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Blazfemur

[Spoilers All] Two Night's Watch/Their 'True' History; The Others' Purpose; TNK; Etc

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Before I begin, let me just state this topic was started out of the "Others Being Misogynist" thread, it kinda got off topic, so I wanted to place my thoughts here out of respect for the original poster.



That being said, a LOT of this topic is heresay, not a lot is known about The Others, and all knowledge we have to go on is from word-of-mouth characters in-book, and the Game Of Thrones prologue. This topic is meant for constructive theoretical thinking, and deconstructive, with what little information we have to go on.



This isn't a thread for sarcasm, or useless pointless disagreement: back up your statements with facts, and realize this is a subject that not only would be controversial according to what we know so far, but attempts to focus on the hints given, rather than how the story is progressed, and a lot on how the story may progress. There are theories that are in fact crackpot contained here, however they are supported by actual fact. In my eyes, all theories are crackpot until theyre read on paper or seen onscreen.



I give you, The LB Theory:




A few facts that we know:


-HBO slipped up on the reveal on the 'leader' of the Others, confirming him as the Night's King. Don't think they'd deviate something this large, from the books.


-In THAT scene, there were The Night's King, and 12 Others around him.


-The Night's King, was the 13th Lord Commander, of the Night's Watch.


-It can be debated, that the previous 12 MAY, or MAY NOT, be the 12 Lord Commanders before him


-It may not be debated, that there was once a Last Hero, and he had 12 companions, it MAY be debated, that there is some connection here.


-It may NOT be debated, that Ned and Benjen Stark, told Jon, that there was "once" nobility in the Night's Watch


-It may NOT be debated, that along with volunteers, The Night's Watch also contains liars, murderers, rapists, and poachers, and those that may or may not have committed treason


-It may NOT be debated, that Sam told Jon, that all records regarding the Night's King (and those before him), were deliberately and purposely destroyed, leaving us to go on the "word-of-mouth" from the 14th Lord Commander and then forth.


-Fact: There was no female Other in that circle of 13, in THAT episode (and only that one that we have to go on). There's also been, no evidence, book or otherwise, of a female Other, there have been female Wights (dead bodies brought back to life, given the "ice gift," as i'll hereby call it), but no female Others (living bodies, given the "ice gift") (UPDATED, see, Final Thought)




The possibility that The Night's King, & The 12 STILL uphold the basic tennets of The Night's Oath:


-I shall hold no lands: As far as we know, The Others may, or may not, be nomadic (I support that they are, however THAT episode demonstrated an ice-altar in which TNK Turned Craster's boy into an Other, as well as what appeared to be a crag-like dwelling) (the way around this, is that even The Night's Watch, hold lands, i.e. The Wall, it's castles/forts, and even The Gift was up for inheritance) If we go strictly on book knowledge, they own no lands other than dwell, north beyond the wall.


-I shall father no children: The Others as far as we know, have some sort of agreement or "contract" (debatable) with Craster, and the wildlings north of the wall. According to Craster's stipulations, he keeps his daughters, he gives away his sons, and he lives undisturbed. By The Others TAKING Craster's children and, according to that episode Turning the boys into Others, they're not "fathering" anyone -- they're TAKING them.


-I shall take no wives: The Others take Craster's BOYS, and Turn his BOYS, leaving no females to wife. We do NOT know, if there were females taken from the other wildlings to uphold compliance with them (Old Nan stated to Bran, wildlings would sell their daughters, she specifically states daughters, but a common theme is rumors can be false and "words are wind")


-I shall live and die at my post: Wights are dead. Others, are living. If The Others are in fact following The Night's Oath, then they havent died, and are STILL serving it right now..


Conclusion: It MAY, be possible, The Others, or at least the 13, are the Old Night's Watch, prior to The Night's King's exile, and continued through him and wildling children-turned-Others. If The Others are rooted in being wronged, and TNK seeks vengeance, he's turning Craster's boys into soldiers, and forming his own possible "Night's Watch." I believe the secret tothe questions, why boys, why craster's, why wildlings, lies in the blood. I think First Men blood, is the common ingredient. I think it's what activates, and can make someone an Other. This, is a theory. This would also make anyone WITH First Men blood, a potential candiate for the Ice Gift.



-Also: It's rumored, yes, RUMORED, that Bran The Builder ALLEGEDLY built The Wall. I have no problems believing he built the castles, and forts. In fact, in Catelyn I in AGOT, she says "allegedly." She also recollects, in the godswood with Ned that those eyes on the heart tree may have seen him lay the first BRICK (not ICE).


-The Wall, is made of Ice, along with castles/forts of brick


-Ice, is an element The Others seem to manipulate, it's their element, and where ever they go, the cold follows


Conclusion: The Others originally built the wall, the reasoning is debatable (perhaps, to keep everyone else OUT of their realm)




The Only Possible Way I See Jon Returning:


-Old Nan tells Bran a lot of people believed The Night's King was a Bolton, but she's sure he was a Stark.


-The current grudge in the north, is Jon Snow & Ramsay Snow, two bastards, same surname, and both hold interests in winterfell. (Old Nan's irony? Foreshadowing? Or prediction for the NEXT Night's King...)


-I forget if the Boltons have old northern first-men blood or not, but the Starks, do.


-At the Wall, Jon switched Mance Rayder's baby, with Craster's baby, and sent Sam off with Mance's "kingsblood" baby


-At the Wall, Craster's last baby, is thought to have kingsblood (the thought is that he's still Mance's), when in actuality, he's the last baby that "belongs" to The Others.


-Melisandre is at The Wall, and Melisandre believes Craster's baby, has kingsblood which is said to power her magic


Conclusion: Melisandre, could very well be sacrificing a baby that "belongs" to the Others. If there is any pact, contract or anything there, something may go wrong, with her ritual... or, there may be some Other intervention ;) Jon may not be, well, Jon. In fact, he might have a new eye color..




