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[Book spoilers] The Others and other things that don't add up

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We were shown Mormont knew Craster was giving children away to the Others. For years. Why did he not tell Eddard Stark? Why was the deserter we've seen beheaded in season 1 called "a madman"?

Mormont would not get involved with Ned Stark's management of his lands and Lord's duties. And at the end of the day, the bottom line is the deserter was beheaded because he ran away from the Night's Watch - so regardless of his reasons, he broke his vows and that's the punishment. I doubt Mormont would plead for the man's life on the premise that "perhaps he's telling the truth" about the Others. It's speculation at that point of the story.

Also, like others have mentioned, its not entirely clear if Mormont knows for a fact its an 'Other' who took the baby. Yes, Mormont has definitely known for years what Craster has done with his sons and admits that to Jon but doesn't state any obvious acknowledgement of what exactly it is that takes the baby - because maybe he doubts it himself yet. He's afraid of it... they're all afraid of it. They know the stories and they've seen the re-animated wights firsthand (hahah HAND, what a pun!). But there's no definite confirmation - yet.

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How do you all explain Mormont's "Whatever you saw, you'll see it again" and understanding between him and Jon?

It seems to me that the Night's Watch doesn't realize the White Walkers are returning, or else they are refusing to realize it. Regardless though, Mormont knows there's stuff in the woods that isn't human, the wights in his bedroom are proof enough of that, and it seems pretty clear by this point in the ranging that something bad is going down. Mormont puts two and two together and figures: Wildings disappearing + Mystery figure in the woods = More than one and a high probability of seeing one again. He doesn't have to know what it is to know there'll be more.

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How do you all explain Mormont's "Whatever you saw, you'll see it again" and understanding between him and Jon?

It could, but doesn't necessarily refer to the others. This remark might just as well comment on various other, weird/non human beings which could be found behind the wall. I think Night's Watch was visiting Craster's house for years whilst others just re-appeared recently. Correct me if I'm wrong but we don't even know from the book whether he was sacrificing his sons directly to others or just killing them in some sick rite to one of wildlings old gods.

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How do you all explain Mormont's "Whatever you saw, you'll see it again" and understanding between him and Jon?

Wonderfully ambiguous.

Mormont already knows about the White Walkers and in his conversation with Tyrion in AGoT very matter of factly refers to them being seen near Eastwatch, but is Mormont saying Jon will see the White Walkers again or is he saying Jon will see the baby again? :cool4:

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I was disappointed that they didn't have Ghost come to help Jon. I have no idea how CGI works so maybe it's prohibitively expensive to use more than one CGI animal in every show. But it certainly was odd and felt like a plot hole.

Not really - Ghost isn't always at Jon's side, his brothers even make comments about that.

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Wonderfully ambiguous.

Mormont already knows about the White Walkers and in his conversation with Tyrion in AGoT very matter of factly refers to them being seen near Eastwatch, but is Mormont saying Jon will see the White Walkers again or is he saying Jon will see the baby again? :cool4:

"Wonderfully Ambiguous" works for me.

Those of us who have obviously read the books are privy to so much more than someone watching the series fresh -- which is what we have to remember.

For us - it's an interesting discussion. For the rest - it's an incredibly difficult to grasp quandry that Mormont found himself in. To kill Craster or not to? Obviously a tough decision on several levels.

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It seems to me that the Night's Watch doesn't realize the White Walkers are returning, or else they are refusing to realize it. Regardless though, Mormont knows there's stuff in the woods that isn't human, the wights in his bedroom are proof enough of that, and it seems pretty clear by this point in the ranging that something bad is going down. Mormont puts two and two together and figures: Wildings disappearing + Mystery figure in the woods = More than one and a high probability of seeing one again. He doesn't have to know what it is to know there'll be more.

This first statemenet is a constant souce of infuriation to me as I read all of the novels. I understand more the Southron's point of view of making fun of grumpkins of whatever but the NW's refusal to acknowledge and adjust their actions after all they see and hear (including Mel/Stannis/John/Sam's experiences) makes me nuts.

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It could be that Mormont realizes in the moment when Jon tells him what Jon saw, and what that means.

In other words:

before episode 3: Mormont thought that Craster sacrificed his sons to the cold & death as prayers.

during/after episode 3: Mormont suddenly realizes that Craster sacrifices his sons to the Others

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It's implied that perhaps they eat them. Gilly said:

"He gives the boys to the gods. Come the white cold, he does, and of late it comes more often. That's why he started giving them sheep, even though he has a taste for mutton. Only now the now the sheep's gone too. Next it will be the dogs, til..." She lowered her eyes and stroked her belly.

