rotting sea cow

What is the Others plan?

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, devilish said:

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.

The problem I have with this scenario in which the Others just need their wights to do the job is that they could have easily obtained a huge army (>30000) just by wighting the whole Mance's host. Then direct them to the Gorge or to Eastwatch and be done with it. They didn't. Instead they expected Mance's army to break the NW. In fact they "helped" the wildings by attacking the Fist. If it wasn't for Jon and Stannis, Mance would have succeeded, but who would have manned the Wall then?

Edited by rotting sea cow

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, rotting sea cow said:

The problem I have with this scenario in which the Others just need their wights to do the job is that they could have easily obtained a huge army (>30000) just by wighting the whole Mance's host. Then direct them to the Gorge or to Eastwatch and be done with it. They didn't. Instead they expected Mance's army to break the NW. In fact they "helped" the wildings by attacking the Fist. If it wasn't for Jon and Stannis, Mance would have succeeded, but who would have manned the Wall then?

As said, sending an army under the sea is not smart. Most will be dragged away by currents, lost in the sea forever. The remaining will be scattered along the coast, easy prey to an organized army. 

From a necromancer point of view, they are better off having humans fighting humans, especially if these humans are too busy killing one another to actually born the bodies. Under such circumstances a Necromancer can simply raise the dead and then use them against a weakened enemy. 

We also know that the others can make friends among the Living (ie Craster). Could the others have allies at the right side of the wall?

I also find the so called R'hllor priests fishy. They pop in just when the others show off and all they caused is death  (ie more soldiers for the death, less soldiers for the living). Lets face it, if Melisandre wasn't around the war would have been over Looooong ago

Edited by devilish

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16 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

So, Bran the Builder didn't build anything?

Someone made the magic that holds back Winter.

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On 3/9/2017 at 4:29 PM, 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?

 

Gendel and Gorne's way seems an interesting choice.

Also I find it amazing that the Other's haven't simply killed or wighted all the Wildlings. It seems to be that they are simply forcing them south. They attack the Night's Watch when the Night's Watch were about to attack and scatter the Wildlings, just like Stannis did at the Wall.

On 3/9/2017 at 10:31 PM, Lady Blizzardborn said:

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.

Yup certainly looks like Waymar challenged them. Also they fought one vs one until Waymar has clearly lost.

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Posted (edited)

If all it takes is the cashing in of a magical plot token to bring down the wall, I'll be very disappointed.

We know that the magic of the Wall is intrinsically tied to the Night's Watch, thanks to that gate beneath the Nightfort. So perhaps the Wall falls when the last Watchmen abandons his post. (Which makes you wonder about the 79 sentinels.)

Also: the magic seems to be connected to weirwoods, i.e. the Old Gods, so from the magic spells point of view, are there only a handful of watchmen left? i.e. the ones who swore their vows before the heart tree?

Edited by Illyrio Mo'Parties

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5 hours ago, Illyrio Mo'Parties said:

If all it takes is the cashing in of a magical plot token to bring down the wall, I'll be very disappointed.

We know that the magic of the Wall is intrinsically tied to the Night's Watch, thanks to that gate beneath the Nightfort. So perhaps the Wall falls when the last Watchmen abandons his post. (Which makes you wonder about the 79 sentinels.)

Also: the magic seems to be connected to weirwoods, i.e. the Old Gods, so from the magic spells point of view, are there only a handful of watchmen left? i.e. the ones who swore their vows before the heart tree?

We don't know how many of the current members took their vows before the heart tree. Men from the North and the Vale are most likely to have done so. Interestingly, Bowen Marsh may have taken his vows in front of a heart tree.

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There are many facts we miss about the Others. As far as I have seen:

  • They force the Wildlings south, press the Night's Watch and open the passage. Plus the Night's Watch focuses on killing the Wildlings and not prepare for the Others.
  • They still don't have much power as magic was not so active in the start of the series. They make alliances with humans to increase their numbers.
  • I believe they send false visions to some people (Euron,Melisandre) south of the Wall to create chaos (Euron was Bloodraven's student who went mad.).They still don't have the power for an open attack against the Wall. 
  • They are hostile towards the Children too. There were wights outside Bloodraven's cave who attacked Bran's team.

