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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..."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. Now they have resurged, and are rebuilding their army of the dead to march on the south. Most everyone considers their return a dark omen; if the Long Night comes again and the White Walkers make it past the wall, civilization as it is known is doomed.
— Old Nan
- Achilles' Heel: Dragonglass and Valyrian steel. Both cause Literally Shattered Lives, explosively so in the case of the latter. 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 adversaries explodes on contact◊.
- Adaptational Ugliness: In the books, the Others are described as an oddly beautiful, sort of ice-themed versions of The Fair Folk. In the show, they look like extremely aged and mummified/freeze-dried corpses, though not without an eerie air of dignity in their own right. The novels also state that they wear reflective armor that acts like camouflage (much like real-world stealth technology), absorbing and reflecting their surroundings. In the show, they are shown as being bald, and/or balding old men with white hair, and the only armour they wear is likewise black material which makes them stick out in the snow.
- 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 King's court, and what little they do is pure black.
- 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. Season 6 indicates that they were created with the sole purpose of killing humans, but that purpose was extended to all life; to that end, its possible that they are merely, in their minds, fulfilling their reason for existing.
- An Ice Person: White Walkers wield weapons made of ice, which are so cold that normal weapons freeze and shatter when they clash. Their moves are accompanied by mist, and they put 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: Any dead thing they touch is brought back as a wight.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: Nothing except Valyrian steel and possibly dragonglass can block their icy blades, metal weapons shatter and it goes through people like butter. Even dragon scales pose no resistance.
- 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: They start out as this 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. As of season 7, they're promoted to the Big Bad role for entire series, as pretty much all the main characters and their armies (except for Cersei and Euron, and the troops they command) come together to fight the Walkers.
- Blade on a Stick: They wield ice spears.
- Chill of Undeath: They practically radiate cold and bring blizzards with them wherever they go.
- 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 whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne" as Davos later points out, everyone in Westeros will be screwed. Daenerys herself ends up convinced to stop them towards the end of Season 7.
- 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.
- Evil Old Folks: White Walkers (with the exception of the Night's King) generally have the appearance of bearded old men. Albeit some of them originated as babies who were offered to them by Craster and his wives.
- 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.
- For the Evulz: Their undead army is so nigh-invincible that they treat war like a sport, singling out strong opponents to duel (and pulverize), ignoring key units and structures in favor of self-imposed challenges (like spearing a flying dragon literally a mile away instead of attacking the dragon mounted by half of Westeros' ruling class), and generally allowing lowly footsoldiers to live so they can rally the south for a better fight. None of this stops them from killing babies or eating soldiers alive.
- 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... .
- Gone Horribly Right: The Children of the Forest created them to kill the invading humans. Unfortunately, they did the job a bit too well and to put it simply, bye bye COTF.
- Greater-Scope Villain: To all of Westeros, and possibly the entire world. While they don't directly antagonize anyone except the Night's Watch until the season 7 finale, they're a threat to all who live regardless. Commander Mormont gloomily tells 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.
- 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.
- Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The four most prominent members are the Night King and three of his generals, all of whom appear on horseback while overseeing the Zombie Apocalypse. This is seemingly a rotating cast, as Jon kills one of them at Hardhome, and Meera killed another.
- 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. The origins of the Others in the books are not mentioned but in the show, they are transformed humans.
- It Can Think: They're much more than a mindless evil; note how the majority of White Walkers wear black armour, after one of their own were killed by Sam. It's certainly enough to stop a dragonglass spear, not so much against Longclaw, but then again they probably never knew about Valyrian steel existing in the first place.
- Keystone Army: In Season 7, when Jon and his expedition march beyond the wall, they find out that if one kills a White Walker, it kills any of the wights alongside them. Beric Dondarrion later theorizes that if one can kill the Night King, it could kill all the White Walkers and the wights in one fell swoop, but it's yet to be seen if this is the case.
- Kryptonite Factor: Dragonglass (Obsidian) and Dragonsteel (Valyrian Steel) weapons will typically inflict an instant death blow if the White Walkers are inflicted by such a weapon. These weapons are lethal to normal people as well, but because of the more mundane reason that they can hold keen edges; the materials' relation to dragons and fire is the probable factor why they are particularly lethal to white walkers.
