for if it can be brought down so "easily"? Why is so tall? What are the spells for?

Giving the strategic thinking displayed by the Others, somehow I don't feel comfortable with this idea of blowing horns and relying in some crazy fuck. There must be some kind of showdown or battle or display of force by the Others that threatens the Wall, even if they fail. The Wall should show its force, before falling.

Thoughts?

Old Nan said the Wall would stand as long as the Night's Watch remain true.  By stabbing their Lord Commander, Bowen & Company have pressed the red button. I don't think the Wall is necessarily going to fall down because of what they did, but that now it can be brought down by other means...or Other means. LOL

It's so tall because even after it was "finished" each Lord Commander for a very, very long time added to it. Whether they thought this would help or just wanted some kind of "highest Wall heighth" glory is anybody's guess.

To keep the Others and undead from crossing under their own power. Coldhands couldn't go through the Black Gate, even though he was clearly a (former) member of the Watch. Those wights probably couldn't have gotten through either if they hadn't been carried in by living brothers of the Watch. Could be other spells too. Hard to say.

I wouldn't bet Euron would recognize the Horn of Winter as such. He likes flash and fire, like the dragonbinder horn. He would have been fooled by Mance's fake horn with it's gold bands. Unless he actually does have an in with the Others I wouldn't count on him knowing to look for things like bronze instead of gold and FM runes instead of Valyrian glyphs. Though now that I think of it, part of me likes the idea that Joramun sent to Valyria for a fire horn to bring down the wall made of ice.

If they really have those giant ice spiders, it's possible that they don't need the Wall to literally fall, but just for the spells preventing them from crossing to fail. Jon's stabbing may have broken the warding. Old Nan said the Wall would stand, but did she mean literal standing, or standing as a barrier to the icy forces beyond? It can be physically standing and no longer stand as any impediment to the Others.

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Posted (edited)

My suspicion is that the Others attacked in force at the Fist because they were also looking for the Horn. I'm not sure they'd have mounted an attack for just any ranging. After all, we know they dropped by Craster's and did nothing to the NW camped all about. Either they are extremely observant of guest right, or they were not very concerned with the NW at that place and time (given the story's emphasis on guest right, the former might actually be true).

Edited by cgrav

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13 minutes ago, cgrav said:

My suspicion is that the Others attached in force at the Fist because they were also looking for the Horn. I'm not sure they'd have mounted an attack for just any ranging. After all, we know they dropped by Craster's and did nothing to the NW camped all about. Either they are extremely observant of guest right, or they were not very concerned with the NW at that place and time (given the story's emphasis on guest right, the former might actually be true).

You gave me an idea with your comments about guest right. What if the Others are the Old Gods, and they've come to take Westeros back?

Unlikely I know, but it's a fun idea.

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29 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

You gave me an idea with your comments about guest right. What if the Others are the Old Gods, and they've come to take Westeros back?

Unlikely I know, but it's a fun idea.

Eh... it does tie in nicely with the idea of the Others as a creation/relation of the CoTF, plus the overlapping symbolism between Others and Weirwoods. 

Although I'm pretty sure creatures made of ice would not partake of anything with salt.

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Just now, cgrav said:

Eh... it does tie in nicely with the idea of the Others as a creation/relation of the CoTF, plus the overlapping symbolism between Others and Weirwoods. 

Although I'm pretty sure creatures made of ice would not partake of anything with salt.

Obviously they would be above the whole bread and salt thing. That's for those puny humans. ;)

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Posted (edited)

Maybe they are just so inhospitable as not to even keep a salt shaker. Salt aversion also explains why they don't just freeze the ocean and walk around the Wall.

Though now I'm thinking of the flipside of guest right: baring steel. Did Waymar draw his sword first? Understandable that an Other would chase after Sam, who took their "sacrifice" away, but now I'm wondering if their apparent hostility in the prologue was just an reasonable reaction to some guy with a sword.

Edited by cgrav

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22 minutes ago, cgrav said:

Maybe they are just so inhospitable as not to even keep a salt shaker. Salt aversion also explains why they don't just freeze the ocean and walk around the Wall.

Though now I'm thinking of the flipside of guest right: baring steel. Did Waymar draw his sword first? Understandable that an Other would chase after Sam, who took their "sacrifice" away, but now I'm wondering if their apparent hostility in the prologue was just an reasonable reaction to some guy with a sword.