The Night's Watch's Turn To Darkness And Corruption:


-The Night's King was said to be exiled for being with a female Other


-There have been ZERO female Others mentioned, or seen, on episodes or books, and the only one we know of is the Nights Queen, via word of mouth of the 14th Lord Commander and from him through time


-All histories remember, have been purposely destroyed, so it's strictly whatever he said, happened


-The Others right now, appear to be holding the basic tennets of The Night's Oath


-Conclusion: There is no female Other. The 14th Commander overthrew The Night's King, with his brothers, and forced him out, erased all records of anything that contained information that may contradict anything he said, and made up the story of The Night's King's female Other for his reasoning. This is based primarily off of the facts, FACTS, that there have been NO female Others read about, or SEEN in episodes, AND the fact that all the children taken from Craster are MALE. the debate can be, we dont know if the other wildlings sacrificed females, or if Old Nan had any truth to her rumors at all.


Other Possibility: When he was exiled, he went north, where he inevitably met his doom with The Others, except, if he was a Stark or Bolton, he had First Men blood, and ended up getting Turned.




Stipulations That Would Need To Be, For Any Of This To Happen:


- If The 13 are the lord commanders, they would all need to have first men blood


-Craster, and Craster alone, is the only one that needs first men blood (all his children get more potent, with each generation he incests with), though they would NEVER be pure first men blood (the FIRST mother had to come from somewhere, it's rumored she lived in that town they visited when they went on the great ranging. or... hmm, was that his mother, i forget, it's been awhile)




Final conclusion: The Others, have a purpose, and that purpose is vengeance. The want nothing to do with Westeros. They want what was theirs -- the giant block of their power, The Wall. If they wanted Westeros, they couldve went around it in the bay of ice, or the bay of seals (Patchface: i will lead it! we will march into the sea and out again!...) It's the Night's Watch that wronged THEM, the night's watch took their wall, built on it, and claimed it was theirs through bran the builder. Stipulation: furthermore, the cotf and the Others are enemies. to prevent retaking, they built the weirwood door and fused their magic with it, similar to the one around Bloodraven's cave (cannot pass unless with a night's watch member). However, what no one realizes, The Night's King IS a member of the Night's Watch... If not normal Others, HE can pass. If my theories of him continuing The Old Night's Watch are accurate, they can ALL pass without a problem.





Separate Crackpot Theory (Disregard, It Means Nothing And Is Outside Of This Post): The Wall will get destroyed. The Night's King is a Stark, and longs to be at rest in Winterfell's crypts. The Wall, is stopping him. Furthermore crackpot, his Night's Queen is locked/buried in Winterfell's Crypts, and that's why the struggle. That's why the "warmth," and why catelyn in Catelyn I AGOT says (paraphrase) by the godswood where Ned is polishing Ice, "winterfell's godswood, unlike riverrun's, was surrounded in decay." The Queen, is locked, beneath the earth, in a weirwood cell beneatht he weirwood tree, and she's absorbing the life, and cold, to sustain her (thus causing, the decay, and "warmth" of winterfell). Once The Night's King is laid to rest in winterfell's crypts, Jon will become The Night's King In The North, AS, an Other.




Final Thought: The secret of activating human, to Other, lies in the blood. There's a reason they choose wildlings, and Craster. I believe it's first men blood, which flows in Stark veins, and most of the houses in the north that old nan mentions to Bran. There's a clue there, in that chapter, and she's telling Bran how the Others make Others. My opinion is that Craster had First Men blood, and that it's that same blood, that's a catalyst in activating the Other, in someone. That's why he was so protective over his daughters, because the blood must be as pure as can be, and that's the contract the Others had with Craster, and the other wildlings, that shared this blood bond. The secret to why and how the Craster debacle happened, lies in the purity of the blood. He protected his daughters for a reason. If any one of them got pregnant with someone else,that didnt have first men blood, and that baby was taken, the baby might not have turned Other, and then they would have come back to him for a reason why. One can further speculate, that those without FIrst Men Blood, turn wight. If any of that scene, the 13, is accurate, than not all of the 12 other lord commanders were alive, and yet, they are Other. Yet, if they had First Men blood, this relieves that stipulation. The secret isn't living body=Other; dead body=wight; the secret is First Men blood=Other, everyone else, living OR dead=Wight. Otherwise, they wouldnt have been so meticulous in choosing who would have received the Ice Gift. The common elements that tie int he mysteries of The Others, The Night's King, and wights, as well as Craster's children = First Men Blood.




*** FINALIZED UPDATE*** (10/29/14)



Old Nan said The Last Hero ventured north, but was overrun by Others, his blade snapping from the cold


IIRC, TWOIAF states The Last Hero DID eventually get to the children (implying the others brought him to them, OR, they were with him (second sect theory)



Essentially (and PURE fanfiction at this point):



once upon a time the first men and cotf warred. eventually they formed a pact. a group of first men branch off north (Fomas) and meet with more children. it is these children that grant them their powers. they journey south, and war with the cotf we know. a wall of ice is erected, and the Others/cold cotf maintain control of it, attempting to keep those of the First Men away. They succeed to this very day, every northern family has first men blood, but how many first men exist beyond the wall, just Wildlings. the night's watch arrives out of those southern first men, and take control of the wall, pushing the Others/cold children further north. The Night's Watch hold the wall of ice, and get bran the builder to build the castles and forts, and call it their own. a certain lord commander eventually assumes control (Stark). The Long Night happens, and times are tough. Lord Commander Stark (Last Hero), and his 12 companions, journey north in search for the children's assistence, and his companions die, one by one. Eventually, he meets with the Cold COTF/Others, where, he is overwhelmed. Such so, that he is eventually Turned due to his First Men blood. The Night's King is born. He returns to the wall, where they exile him immediately upon looking at him. The resuming 14th lord commander then destroys all evidence of the night's king who was once lord commander stark, the last hero, and who he was. they villainize him, since. Lord Commander Stark, The Night's King, begins to amass an army, but from where? With Other magic granted to him, while maintaining the Night's Watch Oath, he TAKES (not fathers) wildling children with First Men blood, and Turns them. He takes ONLY the boys, to eliminate any temptation to marry.



im getting close. this may not all be accurate, but im getting there.