- Literally Shattered Lives: When killed with dragonglass or dragonsteel.
- Living Weapon: They were created to be a weapon by the Children of the Forest in their defensive war against the First Men. It backfired spectacularly when the White Walkers turned out to be far too indiscriminate.
- 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.
- "The Door" finally reveals that the spirals are recreations of the stone monument that played a part in the ritual that created the White Walkers.
- 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.
- Non-Human Undead: There appears to be nothing they can't raise from the dead. Humans, animals, giants, dragons; all of it is fair game.
- No-Sell: Swinging any normal weapon 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.
- One-Gender Race: So far all the White Walkers we have seen on-screen are male. They are shown to be unable to reproduce and steal human children to create new members. From the Books .
- Outside-Context Problem: 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. Season 7 adds undead bears to the mix.
- Screaming Warrior: So far the only noise they have made are bone chilling shrieks.
- Silent Antagonist: So far, none of them has uttered a single word.
- Super Strength: One throws Sam's considerable bulk back several yards with a simple punch, while another breaks Jon's ribs with a hit.
- Turned Against Their Masters: They were originally created by the Children of the Forest to fight the First Men. Needless to say it didn't end well.
- Villain Ball: Most of the White Walkers that have been killed so far could have been prevented it if they simply killed their opponents right away instead of toying with or ignoring them. This behavior seems to stem from a belief that humans simply cannot kill them, which, given the rarity of the items necessary to do such a thing, isn't unfounded.
- The Voiceless: So far, the only vocalizations a Walker has made is a sort of shrill screech, and even then it's only happened twice (once in Season 2 and once in Season 3). It's currently unknown if they either can't speak, choose not to speak, or don't understand/haven't bothered to learn the Common Tongue that mankind uses.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: In Seasons 2 and 3. Apparently Sam Tarly stabbing them with Dragonglass made them decide to start wearing protective armour.
- Was Once a Man: At least some were once human infants sacrificed to the White Walkers and converted to their race by the Night King. It's revealed in Season 6 that the White Walkers are in fact human in origin, transformed by the Children of the Forest to fight against the humans invading Westeros at the time.
- 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.Note...
- In Season 7, Jon Snow has the dragonglass deposits of Dragonstone mined to be turned into weapons to face the White Walkers.
- 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: Basically their entire plan is to create and lead one to conquer Westeros.
The Night King
Played By: Richard Brake (Seasons 4-5), Vladimir Furdik (Seasons 6-7)
"The true enemy won't wait out the storm. He brings the storm."A First Man who the Children of the Forest turned into the first of the White Walkers. As his name/moniker suggests, the Night King is the leader of the White Walkers, and perhaps the most formidable foe Westeros has ever faced.
— Jon Snow
- Attack Its Weak Point: His spear toss doesn't kill Viserion through raw force, but by striking his neck as he was breathing fire. The resulting explosion does most of the damage and causes the dragon to bleed to death. Now the bigger question is did the Night King get lucky or does he KNOW where to hit?
- Authority Equals Asskicking: It's clear that he's the best fighter among the White Walkers, as well as possessing the strongest necromantic powers. Perhaps his greatest victory is of his own making, when he personally kills Viserion with a spear throw. Then proceeds to resurrect and use it to destroy a part of the wall, allowing his gigantic army of the dead a passage into the Seven Kingdoms.
- Arch-Enemy: For all of Westeros, humanity, the children of the forest, the Wildlings, the Night's Watch, Bran Stark, Jon Snow, and Daenerys Targaryen after he kills one of her dragons. The battle of Hardhome cements the great enmity between Jon Snow and him, since Jon discovers how to kill White Walkers right under the Night King's eyes. The two of them then exchange Death Glares as Jon escapes the place and the Night King raises the fallen Wildlings of Hardhome in undeath as a demonstration of his power.
- Badass Boast: He does an iconic, non-verbal one when he converts all the Wildlings and Night's Watch men his army killed into wights—in front of clearly-distressed Lord Commander Jon Snow.
- 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 King.