Getting the book to check...

Waymar had his sword out before the first Other showed up...also with his sword out.

Then Waymar grabbed the hilt of his sword with both hands, which could perhaps have been seen as aggressive. He was also the first to issue a unquestionable challenge by saying "Dance with me then" and lifting his sword above his head. The Other did seem to hesitate for a moment but struck first.

It's anybody's guess whether they really thought he was starting the fight.

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12 hours ago, Makk said:

I do think Euron is after something specifically in Old Town. I'm not sure if the horn is that thing though. Sam only just arrived, how would Euron know? And if he did know somehow magically, it would have been easier to intercept Sam before he got there. There is likely all sorts of magical stuff in the citadel and I think it is something there, likely tied up with the faceless men. Perhaps they are both after the same thing?

Apparently he has a glass candle and also he drinks that vile blue wine every night and gets some convoluted info.

9 hours ago, cgrav said:

My suspicion is that the Others attacked in force at the Fist because they were also looking for the Horn. I'm not sure they'd have mounted an attack for just any ranging. After all, we know they dropped by Craster's and did nothing to the NW camped all about. Either they are extremely observant of guest right, or they were not very concerned with the NW at that place and time (given the story's emphasis on guest right, the former might actually be true).

The horn was buried near the the Fist for an unspecified time. The Others also attacked the NW  several days after Jon found the horn. If they are able to "sniff"   the horn, they would have it by now (assuming the horn that Jon found is the Horn).

I believe they simply attacked the NW there because they could. The NW made several camps before reaching the Fist, they could also done there.

I don't think guest right has anything to do, but Craster is still useful to them. Also they might have been lurking around. Do you remember the morning after meeting Craster for first time?

9 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Old Nan said the Wall would stand as long as the Night's Watch remain true.  By stabbing their Lord Commander, Bowen & Company have pressed the red button. I don't think the Wall is necessarily going to fall down because of what they did, but that now it can be brought down by other means...or Other means. LOL

Or maybe they will decide it is time to mount a real assault against the Wall.

10 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

It's so tall because even after it was "finished" each Lord Commander for a very, very long time added to it. Whether they thought this would help or just wanted some kind of "highest Wall heighth" glory is anybody's guess.

Is there any hint that the Wall wasn't so tall in former times? Remember also the Wall weeps, meaning that it also melts a bit every now and then.

10 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

If they really have those giant ice spiders, it's possible that they don't need the Wall to literally fall, but just for the spells preventing them from crossing to fail. Jon's stabbing may have broken the warding. Old Nan said the Wall would stand, but did she mean literal standing, or standing as a barrier to the icy forces beyond? It can be physically standing and no longer stand as any impediment to the Others.

A physical barrier should be an impediment in itself, but I agree that some of the magic at the Wall might start to fail and the Others will be able to mount an assault. Whether they will succeed or not, is anybody guess.

 

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14 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

"They cannot pass so long as the Wall stands strong and the men of the Night's Watch are true"

If man have prophecies, why not the Others.  Perhaps they are following a prophecy of their own and it foretold that the men at the wall would forsake their oaths.  The magic of the Wall depends on the men of the watch keeping to their vows and staying strong.  The Night's King betrayed his oaths and thus allowed the Ice Queen to pass through the Wall.  Recent events that weaken this magic are as follows -

  1. Mutiny at Craster's Keep.  The men killed their Lord Commander and deserted.
  2. The last Lord Commander, Jon Snow, betrayed the watch and his vows.  He sent wildlings to attack the Boltons and his wildlings broke guest rights at Winterfell when they murdered the household guards of the hosts.

The prophecy might have foretold these events and the Others knew their chance to break the wall is coming soon.

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Cotter Pike had already said that there are walkers under the sea. 

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24 minutes ago, devilish said:

Cotter Pike had already said that there are walkers under the sea. 

"dead things in the water" sounds more like wights and they are at Hardhome, north of the Wall.

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16 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

Thoughts?

My suspicion is that the wall (of Ice) is not "the wall" that's holding the Others back, nor is it even an intended barrier. It's a side-effect.

