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The Lands of Always Winter and the Creation of the White Walk (Spoilers)


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So here goes. First longish theory post. First had these thoughts while thinking about the possibility of the Dornish eventually sacking Kings Landing in the future (due to civil war with the Faith and riverlands and north weakening the city). Now that the show’s condensed Dorne plot has killed Doran Martell, the logical one, and the bloodthirsty sand snakes are seemingly in control, could envision the Dornish sacking Kings landing as classic parallel story-telling (the dornish doing the exact thing that caused their rage to other “innocents”), and that game of thrones/ASOIAF has such a long established history that the same places/locations have similar battles/events/tragedies upon tragedies and history always tends to repeat itself. Kingslanding, if it was anthropomorphized and could talk, probably is fairly numb to murder/sacking/regime change at this point. Then my obsession with last nights episode (season six episode 5) and brans visions in general led me to wonder if we’ve seen the same place in the lands of always winter over and over again (like the repetition in the past, and possibly future, events seen in the history of kings landing and this lengthy post).


So, do people believe it is correct to perceive that the three scenes below are the same place/location, more or less, at different times in history, aka a heart tree/shrine (now defunct) where the white walkers were first created in the lands of always winter?


The children of the forest flashback/greenseering with bran is the before depiction we just got in Season 6 Episode 5, and the the conversion of craster's baby to a whitewalker/wight (I'm not sure it was clear either way, but I'm leaning baby to whitewalker conversion since its seems significant it was a baby, that the white walkers let it live, and took all the the trouble to bring it back to said alter) is the present day-ish depiction in Season 4 Episode 4 and where later Bran gets marked by the Night’s King in the greenseering state.


Season 4 Episode 4 (Present day wintery state of Weirwood/heart tree+ice alter) as the White walker takes Craster’s last male baby to possible canyon/old heart tree in question (tree not shown here)




Season 6 Episode 5 (the first? creation of the night's king/how the place used to look before the white walkers took over)




Then Bran meets/greenseers and finds the night's king in a similar area (the updated season 6 look of the location we first saw in season 4 episode 4)?




The background canyon looks about the same (once it has been frozen for thousands of years ostensibly, and the possible height difference of the canyon walls in the landscape shot of the whitewalker on approach with the baby in season 4 could be due to season to season differences/ice build up). 


(take leaf's, the child of the forests, new appearance).


Leaf Season 4




Leaf Season 6




So this leads to a number of questions


1. Are any/all of these shots the same place, likely the alter type area in the lands of always winter area Bran saw in a dream in the books, and is this location significant in terms of defeating/stopping the white walkers (for good or possibly the white walkers can't be defeated only pushed back for a time....which could engender a bittersweet ending leading to a sacrificial lamb/main character to keep the white walkers at bay (a plausible but hopefully not likely outcome IMO)). BASICALLY IS THIS PLACE THEY KEEP SHOWING, if it even is the same place, IMPORTANT FOR A FNAL BATTLE?


2. Was the scene of the past, aka the what looked like the creation of the First white walker, just the creation of a random white walker to establish where they come from, or was it the creation of the actual nights king as we know/have seen him/it?


Furthermore was that for sure "leaf,” the child of the forest that created the first white walker/the one we saw


(It sure seems like it was Leaf and that he  the first white walker she? created is the night’s king)


Here’s a less concise paragraph concerning the above questions (2).


Was the depiction we saw of the creation of the white walkers also the creation of the nights king (a lot of people have been wondering if the legend of the nights king being the 13th commander of the nights watch is incompatible with the fact that the nights watch was created after the long night aka the generally accepted first battle/war/campaign against the white walkers (to ostensibly prevent another white walker invasion/attack from occurring/guard against it)).


I mean the legends are speculative history so it's possible/more than likely that its all misinterpreted/reported (the 13th commander of the nights watch could have just sucked so his legend became that, but I also believe there has to be a more thorough/logical/compromise of an answer).


The more complicated answer is there have been multiple versions of the Night's king/lead white walker (that’s why you can't defeat them permanently and need a nights watch more or less). Yet, that does lead to some trouble with the scene from season 6 depicting the first creation of the white walkers/the nights king being one in the same.


Also food for thought, and maybe its just the prominent nose on both, but the fact that the nights king and the creation of that white walker, (the first/nights king as I believe its implied), in his human form are played by the same actor. This fact (possibly just convenient) and brans “time travelling/impact” leads to some scary jumping to conclusions (phantom tollbooth style).


