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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About White Walkers

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Sole Survivor: I saw the White Walkers. People need to know.


Bran: Is it true he saw the White Walkers?
Ned: The White Walkers have been gone for thousands of years.


Tyrion: (To Cersei) Where's your sense of wonder? The greatest structure ever built, the intrepid men of The Night's Watch, the wintry abode of the White Walkers.


Jaime: Let me thank you ahead of time for guarding us all from the perils beyond The Wall-- Wildlings and White Walkers and whatnot. We're grateful to have good, strong men like you protecting us.
Jon: We've guarded the kingdoms for 8,000 years.
Jaime: Is it "we" already? Have you taken your vows then?
Jon: Soon enough.
Jaime: Give my regards to The Night's Watch. I'm sure it will be thrilling to serve in such an elite force. And if not? It's only for life.


Old Nan: (To Bran) Oh, my sweet summer child, what do you know about fear? Fear is for the winter, when the snows fall a hundred feet deep. Fear is for the long night, when the sun hides for years and children are born and live and die all in darkness. That is the time for fear, my little lord, when the White Walkers move through the woods. Thousands of years ago there came a night that lasted a generation. Kings froze to death in their castles, same as the shepherds in their huts. And women smothered their babies rather than see them starve, and wept and felt the tears freeze on their cheeks. So is this the sort of story that you like? In that darkness, the White Walkers came for the first time. They swept through cities and kingdoms, riding their dead horses, hunting with their packs of pale spiders, big as hounds…


Tyrion: But I don't believe that giants and ghouls and White Walkers are lurking beyond the Wall. I believe that the only difference between us and the Wildlings is that when the Wall went up, our ancestors happened to live on the right side of it.
Benjen: You're right. The Wildlings are no different from us. A little rougher maybe. But they're made of meat and bone. I know how to track them and I know how to kill them. It's not the Wildlings giving me sleepless nights. You've never been north of The Wall, so don't tell me what's out there.


Maester Aemon: We've been capturing Wildlings, more every month. They're fleeing south. The ones who flee say they've seen the White Walkers.
Tyrion: Yes, and the fishermen of Lannisport say they see mermaids.


Bran: I'm Brandon Stark of Winterfell. If you don't let me be, I'll have you all killed!
Wildling 2: Cut his little cock off and stuff it in his mouth.
Osha: The boy's worth nothing dead. Benjen Stark's own blood? Think what Mance would give us.
Wildling 1: Piss on Mance Rayder, and piss on the North. We're going as far South as South goes. There ain't no White Walkers down in Dorne.


Sam: They were touched by White Walkers. That's why they came back. That's why their eyes turned blue. Only fire will stop them.
Jon: How do you know that?
Sam: I read about it in a book, a very old book, in Maester Aemon's library.
Jon: What else did the book say?
Sam: The White Walkers sleep beneath the ice for thousands of years. And when they wake up...
Pyp: And when they wake up, what?
Sam: I hope The Wall is high enough.


Sam: The Fist of the First Men! Think of how old this place is-- before the Targaryens defeated the Andals, before the Andals took Westeros from the First Men.
Edd: Before I die, please, stop talking.
Sam: Thousands and thousands of years ago, the First Men stood here where we're standing all through the Long Night. What do you think they were like, the First Men?
Edd: Stupid. Smart people don't find themselves in places like this.
Jon: I think they were afraid. I think they came here to get away from something. And I don't think it worked.


Jon: I saw Craster take his own baby boy and leave it in the woods. I saw what took it.
Mance: You're telling me you saw one of them? And why would that make you desert your brothers?
Jon: Because when I told the Lord Commander, he already knew. Thousands of years ago, the First Men battled the White Walkers and defeated them. I want to fight for the side that fights for the living. Did I come to the right place?
Mance: We'll need to find you a new cloak.


Craster: I got no fear of what's out there. When the white cold comes, your swords and cloaks and bloody fires won't help you. The only ones left will be those who are right with the gods. The real gods.


Bran: What is it?
Jojen: Dragonglass.
Sam: We found them at the Fist. Someone buried them a long time ago. Someone wanted us to find them.
Bran: Why? What are they for?
Sam: Killing White Walkers.
Meera: How do you know that?
Gilly: The Walker came for my baby. And Sam…
Meera: But no one's killed a White Walker in thousands of years.
Sam: Well, I suppose someone had to be the first.


Gilly: Shouldn't you be training, too?
Sam: Well, I'm hardly a new recruit. How many brothers can say that they've killed a White Walker and a Thenn? I might be the first in history.


Jon: (To Mance) And what happens to your people? You preserve your dignity and die standing and they'll sing songs about you. You'd rather burn than kneel. The great hero. Until winter comes and the White Walkers come for us all and there's no one left to sing.


Jon: (To Tormund) Your people need a leader. And they need to get south of The Wall before it's too late. We don't have much time and they have less. The Walkers are coming and they'll hit your people first. I'm not asking you to make peace to save your skin. Make peace to save your people.


Stannis: You don't look like a soldier. But I'm told you killed a White Walker.
Sam: I did, Your Grace.
Stannis: How?
Sam: With a dagger made of dragonglass.
Stannis: Dragonglass?
Sam: What the maesters call obsidian.
Stannis: I know what it is. We have it in Dragonstone. Why would obsidian kill a Walker?
Sam: I don't know. I've been going through all the old manuscripts hoping to find something, and all I've learned is that the Children of the Forest used to hunt with dragonglass.