 

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6 hours ago, Illyrio Mo'Parties said:

Also: the magic seems to be connected to weirwoods, i.e. the Old Gods, so from the magic spells point of view, are there only a handful of watchmen left? i.e. the ones who swore their vows before the heart tree?

The question then is just who exactly is watching when they do that. Bloodraven, Children of the Forest, maybe the Black Gate... Others? 

My feeling is that the Black Gate, with its salty water instead of blood/sap, represents some intersection of Others and Old Gods' powers. If the regular weirwoods are "blooded" by a human sacrifice, then maybe the Black Gate had a similar process with Others and therefore it holds some power over them.

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On 3/10/2017 at 6:26 PM, devilish said:

As said, sending an army under the sea is not smart. Most will be dragged away by currents, lost in the sea forever. The remaining will be scattered along the coast, easy prey to an organized army. 

From a necromancer point of view, they are better off having humans fighting humans, especially if these humans are too busy killing one another to actually born the bodies. Under such circumstances a Necromancer can simply raise the dead and then use them against a weakened enemy. 

It wasn't me who proposed that sending a wight army under the sea is the actual Others plan. Indeed, I believe it is not possible.  If it was, they would have done it before instead of "expecting" the wildings to break the NW.

On 3/10/2017 at 6:26 PM, devilish said:

We also know that the others can make friends among the Living (ie Craster).

I don't think the Others ever saw Craster as an ally or a friend.

On 3/10/2017 at 6:26 PM, devilish said:

Could the others have allies at the right side of the wall?

Euron is a strong candidate

On 3/10/2017 at 6:26 PM, devilish said:

I also find the so called R'hllor priests fishy. They pop in just when the others show off and all they caused is death  (ie more soldiers for the death, less soldiers for the living). Lets face it, if Melisandre wasn't around the war would have been over Looooong ago

I'm not sure if I understood this. So, the red priests are now at fault for tWo5K?

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13 hours ago, Lord Wraith said:

Also I find it amazing that the Other's haven't simply killed or wighted all the Wildlings. It seems to be that they are simply forcing them south. They attack the Night's Watch when the Night's Watch were about to attack and scatter the Wildlings, just like Stannis did at the Wall.

This is one of my points. The Others clearly expected the wilding to break the NW. The even "helped" Mance by attacking the Fist. There is a strong strategic thinking in the Others actions, which makes me wonder about whether they have other plans.

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5 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

I'm not sure if I understood this. So, the red priests are now at fault for tWo5K?

I would agree with the many dead ultimately helping the Others, but the red priests advocate cremation.

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4 hours ago, Endymion I Targaryen said:

There are many facts we miss about the Others. As far as I have seen:

  • They force the Wildlings south, press the Night's Watch and open the passage. Plus the Night's Watch focuses on killing the Wildlings and not prepare for the Others.
  • They still don't have much power as magic was not so active in the start of the series. They make alliances with humans to increase their numbers.
  • I believe they send false visions to some people (Euron,Melisandre) south of the Wall to create chaos (Euron was Bloodraven's student who went mad.).They still don't have the power for an open attack against the Wall. 
  • They are hostile towards the Children too. There were wights outside Bloodraven's cave who attacked Bran's team.

 

According to Old Nan they can reproduce with humans, per her statement about the slutty Wildling girls having babies with the Others during the Long Night.

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On ‎3‎/‎9‎/‎2017 at 4:29 PM, 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?

I'll just point out that there were no Others seen in the attack of the Fist, just wights.

In fact, we have never seen the wights and Others working together. At best, we have an Other riding a dead horse just before Sam kills it, but that horse does not seem to be acting any differently from a living horse (no mad desire to kill the living, no blue eyes, etc.)

So to answer your question, the Others could be fleeing from the same horror that Bran saw in his coma dream, which might be the one that is actually reanimating and controlling the wights.

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Posted (edited)

20 hours ago, Endymion I Targaryen said:
  • They are hostile towards the Children too. There were wights outside Bloodraven's cave who attacked Bran's team.