In conclusion I feel like the nights king/the human in that scene who was killed/sacrificed with obsidian to become a white walker, looks a lot like Bran. Or at the very least has Stark features. This could very well impact the below conversations about the creation of winter and the history behind the stark name/heraldry/words.


3. If this is the same place in the lands of always winter, and it used to not be covered in ice/snow, does that imply that the season of winter as westeros currently experiences it has not always been the norm? I see a couple likely or at least plausible scenarios/combinations of scenarios with plenty of room for alterations/changes.


A.) Creation of the white walkers created the season of winter for westeros and possibly beyond (for that matter does essos have winter at all? if essos does have winter, than this is less likely i presume)


B.) Creation of the white walkers/resulting dark "blood magic" with nature/old gods impacted the season of winter/prolonged cycle of the seasons in westeros and possibly beyond


C.) Creation of white walkers created the lands of always winter and are the physical expression/instrument of death for the old gods/the great other (the great other and the olds gods could be the same, all the disagreement in the number of gods religions have or do not have in westeros has always made me wonder if the Lord of Light/red priests are just applying their monotheistic ideology to the old gods in the form of a great other (if the great other is the night kings this is a compromise i suppose, but I don't really buy into that). The seven or the seven faces of the one god for instance are another instance of multiple interpretations for god/gods. Room for interpretation on who the greaa other/olds gods is/are is the most likely scenario I would bet.


Getting a bit tangential as this post continues but bear with me, my brain hurts with all the possibilities.


4. Did the creation of the white walkers/nights king impact the destruction of the arm of Dorne or the less complete creation/destruction of the neck (the land/swamps connecting the north and the riverlands)? OR were the white walkers the next attempt at a finding a way/solution to combat the first men, by the children of the forest, after even destroying the land itself didn't stop the migration/colonization of said first men?


5. Did the Targaryen/dragon presence/ fire magic speed up the return of the white walkers (it seems like they're always coming back no matter what just due to the existence and need for a nights watch/or at the very least they're always a threat of white walkers).


And heres another tangent

The Targaryens are certainly responsible for a new influx of obsidian in westeros, even if it was confined mostly to Dragonstone. Obsidian/dragonglass seems to be a key here as it is referred to as “frozen fire” and along with valyrian steel has been the only way to kill/destroy white walkers. The fact that dragonglass/obsidian is also now involved in the creation of white walkers (with the apparent help of old gods/the great other ritual/magic) is another hint.


Here’s where the logic (if there was any) ends definitively and theory takes over.


Think about Azor Azai supposedly having to use his blade to kill a loved one, to temper the blade in their blood, before he could defeat the white walkers/great other.


Then think about the legend of the nights watch commander falling in love with a female white walker/winter spirit.


Now connect that to obsidian creating/destroying white walkers and valyrian steel sharing similar properties.


This begins to hint at a valyrian steel sword being used in a similar manner to perhaps kill/sacrifice a loved one (who may or may not be a whitewalker/converted white walker/wight) to gain the power to defeat/vanquish the evil great other/other white walkers/the nights king.


Well this doesn't account for the 34236 things I missed, but it’s a start. I'm sure much of this post is being discussed in several different places on the forums, hopefully this was a bit of a summary/aggregation, in terms of show lore/canon, and will lead people to help discuss and make my brain hurt less!


I would love thoughts/thanks for any feedback! Are we setting up for a  final battle in the lands of always winter, aka snowy Mordor, or at the very least is this place the same and therefore important?






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could you link the video/still picture of both formations/patterns/symbols to which you are referring xjlxking? I don't quite understand what formations in season 1 episode 1 that you are referencing. and i cant find them on the tree either. Here's a video of said tree stabbing/sacrifice. I believe its full, unless you need to pause to see said symbology. Where is Robert Langdon when you need him.

But anyways i've been looking up the white walker formations/patterns:

There seem to be at least two in the show. The first pattern seen in the aired pilot (circle with a line through it seen below, maybe this has been altered since the aired pilot, or this simply is to signal the beginning of the white walkers campaign against the living)


The second pattern (the spiral) is seen with the dead horses at the fist of the first men (mance raydar's quote about "always the artists") and is seen in the children of the forest stone patterns


It is also seen in the aerial shot of the possible "heart of winter" slash shrine where the first white walker/walkers were created


Bran then sees the pattern, seemingly slightly askew, and heart tree all but-destroyed/inactive when he runs into the nights king (first seconds of the video with bran getting his bearings in the greenseering state alone) before he walks through the undead/wight army to meet the walkers/the nights king



Some people are also drawing connections to Danaerys aerial shots of her legions of followers (both slaves and dothraki now).