Sam: (To Olly) I've seen the army of the dead. I've seen the White Walkers. And they're coming for us, for all the living. And when it's time, we'll need every last man we can find.


Jon: My name's Jon Snow. I'm Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. We're not friends. We've never been friends. We won't become friends today. This isn't about friendship. This is about survival. This is about putting a 700-foot wall between you and what's out there.
Wildling Woman: You built that wall to keep us out.
Thenn: Since when do the crows give two shits if we live?
Jon: In normal times we wouldn't. But these aren't normal times. The White Walkers don't care if a man's Free Folk or crow. We're all the same to them, meat for their army. But together we can beat them.
Wildling Woman: Beat the White Walkers? Good luck with that. Run from them, maybe.

Edited by WhiteStumbler
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Craster: I got no fear of what's out there. When the white cold comes, your swords and cloaks and bloody fires won't help you. The only ones left will be those who are right with the gods. The real gods.


Interesting.  I wonder if Come-at-me-Crow Whitewalker purports to be a god, or one of the gods?  Not that I consider Craster to be a great authority on much of anything, but in this story if the gods aren't real as gods, or divine beings, they still seem to have magical power.  Raising the dead and causing them to walk, that kind of power.  


I wondered about this in the episode thread, but I can't help but wonder, if there is a Lord of Light and the Many Faced God, perhaps the White Walkers are just the gods of Winter.  Maybe Dany is the god of Summer?  


What makes a god, a god?   It would seem that Craster believed the White Walkers to be gods.  The real gods, with the real (and demonstrable) power.    


What was that guys name?  Dondarion? Berreck Dondarion?  The guy that kept being brought back to life and even Melisandre didn't think that was possible?  Maybe that's just a different form of the same power.  


Maybe what defeats the Army of the Dead isn't fire, maybe it is an Army that Cannot die?  

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So the reason I went back to try to find all the WW dialogue I could find was this spitball:


My theory is that the WWs are essentially humans possessed by demons.


The WWs are clearly humanoid in appearance, they wear clothes, own and use technology-appropriate weapons, and at least some (all?) of them are the result of the... conversion of a normal (if anything emanating from Craster's Keep could be called "normal") human baby into a WW.


For deities to intervene into this world usually requires a human actor to allow the supernatural to "cross over" into this world, whether it is Thoros praying for supernatural intervention to bring Beric back from the dead, Melisandre burning the Ursurper Leeches, or for the sacrifice of Varys' "root and stem" in a brazier. Human sacrifice, either in whole or in part, also seems to be a part of many of the rituals that bring the deities to this world; "death pays for life", blood-engorged leeches, Varys, blood magic. (The exception there seems to be Thoros.)


Now there will probably never be a reveal of this in-universe, but I think that it is at least reasonable that one of these demons was summoned by a human sorcerer and figured out a way to possess the sorcerer. This demonic intrusion into this world then figured out a way to create new "vessels" (for more of its demon friends, or for more iterations of itself) by turning babies into infantcicles without needing a human actor to allow it / them to cross over. The ability to animate the dead would be a means to more control over the world, and probably relatively a small potatoes party trick to it / them.


I don't have any idea why it / they would lie fallow for thousands of years -- it has been hard enough wrestling with this spitball since Sunday.


Varys: He gave me a potion that made me powerless to move or speak, yet did nothing to dull my senses. With a hooked blade he sliced me, root and stem, chanting all the while. He burned my parts in a brazier. The flames turned blue and I heard a voice answer his call. I still dream of that night. Not of the sorcerer, not of his blade. I dream of the voice from the flames. Was it a god? A demon? A conjuror's trick? I don't know. But the sorcerer called and a voice answered.

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I don't know, I think the WW are more like another non human race. They can be killed after all They may posses magic powers, but so do some humans and those little children that live under a tree. They've got humans, they've got Giants, they have those little children that rescued Bran and they've got also WWs. Craster called them gods, because of course that's how he saw them, since they are more powerful than men, but I assume they must have their own god as well. The god of Death, and maybe cold? Are they causing the cold, or is the cold bringing them back?


Hmmm, if Mel's god is the god of light and fire, then maybe he's against the WW's god. Fire vs cold. Light vs Dark. "For the night is dark and full of terrors". Are those terrors the WWs? So maybe that's why Mel insisted so much on going North. Though, I don't know what the hell they'd be doing in Winterfell, then. Actually, I don't think Mel really has a plan at all, she just seems to be making stuff up. Shouldn't she be looking for Dany? That other Red Woman from Essos was talking about Dany and her dragons like she was some sort of savior. And the dragons would be the only ones who could take on the WW and a freaking army of thousands (maybe millions, by the time they get to King's Landing) of zombies. If Mel had any real prophetic visions at all, she'd be in Essos, trying to convince Dany to get as fast as possible to the Wall, to prevent a MAYOR catastrophe, if those WWs manage to cross the Wall. She'd be showing Dany fire visions, instead of wasting her time with getting the throne for useless Stannis. Although, we've seen the WWs can't cross any body of water apparently, so maybe everyone should just get the hell away to Essos.


ETA: Also, it doesn't matter how tall the Wall is, if the Wildlings can cross it climbing on it, breaking gates, going through tunnels or unmen castles; then the WWs can cross it more easily. Just imagine if they get themselves a zombie giant!! And those spiders mentioned by Old Nan, spiders can walk vertically on walls! Yikes!!!!

Edited by ChocButterfly
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