Unless that was all just kabuki.

And as John Suburbs mentioned, we still haven't seen the Others and the wights in the same place at the same time. The closest we get is in the prologue, but if you wanted to misdirect the audience as to the fundamental nature of the Big Bad, then the beginning of the series would be a good place to start.

The wildlings certainly think that the two are connected, but they are a bunch of savages, so perhaps we're supposed to be taking what they say with a huge grain of salt.

Or, perhaps GRRM believes that primitive peoples know truths that the civilised have forgotten.

Or, perhaps both.

Or, perhaps neither.

Or, perhaps PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT

Edited by Illyrio Mo'Parties

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Posted (edited)

22 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

It wasn't me who proposed that sending a wight army under the sea is the actual Others plan. Indeed, I believe it is not possible.  If it was, they would have done it before instead of "expecting" the wildings to break the NW.

I don't think the Others ever saw Craster as an ally or a friend.

Euron is a strong candidate

I'm not sure if I understood this. So, the red priests are now at fault for tWo5K?

I cant say that what the Others final plan is. However I do know that since the wall is what's keeping them from entering then they have 2 choices

A- Breach it
B- bypass it

Their plan A was smart. 

A- Rather then painfully destroy clan after clan. Only to end up standing at the wrong side of the wall, they panicked the Wildlings enough to join into 1 army and then that same panic would force them to assault the wall. With a bit of help from them they might as well defeated the NW and breached the wall. That would have been ideal ie

a- many deaths (ie more zombies)
b- wall is breached

etc

Plan B is of course less effective and not very desirable

A- Move an army of zombies under the sea
B- Assault the wall from its weaker side
C- Open the door

Its highly risky. Zombies will be swept away by the current and those who do manage to reach the right side of the wall will probably be scattered thin thoughout the coast. In normal circumstances that plan had little chance of succeeding either. The Manderlys, the Karstarks and the Boltons would be strong enough and organized enough to remove the threat. However these are not normal circumstances

Regarding Caster

I don't know what I would call him. However that's not important. What's important is that the others had already shown that they can negotiate with human in one way or another. They aren't mindless husks

Regarding the Red Priests (like all necromancers)

In my opinion they are pretty misguided and their visions are nothing but the product of darkness. Think about it. If the god of light has power on raising people from the death then surely he would have raised Nissa Nissa. Azor was his champion, Nissa was his beloved etc. So why do the Lord of Light would give the likes of Jon Snow and Lady Stoneheart a gift that he wasn't willing to give to his champion's lover?

Now as a wise man once said. A tree is distinguished by its fruit. What did Melisandre did throughout the entire war? It helped the most stubborn, weakest and less liked candidate to beat the only person capable to end this war quickly. That pushed the Rose in bed with the lions and together they massacred Stannis army in Blackwater's bay and also indirectly forced Bolton/Frey hand to mastermind the Red Wedding massacre.

Her magic might or might not have eliminated Balon, leading the path to Euron. 

After defeated the wildlings (the only good thing he did) Stannis fixated in invading the North, further weakening a region who suffered so much already, for a crown he's got no real chance to take.

That does sound alot of bodies for the necromancers to raise am I right? 

Now lets see what would have happened if Melisandre wasn't there

a- Stannis would probably stay in Dragonstone grumbling
b- The wolf and the lion would keep fighting, further weakening themselves
c- Once they are too weak to fight. Renly would march his horde to KL. He would probably kill Cersei's children, take Cersei, Jamie and Tyrion as hostage and force everybody to bend the knee. Robb might even be able to keep his crown as long as its cerimonial

Less deaths, a stronger Westeros ie whose in a better shape to fight the others.

What about the resurrected people?

There's Lady Stoneheart, whose causing multiple deaths in the Riverlands. There's Sir Robert Strong who will make sure that the single most destructive force in Westeros (Cersei) will remain safe, which means more treachery from her side and a possible Rose vs Lion war. Soon enough we might have a resurrected Jon Snow who will probably hang those who betrayed him (the NW will be further weakened) and them try to rally the weakened North against Roose Bolton (more living against living and more deaths)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by devilish

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Posted (edited)

On 09/03/2017 at 10:29 PM, rotting sea cow said:

 

"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.