Futhermore, any of the First Men that sided with the cold COTF can live north at the wall hassle-free (Wildlings), as long as they pay blood tribute to keep the numbers up. Those that dont, breach the pact


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P.S.: if any of you, agree on ANY of this propoganda, build on it. Even if you agree with let's say half. Build from it, to me this seems somewaht realistic based on the hints and facts displayed, but theoretically it goes against a LOT of where we're at. Take an idea -- run with it. Even if you disagree with a lot of this, tell me why. Build on what you CAN, agree with


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I can't finish reading this tonight, but I will be back tomorrow when I've had sleep. I'd like to point out that Night's Queen was very likely a female Other, and we have no indication that the Others we've seen in the books are all male. Plus Night's King did marry Night's Queen so he broke that part of the vow...unless that wasn't in the original vow as some have theorized. Also there can be ice bricks. Otherwise (no pun intended) I like what you've got going here.


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Yes! Finally someone else who doesn't believe there are female Others! :bowdown:



While there are no female Others, Val has come back to the Wall with blue eyes. The Night King's queen had blue eyes as well. Interesting parallel considering Val was once meant to be Jon's queen had he taken Winterfell.


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How often do you get outside man?

Na I'm kidding, that's a very well thought out theory. You've tied a lot of things together here which is rare for a theory.

The story hasn't explored who/what the others are yet and George could kinda go anywhere with it.

I like that you think the story is ultimately about others and humans, because I agree with that.

I would also like it if the Nights King popped out of the well and started terrorising Selyse during her dinner.

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Great theory. I do believe the wall will come down, and that the northerners and a couple of houses will be able to handle the threat, with Sms reveal of what can kill them (obsidian) dragon stone has tons of it and i believe Stannis has acquired alot. I do think that most of the southern families are doomed, based on the premose they do not see the others as a credible threat and are ill prepared.


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Excellent work. A lot is conjecture but it ties so much together and i like jons role, i do hope much of this occurs.

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I have written about many of these things already, but I feel this is the right thread to expand on it. I agree with most of your theory and I would like to turn your attention to the following:


- A part of the NW oath is: we are the watchers on the walls. Plural. Where is the other wall? My guess is in the Land of Always Winter and the Others are holding the final frontier that Bran saw as a curtain of darkness. So, one can say that the Others watch over the borderline between eternal night and normal night and day.


- Expanding on your idea that the 13 we saw are the original NW before corruption set in: Craster's babies have been turned within an icehenge. Ned Stark beheaded a NW deserter within a stonehenge near Winterfell. After whatever happened in the ToJ, Ned Stark and Howland Reed built eight cairns. That has always had a ritualistic ring to it and reminded me of the WInterfell stonehenge - a place where justice is being executed. But that aside, there is a strong resemblance between what the Others did to the Craster boy and what Ned Stark did with the NW deserter. Not only did they execute their justice within a ritual circle, the justice was based on the NW rules, not the rules of the north.



Ned Stark did not return the deserter to the NW, he executed the deserter HIMSELF ritualistically, and washed the blood from Ice in the pond in Godswood thus effectively offering a blood sacrifice to the Old Gods and completing the ritualistic execution.


The Others prevented Crasters to father children, by turning them into the Others. They effectively prevented further continuation of the NW bloodline beyond the Wall. They did not kill Craster, because he is NOT the one who went back on his vows, his father did. So, one can argue that the Others are executing the NW justice north of the Wall, just as Ned Stark executed the NW justice south of the Wall.


Furthermore, I go all the way and say that the Others (at least 13 commanding ones) are Starks beyond-the-wall and have the same function as the ones south of the Wall.



- naming of children beyond the wall has something to do with the Others. We see that the wildlings do not name their children immediately after birth. They wait for the children to show the capacity for survival before being named. Why is that?



- are the Others awake because the NW lost its purpose and they have to step in and how does Mance's attack on the Wall fit into all that? I'd argue that by attacking the Wall with the overwhelming force and by forcing the NW to defend it against all odds, Mance was DELIBERATELY reinforcing the Wall - the Wall is as strong as the men who guard it are true.



- talking about Mance, why isn't he touched by the Others and punished for desertion by death? Why isn't his son? Can that be tied to the fact that Mance's helmet bears the heraldry of the BR? Does he enjoy protection of CotF and why? We know that Tormund Giantsbane is "talker to Gods". Does that mean he is the one who communicates with the BR and CotF? He said he spent a winter with giants and breastfed from a giantess. Can that be read as he spent a winter in a CotF cave and was fed on the same paste that reminded Bran of mother's kiss?



- what IS the relation between CotF and the Others? You said they were enemies. I am not so sure. It is obvious that CotF possess magic that can stop the Others, but they are just using it for self-protection. They do not attack the Others at all. We are to assume they have dragonglass that can shatter the Others to pieces. Why not use it? Why did CotF stop providing the NW with it? Is it because the NW is no more in their eyes? Is Mance Rayder just a deserter from the NW or someone who attempts to return it to its roots? Is that why he is spared by the Others? MR said he deserted because he wanted to wear a cloak of a different colour than black (incidentally, a cloak with Targaryen sigil on it, but that is quite a different issue). He rebelled against superficial rigidity of the NW's rules that were fundamentally being broken on every level. Is he the truer brother of the NW than many? Yes, he fathered a child, he broke that vow. But there is a lot that's fishy there. And he went to search for something in the crypts of Winterfell. He dug up 50 graves of giants in search for the Horn of Winter. Does he want to bring the Wall down or safeguard it by safeguarding the weapon that can bring it down? How come he knows so much about the Wall? After all, he is allegedly a product of yet another breaking of the NW's vows by his NW father. Very similar to Crasters. Yet, they didn't seem to get along at all.



