Characters: Game Of Thrones Supernatural Beings
aka: Game Of Thrones White Walkers
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The White Walkers
"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 their 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..."A legendary race from beyond the Wall. Eight thousand years ago, during the Long Night, they descended on Westeros with an army of undead warriors. In a conflict known as the War for the Dawn, they were eventually defeated and driven back into the north by the First Men and the children of the forest, leading to the construction of the Wall and the establishment of the Night's Watch.
- Achilles' Heel: Dragonglass and Valyrian steel. Both cause Literally Shattered Lives. Except the latter is even more impressive; when Sam stabs a Walker with a dragonglass dagger, the Walker has enough time to turn around and scream at him before falling to his knees and then to pieces. When Jon Snow delivers the killing stroke with Longclaw, his adversary pretty much explodes.◊
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Inverted. The Book!Others are described as an oddly beautiful, sort of ice-themed versions of The Fair Folk. In the show the first ones we see look like extremely aged and freeze-dried corpses, though they still appear proud and dignified in a Noble Savage kind of way. Their later appearance has them wearing full armor and with fewer wrinkles, in general made them more graceful and humanlike.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: In the books, their armor is reflective and provides a sort of active camouflage. In the series, they don't wear much armor at all with the exception of the Night's King's court, and what little they do is pure black.
- Adaptation Explanation Extrication: The "Satan" figure of the Rh'llor faith practiced by Melisandre is called the Great Other, with Melisandre believing the Others to be related to him. Just by their names, this makes sense. However, in the series he's still called the Great Other while they're called the White Walkers, making the Great Other's name vaguely ominous whereas before it made him sound like a god of the White Walkers.
- Adaptation Name Change: Of a sort. They are also known as White Walkers in the books, but "the Others" (which doesn't appear in the series at all) is much more common. Benioff and Weiss were afraid of viewers not realizing that "Others" was a proper term given spoken dialogue can't rely on Capital Letters Are Magic—"Which others are we talking about? The other whats?" Also, this name is much more frightening and evocative of what they actually are.
- Alliterative Name: White Walkers.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Their morality is undetermined to be either actively malicious or just completely alien, but they are a horde of monstrous humanoids who pose a threat to life itself by the way they radiate cold from their bodies and are slowly turning the world into a graveyard of undead minions.
- An Ice Person: White Walkers can freeze weapons so cold they shatter, often by clashing their weapons against their enemies'.
- If you pay attention to the first episode's White Walker, you'll notice his sword is made of ice. In "Valar Morghulis", the White Walkers are clearly wielding ice spears.
- The White Walker that Jon fights in Hardhome is accompanied by mist, and puts out nearby fires just by walking in. This appears to answer a debate in the books over whether White Walkers come with the cold, or cause cold where they travel.
- Animate Dead
- Barehanded Blade Block: White Walkers can not only pull this off, but freeze the blade and shatter it.
- Badass Family: An unknown (but large) number of them were culled from Craster's sons.
- Beard of Evil: One of the White Walkers at Hardhome has a white beard, showing that his species can grow facial hair.
- Big Bad: To the Night's Watch storyline, as they're responsible for both the Army of the Dead bearing down on the human realms and more indirectly the invasion of the North by the Free Folk.
- Blade on a Stick: The White Walkers in Valar morghulis wield ice spears while mounted on dead horses.
- Chill of Undeath: They bring blizzards with them, including when they lead their wight armies.
- Conflict Killer: In "Mhysa", Stannis abandons his campaign in the South after learning from the Night's Watch that the White Walkers have returned, knowing that if they manage to break through the Wall, it won't matter who sits upon the Iron Throne, everyone in Westeros will be screwed.
- Creepy Blue Eyes: Shared with the wights, implying a magical cause.