 

I don't agree with this in regards to the Night's Watch. I don't think the existence of the Idiot Brigade by itself is fundamental to the keep the Others at bay. I think they are only important in that they (theoretically) man and protect the Wall against the Others and their Wights.

I.e. the Wall is the magic barrier that keeps them and their power from flooding into Westeros.

But the Wall itself, magic as it may be, is an inanimate building and can't, by itself fight back, so the Others and their armies could breach it (and hopefully will before the story is over) and thus render its protective spell useless.

So there is need for a fighting force to man and defend the wall.

I agree that the Others at present seem to focus their efforts on destroying the NW (though i'm stumped why, the NW is doing a very good job destroying itself right now) because they need to get rid of the "ants" (so to say) so that they can subsequently pave over the "ant hill" in peace 

Interestingly in all the speculations on WHY the Others are returning now (natural cycle, the impending long winter) and including the extremely stupid ones (a sept being built in Winterfell or no/not enough Starks being present) the idea that the Others have recognized that the Night's Watch has dwindled and degenerated into a small band/cult of convicts and might see their hour to strike at hand doesn't often come up, or at least not nearly as often as the other theories.

Edited by Orphalesion

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On 3/11/2017 at 0:20 AM, rotting sea cow said:

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

So why didn't he intercept Sam while he was sailing down the East or West coast? It would have been a lot easier to catch him there rather than attacking and then finding him in an entire city.

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5 hours ago, Illyrio Mo'Parties said:

Unless that was all just kabuki.

And as John Suburbs mentioned, we still haven't seen the Others and the wights in the same place at the same time. The closest we get is in the prologue, but if you wanted to misdirect the audience as to the fundamental nature of the Big Bad, then the beginning of the series would be a good place to start.

The wildlings certainly think that the two are connected, but they are a bunch of savages, so perhaps we're supposed to be taking what they say with a huge grain of salt.

Or, perhaps GRRM believes that primitive peoples know truths that the civilised have forgotten.

Or, perhaps both.

Or, perhaps neither.

Or, perhaps PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT

GRRM is making grey characters,not pure evil or pure good.probably we will learn more things about the Others.Probably Jojen Reed is true that Winterfell has forgotten many things.

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On 9.3.2017 at 10:29 PM, 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.

I don't buy that interpretation in the deeper meaning. Did the NW stay true during the reign of the Night's King, when Runcel Hightower left the Wall to his bastard son, when they murdered Jeor Mormont?

I'd interpret this just as Old Nan's literal belief that nobody can cross the while while the NW does their duty, which is to protect the Wall. Making some huge and important deal out of the whole thing doesn't sound all that convincing to me.

There is some magic/importance in the vow the NW takes in regards to the weirwood gate beneath the Nightfort but that might actually be more dependent on the weirwoods witnessing a vow rather than it actually containing any magic. That would then mean that Samwell could only pass the gate because he swore his vow in the weirwood grove beyond the Wall.

Quote

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.

Sure, the Others are not stupid. They play a very long game and can afford to do it.

Quote

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.

I don't think they care about mundane things of that sort. They would know that the dragons are gone, and one assumes that they prepared their final game since 153 AC, or the years shortly thereafter, slowly rebuilding their strength. One assumes that, without dragons, Westeros and the entire world cannot stand against them. At least not in the very long run.

Quote

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?)

That doesn't make any sense. The Horn of Joramun is supposed to cause a magical earthquake. Unless we think an earthquake caused at the coast of the Reach is going to affect the Wall all that much I don't buy that theory. Besides, it is quite clear that whoever hid the stuff at the Fist - the obsidian was the important stuff, not the horn - didn't do it along time ago. The black clothing indicating a black brother wasn't rotten or anything.