Think about it. You put up a magic barrier that blocks ice magic, and then for 8000 years you bombard it with ice magic, it's not much of a surprise that a large accumulation of ice would form on one side of it because all that magical ice is just stopped right there. It can't go any further, so it builds and builds and builds.

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2 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

"dead things in the water" sounds more like wights and they are at Hardhome, north of the Wall.

The Wights would walk all the way to South of the wall and attack it from there. Once the wall is conquered, the doors will open and the Others will pass. 

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8 minutes ago, Damon_Tor said:

My suspicion is that the wall (of Ice) is not "the wall" that's holding the Others back, nor is it even an intended barrier. It's a side-effect.

Think about it. You put up a magic barrier that blocks ice magic, and then for 8000 years you bombard it with ice magic, it's not much of a surprise that a large accumulation of ice would form on one side of it because all that magical ice is just stopped right there. It can't go any further, so it builds and builds and builds.

So, Bran the Builder didn't build anything?

6 minutes ago, devilish said:

The Wights would walk all the way to South of the wall and attack it from there. Once the wall is conquered, the doors will open and the Others will pass. 

If it were so easy, the Others would have transformed the whole wilding horde (30k+) into wights and go that route, overwhelming the NW. The Wall would have been then an useless effort as it can be easily flanked.

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16 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

So, Bran the Builder didn't build anything?

If it were so easy, the Others would have transformed the whole wilding horde (30k+) into wights and go that route, overwhelming the NW. The Wall would have been then an useless effort as it can be easily flanked.

The wall was built generations after the long night. Those who built the wall could only rely on oral stories whom, after generations, had already been reduced to legends.

The wights had never attacked from sea before because they never needed to do so. Such tactic is not very smart to do so either. The harsh Northern sea would mean that a big number of these wights would be taken away by the currents and ending up lost forever.  An army might or might not arrive at the wrong end of the wall but it would be spread across the coast and vastly reduced in numbers.

I dare to say that in normal circumstances such tactic wouldn't be effective. There are some mean Northerners at that side of the North (Karstarks, Boltons etc) who would have enough troops to defeat these wights before they can regroup. If an army does manage to reach the wall, then a strong NW would finish the rest. Unfortunately these are not normal circumstances. The NW is a joke and the Northerners are too fragmented to even notice what's going on. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

<snip

Is there any hint that the Wall wasn't so tall in former times? Remember also the Wall weeps, meaning that it also melts a bit every now and then.

A physical barrier should be an impediment in itself, but I agree that some of the magic at the Wall might start to fail and the Others will be able to mount an assault. Whether they will succeed or not, is anybody guess.

 

Yes. Somewhere in the text it says that each LC for a long time kept building it higher. That's where I got that. I think it's in AGoT. 

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1 hour ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Yes. Somewhere in the text it says that each LC for a long time kept building it higher. That's where I got that. I think it's in AGoT. 

This is from GRRM himself http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/The_Wall/

Quote

I am having discussions about the Wall. Some think that it is an impossibility for a structure of that size to remain standing if it is made from ice alone. Personally I think that the wall started of a lot smaller and slowly grew larger over the centuries as the black brothers trampled layer after layer of blue metal or small stones across the top. If that is the case then the wall is probably a mixture of crushed rocks and ice, which in my opinion would be a VERY sturdy construction, as demonstrated by Jon when he filled the barrels with water and used them to crush the battering ram.

Well, the Wall has undoubtedly "eaten" a lot of crushed stone over the centuries and millenia, especially around the castles where the black brothers regularly gravelled the walkways. But there's a lot more ice than there is stone.

Yes, the Wall was much smaller when first raised. It took hundreds of years to complete and thousands to reach it's present height.

If time is permiting would you mind giving a brief description on how the wall was constructed?

Much of those details are lost in the mists of time and legend. No one can even say for certain if Brandon the Builder ever lived. He is as remote from the time of the novels as Noah and Gilgamesh are from our own time.

But one thing I will say, for what it's worth -- more than ice went into the raising of the Wall. Remember, these are =fantasy= novels.

Ok. The Wall was indeed much smaller when raised for first time. I wouldn't think it was just a fence but maybe about the typical castle height wall and over the centuries reached its current height. So, although it was still a strong defensive position and a physical barrier, it was no near as formidable as it is now and it relied in being well manned  and magic to ward off the Others.

It still doesn't answer how the Others plan to pass the Wall.

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