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Illiterati

The captive wight....the big elephant in the room

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Someone please help me make sense of this:

As I thought, wights act as drones under their controlling walker, where the term wight walker comes from.Jon offs the walker, the wights crumble to the ground, all but one, which they manage to capture.

1.  Is this wight hosted by another walker?  I'll give them that possibility, okay.

2.  We still have the supposed fact that a wight can't survive if it passes the magic built into the wall.  Why is this wight somehow able to survive?

3.  If we are to assume that wights are only ambulatory by the control their walkers exert on them, why would a walker put his wight on show in KL when it comes up next week? (No spoiler here, it's clear from the plot arc and next week previews).  What would the Night King have to gain from men accepting that there is an army of dead?

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2 hours ago, Illiterati said:

1.  Is this wight hosted by another walker?  I'll give them that possibility, okay.

2.  We still have the supposed fact that a wight can't survive if it passes the magic built into the wall.  Why is this wight somehow able to survive?

3.  If we are to assume that wights are only ambulatory by the control their walkers exert on them, why would a walker put his wight on show in KL when it comes up next week? (No spoiler here, it's clear from the plot arc and next week previews).  What would the Night King have to gain from men accepting that there is an army of dead?

1 - Presumably. It's only a theory that the majority died because they were "made" by that particular White Walker (albeit a reasonable one)

2 - Apparently, crossing the wall is meant quite literally, and if they go around or (high enough) over the wall instead, it doesn't apply. Equally, the two wights brought through the wall by the Night's Watch way back in season one made the trip just fine, so there are clearly limits.

3A - It's not known whether the walkers have 100% control, or if the wights fall back into some kind of "generic zombie" mode when out of range. Maybe it's more of a "attack that", "walk that way" kinda deal.

3B - The Night King does not seem too bothered about hiding his army, if he was then why would they have allowed the Night's Watch rangers to see them (S1 prologue), and why would they wightify those rangers that attacked Mormont? Evidently he either doesn't care, or feels that there's more to be gained by not hiding (it has worked pretty well so far: they gained a dragon!).

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2 hours ago, Illiterati said:

As I thought, wights act as drones under their controlling walker, where the term wight walker comes from

No. The term is "white walker", not "wight walker". It's just a coincidence that they're homophones.

And there's no way they could have called them "wight walker" because the wights act as drones under their controlling walker, because nobody actually knew that until this week, but they've been calling them "white walker" for over 6 years.

I have no idea why people call them "white walkers". (Out-of-universe, I assume they're going for "our zombies are different" cool or maybe even hoping they could trademark the term, but in-universe I've got nothing.) I also have no idea why people call the wights "wights"—that word only has any undead connotations in our world because of decades of people misinterpreting Tolkien's and Morris's "barrow wights". (They were both using the word to mean "people" or "folk", but because they barrow folk in both stories happened to be undead, everyone started to think "wight" actually meant undead.)

Anyway:

1. Yes. They even talk about this.

2. Where do people get this idea? We've never been told that a wight will die if it crosses the Wall. And we've never seen it happen. In fact, we've seen Othor and Jafer get reanimated as wights despite being south of the Wall. And we've seen a hand get sent all the way to King's Landing.

IIRC, on the show, we never saw or heard what happened to that hand, but in the books, it survived for weeks before rotting away while Tyrion was too busy to look at it. So, maybe wights begin rotting and dying if they cross the Wall, but if so, it takes weeks to happen. (And it seems just as plausible that they begin rotting and dying just because they're no longer in the frozen climate north of the Wall than because of the Wall's magic.)

We are told that the Wall has some kind of magical protection against the army of the dead, but it's obviously not that wights die if they cross the Wall.

3. Why would you assume that? Just because they disintegrate if their controlling white walker dies doesn't mean the white walker directly controls all of their movements. In fact, it would be hard to imagine a single white walker simultaneously coordinating all of the movements of thousands of wights.

And if you watch the episode, you can see that the wight is continuously struggling after they put it in the sack. It even reacts directly to things like being kicked by Sandor. It's clearly controlling its own movements.

And again, this seems to be the same in the books. The hand that was sent to King's Landing kept squirming until it rotted away. The scene in the ADwD prologue implies that wights even have individual memories, retained from their previous lives.

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Just don't think about it. There's no explanation. The wight is going to KL and it's going to remain animated because the plot requires it. 

and our heros lost... three nameless extras and a nameless dragon and oh yeah a super important main character too, so it should work. 

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10 minutes ago, Illiterati said:

BenJen explained to Bran why he couldn't accompany them across the wall.

But Benjen isn't a wight - he says the Children stopped him from turning into a white walker. Benjen may not even be dead, rather half neverborn (like Craster's babies).

The magic in the wall has something to do with First Men, the Nights Watch and White Walkers - not with the zombies (wights).

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Bookreaders mention a difference between fire wights and ice wights.  There are too many ways to be walking dead for me to make any sense of this!

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1 hour ago, Illiterati said:

But he also said something to the effect of "The dead can't go beyond the Wall."

It would appear that they can't themselves cross. But in the books and show, Nights Watxh members bring them across and they survive. 

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48 minutes ago, SerJeremiahLouistark said:

As long as someone does a video of the wight running around the dragon pit to Benny Hill music ill be good.

That would be epic.

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maybe the white walkers cant cross the wall, but the wights can. And once the wights pass the wall. The White Walkers cant control them because they are no longer in range.

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11 hours ago, Illiterati said:

Bookreaders mention a difference between fire wights and ice wights.  There are too many ways to be walking dead for me to make any sense of this!

Only book readers who also read all of GRRM's proclamations. In the actual books, neither of those phrases appear, and neither Jon nor Beric nor anyone else raised by red priests is ever called a "wight". (Plus, of course, Jon is not undead in the books at all—he's just been attacked, and he's waiting around for 5 or 20 years to find out whether he survives, like the rest of us.)

Also, don't forget Frankengregor. He seems even more likely to be undead in the book than in the show, and we have no idea how Qyburn did it, but I doubt Qyburn is an Other or a Red Priest. So maybe Frankengregor is a lightning wight or something? Who knows?

Meanwhile, officially, Ironborn can't become Drowned Men unless they actually die and are brought back by the sea itself. Practically, they all seem to be drowned and revived by primitive CPR before they manage to die of it, but maybe some of them are actually sea wights. If not, maybe Patchface is.

By the way, the word "wight" actually just means "person". It's only because Tolkien (and another writer before him) had some undead barrow folk that he called "the barrow wights" and most of his readers didn't recognize the word that it's come to mean "undead" in fantasy novels and RPGs and so on. So, I wonder how it came to mean "undead" in the Common language? Is there some medieval Tolkien equivalent living in the Citadel grumbling about how nobody even appreciates the brilliant linguistics in his stories, much less manages to get them right, who little dreams that in a few decades people will be teaching themselves his made-up languages? I hope so.

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