- finally, I'd remind you that GRRM said the Others have been misunderstood, so it is absolutely within our rights to speculate the way we do now.



Great OP. Thanks.


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I can't finish reading this tonight, but I will be back tomorrow when I've had sleep. I'd like to point out that Night's Queen was very likely a female Other, and we have no indication that the Others we've seen in the books are all male. Plus Night's King did marry Night's Queen so he broke that part of the vow...unless that wasn't in the original vow as some have theorized. Also there can be ice bricks. Otherwise (no pun intended) I like what you've got going here.

id would like to point out that every section (the little we have) that contained an Other, was in fact male. id also like to point out that the speculation of a female other, is speculation that was comprised by the Night's Watch that OVERTHREW the Night's King and then erased all his records. Finally, id like to point out, that beyond the one instance we have of a supposed breaking vow, which, again, is word of mouth by that Night's Watch, that The Others (apparently) are following the basic tennents. Again, the one instance he has of breaking, is word of mouth byt he very sect that overthrew him and erased all records that wouldve said otherwise. FInally, and then ill leave it be, because you very well might be right (again, keeping an open mind, little evidence to support, or contradict ANY of this) that the babies we've seen taken, were ALL male.

Keep this up, i want to debate this out, so opposing viewpoints are welcome (dont just say you dont agree and give NO supporting information obviously), but so far so good.

Yes! Finally someone else who doesn't believe there are female Others! :bowdown:

While there are no female Others, Val has come back to the Wall with blue eyes. The Night King's queen had blue eyes as well. Interesting parallel considering Val was once meant to be Jon's queen had he taken Winterfell.

thank you for your kind words.

While Val having blue eyes may be symbolism, or foreshadowing, again simply, thats all it is. Yes, i do see the correlation, unfortunately i have to discount it because i think foreshadowing and symbolism is too vague for something that already is, overly vague. I do see it though, and thats a good thing.

How often do you get outside man?

Na I'm kidding, that's a very well thought out theory. You've tied a lot of things together here which is rare for a theory.

The story hasn't explored who/what the others are yet and George could kinda go anywhere with it.

I like that you think the story is ultimately about others and humans, because I agree with that.

I would also like it if the Nights King popped out of the well and started terrorising Selyse during her dinner.

not enough, in fact all of this, is done at work, with no windows, and in secret (lol)

im trying to basically take, the very little information we have, tie in some blatant hints that are thrown right at your face, and come to a conclusion. the dangerous part is george can do a complete 180 with how this plays out, but i think this is a good beginning for the path (at least i), would choose to take

i think it's a grudge. it could go into that The Night's King think that everyone that TOOK the "new" oath, are deserters to the old one, and thats why theyre pursuing them, as well. WHo knows at this point thus far.

Excellent work. A lot is conjecture but it ties so much together and i like jons role, i do hope much of this occurs.

Craster's baby doesn't have kingsblood, as far as we know anyway. His baby, "belongs" per whatever agreement they had, to The Others, magical or otherwise. THe baby being sacrificed, im speculating, has first men bloodthrough craster, and i hypothesize it takes first men blood to "activate" the transformation to Other. Which means Jon would be perfect. Jon also, has somewhat of a vendetta, against the night's watch as it is, and i can totally see him turning cloak if he knew much of the "old story." hes been victimized, quite possibly, how the night's king may have also been. guarenteed, if the story continued as the old one, the night's watch now would shittalk jon and make the realm think he was a wildling lover, and the realm would learn to hate and despise him. sound familiar?

Modesty Lannister's, ill respond to yours next when this manager leaves my area and i have time to think haha ;)

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I do not know if I am a heretic but I like the ideas-



The Others are always viewed as one large empire but isn't it also possible to imagine that they are not one united "Other" front but multiple "Other" factions that may work against each other? If they are not to be viewed as the "lawful evil" enemy like the Uruk Hai or the Orc hordes of Drzzt blindly following the dictates of a supreme Evil. then wouldn't it make sense that they have different factions just like man? This could explain why some seem super hostile (GOT prologue) but others working with man (Craster's baby)??



Obviously I have no 'facts' but I think it could tie in with all the mystery of what was really going on at the wall for the first 13


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I think it would help this discussion to have a summary of the general definition of the Other outside the world of Ice and Fire.



The Other or constitutive Other (also the verb forms othering or otherize) is a key concept in continental philosophy and the social sciences. It opposes the Same. The Other and "Otherness" refers to that which is alien and divergent from that which is given, such as a norm, identity or the self. The Constitutive Other often denotes a different, incomprehensible self outside of one's own; thus the spelling is often capitalized, because the Other is a mystification fetishist by a hegemonic subject.



Before the modern world system in which the politics and economy of nation-states are relatively interdependent, there existed what is classified as the "system of world empires" up until the 1500s. In this world system, political and economic affairs of different empires were fragmented and empires "provided for most of their own needs... [spreading] their influence solely through conquest or the threat of conquest..." The Dictionary of Human Geography defines imperialism as "The creation and maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural and territorial relationship, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The maintenance of this unequal relationship wholly depends on the subordination of an "other" group or peoples, from which resources can be taken and land can be exploited. Other, then, describes the process of justifying the domination of individuals or groups in the periphery to facilitate subordination. The creation of the other is done by highlighting their weakness, thus extenuating the moral responsibility of the stronger self to educate, convert, or civilize depending on the identity of the other. Indeed, as defined by Martin Jones et al., othering is "A term, advocated by Edward Said, which refers to the act of emphasizing the perceived weaknesses of marginalized groups as a way of stressing the alleged strength of those in positions of power". Othering can be done with any racial, ethnic, religious, or geographically-defined category of people.