Heres an article, with some of the pictures above, and further linking them to daenarys. Suspect source but fun to think about nonetheless.


The only one out of place, or rather the one that doesn't seem to be repeated, is the circle with the line through it in the pilot (if anyone can find other instances of it that would be great). I believe xjlxking was saying he saw it on the tree in the white walker creation/sacrifice?

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Okay yeah so thats the same aerial shot we both listed that we just saw in this latest episode (of the heart of winter as it is likely is now) via Bran's greeseeing. I'm still confused about what  this "episode one" youve been referring to is? Do you mean the pilot? or the first episode of season 6?The pilot does not have the spiral as far as I can tell. 

Also the white walkers seem to be gaining armor and clothes as the seasons go on?

Season 1

Heres the first group shot of what seems to be rank and file white walkers, not wearing much if anything.


Season 2

Heres the white walker on the horse from season 2 that yells/screeches at Sam (no doubt speaking their ice language Skroth or whatever it is called). Still no clothes really. More tribal looking/unclothed.



Heres the white walker that Sam destroys with the dragonglass/obsidian dagger. Still no clothes. Some people think its the same wildiling from the fist of the firstmen (on the horse), and the same one that delivers crasters male children. Either way no shirt, only a loincloth looking thing.


It looks like by seasons 4-6 the white walkers now have the black armor and shoulder pads.

Season 4

the white walkers, blurry in background, look dark and therefore armored (as does the nights king in focus)


Season 5

the white walker that jon snow destroys with longclaw


nights king still armored


Season 6

and its pretty obvious most of the white walkers shown so far have had the same black looking armor


Interesting if the armor is related to their powers/culture. Although I feel like the more realistic answer is the armor is old/ ancient/from dead men and past battles. 

I guess as they kill more men they can loot the bodies? The weapons they continue to have and improve seem to be ice magic/magical in nature. yet the armor may be too? Or the growing army of the dead giving them more provisions seems a bit more realistic. Its also likely due to the fact that as villians they need to stand out from the decaying hordes of undead. But the naked icewalkers were fairly menacing already so i doubt its to up the fear factor?

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Just noticed this from the execution scene of Will, the first person from/at "south" of the wall to see a whitewalker and live until Sam and Jon Snow.


In the below video at around 2 minutes and 55 seconds listen to the intonation of the music and the pull out landscape shot of where will was executed. The headsman block was an old blood stained piece of wood, possibly weirwood in the show, and the surrounding shrine, altho not the hear of winter, seems to be built in a similar spiral pattern. A piece of wood, maybe from a weirwood, surrounded by stones in a circle/possible spiral.

The very next scene is the Stark's finding the Direwolves (a symbol of the ancient/wild north right after visitng a likely defunct/ruined shrine of the children of the forest that men/starks eventually used for executions in the north).

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The tree where the first Other was created can NOT be in the Land of Always Winter.  Have a think for a moment.  

Where on Earth is it always winter?   

Antarctica and the High Arctic.

Do trees grow there, magic or otherwise. No.   Have trees ever grown at the poles?  No.  because it is always winter. Even in summer. 

That tree and stone spiral are covered in snow because winter is coming.  North of the wall isn't Narnia where it is always winter but never Christmas.  Most of the time there isn't any snow and things grow. 


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17 minutes ago, GraveWorries said:

The tree where the first Other was created can NOT be in the Land of Always Winter.  Have a think for a moment.  

Where on Earth is it always winter?   

Antarctica and the High Arctic.

Do trees grow there, magic or otherwise. No.   Have trees ever grown at the poles?  No.  because it is always winter. Even in summer. 

That tree and stone spiral are covered in snow because winter is coming.  North of the wall isn't Narnia where it is always winter but never Christmas.  Most of the time there isn't any snow and things grow. 


This isn't Earth this is Westoros.

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35 minutes ago, GraveWorries said:

The tree where the first Other was created can NOT be in the Land of Always Winter.  Have a think for a moment.  

Where on Earth is it always winter?   

Antarctica and the High Arctic.

Do trees grow there, magic or otherwise. No.   Have trees ever grown at the poles?  No.  because it is always winter. Even in summer. 

That tree and stone spiral are covered in snow because winter is coming.  North of the wall isn't Narnia where it is always winter but never Christmas.  Most of the time there isn't any snow and things grow. 


Even on Earth the poles shift, over long time scales. And a very warm climate could melt the ice caps completely, allowing grass and vegetation in places that are glacier covered now.

But even within the story, the extreme cold is partially linked to the others/white walkers. Before they existed, the land above where the wall came to be built must have been much warmer.