- The Dreaded: Gradually built up: the people of Westeros either believe they were all destroyed thousands of years ago and are long extinct (mainly in The North), or they believe they never existed as anything more than a myth to begin with (everywhere else). They definitely qualify as this for the Wildlings, however, given that they live with them as an ever impending threat. And once a Westerosi is finally convinced that the White Walkers are real, the horror they can inspire quickly takes hold.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: Cold radiates from their bodies. It's currently speculated (some might say feverishly hoped) that they can't survive in warm temperatures. Unfortunately for Westeros, Winter Is Coming, and it's likely not a coincidence their return coincides with the threat of a long winter. Also, notice that in their first two appearances, they wielded swords and spears made of ice. From the books... In "Second Sons", one of them froze and shattered Sam's sword just by grabbing it for a few seconds.
- The Fair Folk: Despite the difference in appearance from their book counterparts, the walkers here still bear a number of similarities to the faerie folk of myth, most notably kidnapping babies to turn them into more of themselves.
- Giant Spider: According to Old Nan, during the Long Night they had "pale spiders big as hounds" along with their undead horses. We don't see them in "Valar Morghulis", but given the sheer amount of terror that they inspire in both characters and viewers, do you really want to make it more horrifying?
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Their eyes tend to glow brightly, and becomes especially notable in the dark.
- Godzilla Threshold: The last time they emerged from the Land of Always Winter, it took the combined efforts of the Children of the Forest and First Men to drive them back. They did enough damage to Westeros to warrant the construction of the Wall and the formation of the Night's Watch just to try and keep them contained in the North. From the books... It turns out, he's not dead.
- Greater Scope Villain: To the War of the Five Kings and the villainous characters responsible for it (Tywin, Joffrey, Littlefinger, Balon, etc.). Their threat overshadows any other in the setting, but most factions aren't even aware of them and facing lesser but more immediate enemies. Commander Mormont lampshades to Jon that while the War of the Five Kings is beginning now, if the walkers descend on the Seven Kingdoms, it won't matter who wins. "Oathkeeper" reveals the Big Bad for the entire series: the Night's King.
- Grim Up North: And they are very grim.
- Hell Is That Noise: In-universe, the sound of Three Blasts from a sentry horn is the cue for men of the Night's Watch to begin soiling themselves.
- Humanoid Abomination: Where as the Others in the books are described as "oddly beautiful", the White Walkers look like emaciated corpses which have been left out to freeze.
- Knight of Cerebus: They rarely appear, but when they do they impress on the viewer just how bad the situation is for the Seven Kingdoms, particularly in "Hardhome". The politics, all other villains (the Lannisters, the Boltons) pale in comparison.
- Literally Shattered Lives: When killed with dragonglass or dragonsteel.
- Mad Artist: They've arranged the corpses of their victims artistically twice. A group of wildlings were lined out to form some kind of symbol, and some of the Night's Watch's horses were chopped up and the chunks were placed in a spiral. We have no idea why they do this.
- One possibility is that they do this simply because they enjoy screwing with people.
- Another is that these patterns are part of the magical ritual that animates corpses as wights.
- Necromancer: The touch of a White Walker can raise the dead as wights. They are good enough at this to raise an enormous army of their undead servants, formed from the people they've killed.
- No Sell: Swinging a normal sword at a White Walker won't do a lot. It'll just freeze the blade and shatter it.
- Not So Extinct: Just about everyone in Westeros thinks that the White Walkers are extinct, having gone the way of the dragons. Not only is that an exaggeration, when you consider that the dragons are also Not So Extinct it becomes a gross exaggeration.
- Oh Crap!: The Walker that Sam kills has this reaction after it realises it's been stabbed with dragonglass. Later, in Season 5, the Walker lieutenant that Jon faces at Hardhome reacts with a flabbergasted Jaw Drop when its metal-shattering spear fails to break Longclaw.
- Offscreen Teleportation: As demonstrated in "Winter is Coming", when the pattern of corpses managed to vanish in less than a few minutes with no trace whatsoever, they can be surprisingly effective at this when they want to be.
- Off with His Head!: Both the White Walkers and Wights seem to favour decapitating enemies.
- Ominous Walk: They've never been seen running, and it goes with the name.
- Outside-Context Villain: Most people assume they're all gone, if they believe they existed at all.
- Raising the Steaks: Old Nan said that they rode on undead horses. At the end of the second season finale we see that this is true.
- Screaming Warrior: So far the only noise they have made are bone chilling shrieks.