In keeping with the example of imperial Britain, the discussion of empire building through othering unfolds in a global context. Empire building stands in fundamental opposition to global community; instead of understanding groups of people, and consequently their intellectual, economic, and political capability as vital and contributory to the global community, othering renders all but one culture's ideology and systems worthless. Immanuel Wallerstein's world systems theory is a more modern criticism of othering and the doctrine of discrimination and racism in society, economics, and all other fronts. Imperial Britain saw the values or good qualities of other cultures or powers as a threat to its own power—this was the case even with other economic and industrial powers such as Germany.



Scholars such as Michel Foucault, the Frankfurt School and other postmodernists have argued that the process of othering has everything to do with knowledge, and power acting through knowledge to achieve a particular political agenda in its goal of domination. Edward Said quotes the following from Nietzsche, saying what is the truth of language but



...a mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms—in short, a sum of human relations, which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that this is what they are.





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I have written about many of these things already, but I feel this is the right thread to expand on it. I agree with most of your theory and I would like to turn your attention to the following:

- A part of the NW oath is: we are the watchers on the walls. Plural. Where is the other wall? My guess is in the Land of Always Winter and the Others are holding the final frontier that Bran saw a curtain of darkness. So, one can say that the Others watch over the borderline between eternal night and normal night and day.

- Expanding on your idea that the 13 we saw are the original NW before corruption set in: Craster's babies have been turned within an icehenge. Ned Stark beheaded a NW deserter within a stonehenge near Winterfell. After whatever happened in the ToJ, Ned Stark and Howland Reed built eight cairns. That has always had a ritualistic ring to it and reminded me of the WInterfell stonehenge - a place where justice is being executed. But that aside, there is a strong resemblance between what the Others did to the Craster boy and what Ned Stark did with the NW deserter. Not only did they execute their justice within a ritual circle, the justice was based on the NW rules, not the rules of the north.

Ned Stark did not return the deserter to the NW, he executed the deserter HIMSELF ritualistically, and washed the blood from Ice in the pond in Godswood thus effectively offering a blood sacrifice to the Old Gods and completing the ritualistic execution.

The Others prevented Crasters to father children, by turning them into the Others. They effectively prevented further continuation of the NW bloodline beyond the Wall. They did not kill Craster, because he is NOT the one who went back on his vows, his father did. So, one can argue that the Others are executing the NW justice north of the Wall, just as Ned Stark executed the NW justice south of the Wall.

Furthermore, I go all the way and say that the Others (at least 13 commanding ones) are Starks beyond-the-wall and have the same function as the ones south of the Wall.

- naming of children beyond the wall has something to do with the Others. We see that the wildlings do not name their children immediately after birth. They wait for the children to show the capacity for survival before being named. Why is that?

- are the Others awake because the NW lost its purpose and they have to step in and how does Mance's attack on the Wall fit into all that? I'd argue that by attacking the Wall with the overwhelming force and by forcing the NW to defend it against all odds, Mance was DELIBERATELY reinforcing the Wall - the Wall is as strong as the men who guard it are true.

- talking about Mance, why isn't he touched by the Others and punished for desertion by death? Why isn't his son? Can that be tied to the fact that Mance's helmet bears the heraldry of the BR? Does he enjoy protection of CotF and why? We know that Tormund Giantsbane is "talker to Gods". Does that mean he is the one who communicates with the BR and CotF? He said he spent a winter with giants and breastfed from a giantess. Can that be read as he spent a winter in a CotF cave and was fed on the same paste that reminded Bran of mother's kiss?

- what IS the relation between CotF and the Others? You said they were enemies. I am not so sure. It is obvious that CotF possess magic that can stop the Others, but their are just using it for self-protection. They do not attack the Others at all. We are to assume they have dragonglass that can shatter the Others to pieces. Why not use it? Why did CotF stop providing the NW with it? Is it because the NW is no more in their eyes? Is Mance Rayder just a deserter from the NW or someone who attempts to return it to its roots? Is that why he is spared by the Others? MR said he deserted because he wanted to wear a cloak of a different colour than black (incidently, a cloak with Targaryen sigil on it, but that is quite a different issue). He rebelled against superficial rigidity of the NW's rules that were fundamentally being broken on every level. Is he the truer brother of the NW than many? Yes, he fathered a child, he broke that vow. But there is a lot that's fishy there. And he went to search for something in the crypts of Winterfell. He dug up 50 graves of giants in search for the Horn of Winter. Does he want to bring the Wall down or safeguard it by safeguarding the weapon that can bring it down? How come he knows so much about the Wall? After all, he is allegedly a product of yet another breaking of the NW's vows by his NW father. Very similar to Crasters. Yet, they didn't seem to get along at all.

- finally, I'd remind you that GRRM said the Others have been misunderstood, so it is absolutely within our rights to speculate the way we do know.

Great OP. Thanks.

This is the kind of meat and potatoes im looking for. Expansive. Definitely liking. Ok, let's do this, let's piece this all together.

I'd like to define The Others, let's give them definition. I would hypothesize, that "Other," is not a separate race, but a state of "evolution." After all, normal Craster boys can "become" Other, if we're going on THAT episode's evidence, and the evidence in the book, that they take Crasters children. A transformation, i wouldnt think, changes your race to a separate race. The Others, are human, be it magical, but in a different state. id also like to mention, that nowhere in the books does it specify that a particular race can turn into another race, other than, the rumors (yes, rumors), that Robb Stark could turn into a wolf (i think there were certain Sansa rumors after the purple wedding too), but id just like to acknowledge, that that was all heresay and cant actually happen. While wargs exist, there is apparently no such thing as transformation from one race, to another, through the same host. THAT being said, The transformation of human, to Other, i would hypothesize is still human, to human, however, at a much more advanced stage of magical prowess.

I want to continue by saying The Others are NOT immortal, and CAN age. There is controversy here, though. While babies are turned, clearly they grow into full-grown Others. Age advances, which defines mortality, id like to think. However, The Night's King exists. If the life of an Other is expanded, then babies would grow at an EXTREMELY slow rate, if Others can live and exist beyond the boundaries of normal growth and age. Just random thoughts before i acknowledge your post, ok, let's get to it.

