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Tyrion1991

How destructive should the Others Invasion be?

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Posted (edited)

So George has been building this threat up for the whole series ever since the first chapter. We know that, essentially the Others have cleansed everything North of the Wall. I reckon the end of Winds might see them breach the wall. 

Once that happens how large scale and destructive will this event be? How far South do they get?

I don’t see how everyone in the North avoids dying. It doesn’t feel right that this grand threat gets stopped immediately after breaching the wall. Would the Others spill south and flow past castles sheltering people? Maybe but I’d still expect the bulk of the Northern people to die. 

Then they would get to the Riverlands. Personally, if Bran has to do any crazy tree ritual it’s probably going to be at the Gods Eye with the Great Weirwood. So I think that’s the furthest point they’ll get in full strength. This will likely be where the final battle is. I think it would be incredibly anticlimactic if it fizzles out at Winterfell before becoming a threat.

We might see them spill out a little from there into the Vale and Westerlands; possibly putting the Rock and Eyrie under siege. There could easily be POV with Cersei and Sansa to show those fights.

Spoiler

Given the events of the show I don’t see Kings Landing ever coming under threat.

 

But yeah my money would be on most of the North and Riverlands being killed. Anything less would be anti climactic. You can’t usher in the apocalypse without some serious consequences.

Edited by Tyrion1991

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Didn't Dany have a dream of defeating an ice army at the Trident on Drogon? They melted away creating a torrent... That would already very much south... Of course the Trident holds a special meaning to her as Rhaegar died there and it meant the end of their reign over Westeros. It could just be a symbol, a dreaded place she needs to conquer to erase Rhaegar's defeat. For them to get there... That would not bode well for the people north of there... 

I must admit I'm curious about their journey south. Will they be able to breach the Wall or will they just cross the frozen sea? We don't really know what they want to achieve, do they have a specific target in mind (somewhere they want to be) or do they just want to kill everyone? I certainly hope we'll know more about them in TWoW. 

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I think GRRM is going for near total destruction from the hints we get. There already are legends of the Long Night that nearly destroyed everything. There's a Valyrian prophesy hinting "doom of man" would come from the West. Then there's the Dothraki saying that "ghost grass" would one day cover all of earth destroying everything. So we are looking at utter complete devastation for Westeros and Essos.

Spoiler

Not just a war fought north of Winterfell as the show suggests. 

On top of all that, there's war, famine, and disease plaguing people in Westeros and Essos. Westeros is really effed considering the War of the Five Kings have destroyed most of the farmland and crops. The Pale Mare from Essos may spread there too. It's possible that Westeros might be completely doomed and everyone would have to flee to Essos (where winter might be less severe because of the climate there?)

15 minutes ago, Lady Valicious said:

Didn't Dany have a dream of defeating an ice army at the Trident on Drogon? They melted away creating a torrent... That would already very much south... Of course the Trident holds a special meaning to her as Rhaegar died there and it meant the end of their reign over Westeros. It could just be a symbol, a dreaded place she needs to conquer to erase Rhaegar's defeat. For them to get there... That would not bode well for the people north of there... 

I think this is an indication that WW would come as far south as the Riverlands. Dany sees the Lannister army clad in ice, so they were possibly wights she was burning? Her dreams are figurative and literal. I think this is a solid hint that WW will come far south. The people in the North would have to flee south not just because of WW, but because of food shortages as well. 

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The invasion of the Others is supposed to cause most of the people to die.  The north only has a small population.  They will have to advance as far south as the capital and beyond in order to destroy most of the population.  King's Landing, Casterly Rock, Highgarden, and let us hop the Vale are not safe from them.  They will destroy White Harbor and Winterfell to get south.  

1 hour ago, Tyrion1991 said:

So George has been building this threat up for the whole series ever since the first chapter. We know that, essentially the Others have cleansed everything North of the Wall. I reckon the end of Winds might see them breach the wall. 