- Super Strength: One throws Sam's considerable bulk back several yards with a simple punch, while another breaks Jon's ribs with a hit.
- Villain Ball: Like grabbing it. the only White Walkers that have been killed so far could have been prevented if they simply killed their opponents right away instead of toying with or ignoring them. The worst part is that they seems to do it just because they can't fathom humans being a real threat which is actually true as far as things are developping.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: But not in a good way.
- Was Once a Man: At least some were once human infants sacrificed to the White Walkers and converted to their race by the Night's King.
- Weaponized Weakness: The dragonglass blades at the Fist of the First Men.
- Also, Season 5 revealed that Valyrian steel does just as well as dragonglass, even holding up to their weapons which can otherwise shatter a normal blade.
- Walking Wasteland: They radiate cold from their bodies, and a blizzard follows them.
- Would Hurt a Child: In all but one of their appearances they have been threatening children, even employing them as wights in their army.
- Zombie Apocalypse: They lead one during the Long Night thousands of years ago. The second season finale shows them leading another straight against the Night's Watch.
"We're all the same to them, meat for their army."Corpses of humans and animals, raised by the White Walkers to act as their enforcers. Vulnerable only to fire.
- An Arm and a Leg: The method of last resort when fighting wights in the open without fire: dismembering them so badly that they cannot reach and attack you.
- Burn the Undead: The best way to kill them
- Creepy Blue Eyes: Not for the faint of heart.
- Creepy Child: Child wights appear in the first episode and "Hardhome".
- Dem Bones: Some of the more severely decayed ones are pretty much walking skeletons.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Their eyes don't glow like the White Walkers' do, but they do faintly glow.
- Fire Keeps It Dead: Why the wildlings burn the dead, and possibly a reason why it is traditional for the Night's Watch to do the same.
- Hellish Horse: The White Walkers' mounts.
- Incongruously Dressed Zombie: Most wights' clothes are so sodden and decomposed it is impossible to tell what they are, although they are probably wildlings. Nights Watch (in blacks) and Thenn wights (with cosmetic facial scarring) can be spotted in fights too.
- It Can Think: Implied, as they can grip and wield swords, and use rudimentary tactics such as ambushes. The former is unlikely to be under the White Walkers' direct control.
- Kill It with Fire: The only thing shown so far that can kill them. The Free Folk burn their dead to prevent their reanimation.
- Made of Explodium: They completely immolate in seconds when ignited. Good thing too or they'd be even more deadly.
- Night of the Living Mooks: On the way of becoming a full fledged Zombie Apocalypse.
- Mooks: For the White Walkers.
- No Sell: Anything that you do will fail to hurt them, unless you burn them.
- Occult Blue Eyes: The wights end up with this color, no matter what color their eyes were in life.
- Off with His Head!: Seem to favour decapitating victims.
- Our Wights Are Different: They're almost invincible zombies (or in some cases, skeletons) capable of wielding weapons and working as an army, with fire being the only thing that can destroy them.
- Perpetual-Motion Monster
- Raising the Steaks: Horses are included among their number.
- Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Averted. Arrows in the head are effective at knocking them down, but the wights can still fight unaffected. The fact that a disembodied wight hand can still move suggests that decapitation is ineffective too.
- Zerg Rush: The tactic shown in Hardhome, contrasting with the ambush in the shows' first episode, the slow march at the Fist of the First Men, and the ambush on Bran's group.
- Zombie Gait: Averted; Wights are almost just as fast in death as they were in life, giving the living only a slight advantage when fleeing.
The Night's King
Played By: Richard Brake
"We free folk have our stories, too. About how one of your King Crows found something... cold in the woods, with bright blue eyes. How he brought her home through your Wall and declared himself "Night's King"."Thousands of years before the start of the series, while the Night Watch was still young, the thirteenth Lord Commander of the Watch found a female White Walker in the frozen forests of the north. He became entranced with her and took her to the Night Fort, where he became a king among the White Walkers. He began turning his brothers to their service and reigned as an Evil Overlord over the North, committing unspeakable atrocities. An alliance of Wildlings and the Starks were finally able to end his rule, and all records of him and his true name were destroyed, his legacy fading into legend....That is, until "Oathkeeper" revealed he is still alive in the far north, and apparently still leads the White Walkers in rebuilding their army. He is not named in the episode, but HBO's official synopsis names him. Or did until the website was edited to remove mention of his title. His mere existence in the show however has massive implications for the book series, since he hasn't appeared in them yet and is presumed long dead. Word of God states that in the books, the Night's King is a legendary figure akin to Lann the Clever and Brandon the Builder and is no more likely to arrive in the books than they are, and he has in the past insisted that the latter two are in-universe legends and not actual characters.