Multiple walls.. hmm.. this would imply 2 (or more, but 2 most likely). Believe it or not, this kind of supports my idea that the wall was erected, to keep other beings OUT of land that originally belonged TO THEM. This would fall into the night's oath originally being The Other's oath, and then altered afterward. If you take it from the perspective from The Others' point of view, "I am the watchers on the walls," that THEY are saying it. And keep in mind, any of this may or may not have been altered from 14th Lord Commander. "I am the shield that guards the realms of men." Perhaps may have been, "I am the shield that guards the realms of the FIRST men," (realms, beyond their wall). Also, (paraphrase) "it shall not end until i die (or however the wording is)," Others, are NOT dead. Wights are. They're STILL serving the oath. They are STILL under oath. And thus, STILL fighting.

Perhaps The Others, were in fact the original Watch, the "Old" Night's Watch. Lets take some of the actual oath: "Night gathers, and so my watch begins." Others, while not confirmed, only seemed to appear at night, correct? So it would be safe to assume, if they HAD a duty, if their power is greater at night, this would be ideal for them to begin. I'll rip apart the oath in a later post, i want to acknowledge all of your points, but i want to say in regards to multiple walls, perhaps the wall was erected, as a wall to keep everyone ELSE, out of their land. and the OTHER wall, is behind their dwelling on the other side of the land of always winter (think, fortress)

-Ned Stark, the beheading, in a henge much like The Others' ice henge. Well, it's no secret how i feel about the Starks and The Others. The Starks have first men blood. I feel it takes first men blood to activate the "Other" in an individual. This is all leading to evidence that Others are in fact THE first men, and all others are descended from them. RIght down to the house words of Stark, "Winter is coming," it sounds almost, in SUPPORT of, rather than a warning. The henges would hint, a carryover of belief of some sort between Others through time to Stark. I'll say this: the Others DO have a hierarchy, they DO have a belief system, and they do have a faith. Why treat The Turning of Craster's baby with such care and ritualistic display? It's a gift. The Ice Gift. Perhaps it's one that ONLY The Night's King can perform.

Maybe that's the secret. Not that living bodies turned, are Other, & dead bodies turned, are wight; but rather: ONLY the Night's King can turn bodies to Other, and all Other's, when they try, only end up with wight. Again, so far, there's no way to speculate.

But he did wash the blood off of ice, in that pond. The author went out of his way to specifically describe the pond as (paraphrase) dark, cold, ominous-like, if i recall correctly. If this satisfies the sacrifice pre-requisite, could we compare that to the Craster-baby giving and wildling baby giving? Too soon. Way too soon. Can't even touch that. However, if the thought that what The Others are doing is taking vengeance on The Watch because all members NOW are taking an Oath that desanctifies their OLD one, then Ned Stark executed a deserter that they were LOOKING for anyway, right? (The logistics: If the old watch was exiled, and all members take a NEW oath which specifically goes against their OLD one, then technically they'd be deserters to the OLD one)

-Showing the capacity to survive, before naming your children. So the children, would technically be, nameless. The "other" children. The Night's King only went by The Night's King, and didn't have a name, despite what old nan suspects (i also suspect a Stark). It's worth of note, that Melisandre also says quite frequently, the one "whose name shall not be spoken." More ties, yet i cant define how just yet. There's secrecy. Why? Like a mask, waiting to unveil the face behind the mask. That's specifically done on purpose, just you watch for the reveal. Wildlings, a lot of them, have first men blood. This seems to have been a practice for awhile. Again, cant rip it apart just yet, unless any of you have suggestions to add.

-i want to acknowledge this point, that the Old Night's Watch, are executing deserters, in the New Night's Watch (heh, "new"). Id also like to add, no, i dont think The Others were ALWAYS Night's Watch, who knows maybe they were, but then taken over by 14th. I think The Others were given new purpose once the Night's King joined their ranks, because the Others predate The Night's Watch, right? (genuine question, cant recall).

-Mance. Mance is constantly moving, and is aware of The Others. If Mance deserted the watch, the "new" watch, would that double-negative, make it a positive? Like, to The Others, leaving the corrupt watch, would that put you back on terms with them? Again, who knows. Up for debate. The only other explanation id have is that The Others arent the most active movers, and Mance recently has been constantly moving in his war with the wall. I don't recall The Others even attacking his camp, right? (by all means correct me if im wrong there, too)

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I do not know if I am a heretic but I like the ideas-

The Others are always viewed as one large empire but isn't it also possible to imagine that they are not one united "Other" front but multiple "Other" factions that may work against each other? If they are not to be viewed as the "lawful evil" enemy like the Uruk Hai or the Orc hordes of Drzzt blindly following the dictates of a supreme Evil. then wouldn't it make sense that they have different factions just like man? This could explain why some seem super hostile (GOT prologue) but others working with man (Craster's baby)??

Obviously I have no 'facts' but I think it could tie in with all the mystery of what was really going on at the wall for the first 13

Mmm, i dont know. They appear one faction, thought hey could be multiple i guess. So far, we ONLY see The Night's King being able to turn babies to Other. all other production has been wight. I assumed, dead bodies turn wight, living turn Other, but again, weve only seen TNK perform that sacred ritual, and no Other yet. The lack of Others, and abundance of wights, make me think only he can do it.

Which, getting back to your idea, would make the Other conversion, VERY slow. I dont think theyd have the numbers to have THAT many factions, if any. They all appear to have a unified purpose.

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The more im thinking about it, the more i want to discount the idea of:



dead bodies = wights


living bodies = Other



They treated that Turning with Craster's boy with such care, such ritualistic expression. I think that only The Night's King, has the power to turn them into Others (of course, i still support that first men blood, is the cataliyst).