The "land of always winter" is just a name, and in this tale based on narrators with limited historical knowledge, it may not be true at all. That place may have been always winter after that event, but not before.

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I guess this is vaguely like a chicken an egg thing. But im more asking were the lands of always winter actually always experiencing a winter, or did they used to be like the rest of the north/of westeros more or less. Did the creation of the white walkers by the children of the forest/old gods rituals/possibly involving the great other also lead to the lands of always winter becoming their namesake?

 But right now it seems to be implied, or at the very least we don't have enough information to differentiate, that the shrine where the first white walker was made (seemingly depicted as similar to the north experiencing the season of summer/spring in the flashback with the obsidian dagger driven into the man/future nights king heart) is the same place or at least related to the shrine in the lands of always winter from season 4 and likely from brans encounter with the nights king were he was marked.

So far at least in the show universe it seems to be leaning towards that the "Creation" of the eternal winter that plagues lands of always winter, thus their name, is related to slash has a casual relationship with the existence of the white walkers/nights king.

Unless people have evidence to dispute this/want to argue it! which would be awesome. In a way itll almost be sad when we know for sure. Half the fun is in the interpretation of all the vagaries.

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I think is the same place, and it makes sense that the White Walkers transform Craster's sons into baby White Walkers in the same place they were "born". Maybe that is their thing: all White Walkers are "born" or transformed in the same place.

I believe that Leaf is the same character that rescue Bran and company at the end of season 4, the one who create the first White Walker, and the one who died protecting Bran in season 6. (I don't think is the same for the books, but the show would opt to simplify things and give all those actions to one character). I also believe the Night's King is the same transformed in Bran's vision and the one who raised the dead at the end of the battle of Hardhome. (I don't remember the show exploring Night's King's 13th commander of Night's Watch facet, maybe that story would not make into the show, but I could be wrong).

I found really interesting your take on the White Walkers armour. Surely, they seem to be getting better armour, which could be war spoils (as you said), but could also mean they are just getting more prepared as their march towards the Wall is closing up. Or it can be just for the sake of looks. After all, White Walkers are immune to any known weapon and material, except Valyrian steel and dragonglass. We have seen to full-armed White Walkers being "killed" by those weapons, so I don't see the point of having an armour if it can't protect you from the only weapon that could harm you. (Maybe they are afraid of dragonglass peebles?)

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Well we certainly seem to agree on a lot WolfgangII! I guess at least we can share common misery when/if we are inevitably proven wrong, or joy on the off chance any of this is true.

But very astute points about simplification for the show. And if we run with the simplification process a clearer picture of what we saw is formed.

Unfortunately the following isn’t necessarily as simple or concise.

So in terms of leaf, yes, they (D&D) don't need to be naming/adding other children of the forest much less introducing more characters (simplify whenever possible) so people can keep track of things without the aid of spreadsheets like myself. So that hopefully solves the leaf bit, and its may unimportant in terms of the show, and less likely the books, which child of the forest made the nights king and/or white walkers. 

Also I agree once again, I think all the scenes we've seen with the nights king so far in the "present /current timeline (AKA season 4 with crasters baby, season 5 at hardhome, and all the scenes from season 6) that we've been following since episode one are definitely the same person/entity/nights king. Ill refer to the above astute point about show simplification. If that is true than the "first" white walker/nights king conversion we saw is likely this same evil (that was possibly pushed back after the first long night but never truly defeated).

Hmm, but as for the 13th lord commander bit that’s a good point about the lore of the night’s king and the 13th commander of the night’s watch and its relation to the show. I'm not sure if others and myself have been conflating the two by adding inherent booklore that the show has never delved into.

"The "Night's King" - one of the early Lord Commanders who, according to legend, lived eight thousand years ago. The legends say that a female White Walker seduced him, and he declared himself king of the Night's Watch, and conducted human sacrifices at the Nightfort. It took an alliance between the Stark King in the North and the wildling King-Beyond-the-Wall Joramun to overthrow him, and restore the Night's Watch"

That’s the general story of the Nights King in ASOIAF; if anyone can find similar information introduced to the show universe please speak up.

I'm reviewing Bran scenes and the bonus features additives (history and lore sections) from each season to see if the show has ever mentioned this (if its anywhere I feel like it would be bran scenes when he’s talking about the nights watch legends such as the Rat Cook).

If it has come up, in the show seasons especially, it might matter. If its only in the history and lore bonus features it would appear to be more likely that it is a red herring or misinterpretation of history, or a separate encounter with the nights watch and the others after the end of the first long night and the original "victory" of the children of the forest and first men and subsequent building of the wall. Or possibly this theoretical second encounter with great evil/ice magic/white walkers/and or the great other, books or show, could hold a key to defeating the white walkers (temporarily as before or for good). 