Once that happens how large scale and destructive will this event be? How far South do they get?

I don’t see how everyone in the North avoids dying. It doesn’t feel right that this grand threat gets stopped immediately after breaching the wall. Would the Others spill south and flow past castles sheltering people? Maybe but I’d still expect the bulk of the Northern people to die. 

Then they would get to the Riverlands. Personally, if Bran has to do any crazy tree ritual it’s probably going to be at the Gods Eye with the Great Weirwood. So I think that’s the furthest point they’ll get in full strength. This will likely be where the final battle is. I think it would be incredibly anticlimactic if it fizzles out at Winterfell before becoming a threat.

We might see them spill out a little from there into the Vale and Westerlands; possibly putting the Rock and Eyrie under siege. There could easily be POV with Cersei and Sansa to show those fights.

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Given the events of the show I don’t see Kings Landing ever coming under threat.

 

But yeah my money would be on most of the North and Riverlands being killed. Anything less would be anti climactic. You can’t usher in the apocalypse without some serious consequences.

I would not quote the show.  The show was run by people who had irrational fondness for the Starks and they chose to avoid destruction of Winterfell.  I don't watch the show but I saw enough reviews on Youtube to see what they did on the show.  I doubt it's accurate.  

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The Riverlands also have Lady Stoneheart wandering around. She may have a role to play when the Others invade south. 

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Dany has a dream in ASOS that some of us interpret as a hint that the final battle will be fought in the Trident:

“That night she dreamt that she was Rhaegar, riding to the Trident. But she was mounted on a dragon, not a horse. When she saw the Usurper’s rebel host across the river they were armored all in ice, but she bathed them in dragonfire and they melted away like dew and turned the Trident into a torrent. "

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I think they will destroy a large part of the North, but not all of it, and then their main army will advance down into the Riverlands and destroy a lot of the population there as well. I think the finale will be either at the Trident or King's Landing. No where else makes as much sense to me really.

I don't think there is anything to say that just because they get a certain distance south, everyone north of that is 100% dead, but I would still expect quite high casualty rates.

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I think the Trident will be one of the battles, but that the Others and their wights will go farther south than that. And I wonder what the mechanics for raising wights will be and if Catelyn rising after been dead for three days isn't some ominous foreshadowing.

And Dany's dream is great and all, but after reading FaB, I think the dragons will have a really difficult time in whatever battles they might participate in. 

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On 5/27/2019 at 3:56 PM, The hairy bear said:

Dany has a dream in ASOS that some of us interpret as a hint that the final battle will be fought in the Trident:

“That night she dreamt that she was Rhaegar, riding to the Trident. But she was mounted on a dragon, not a horse. When she saw the Usurper’s rebel host across the river they were armored all in ice, but she bathed them in dragonfire and they melted away like dew and turned the Trident into a torrent. "

This sounds about right. If the Others get to Kings Landing, it would be too extreme. However, if the whole thing is contained in the north, it would be too much of a let down. 

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They will be defeated in the Riverlands I think. This region is special, not considered a kingdom, Harrenhal, battle of the Trident, God's Eye, Isle of Fces, Green Men, Old Stones, Brotherhood Without Banners, Ghost of High Heart. Many things with magical/mystic flavour to them which are all a build up to the Long Night IMHO. 

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Posted (edited)

The Wall will fall, breaking the magical barrier holding back the Others’ magic.

At that point they have no need to gradually build an undead army from the sparse population in the far North and move it South at a shambling pace over leagues of empty Northern wilderness, dropping dead between each dawn and dusk along the way.

Instead a half dozen Others could just ride their pale horses down through the Neck and start raising the dead in far greater numbers in the more densely populated South. And between Euron’s pillaging, Aegon’s war and Dany’s Conquest of Fire and Blood there will be hundreds of thousands of fresh corpses just waiting to be raised all across the South, even before the impending Grey Plague outbreak. And that’s without even counting the recent devastation of the War of the Five Kings.