- As of Season 6, he's this in Bran's storyline and since Ramsay's death and the elimination of House Bolton, he's set to become the new North storyline's Big Bad.
- He remains as the North storyline's Big Bad in Season 7, and preparing the North remains Jon Snow's priority, to the point that he personally comes to treat with Daenerys Targaryen in Dragonstone, requesting help from her and her dragons. After seeing the threat first hand, Daenerys agrees the Night King must be stopped at all costs.
- Bring It: He locks eyes with Jon while he raises his arms and raises Jon's allies as wights.
- Conflict Killer:
- Jon mentions to Sansa in "Dragonstone" that after seeing the Night King, he's been consumed with stopping the Night King and the army of the dead to the point of forgetting about all of the smaller conflicts to the south.
- Subverted in the Season 7 finale. Despite clear evidence that the Night King exists and poses an existential threat to humanity itself, Cersei still won't commit her troops to fighting the White Walkers because she wants her political rivals to weaken themselves as much as they can against the terrible menace she underestimates and hopes she can come out on top against whatever comes out.
- Crazy-Prepared: The most dangerous thing White Walkers can face besides Valyrian steel and Dragonglass is dragons, and he's prepared to deal with them, as demonstrated in "Beyond the Wall".
- Create Your Own Villain: He was turned into the first White Walker by the Children of the Forest.
- 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.
- Dragon Rider: Becomes one when he turns Viserion into a wight and uses him to destroy a portion of the Wall at Eastwatch.
- The Dreaded: Almost more so than the "ordinary" White Walkers. Jon Snow, one of the few people to have killed a White Walker in the series, warns the entire Northern alliance about him—visibly shaken by their encounter:Jon Snow: The true enemy won't wait out the storm. He brings the storm.
- Evil Counterpart: He eventually becomes one to Daenerys, since he's also a far-off, would-be conquerer of Westoros who can ride a dragon.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: He's intimately associated with cold. His skin is icy blue, his "crown" is an array of ice-like spikes on his head, he wields weapons made of ice, and he usually travels within a blizzard, which Jon Snow at one point implies is actually created by his presence. In "Beyond The Wall", he's also shown walking across a line of fire lingering from one of Daenerys' dragons' shots, and the flames are visibly extinguished as he gets near them.
- Evil Overlord: Everyone was thinking that there are no remaining White Walkers in Westeros, and that the Night 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.
- Frontline General: Personally leads his forces during the assault on the Three-Eyed Raven's cave. Averted when he fights Jon Snow as he keeps an army of undead between him and the living, with his lieutenants, watching the fight from afar.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: His eyes glow bright blue, just like the other White Walkers.
- Gone Horribly Right: Originally a human, the Children of the Forest turned him into the Night King (and made other White Walkers as well) as a last-ditch effort to defend themselves against the invading First Men, whom the Children were in danger of being exterminated by. In the intervening time, something happened leading to the Walkers turning on the Children (or vice-versa), forcing the Children to ultimately side with humanity in an attempt to defeat their creations.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Few people know he is coming, fewer that know that he is coming are still alive, and Dolorous Edd and Jon Snow (who considered just giving up after being brought back to life) are the only ones who haven't given up the idea of stopping him. That's a bad sign, especially when he was made to kill all humans in Westeros.
- By the end of Season 7, pretty much everyone who's still alive knows he's coming. It doesn't prevent Cersei from caring about her own plans first and foremost instead of sending her forces to deal with the army of the dead.
- Hero Killer: Heroes run for dear life when this being appears. In Season 6, he personally kills the Three-Eyed Raven. Later, he manages to One-Hit Kill Viserion, one of Daenerys Targaryen's beloved dragons. He only barely misses killing Drogon as well.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: He's raising an army of undead and leading a supernatural force south... why? What does he want? Simple conquest? Eradication of the human race? Fleeing something even worse? We just don't know yet, and he's not talking. It is revealed that he was made to kill all the humans in the continent but decided to not stop at humans, but there is still some questions about other motives.
- 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 normal White Walkers themselves do not possess. This guy is basically a humanoid apocalypse.
- An Ice Person: The iciest of an entire race of Ice Persons.