Either way I personally don't really envision a possible solution to the white walker issue that doesn't involve sacrifice, voluntary or otherwise, death, and ends up not being permanent. Simply pushes them back/into slumber for another thousand(s) of year’s period.

SO FAR I would say its save to assume that the NIGHTS KING has been the SAME Nights King through out the course of the show (The white walkers, that the first men and children of the forest faced during the first long night, where led by this same very Night king we’ve seen, he’s the first and only night king). The main reason is show simplification, like Leaf above, and or what this means for the endgame plot of the show.

This leads me to my last point. When leaf shoved that obsidian/dragonglass into said first-man/humans heart (lets not get into whether he was a stark ancestor or a past version of bran or whatever yet) it seems she created the nights king. Now I'm a person who believes that the Lord of Light Religion/Followers are applying their monotheism to the old gods (the olds gods and the great other could be one in the same). This plot dynamic of religious interpretation is hinted at in the different interpretation of The Seven (as both seven gods and seven faces of the same god), and by the faceless men (all gods are simply the god of death in different visages (the show notably includes the drowned god as an example of this in the Braavosi house of black and white scenes with Arya). In my opinion so far it is likely the old gods/great other are simply the ancient power/power the children of the forest worshipped and called upon for aid after the first men were gaining ground (and/or shattering the arm of Dorne and/or the neck didn’t work in ASOIAF and possibly in the show).

In fact one could argue the children of the forest invoked the powers of their old gods/powers into a single powerful entity the nights king/the great other. In this definition the great other/nights king is actually a servant of the olds gods (and children of the forest until they turned on the children).

This dynamic of the olds gods versus the lord of light also works in terms of each having a respective champion.

The old god’s champion is the night’s king/great other (the evil manifestation of the old gods outrage at the corruption/destruction of nature by the first men). The Lord of light's champion is Azor Azai/the prince who was promised and this/these people is/are the champion(s) of the living. This duality "works" even better when you consider the polytheistic "old gods" religion having one champion, while monotheistic religion has several). Both sides are capable of using dark magic to get what they want (the lord of light has fire magic (pure) and shadow magic (dark), the olds gods and their followers (the children of the forest) have more pure/less evil nature magic (warging, greenseeing/other hinted at powers and some knowledge of a possibly different sort of fire magic/manipulation of the elements clearly), and they can use obsidian slash fire magic to invoke dark aspects of the old gods (expressed in the great other/nights king).

(If anyone wants to argue once the nights king was created by the ritual in season 6 episode 5, that he/it has exercised independent will outside of the realm of the old gods, and or great other… that still ends in human/children of the forest massacres/war, (as in neither the children, olds gods, or first men can ever control them) I would love to see what evidence supports this?)

Regardless of the speculative and interpretive stuff above, the "simplification for the show" reasoning might help me/us resolve my this question (of whether or not the nights king is simply a normal white walker and their leader, or what I view as the more likely scenario, where the nights king is an enhanced and more powerful white walker who has eternally been their leader…at least in terms of the show). 

SO why do I think that the Night's King is far more powerful/significant than a normal white walker, and therefore is likely to have been their leader forever (since the creation of the night king…well duh).

The different abilities the night king demonstrated (beyond razing the dead en masse (it seems like most white walkers can do this to some extent…there are always dead folks rising when white walkers are around that are seemingly separated from the nights king …the very first scene in game of thrones for instance)

1.he has converted newborn children into seemingly new white walkers/white walkers in training, season 4 episode 4

2. branding/marking bran in Season 6 episode 5

3. ice fissure he uses to crack the cave of three eyed raven/children of the forest in season 6 episode 5

Other than these three powers It seems most of the other powers are shared by white walkers (magic ice weapons (maybe armor), ability to raise the dead (although one would assume the nights king is slightly more powerful slash better at it based on hardhome), intense cold following them, (once again it seems like this eternal winter white walkers bring might be even more intense for the Nights king) etc.).

SO, IS THE NIGHTS KING A NORMAL WHITE WALKER?, OR AN ENHANCED WHITEWALKER (due to being THE GREAT OTHER, or its primary servant. or the primary servant of the olds gods who are a synonym for the great other (no matter what the white walkers are related to/possibly serve the old gods it would seem).

…THE ENHANCED POWERS HE SEEMINgLY SOLEY EXHIBITS WOULD INDICATE he is an enhanced better white walker, and has created all of his white walker followers, who in turn have helped him create the army of the dead.