What we have seen:


Others, generate wights


The Night's King, create an Other, from Craster's baby (no other form of generating an Other seen)


dead bodies, become, wights



What we have NOT seen:


An Other, create an Other (excluding TNK)


A living body, turn wight


A dead body, turn Other


A wight, create an Other


(sidebar: can wights, generate more wights? pretty sure they can)





It's a common statement that the wall is only as strong as it's defenders. and that the magic of the wall exists as long as the night's watch hold true to their beliefs and the oath. But which Night's Watch? Does the wall even belong to THIS ("new") Night's Watch? The wall has worked it's purpose, but is it because the "Old" Night's Watch STILL holds true to their vows?


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I agree based on what we have seen so far-

but we have also only seen TNK do this on the show- where they have a tendency to merge storylines for brevity etc.-

exactly, and therein lies the mystery, ANYTHING can happen. Disclosure: all the theories and ideas in this thread are those BASED ON everythign we've seen, and read, THUS far, it's a combination of the two with the assumption nothing was changed (which as we both know could very well have happened)

however, GRRM stated someone or a few have guessed how it will play out. Which means THEY have the SAME information we have. Which means it's not impossible, at this point, to piece it together.

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The Others, are human, be it magical, but in a different state. ... The transformation of human, to Other, i would hypothesize is still human, to human, however, at a much more advanced stage of magical prowess.

I want to continue by saying The Others are NOT immortal, and CAN age. There is controversy here, though. While babies are turned, clearly they grow into full-grown Others. Age advances, which defines mortality, id like to think. However, The Night's King exists. If the life of an Other is expanded, then babies would grow at an EXTREMELY slow rate, if Others can live and exist beyond the boundaries of normal growth and age.

I'd like to add to what you said that maester Aemon said that cold preserves. so, if we follow that logic, if one is turned into ice made flesh, the cold is so intense, it can preserve for a long time - as we saw for thousands of years since the Night's King is still alive, but I suspect he needs a replacement, which is soon to arrive in a form of Jon Snow (but that is another issue that I'd like to leave aside for now). BR who is half FM, half-Targaryen managed to live to 135. Is it because cold preserves? Aemon, who is blood of a dragon, lived to 102 and would probably continue to live had he not traveled south.

Others, are NOT dead. Wights are. They're STILL serving the oath. They are STILL under oath. And thus, STILL fighting.

If we agree to postulate that the Others are the original uncorrupted NW and I like to think they are, then let's go through the oath:

Night gathers and now my watch begins

Old Nan's story says that Others came after the Long Night started. It is consistent with the line that their watch begins when night gathers, not before. It is also consistent with Bran's vision of a curtain of darkness in the Land of Always Winter. Darkness gathered and the Other woke from their hibernation.

It shall not end until my death.

This is consistent with behaviour of Others. They fight until they die.

I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post.

I think this part is crucial when it comes to the penal code the Others are imposing north of the Wall and Starks south of it.

I am the sword in the darkness.

This is a tricky one. Does it mean that the original NW = the true Lightbringer?

I am the watcher on the walls.

I've already touched upon this, but I'd say that every magical place in Westeros is some kind of the wall, because it reinforced power against the ultimate darkness. So, that would include Winterfell and Storm's End, probably the Old Town and possibly the Red Keep. Harrenhal for sure, because the place is reeking with magic both from God's Eye and sacrificial blood magic + cut weirwood trunks king Harren incorporated into the building.

I am the fire that burns against the cold

That is awfully tricky, but one can argue that only cold can successfully fight the ultimate cold. However, I am not sure about this one. Needs brainstorming.

the light that brings the dawn

another reference to Lightbringer. Is the true NW the only effective weapon against darkness. I'd say it is and I'd say Mance knows it and that is why he attacked the Wall and forced the NW to live up to its task and become true for once. He could have sent a 1000 men to climb the Wall and kill every brother of the NW, but he opted for an unnecessary frontal attack, which is highly ritualistic. Also, keep in mind that as the sworn brother of the NW, Mance could have opened the Night Fort door if he wanted. Since he knows so much about the Wall, he certainly knows about the door and he had probably used it when he went to Winterfell to see Robert (!?) and managed to remember where Ned Stark's bastard sat in that huge crowd (but that is also an issue for a different thread).

the horn that wakes the sleepers

This is very interesting. Who are the sleepers? Greenseers? See, there is a link with CotF.

the shield that guards the realms of men

Yes, that fits well into what we see as the purpose of the Others.

I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come

This fits much better with the Others than the NW. Others do operate in darkness and they are ice made flesh. So, if anyone is designed to fight whatever is lurking far beyond the veil of light, they are the ones to fight it, not men who cannot physically survive such conditions, let alone fight. Also, keep in mind that someone had to physically build that Wall even with the help of magic. Humans cannot endure to handle that much ice for a long time as builders. It's just too bloody cold. Were the first Others turned (by CotF) in order to successfully build the Wall and then stayed on to men and guard it? I do believe the Others were the original NW. The 13 we saw strongly hint in that direction, because they can be easily identified as the first 13 LC of the NW.

Winter is Coming in my book sounds oddly similar to Night gathers and now my watch begins. This reinforces my belief that the Others and Starks have the same purpose on both sides of the Wall. And Winterfell is a place where winter fell, the place that cannot be touched by cold, an oasis, a shelter.

The Others DO have a hierarchy, they DO have a belief system, and they do have a faith. Why treat The Turning of Craster's baby with such care and ritualistic display? It's a gift. The Ice Gift. Perhaps it's one that ONLY The Night's King can perform.

I agree. And I would bet they also believe in Old Gods. remember that Crasters kept repeating he was a godly man.

Maybe that's the secret. Not that living bodies turned, are Other, & dead bodies turned, are wight; but rather: ONLY the Night's King can turn bodies to Other, and all Other's, when they try, only end up with wight. Again, so far, there's no way to speculate.