- In-Name-Only: He shares a similar name and title to The Night's King in the lore of ASOIAF but is otherwise an entirely different character in terms of backstory and origins. George RR Martin states that the "Night's King" of the books is a legendary figure only and is there primarily for the World Building (comparing him to Lann the Clever and Bran the Builder), Within the main series of A Song of Ice and Fire, the Night's King has a grand total of two In-Universe mentions (from A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows.From the Books ), so even within the Lore, he's not painted as having a very large profile.
- Invincible Villain: He was made as the ultimate weapon to wipe out every humans in Westeros and elevated to every being in Westeros. The first union of Children of the Forest and First Men didn't succeed in killing him, only pushing his army back North where he bid his time.
- Javelin Thrower: He's a terrifyingly good shot with ice spears. He kills Viserion, one of Daenerys' three beloved dragons, this way.
- Kill All Humans: Seems to be his goal.
- Knight of Cerebus: While previous Big Bads such as Joffrey and Ramsay has had some measure of Black Comedy, the Night King holds no such nonsense and is entirely grim from the get-go.
- Monster Progenitor: He was created by the Children of the Forest from a normal human by shoving a dragonglass dagger into his chest. He in turn created the entire White Walker race and the Wights.
- Necromancer: Whereas the other White Walkers raise the dead with a touch, the Night King can raise them en masse just by lifting his hands. He can also raise dragons.
- Occult Blue Eyes: Just like the rest of the White Walkers. Though in his case it's due to being stabbed with a dragonglass dagger while tied to a weirwood tree.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Possibly. The sheer scale of his massacre of the Wildlings at Hardhome would suggest that the Night King aims at the eradication of all humanity. Season 6 reveals that the White Walkers were made by the Children of the Forest to get rid of the humans settling in Westeros, and the Night King didn't stop at humans.
- One-Man Army: An interesting version: he can raise an army from the dead on his own.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Usually leading from behind and never putting himself in harms way, he raids the Three-Eyed Raven head on and personally deliver the killing blow on him. The Raven and the Children did have a role in his previous defeat after all and he has a personal score to settle with the Children.
- Perpetual Frowner: He always seen with a dull poker face.
- Physical God: He can control the weather, raise the dead, create more of his kind by converting human children into Wight Walkers, has superhuman strength, and he shows resistance to other forms of magic (namely the Children of the Forest), and he is immortal.
- Poke in the Third Eye: He has some psychic abilities, being able to detect nearby Greenseers and Wargs trying to spy on him.
- The Quiet One: Has yet to utter a single word.
- Reforged into a Minion: We're shown early on that he can transform human infants into White Walkers. Season 5 reveals that he himself suffered this trope in the ancient past, only to turn on the ones who did the reforging.
- Satanic Archetype: In contrast to Jon and Dany's Messianic Archetype (s). He rules over a kingdom of what are essentially ice demons, and he either serves or is R'hllorism's equivalent of Satan. As far as we know, the Night King is the Ultimate Evil of Westeros.
- Sinister Scimitar: Wields a large scimitar made of ice with a long wooden handle in "The Door" when he assaults the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven, and uses it to kill the Three-Eyed Raven while he's warging.
- Slasher Smile: He is prone to giving these off when he knows he is about to slaughter his enemies, especially when he taunts Jon with the now-undead residents of Hardhome, and when he nonchalantly walks through the Children's defensive fire completely unharmed.
- The Strategist: In addition to his terrifying power, the Night 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.
- Super Strength: He's super strong by virtue of being a White Walker. Strong enough to throw an ice spear far enough and strong enough to kill a fully grown dragon in a single hit.
- 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.
- Time Abyss: As he was the first man to become a white walker, that means he was turned 12000 years before the series, presided over the Long Night and was defeated in the War For Dawn.
- Turned Against Their Masters: The Children of the Forest created him and the other White Walkers to be living weapons against the realm of Man. Somewhere along the line, the Night King expanded his focus and became an enemy of the realm of the living, in general.
- 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.
- Villain Takes an Interest: The Night King personally transforms some humans (living children from what we have seen) to full White Walker status but most of them, the ones who are killed are made into wights, and servants.