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This first statemenet is a constant souce of infuriation to me as I read all of the novels. I understand more the Southron's point of view of making fun of grumpkins of whatever but the NW's refusal to acknowledge and adjust their actions after all they see and hear (including Mel/Stannis/John/Sam's experiences) makes me nuts.

Well, in fairness to the NW, the institution is something like 8000 years divorced from its founding principle. Further people have a hard time changing, Bowden Marsh's treatment of Jon shows that much at least. So the fact that old men would not want to accept that demons are real, and would thus not act as though they were real, is totally believable for me and indeed I think its the most likely response. And while the reader has plenty of solid evidence that the White Walkers are real, many of the brothers don't: They have the visions of a foreigner, the tales of a terrified teenager and a deserter and the myths of their sworn enemies. There's not really any reason to accept those things, particularly if they would fundamentally alter your world view.

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If Ghost was there Craster wouldn't of got the jump on Jon and Craster probably would've been severely injured/killed also giving Jon the opportunity to engage the WW. I think it's obvious why Ghost wasn't there..

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Wonderfully ambiguous.

Mormont already knows about the White Walkers and in his conversation with Tyrion in AGoT very matter of factly refers to them being seen near Eastwatch, but is Mormont saying Jon will see the White Walkers again or is he saying Jon will see the baby again? :cool4:

The way Mormont says it does leave room for interpretation; clearly the Walker was picking up the child and didn't seem intent on harming it immediately, I'm glad they keep up the mystery factor for the more magical fantasy side of show.

Tickles my mind thinking about wtf would they do with the babe; unless they show takes a huge jump from the books we won't know, at least not for loooong time.

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This first statemenet is a constant souce of infuriation to me as I read all of the novels. I understand more the Southron's point of view of making fun of grumpkins of whatever but the NW's refusal to acknowledge and adjust their actions after all they see and hear (including Mel/Stannis/John/Sam's experiences) makes me nuts.

Well now wait a minute, you're taking things out of sequence here. Until the two NW men came back as corpses who then reanimated as wights, there had been very little physical evidence to support proof that the Others were out there up to that point in the story. The only other 'proof' we've had was at the very beginning of Game of Thrones and that man was beheaded by Ned Stark for being a deserter plus they thought he was crazy in the head. The wildlings have said it, but you have to remember the low regard the Night's Watch has of the wildlings as that's been their only real enemy for generations on the wall. Rangers have disappeared on scouting missions (Benjen Stark) and one at another post watch said he'd seen one, but as there hadn't been any true evidence (such as attacks or dead bodies etc) there was no way for Mormont or anyone to confirm the existence of the White Walkers in any way those south of the wall would believe. Sending Alliser Thorne to KL with the wight's animated hand was supposed to be the first evidence Mormont could put forward.

Later in the books, once Mormont and his crew north of the wall are chased, attacked and killed by Others, its now perfectly obvious without a doubt they do exist.

So I will defend 'TheWander's' statement: "It seems to me that the Night's Watch doesn't realize the White Walkers are returning, or else they are refusing to realize it. "

I think its true the Night's Watch has not fully come to grips with the reality of the White Walkers returning from legend status of thousands of years ago - at this point in the story. The bits you're referring to, with Sam, and later Melisandre/Stannis etc. have not happened yet in the series.

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It's implied that perhaps they eat them. Gilly said:

"He gives the boys to the gods. Come the white cold, he does, and of late it comes more often. That's why he started giving them sheep, even though he has a taste for mutton. Only now the now the sheep's gone too. Next it will be the dogs, til..." She lowered her eyes and stroked her belly.

I don't think they eat them because in A Storm of Swords, when Sam takes Gilly, the other wives say the sons are coming, which makes it seem like they are still living beings of some sort.

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I don't think they eat them because in A Storm of Swords, when Sam takes Gilly, the other wives say the sons are coming, which makes it seem like they are still living beings of some sort.

So the sheep and dogs and get zombified too?

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I don't think they eat them because in A Storm of Swords, when Sam takes Gilly, the other wives say the sons are coming, which makes it seem like they are still living beings of some sort.

This. I remember that scene. All hell has broken loose in the keep - Mormont and Craster are both dead and most of the Night's Watch are scattered or trying to figure out what to do next. The wives are petrified because they say the sons are coming (maybe they're turned into wights too?).

They force Sam to take Gilly and the baby with him because the sons are coming to take the baby.

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I think the scene at the end of episode two was added to bring some more tension to the storyline of the NW.

I liked it, when episode 3 started from the end of the previous one - that kept the story intact in some sort of way.

I actually didn't expect anything significant to happen after Craster found Jon sniffing around, aside from what actually happend - the NW leaving the keep.

That would have been way too big divergency from the original story.

Can't wait to see how the NW plotline moves on in the future episodes.

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