- Bald of Evil: The only White Walker without any hair at all, instead having his crown of horns.
- Big Bad: Quite possibly of the entire series, book and show alike. Contenders for the Big Bad throne include some rather nasty people, but none can hold a candle to the Night's King.
- Boy Meets Ghoul: According to his backstory, he became an Evil Overlord after falling in love with a female White Walker and making her his Night's Queen.
- Bring It: He locks eyes with Jon while he raises his arms and raises Jon's allies as wights.
- Conflict Killer: The last time he was seen, his presence and unspeakably evil crimes were enough to get the Wildlings, the Night's Watch and the Starks to join forces to take him down.
- Creepy Blue Eyes: Just like his foot soldiers.
- Death Glare: He has one of these for Jon once he sees the Lord-Commander slay a White Walker with Valyrian steel.
- The Dreaded: Almost more so than the "ordinary" White Walkers as he was both an unspeakably evil and sadistic tyrant while mortal, and a traitor to humanity and life itself due to him selling his body and soul to the White Walkers.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: He has the power to turn a human baby into a young White Walker in seconds with a mere touch.
- Evil Overlord: Everyone was thinking that there are no remaining White Walkers in Westeros, and that the Night's King was dead. They're wrong. He even has a glowing green mountain of doom to call home.
- The Fair Folk: His minions capture human infants and he transforms them into new White Walkers.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: His eyes glow bright blue, just like the White Walkers.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: He's raising an army of undead and leading a supernatural force south...why? What does want? Simple conquest? Eradication of the human race? Fleeing something even worse? We just don't know yet, and he's not talking yet.
- Horned Humanoid: He has a set of horns growing out of his skull that give the impression of a crown.
- Humanoid Abomination: More so than even his minions, given that he is likely in charge of the world-ending army of wights and walkers and has powers even the White Walkers themselves do not possess. This guy is basically an humanoid apocalypse.
- An Ice Person: The iciest of an entire race of Ice Persons.
- Necromancer: Whereas the other White Walkers raise the dead with a touch, the Night's King can raise them en masse just by lifting his hands.
- Occult Blue Eyes: Just like the rest of the White Walkers.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Possibly. The sheer scale of his extermination of the wildlings at Hardhome would suggest that the Night's King aims at the eradication of all humanity.
- One-Man Army: An interesting version: he can raise an army from the dead on his own.
- Outside-Context Villain: A meta example — the books mention a legend of the Night's King, but since that legend states he was defeated thousands of years ago he was generally presumed either dead or fictitious by characters and readers alike until that scene in the show.
- The Strategist: In addition to his terrifying power, the Night's King demonstrates a cunning military mind; he covers his army's approach with a blizzard, he tests his enemy's strength while holding a force in reserve for a flanking maneuver, and he demonstrates mastery of psychological warfare.
- Technically a Smile: His first appearance shows him smiling. It doesn't look happy or comforting. Though amusingly enough the baby he is holding seems both happy and comforted by it.
- Unexpected Character: No one has any idea that he is behind (or at least heavily involved with) the rising of the White Walkers. Not the Night's Watch, not Melisandre, no one. This is also a meta-example — in the books, he was just a part of the series backstory, and readers had no way of knowing he would appear in the show. Though interestingly enough, The King of Winter, a character very similar to him appeared two years earlier in the Night's Watch supplement for the Green Ronin A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Game; the origin is different, being the monarch of the Others from before their fall, but his role as their Big Bad and king is essentially the same, and there's even a similar description regarding a deformity resembling a crown on his head. George RR Martin states that the "Night's King" of the books is a legendary figure only, which implies that this guy is someone else who just happens to fit the Night's King's description and/or is only the White Walker's current leader in the show.