- The Voiceless: Has yet to speak a word in any language on-screen. In an interview, the show-runners have stated that this choice has been intentional, as it preserves his aura as a mysterious force of destruction.
- Was Once a Man: He was a man captured by the Children of the Forest during their war with the First Men and involuntarily turned into the first White Walker when they stabbed him through the heart with a dragonglass dagger.
"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.
— Jon Snow
- Adaptational Wimp: They are vulnerable to dragonglass just like their masters. In the books, dragonglass doesn't affect them any differently than any other blade.
- 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, though it's not universally effective depending on the wight.
- 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. These seem to be much more vulnerable to damage than the newer ones; several examples have simply fallen apart the first time they took a solid hit.
- Elite Mooks:
- The Season 7 premiere demonstrates that the Walkers can raise more than just dead humans. Several giants are among their ranks during the march to the Wall, turning them into this trope compared to regular Wights.
- White Walkers will turn any animals they kill into wights. This includes powerful native animals like polar bears. Season 7 shows that bear wights are significantly harder to kill and every bit as vicious as a live angry bear would be. It continues mauling after being ignited, requiring being stabbed with an obsidian dagger to finally go down.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Their eyes don't glow like the White Walkers' do, but they do faintly glow.
- Fire Keeps It Dead: Burned corpses can't be raised by the Walkers, which is why the Wildlings burn their dead, and possibly a reason why it is traditional for the Night's Watch to do the same.
- Hellish Horse: The White Walkers' mounts, which are also undead.
- Incongruously Dressed Zombie: Most wights' clothes are so sodden and decomposed it is impossible to tell what they are, although they are probably Wildlings. Night's 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.
- They can also shout to call for help.
- Additionally, when Sandor throws a stone at one, only for it to fall short and hit the lake in front of the wight (which is now frozen solid), the wight takes a moment to regard this, before cautiously stepping onto the ice. When it becomes clear they can cross the ice, they charge.
- Keystone Army: Killing a White Walker makes the wights he raised fall apart.
- Kryptonite Factor: If stabbed with dragonglass, they stop moving and become truly dead.
- Made of Explodium: They completely immolate in seconds when ignited. Good thing too or they'd be even more deadly.
- Mooks: For the White Walkers.
- Night of the Living Mooks: On the way of becoming a full fledged Zombie Apocalypse.
- No-Sell: Things that would kill the living will barely slow them down. Dismemberment will do the trick in a pinch. Fire and obsidian also work.
- 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. It may also work in reverse as Leaf vaporising a wight's head appeared to stop it, suggesting that complete destruction may stop wights.
- 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: Whatever force animates the wights is unaffected by damage to the corpse, as skeletal wights with barely any muscle can run and fight as well. Without fire, the only valid method against wights is to chop off their limbs so that they cannot effectively fight.
- Raising the Steaks: Horses are included among their number. During the expedition to retrieve a Wight, a polar bear wight makes an appearance. Then the dragon Viserion joins their ranks after his death.
- 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.
- Undead Child: It seems that children aren't any more resistant to being turned into Wights than adults are.
- We Have Reserves: See Zerg Rush below; their masters don't bother saving their numbers, as every major attack they commit will usually provide enough corpses to fill in the gaps.
- Zerg Rush: The tactic shown in Hardhome and the attack on the Three-Eyed Raven's cave, 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. It appears to be the preferred method against prepared groups of enemies, as the frenzied rush of wights overwhelms the enemies' superior fighting skills.
- Zombie Gait: Averted; Wights are almost as fast in death as they were in life, giving the living only a slight advantage when fleeing. Until the end of the fourth season they played this trope straight, which may have just been the Walkers screwing with people.
The Children of the Forest
Played By: Alice Hewkin (Season 4), Kae Alexander (Season 6)
"The First Men called us The Children, but we were born long before them."The 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.
- Ambiguously Human: They physically resemble human children somewhat, but are clearly distinct from humans overall.
- Art Evolution: They first appeared only in the Season 4 finale, then were absent for all of Season 5. When they return in Season 6, their appearance has been drastically upgraded — a combination of advances in CGI and HBO nearly doubling the TV series's budget from what it was back in Season 2 (in Season 6, it's $10 million per episode). The upgrade brings them closer to how they were described in the books: slitted eyes like a cat's, slightly more animalistic facial features, and nut-brown skin spotted like a deer's (a minor complaint in the Season 4 finale was that they looked kind of Caucasian, when they're actually not even human).