Considering that Ghost found the stuff it might have been Benjen who hid it

Quote

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

The size of the Wall is somewhat of an overkill but perhaps rather important because it might very well be that the Others and wights can climb over the Wall if they want to, just as the wildlings can. That they can't pass through them doesn't mean they can't get over them. And last I looked spiders were pretty good at climbing. If some ice spiders show up the Wall cannot be tall enough, one assumes.

Quote

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.

I think it will. The Horn of Winter is most likely still not yet found, and an important plot point could be to find it/get to it before the Others can and/or prevent the Others from getting it to the Wall and using to to destroy it.

Bran/Bloodraven could easily enough find out what their plans are and/or learn/know where the Horn of Joramun is and send some of the good guys there to try to destroy it.

I also expect the Others first to target the weirwood gate beneath the Nightfort in an attempt to destroy the magic in the Wall, and I expect that the whole 

Spoiler

'Hold the door' plot is going to happen there, with Hodor's mind shattering when he connects with the timeless magic of the weirwood door to strengthen its magic.

If Mance dies/is already dead then the Horn of Winter conundrum could become an important plot element creating dissension/different priorities among the good guys. Stannis and Mel might believe that the real horn is dead while Jon is not so sure, having a lot of good reason that it might still be out there, somewhere.

Euron is at best going to become an inadvertent assistant of the Others insofar as he is doing his best to weaken Westeros, as many other people did before him. He might be a deranged greenseer candidate, but I very much doubt that he is a follower or pawn of the Others.

On 10.3.2017 at 0:20 PM, rotting sea cow said:

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.

They most likely acted because they wanted to weaken the NW but also because they wanted to prevent Mormont from stopping Mance's exodus. They clearly counted on the wildlings weakening (or destroying the NW). Then everything would have been much easier for them.

Quote

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.

We know there were Lord Commanders who left the Wall taller than it was when they took over. I imagine the Wall in the days of Brandon the Builder being hardly more than some sort of magical fence, perhaps 10-20 feet high. Giants may have helped with the building of the thing but it is a pretty long wall, and if there is any truth to the suffering during the Long Night then there wouldn't have been many workers around in the decades afterwards.

Quote

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.

See above. Those ice spiders could come in handy.

And we should also expect them to capture some of Cotter Pyke's (and Lysene) ships at Hardhome, have wights crawl through the Gorge (or cross the Bridge of Skulls after the Weeper has crossed it with an army, destroying the Shadow Tower in the process), and build some rafts and the like to get a considerable amount of wights (and Others) across the Bay of Ice to Sea Dragon Point and other thinly populated areas in the region. There they could raise a large enough army of wights by killing people to take the Wall by surprise.

I expect this kind of warfare to unfold while the Wall itself still stand, and unless Melisandre foresees any of this stuff happening I see little to no opportunity for our guys to stop it.

If winter gets sufficiently cold they could even freeze the sea and would not necessarily be in need of rafts.

If we assume the Wall was raised with the help of the Children, containing their magic, then it is not unlikely that they overlooked the whole ship-thing just as they did when they broke the Arm of the Dorne or tried to cut Westeros in half at the Neck. They never thought in terms of 'walking on water' with the help of constructions made of wood.

And if the Others are intricately connected to the Children then they might not be able (or keen) to think about tools to use to circumvent the Wall by using rafts. But that still leaves the Gorge and the Bridge of Skulls. However, there is a very strong chance that even if they could successfully circumvent the Wall with their armies they might still very determined to destroy it because it is a structure containing the magic of the Children.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I don't buy that interpretation in the deeper meaning. Did the NW stay true during the reign of the Night's King, when Runcel Hightower left the Wall to his bastard son, when they murdered Jeor Mormont?

I'd interpret this just as Old Nan's literal belief that nobody can cross the while while the NW does their duty, which is to protect the Wall. Making some huge and important deal out of the whole thing doesn't sound all that convincing to me.

There is some magic/importance in the vow the NW takes in regards to the weirwood gate beneath the Nightfort but that might actually be more dependent on the weirwoods witnessing a vow rather than it actually containing any magic. That would then mean that Samwell could only pass the gate because he swore his vow in the weirwood grove beyond the Wall.

Sure, the Others are not stupid. They play a very long game and can afford to do it.