- Unholy Matrimony: Finding a female White Walker in the woods and taking her home is what started him on his path to becoming the Night's King.
- Villain Respect: During the assault on Hardhome, he quietly watches as Jon slays a White Walker and his reaction carries much more acknowledgment than surprise, even giving a little nod. He deems the human worthy enough to taunt him personally as Jon sails away.
- Was Once a Man: He was once a human Lord Commander of the Night's Watch who turned into a monstrous abomination, with the power to turn human infants into White Walkers as well.
- Walking Spoiler: For both the series and the books, which he has not appeared in yet. So much so that it seems his identity was not even meant to be revealed so soon, given how hastily HBO removed all mention of him.
The Children of the Forest
Played By: Alice HewkinThe original inhabitants of Westeros, who carved the faces into the weirwood groves where the Old Gods are worshiped. When the First Men reached Westeros the two races warred against each other, but eventually a peace was made, called the Pact. The children fought alongside the First Men against the White Walkers when they appeared during the Long Night. When the Andals arrived they burned the weirwood groves south of the Neck and drove the children into the wilderness beyond the Wall, where it is believed they dwindled to extinction. But rumors persist that they still survive somewhere, and are waiting for the return of their old enemies.
"The First Men called us The Children, but we were born long before them."
- Ambiguously Human: They physically resemble human children somewhat, but are clearly distinct from humans overall.
- Big Good: The main force opposing the White Walkers, the most dangerous creatures in Westeros.
- Badass Native: Are the original inhabitants of Westeros, and fought against both the First Men and the White Walkers for thousands of years.
- Creepy Child: As beings thousands of years old with the bodies of children, they tend to fall into this.
- The Fair Folk: They seem to be rather detached from humanity and working on a different set of values, in spite of being equally opposed to the White Walkers.
- Ironic Nickname: How they view being called "children of the forest", as they existed long before the first men did and are individually much longer-lived besides.
- Magical Native American: The original inhabitants of Westeros; and are said to be practitioners of powerful, ancient magic. From the books...
- Not So Extinct: As discovered by Bran and co.
- Older Than They Look: Are said to be thousands of years old, but physically resemble children.
- Playing with Fire: Able to throw blue fireballs from their bare hands. Assuming they weren't some sort of small chemical bombs, anyway.
- Shrouded in Myth: In-universe.
The Three-Eyed Raven
Played By: Struan Rodger (2014), Max von Sydow (2016)A greenseer whose human body is bonded to the roots of a weirwood tree. He has sought out Bran Stark to help develop his own warging abilities, appearing in his visions as an eerie raven with three eyes. He appears in his physical form at the end of Season Four, being enmeshed in the roots of a large weirwood tree, located beneath a cave on a hill.
"I have been many things. Now I am what you see."
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the books, the Three-Eyed Raven, a.k.a. Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers, one of King Aegon IV's bastards, was an albino with one red eye and one wide open eye socket, pierced through with Weirwood tree roots that kept him alive; in the TV show he's an old, bearded man who seems to be merely tangled in the tree roots instead of actually pierced by them. On the other hand, most artwork portrayed Bloodraven as a Bishōnen, with all the Targaryen's good look.
- Adaptation Name Change: Species change more like. The three-eyed raven is the three-eyed crow in the book.note
- Dream Weaver: How he communicates with Bran.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Literally! Though only officially introduced in the Season 4 finale, he's appeared since season 1 as the three-eyed raven.
- The Mentor: Since the start of the series, he's been driving Bran toward him; in order to fully develop his unprecedented abilities.
- Mysterious Backer: To Bran. He's been sending him visions ever since Bran lost his legs.
- The Omniscient: He appears to be all-knowing."I have been watching you, all of you, all of your lives. With a thousand eyes, and one."
- Pragmatic Adaptation: To have the three-eyed raven actually talking would likely look rather silly onscreen, so instead he just squawks, and it's up to Osha and Jojen to explain the exact meaning behind him.
- Wizard Beard: It's presumably difficult to have a shave when you're stuck in a big tree.