Additional evidence comes from what we know about the creation of new white walkers. It seems like the white walkers/nights king spare Craster because he observes “the old ways” by sacrificing his male offspring to become white walkers. Who knows why babies, but maybe only babies are blank enough slates, metaphorically, to be changed into their exact opposite (old eternal, undying icy white walkers (that appear as old men more or less)). By giving the Nights King babies he can create his most powerful servants the eponymous white walkers who in turn can help him raise the rank and file undead wights/zombies of matured humans (that are unusable for white walker conversion/creation). Also remember only whole untainted, alive, babies can become white walkers (and only male babies) as far as we know. At hardhome we saw undead wight/zombie children. Once you’ve been killed you seemingly can’t become a white walker. I wonder how/if this impacts the newly dead and newly alive Jon Snow.

The baby theory could also hint at the multi thousand-year white walker absence before their return in the events we are currently watching. When the whitewalkers/nights king were/was first defeated their powers/strength in numbers was broken. They were clearly de facto banished to the cold north or some other realm (whether said realm is in the real world of spiritual/metaphysical world is up for debate).

Therefore after the night king/white walkers first defeat he has been slowly rebuilding his strength with the more rare white walker creation/conversion of the equally rare baby resource, and any dead bodies he finds. Once he reaches a certain level of strength, the night’s king feels confident to begin to push south from the lands of always winter towards the wall. (Mirroring and at the same time causing the similar exodus and ultimate likenesses one can draw between the white walkers and nights king and wildings and mance raydar who are fleeing said growing white walker strength, but first have to amass their own host before taking on the challenge of the wall).

The key here to be is the down period of time between the long night, and how or what triggered the Nights King/white walkers coming back. The mere existence/building of the wall and the continual vigilance/need for a Nights Watch hints at the fact that the olds gods/great other/nights king can never be truly defeated. Or at the very least the first men/children/whoever built the wall weren’t going to leave it to chance.

I think the show may have already hinted at an answer. The key will be whether or not we see the creation of more white walkers by the children. Or if the Nights King is the only one capable of making White Walkers. The ritual we saw the children of forest perform simply creates a night’s king who then assimilates the living into new white walkers (solely from alive children) and the dead into Wight’s (from dead children, dead adults, and all dead creatures.)

There is one final hint of some of the above being correct/at least involved in any answer. Old Nan vaguely hints at this piece of booklore, when she’s telling scary stories to a newly crippled/bed ridden bran, but it involves the white walkers and the long night. She mentions them riding ice spiders and hunting humans. In the books part of this lore is also that the white walkers abduct human children to feed to said spiders/wights/the ever growing army of the dead.

Now so far it doesn’t appear as if the undead wights/army of the dead actually eat their victims. They just try to kill all the living through any means necessary (often at the expense of their physical forms). This can involve biting, but once a corpse has been killed it is not consumed by said biters, but rather rises to join its killers.

So once again maybe this old wives tale, originally used/adapted to scare children and get them to behave, is actually semi based in truth (just like the white walkers are actually real, or ravens who carry messages between lords used to speak the words when trained by children of the forest/the first men who learned from them...forgotten knowledge (say valyria/the doom of for instance) is rearing its head here once again). The white walkers actually do steal human children/babies. But not to eat them/solely torture them (as was speculated about the nights king in the book…stealing adults and children to sacrifice/torture them). The Night king is following the lead of the children of the forest. Taking his captives and converting them into new white walkers. This also is helpful, logistically, for possible white walker /human battle scenes.

Just like humans have kings/the prince(s) who was/were promised (leader), lords (officers) and their bannermen (rank and file soldiers), while the white walkers have the night king (leader), white walkers (de facto officers/lords) and the army of the dead as rank and file soldiers.

This also is cool for the idea of an army that continually grows (from the dead it slays and the children it captures).

In the end all of this could easily be left up to interpretation, and all we know for now is that the Children of the forest, the old gods, the great other, the nights king, and the white walkers share some sort of connection. Regardless lets pray that if any of this is right, that it’s going to lead to some badass ice spider/fire dragon battles.

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Weren't the children robbed by the WWs little baby skel's on the show? Those peek a boo pygmies from Indiana Jones. I mean the giant was stomping on little skeletons and not zee infected. Maybe they hadn't grown into the mighty Icewalkers yet? Perhaps the NR just robbed the baby crypts and there wasn't much meat on those bones? :P

However if he was amassing his army of hellspawn, wouldn't the Wildlings have gotten spooked much sooner and wouldn't the realm have known about it on the raven express, heck the citadel would have sent out their finest geologists.