No need to painstakingly conquer the vast and sparsely populated North first. In fact, that approach makes little sense.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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25 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

The Wall will fall, breaking the magical barrier holding back the Others’ magic.

At that point they have no need to gradually build an undead army from the sparse population in the far North and move it South at a shambling pace over leagues of empty Northern wilderness, dropping dead between each dawn and dusk along the way.

Instead a half dozen Others could just ride their pale horses down through the Neck and start raising the dead in far greater numbers in the more densely populated South. And between Euron’s pillaging, Aegon’s war and Dany’s Conquest of Fire and Blood there will be hundreds of thousands of fresh corpses just waiting to be raised all across the South, even before the impending Grey Plague outbreak. And that’s without even counting the recent devastation of the War of the Five Kings.

No need to painstakingly conquer the vast and sparsely populated North first. In fact, that approach makes little sense.

And the question is whether the wall even needs to fall for them to raise the dead south of it, once the magical barrier has a leak.

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9 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

And the question is whether the wall even needs to fall for them to raise the dead south of it, once the magical barrier has a leak.

True. But my assumption is that the two will fall together- the two being the magical and physical barriers. Surely it will be one cataclysmic event that brings it down.

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1 hour ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

The Wall will fall, breaking the magical barrier holding back the Others’ magic.

At that point they have no need to gradually build an undead army from the sparse population in the far North and move it South at a shambling pace over leagues of empty Northern wilderness, dropping dead between each dawn and dusk along the way.

Instead a half dozen Others could just ride their pale horses down through the Neck and start raising the dead in far greater numbers in the more densely populated South. And between Euron’s pillaging, Aegon’s war and Dany’s Conquest of Fire and Blood there will be hundreds of thousands of fresh corpses just waiting to be raised all across the South, even before the impending Grey Plague outbreak. And that’s without even counting the recent devastation of the War of the Five Kings.

No need to painstakingly conquer the vast and sparsely populated North first. In fact, that approach makes little sense.

I agree and had the similar thought. Especially after the war of the 5 kings and all the raiding that Gregor Clegane and the outlaws did, there should be plenty plenty dead corpses available to do the job in the Riverlands.

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16 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

True. But my assumption is that the two will fall together- the two being the magical and physical barriers. Surely it will be one cataclysmic event that brings it down.

There are several glaring hints that the Others are at the rim of the Haunted Forest just north of CB the night that Marsh and co attempt to assassinate Jon. And I suspect the drawing of Jon's blood is enough for them to raise the preserved dead in the lichyard and whomever is killed in the mayhem. There's an increasing imagery that the Wall and Jon have become one - he sees his reflection in the ice, he dreams of being alone on top of the Wall and his armor is ice. There is power in king's blood, and there are various angles Jon can be seen as either a king or having the blood of relative as king. Hurting Jon then magically becomes hurting the Wall.

Borroq warns in the previous penultimate chapter that the Others are coming. Right before he says this, his boar took a stance of trying to charge. George has Tormund's words, Ghost's prior behavior and Jon's POV misdirect the reason why the boar did that - that it was targeting Jon. But Borroq's warning right after hints the boar may have shown aggressive behavior because it smelled wights near. 

Ghost and the raven are very aggressive and alarmed at the start of the final day to Jon and to trustworthy guards. It's not related to assassination plans, because Jon actually meets with Bowen Marsh shortly after, and while Ghost is unfriendly and apprehensive towards Bowen when he sniffs him, he was more aggressive to Jon 1-2 hours earlier. And later both animals are actually quite calm. So, what's going on? Just before Jon learns of Ghost nearly taking a chunk out of one of the day guards, he looks north at the Wall and the sky above it: a snow sky. When he exits with Bowen after the meeting the wind is coming from the south, blowing snow up to the ice cells. Basically, Ghost and the raven smelled the wights (and Others if they have a smell) very close by, but then the wind turns and the Others are downwind.

