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How does Will get near Winterfell after deserting?

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Just watched S1E01 again.

First we see Will and two other members of the Night's Watch go scouting beyond the wall. When those two other members are killed, Will deserts and winds up near Winterfell, before he is beheaded.

How did he get there? Wouldn't he had to have gone back to the gate and taken a path that would lead him through the wall to the other side? "Well, that's what he did!" you say. "He went back to his brothers, and THEN deserted".

Nope. To Ned, he says, "And I know I’m a deserter. I should have gone back to the Wall and warned them."

So, if he is beyond the wall - the same wall that protects WFell, and K.Landing, and everyone else from the W.Walkers and the Wildlings -, and doesn't go back to the wall, how does he wind up near WFell? I am sur he didn't go around the wall.

Didn't occur to me the first watching, but it has now. Any explanation for this?

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Three possibilities ocurr to me:

  1. He climbed the Wall, as the wildlings sometimes do.
  2. He went through some gate of another castle of the Watch. Perhaps an abandoned one, that only members of the Watch know how to find or use.
  3. He managed to get into a fishing or merchant ship that brought him south of the Wall.


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On 11/9/2018 at 8:15 PM, Lluewhyn said:

Same issue with the books, just different character. I don't believe it was ever explained by Martin.

Of the 4 known book ways, we can more or less rule out bypassing Eastwatch by the sea with small boats.

Most people say Black Gate, because it is the exotic solution. 

The two other solutions include going through the Gorge and climbing the Wall. We have reports in the books from empty villages and sightings of Others "moving" along the Milkwater south. And we have activity around the Gorge area and other reports from Rangers of wildling activity in the Gorge. Most people don't accept this as a possibility, as it is very evidence based and there is no book chapter of any POV climbing through the Gorge.

Climbing the Wall is the last solution and the only common way known to show only watchers. So I don't know, I guess the show would either go for the Black Gate or the Wall climbing for the sake of simplicity. Of course there is always the possibility for a fithy way, like bypassing the Gorge with a ship, as our solutions for bypassing the Wall are explicitly the solutions known and mentioned by the NW. 

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