Thank you for the Joramun information, establishing a possible link to their arrive. Doesn't the children taken mean he might have been looking for something?

How many Wildlings were there to make into numbers, come on their fortifications would have been done and dusted prior to Stannis.

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Hmm. Well I think its established that those in Seven Kingdoms don't believe anything the Wildings say, and that is when they're even deeming to listen to them in the first place. Heck they don't even believe a brother of the nights watch, will (altho he is a deserter and oathbreaker) about the white walkers. No one believes they exist. Also the wildlings dont have ravens slash effecient means of communications. The wildlings were distrustful bands of warring tribes, that almost hate each other more (at some points) than the nights watch (theyre similar to the mountain clans Tyrion gets help from in season 1 in this way (and both groups are descendants of the first men who would not kneel).

It took Mance Raydar 20 something years and the threat of the white walkers slowly growing and killing more and more people (take Osha and her poor mate Bruni for instance, or why Osha joined with random wildings to get past the wall as fast as possible). The wildlings have gradually been moving south, albeit slow at first due to their inherent stubborness, and as the white walker army continues to grow their pace has to quicken. the wildlings all know the walkers are coming. No "southerners" (northmen in this case believe them, the white walkers are legend). They end up banding together with mance raydar out of desperation and need to get past the wall. individually they have no chance. 

It took/has taken thousands of years for the nights king slash white walkers to regain their strength it seems. Long enough for them to fade into legend and or be viewed as mythical fake beings that might have existed long ago, but certainly do not now (the classic underestimating of ones enemy). Direwolves are legendary, but jsut because like the children of the forest and giants and other creatures of note they have been pushed north as humans encroach on the westeros's nature party).

So the question seems to be was it slowly during the entire period between the long night and now, or did the nights king/white walkers become awakened at some point during said timeline (possibly due to the andal invasion or targaryen dragons/inherent fire magic). My opinion is the targaryen conquest of aegon the conqueror jumpstarted the white walkers/nights king back into high gear. That 300 to 100 year timeline works better for the wildlings getting spooked in the time frame in which they did and eventually all fleeing south. The nights kind is reawakened by fire magic from aegon and his dragons that is foreign to westeros. This was the reason no valyrians went further west than dragonstone. No volcanoes/natural volcanic lands that dragons thrive in (like valyria). Instead nature and ice magic lingered from the long night and casued the valryians to not be interested or know better. When the doom of valyria occured, for similar reasons of men encroaching in places they souldnt but this time the  deepest depths of volcanoes instead of cutting down sacred trees, a fiery cataclysm occurs. The long night is the icier longer version of this. This vague framework at least works with the ice and fire poem by robert frost that GRRM claims some degrees of inspiration from. Do you want to go out really quick in a blaze of fire (doom of valyria) or do you want to slowly wither away and freeze to death (the long night and white walkers).

and yes those undead children that killed the wildling chieftess at the battle of hardhome were wights. They were also much older than newborn babies. It seems to be that once you die you cant become a white walker. Only the living/babies can be converted as far as we know.

ALSO for the legend of the nights king. The legend is that a STARK/king of the north and his forces and the king of the wildlings, for claiming they dont kneel they seem to elect a lot of kings beyond the wall,+his forces had to band together to defeat the nights king (because of the sacrifices and hideous tortures he was performing at his nightfort). Is this not an allusion/reference/realted to  jon snow/stark+tormund  giantsbane and wildings versus ramsay bolton/snow of the dread fort/warden (king) of the north in present day timeline?

EDIT. ONE MORE THING about whitewalker armor. In the latest episode season six episode five a child of the forest tries to stab the white walker threatening her and meera with a dragonglass spear. it bounces off. The white walker kills the child of the forest. Meera then kills that same white walker with a similar dragonglass spear by hitting the white walker in the neck. SO apparently said armor can repel dragonglass. Both sam and Meera have to hit the whitewalkers exposed blue/white flesh/skin to kill it.

At 2:06 Sam Tarly kills a white walker (exposed skin plus dragonglass dagger/shard)


AT 3:15 Jon Snow kills a white walker (seemingly though white walker armor with valyrian steel bastard sword (long sword and half) Longclaw of house mormont)


at 0:40 Meera kills a white walker with dragonglass spear to the exposed neck after child of the forests' dragonglass spear cant penetrate armor


YET our boy Jon Snow seemingly kills a white walker by swinging through the chest/shoulder armor with the valyrian steel sword longclaw. 