I don't think they care about mundane things of that sort. They would know that the dragons are gone, and one assumes that they prepared their final game since 153 AC, or the years shortly thereafter, slowly rebuilding their strength. One assumes that, without dragons, Westeros and the entire world cannot stand against them. At least not in the very long run.

That doesn't make any sense. The Horn of Joramun is supposed to cause a magical earthquake. Unless we think an earthquake caused at the coast of the Reach is going to affect the Wall all that much I don't buy that theory. Besides, it is quite clear that whoever hid the stuff at the Fist - the obsidian was the important stuff, not the horn - didn't do it along time ago. The black clothing indicating a black brother wasn't rotten or anything.

Considering that Ghost found the stuff it might have been Benjen who hid it

The size of the Wall is somewhat of an overkill but perhaps rather important because it might very well be that the Others and wights can climb over the Wall if they want to, just as the wildlings can. That they can't pass through them doesn't mean they can't get over them. And last I looked spiders were pretty good at climbing. If some ice spiders show up the Wall cannot be tall enough, one assumes.

I think it will. The Horn of Winter is most likely still not yet found, and an important plot point could be to find it/get to it before the Others can and/or prevent the Others from getting it to the Wall and using to to destroy it.

Bran/Bloodraven could easily enough find out what their plans are and/or learn/know where the Horn of Joramun is and send some of the good guys there to try to destroy it.

I also expect the Others first to target the weirwood gate beneath the Nightfort in an attempt to destroy the magic in the Wall, and I expect that the whole 

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'Hold the door' plot is going to happen there, with Hodor's mind shattering when he connects with the timeless magic of the weirwood door to strengthen its magic.

If Mance dies/is already dead then the Horn of Winter conundrum could become an important plot element creating dissension/different priorities among the good guys. Stannis and Mel might believe that the real horn is dead while Jon is not so sure, having a lot of good reason that it might still be out there, somewhere.

Euron is at best going to become an inadvertent assistant of the Others insofar as he is doing his best to weaken Westeros, as many other people did before him. He might be a deranged greenseer candidate, but I very much doubt that he is a follower or pawn of the Others.

They most likely acted because they wanted to weaken the NW but also because they wanted to prevent Mormont from stopping Mance's exodus. They clearly counted on the wildlings weakening (or destroying the NW). Then everything would have been much easier for them.

We know there were Lord Commanders who left the Wall taller than it was when they took over. I imagine the Wall in the days of Brandon the Builder being hardly more than some sort of magical fence, perhaps 10-20 feet high. Giants may have helped with the building of the thing but it is a pretty long wall, and if there is any truth to the suffering during the Long Night then there wouldn't have been many workers around in the decades afterwards.

See above. Those ice spiders could come in handy.

And we should also expect them to capture some of Cotter Pyke's (and Lysene) ships at Hardhome, have wights crawl through the Gorge (or cross the Bridge of Skulls after the Weeper has crossed it with an army, destroying the Shadow Tower in the process), and build some rafts and the like to get a considerable amount of wights (and Others) across the Bay of Ice to Sea Dragon Point and other thinly populated areas in the region. There they could raise a large enough army of wights by killing people to take the Wall by surprise.

I expect this kind of warfare to unfold while the Wall itself still stand, and unless Melisandre foresees any of this stuff happening I see little to no opportunity for our guys to stop it.

If winter gets sufficiently cold they could even freeze the sea and would not necessarily be in need of rafts.

If we assume the Wall was raised with the help of the Children, containing their magic, then it is not unlikely that they overlooked the whole ship-thing just as they did when they broke the Arm of the Dorne or tried to cut Westeros in half at the Neck. They never thought in terms of 'walking on water' with the help of constructions made of wood.

And if the Others are intricately connected to the Children then they might not be able (or keen) to think about tools to use to circumvent the Wall by using rafts. But that still leaves the Gorge and the Bridge of Skulls. However, there is a very strong chance that even if they could successfully circumvent the Wall with their armies they might still very determined to destroy it because it is a structure containing the magic of the Children.

Your hidden comment sounds very interesting and plausible.

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