We also learn that Borroq took his residence in the lichyard and that his boar has been rooting around in the graves. So, while the NW has started to burn their recent dead since aGoT, they have not unearthed the graves and burned those who died before aGoT. And while plenty may have decomposed, ice "preserves". The boar rooting around in graves and loosening the earth is a callback to Mance digging up graves in the Frostfangs and "letting all those shades loose on the world".

Hence, we have the "only the cold" and people "screaming". Once Wick drew Jon's blood I think the Others managed to raise the dead to wights in Castle Black.

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51 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

There are several glaring hints that the Others are at the rim of the Haunted Forest just north of CB the night that Marsh and co attempt to assassinate Jon. And I suspect the drawing of Jon's blood is enough for them to raise the preserved dead in the lichyard and whomever is killed in the mayhem. There's an increasing imagery that the Wall and Jon have become one - he sees his reflection in the ice, he dreams of being alone on top of the Wall and his armor is ice. There is power in king's blood, and there are various angles Jon can be seen as either a king or having the blood of relative as king. Hurting Jon then magically becomes hurting the Wall.

Borroq warns in the previous penultimate chapter that the Others are coming. Right before he says this, his boar took a stance of trying to charge. George has Tormund's words, Ghost's prior behavior and Jon's POV misdirect the reason why the boar did that - that it was targeting Jon. But Borroq's warning right after hints the boar may have shown aggressive behavior because it smelled wights near. 

Ghost and the raven are very aggressive and alarmed at the start of the final day to Jon and to trustworthy guards. It's not related to assassination plans, because Jon actually meets with Bowen Marsh shortly after, and while Ghost is unfriendly and apprehensive towards Bowen when he sniffs him, he was more aggressive to Jon 1-2 hours earlier. And later both animals are actually quite calm. So, what's going on? Just before Jon learns of Ghost nearly taking a chunk out of one of the day guards, he looks north at the Wall and the sky above it: a snow sky. When he exits with Bowen after the meeting the wind is coming from the south, blowing snow up to the ice cells. Basically, Ghost and the raven smelled the wights (and Others if they have a smell) very close by, but then the wind turns and the Others are downwind.

We also learn that Borroq took his residence in the lichyard and that his boar has been rooting around in the graves. So, while the NW has started to burn their recent dead since aGoT, they have not unearthed the graves and burned those who died before aGoT. And while plenty may have decomposed, ice "preserves". The boar rooting around in graves and loosening the earth is a callback to Mance digging up graves in the Frostfangs and "letting all those shades loose on the world".

Hence, we have the "only the cold" and people "screaming". Once Wick drew Jon's blood I think the Others managed to raise the dead to wights in Castle Black.

It is too soon in the greater story for the Others to break through. Too much still has to happen before the War for the Dawn can begin. We need another 6 months at least, if not more.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

It is too soon in the greater story for the Others to break through. Too much still has to happen before the War for the Dawn can begin. We need another 6 months at least, if not more.

Oh, I don't think they're "breaking through" physically. But it is the perfect timing to raise wights: a lot of witnesses of several factions who need to wisen up and see the truth (Queen's Men wanting brides, castles and lands; stubborn bigots like Bowen Marsh who fears King's Landing and Free Folk more than the Others, the mountain men). It might be it's only a temporarily advantage for the Others. 

Edited by sweetsunray

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I think Winter and starvation will be the real killers. The Others will be just be moping up the enclaves of survivors. 

People would need to look to the Summer Islands or maybe Dorne. But then the Long Night will destroy those places too. 

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1 hour ago, The Sleeper said:

I think Winter and starvation will be the real killers. The Others will be just be moping up the enclaves of survivors. 

People would need to look to the Summer Islands or maybe Dorne. But then the Long Night will destroy those places too. 

I think its pretty certain the Others will either be defeated or will have triumphed by say the third year of Winter. I highly doubt we are going to read about 10 years of guys staring at each other before hearth fires inside stone keeps all day long.

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