Game Of Thrones Mystery: What The Heck Is A White Walker?
White Walkers in the Game Of Thrones TV Show:
As we witnessed in the first episode of Game Of Thrones, the Night’s Watch rangers had been hearing strange rumors from over The Wall about White Walkers. They’d been told that an entire tribe of wildlings had been massacred by the White Walkers and that their corpses had been left in the wilderness as a warning. A group of Night’s Watch rangers consisting of Will, Gared and Ser Waymar Royce set off to investigate.
After the group separates to perform the search, Will comes upon a campsite where it’s clear that a massacre occurred. After rushing back to tell the others what he saw, they follow him back to the camp only to find that all of the bodies have disappeared. Although doubtful of Will’s story, the three men are on alert as they make their way through the dark and snow covered woods.
While walking through the woods Will begins hearing something moving around him although he’s unable to see what it was. But then Gared (several feet behind Will) is attacked. As Will watches, Gared is beheaded by a large, strange creature. The creature doesn’t attack Will but instead throws Gared’s head at him.
Will has just met a White Walker.
White Walkers in the Game Of Thrones Books:
The White Walker is the television version of “The Others” mentioned in the Song of Ice and Fire books by George R. R. Martin. While the producers of the show have not commented on why the change of name was necessary, fans hypothesize that they renamed the creatures in order to avoid similarities to the “Others” in the TV series Lost.
According to traditional wisdom, White Walkers/Others are legendary creatures of ice and cold that came from the uttermost North more than eight thousand years ago. Legend has it that White Walkers speak a language known as “skroth.”
Here’s how White Walkers/Others are described in the book, A Game Of Thrones:
“Tall it was, and gaunt and hard as old bones, with flesh pale as milk. Its armor seemed to change color as it moved; here it was white as new-fallen snow, there black as shadow, everywhere dappled with the deep grey-green of the trees. The patterns ran like moonlight on water with every step it took.”
A Game Of Thrones, George R.R. Martin, hardcover, page 7.
“The Other halted. Will saw its eyes; blue, deeper and bluer than any human eyes, a blue that burned like ice.” A Game Of Thrones, George R.R. Martin, hardcover, pages 7-8.
And here’s the description of their weapon:
“The Other slid forward on silent feet. In its hand was a longsword like none that Will had ever seen. No human metal had gone into the forging of that blade. It was alive with moonlight, translucent, a shard of crystal so thin that it seemed almost to vanish when seen edge-on. There was a faint blue shimmer to the thing, a ghost-light that played around its edges, and somehow Will knew it was sharper than any razor.” A Game Of Thrones, George R.R. Martin, hardcover, page 7.
White Walkers/Others can also reanimate corpses. That’s why none of the dead bodies were around when Will brought his fellow rangers back to the scene of the massacre – they’d been brought back to life by the White Walkers/Others.
The White Walkers/Others are believed to have been defeated by a daring hero wielding a sword of flame. After their defeat, the Great Wall of Ice was created with magic to make sure the White Walkers/Others could never return to Westeros and the lands beyond.
Although the Night’s Watch is said to have been established to guard Westeros against the return of the White Walkers/Others, the people of Westeros presently believe that the Night’s Watch exists to guard their land against the human wildlings that hold the lands north of the wall.
Many in Westeros believe that White Walkers/Others never existed – or even if they did exist, the people believe that they are extinct since White Walkers haven’t been spotted for thousands of years.