I'd say that in order to be turned into the Other one has to be blood of the NW, the purer the better. I'd say it's all tied to the oath and the magic that evidently binds brothers of the NW to the Wall after they say these words, although they are not quite aware of it. Also, the nickname "crow" points to a link between the original NW and CotF. CotF easily skinchange into crows as we saw and crows used to talk, like the one LC still has and I bet is skinchanged into by the BR who communicated with his cousin Aemon. Also, do find a quote of Aemon talking to Jon Snow about crows and their link to blood in AGOT. It is relevant for this thread. Blood sacrifice is evidently needed. Bran saw it during his first weirnet trip, Ned Stark performed it, wildlings performed it since that giant weirwood was full of bones, the BR cave is also full of bones. We know people were sacrificed alive and built into the Wall from various sources.

Showing the capacity to survive, before naming your children. So the children, would technically be, nameless. The "other" children. The Night's King only went by The Night's King, and didn't have a name, despite what old nan suspects (i also suspect a Stark). It's worth of note, that Melisandre also says quite frequently, the one "whose name shall not be spoken." More ties, yet i cant define how just yet. There's secrecy. Why? Like a mask, waiting to unveil the face behind the mask. That's specifically done on purpose, just you watch for the reveal. Wildlings, a lot of them, have first men blood. This seems to have been a practice for awhile. Again, cant rip it apart just yet, unless any of you have suggestions to add.

I think that namelessness keeps children safe from ???? debatable

-i want to acknowledge this point, that the Old Night's Watch, are executing deserters, in the New Night's Watch (heh, "new"). Id also like to add, no, i dont think The Others were ALWAYS Night's Watch, who knows maybe they were, but then taken over by 14th. I think The Others were given new purpose once the Night's King joined their ranks, because the Others predate The Night's Watch, right? (genuine question, cant recall).

The Others do predate the building of the Wall that happened after the Long Night, which was alledgedly a fight between humans/CotF and the Others. However, I do not think that was the case. I think CotF turned some FM into the Others in order to enable them to fight whatever was attacking - ice spiders, dragons, "dead bodies in the water" whatever.

Mance. Mance is constantly moving, and is aware of The Others. If Mance deserted the watch, the "new" watch, would that double-negative, make it a positive? Like, to The Others, leaving the corrupt watch, would that put you back on terms with them? Again, who knows. Up for debate. The only other explanation id have is that The Others arent the most active movers, and Mance recently has been constantly moving in his war with the wall. I don't recall The Others even attacking his camp, right? (by all means correct me if im wrong there, too)

No, Mance was never attacked by the Others as far as we know. The NW was. I think you are on the right track with what Mance is trying to achieve - create a true NW. But, he is wearing BR helmet and Targaryen cloak and we have two Targs on and beyond the Wall - BR and Aemon. I'd say two most knowledgeable Targs. BR is the most magically oriented of all Targs as far as recent history goes. So, why are Targs so invested in the Wall? A Targ king traveled to the Wall. The land was gifted to the NW to help sustain it. Do Targs who survived the Doom know something other nobility does not? I bet they do. And Aemon is the purest form of a brother of the NW. He IS the oath itself. Mance was definitely helped by Aemon who spent a lot of time having private conversations with him after he crossed the Wall. Aemon also held Mance's boy in his arms right before he died. Ain't that odd? And Mance also knows the importance of Winterfell. The Pink Letter (if indeed written by MR as I suspect) suggests MR wanted everyone of any importance to be moved to Winterfell asap. As I said - to the place winter cannot touch, a safe-haven. I just want to see what Mance did to Ramsey. I bet it's spectacular.

this is turning into a never-ending story, so ...

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Really nice opening post, Lord Blazfemur! I'm definitely down with a lot of the elements of your theory, and especially appreciate your interpretation of the WWs' behavior as enactments of the NW vows, which is really well presented and supported.



What I can't get behind, however, is the dismissal of the Night's Queen/White Lady figure as something made up later to discredit the NK. My reason for this is because her archetype, that of the Female Other (and here I use the term in the sense referenced in Modesty Lannister's post about the constitutive Other), is featured in several related myths in the novels: we have the Shrouded Lord kissed to life by a woman from the mists, we have Durran and the divine Elenei, we have the Grey King with his mermaid, Azor Ahai with his Nissa Nissa. There's something foundational going on with these female Others; they could, of course, all be mythic/legendary fabrications of the sort you propose for NK/NQ, but personally, I think the pattern is significant.



For my part, I think that your theory could still work even were it to include the White Lady. After all, you still need to explain how NK stands in relationship to the WWs/Others who came before. I do think the NK was LC of the NW (I also think he was the Last Hero and the number 13 is a transposition of the LH with his 12 companions, but that's tangential to your theory), and that he did get involved with the White Lady, who was associated with the Others or whomever is responsible for them (possibly the Children), in the most traditional form of alliance making/peace brokering: marriage. And through this he basically became the NW for the Others (and/or, by extension, their makers/controllers), as per the rest of your theory.



But, and here's where Modesty Lannister's "Othering" business comes back in, perhaps the Stark in Winterfell and other humans south of the Wall were invested in Othering: in not wishing to recognize that one could actually come to terms with, relate to the Other. Hence the damnatio memoria performed with respect to the Night's King. Erase that possibility from the record, paint it in the worst possible terms (which a bit of sexual Othering thrown in for good measure, the scary femme fatale who drains men of their seed).



In any case, great work with your opening post! As you say, it's all mostly conjecture at this point, but some conjectures are better than others, and you've done a nice job tying together the available data into a plausible scenario.


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post 19

Thanks for getting to the essence of what I wanted to achieve with incorporation of socio/philosophical definition of the Other. The Other is always a boogieman, someone to be feared, someone who we do not even attempt to understand and project all our fears into. In his work "Orientalism" Edward Said argues that Orientalist western painters just moved the images of their repressed sexual desires to an imaginery Orient that has nothing to do what-so-ever with the reality. Given GRRM's biography, I'd say he is very familiar with the concept, especially since he refused to fight in Vietnam. So, I do think that is the key to unravel who Others really are and what their purpose is.

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