TL;DR: Valyrian steel swords/weapons may be better at killing walkers than dragonglass. They share fire properties that can kill or destroy a walker, but swords meant for battle are better at piercing armor.

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3 hours ago, DrewDoherty said:



The points you made me think about some charactheristics of the White Walkers and I have some speculations.

I think you're right that the religion of the Lord of Light (here and after called R'hllor) is in direct opposition to the Old Gods (OGs). But why? Surely, the monotheism vs polytheist is important, but where is the constrast between them (aside of the fire/ice magic)? First, I think R'hllor, like any other monotheist religion, is oppossed to all other forms of religion. I would dare to say that worshiping any god(s) that is not R'hllor is considered an heressy by the red priestess, hence if you worship the OGs, the Seven, the Great Shepard, etc., you are really (in the eyes of R'hllor) worhisping the Great Other (R'hllor nemesis).

The difference that I note, is that R'hllor base his faith in the men (and women, the humans), and the OGs is the religion of the non-humans (Children of the Forest, Giants). If these two faiths and high powers struggle each other, is because they belong to different groups of people. Groups that, as we see in history, have problems to co-exist. Thats my first speculation.

My second one is about what you said of the Children of the Forest fusioning all the OGs into one=White Walkers (either Night's King or something else). I don't know if the personification of the OGs is the Night's King, if the White Walkers are the gods in the "flesh" (ok, in the ice). But, if the White Walkers pourpose is to serve the "law" of the OGs, well, the Children changed their mind about that. That's why the White Walkers attacked them. The gods (White Walkers in this case) do not changed their mind. They have no regrets.

Now, about the Night's King role in the White Walkers society, I believe (in the show) that he is the father of all White Walkers. He is the first created/transformed and he is transforming Craster's sons into White Walkers. (Something like Dracula, all owns him obedience because he created them). You made an excellent point about the difference between wights and White Walkers: the former are transformed/altered after their dead, the latter are transformed while they are alive. (The Children captured the first White Walker alive, afterall).

I don't think the White Walkers have a special reason to transform Craster's son. I think they go to him because he provided the babies willingly and make it easy for them. I also think they don't care if they are boy or girl, is just that Craster have chosen to give only boys (and that maybe because he didn't want rivals in their household). Surely, because Craster follow the "old rules" the White Walkers allow him to give an animal instead of a child, now and then. I also think the basis of the OGs religion is sacrifice. Someone has to be sacrificed to be a greenseer and someone have to be sacrificed to create the White Walkers. Afterall, the White Walkers power is their ability to control the dead. (Which could use if the theory White Walker=OGs is true).

As additional note, I agree that the White Walkers have been gathering their forces for a while now, and that they only decided to march toward the Wall when they felt strong enough or their enemy weaker enough. That would be a similar, like you said, to what Mance Rayder did. (In the books is also a paralel to what Varys and Illyrio are trying to do with Aegon).

As second additional note, I think the raven never learned to speak, but they were warged. (At least that's after the reading the theory of Bloodraven warging into Jeor Mormont's raven). But that is book-talk.

As third additional note, I also have read this before, but is good to point it here: the Drowned god mantra "what is dead may never die, but rises again harder and stronger" was probably learned after the Long Night and watching the wights. Time passed, and what it used to be a warning, became an inspirational quote. 

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Oh to respond to whoever was speculating about the nights king and white walkers searching for bran/green seers as well as converting newborn babies into white walkers.

yes i think its very possible the nights king as well as assimilating babies is searching for ones like Bran (based upon his mark on Bran). Theres even more evidence for the Nights King searching for bran/greenseers tho. I find it highly unlikely that the wights/skeletons that killed Jojen reed, right before the cave of the three eyed raven, were there as a coincidence. 

Furthermore, besides added security, would the children of the forest really need to shiled/protect the cave with their magic, olds likely, if it was hidden? If the nights king can see Bran in his visions/greenseering, than its very likely by having access to that same network the Nights king knows about that cave and the three eyed raven. Furthermore if he can see through his wights, the undead/nights king version of skin changing, he can monitor said cave/said wights that killed jojen have a much more compelling reason for being there (and/or jojen dying there in the first place).

The idea of marking Bran, and then the night king making sure to kill the three eyed raven himself speaks to a level of sentience and direction that is in direction oppoosition to the mindless wights/mindless army of the undead. The Nights king clearly has intelligence (for instance taunting jon Snow, or white walkers sparring Will of the nights watch (or him getting away depnding on how you view it). Either way it seems the night kings end game is gettign beyond the wall, killing greenseers, destorying the children and their shrines, killing all men, and gathering babies to be white walkers, and to elimiante future greenseers.

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