- The Atoner: Whatever hatred they had for humans that made them create the White Walkers, they now spend their time helping humans against the White Walkers, even when most if not all of the Children have had to give their lives.
- Badass Native: Are the original inhabitants of Westeros, and fought against both the First Men and the White Walkers for thousands of years.
- Big Good: The main force opposing the White Walkers, the most dangerous creatures in Westeros that the Children created.
- Creepy Child: As beings thousands of years old with the bodies of children, they tend to fall into this.
- Didn't Think This Through: Apparently, it never crossed their minds that creating an army of undead ice demons solely with the purpose to kill men would backfire.
- Face Death with Dignity: Leaf remains completely calm as the wights rip her to pieces.
- 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.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: In-Universe, among the Northmen, the Children are seen as Benevolent Precursors who after fighting against the First Men, heroically banded with them against a common enemy. Jon Snow tells The Theme Park Version to Queen Daenerys in Season 7, on finding some murals next to a Dragonglass mine. The truth as Bran discovered from the Tree-Eyed Raven and confirmed by Leaf and the other surviving Children is that they invented the White Walkers, and created them from the humans they captured. They were in fact Abusive Precursors who tried to exterminate humans only turning to the humans for help, when the White Walkers decided to exterminate the COTF and the First Men.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Ultimately rendered extinct by the very beings they created to help them avoid extinction at the hands of humans.
- 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.
- Irony: The last of the beings who once fought against humans and even created the White Walkers to get rid of them sacrifice themselves saving a couple humans from their own out of control creations.
- Magical Native American: The original inhabitants of Westeros; and are said to be practitioners of powerful, ancient magic. From the books...
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In the sixth season, it's eventually revealed that the Children created the White Walkers by using their magic on captured human victims. The intent was to create a rapidly self-propagating army to drive away humanity. They got it... they just couldn't control it.
- 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. Season 6 reveals that the fireballs are in fact magic firebomb grenades.
- Redemption Equals Death: What appears to be the last of Children of the Forest perishes in an attempt to buy Bran and Meera time to escape from the White Walkers.
- Shrouded in Myth: In-universe.
- Uncertain Doom: As of Season 6's "The Door", for all we know, the Children may be extinct for good. None of them were specifically shown to escape the carnage in the Three-Eyed Raven's cave, and there's been no mention of other holdouts where other present-day Children might make their home.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Doesn't get worse than creating the White Walkers just to fight off the humans trying to settle on your continent.
The Three-Eyed Raven
Played By: Struan Rodger (2014), Max von Sydow (2016)
"I have been many things. Now I am what you see."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 4, being enmeshed in the roots of a large weirwood tree, located beneath a cave on a hill.
- Adapted Out: His identity as Brynden Rivers, aside from one reference to "a thousand eyes, and one".
- 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 looks.
- Adaptation Name Change: Species change more like. The Three-Eyed Raven is the Three-Eyed Crow in the book.note
- Age Lift: Bloodraven in the books was only about a century old but in the show he mentions that he has been waiting 1,000 years for Bran to arrive. Granted, he may have been joking but with his death, we'll never know.
- Big Good: The most straightforward example in the series. His death midway through Season 6 signifies how bad the situation has gotten.
- Brain Uploading: As per Word of God, the Raven does this at the moment before his death, transferring all his knowledge to Bran.
- Cassandra Truth: He repeatedly warns Bran not to interfere with the past but Bran ignores him. Bran finally learns why when he realizes that via Mental Time Travel, he lobotimized Hodor in the past, and his mental adventures result in the deaths of Summer, Hodor, and the Raven. It's possible that he even knew what Bran would do since just before the Walkers arrive, the Raven takes Bran to that specific moment in Winterfell's past where Hodor would be attacked.
- Cool Old Guy: Especially when played the legendary Max von Sydow.
- Deadpan Snarker:Three Eyed Raven: [to Bran] You think I wanted to sit here for a thousand years watching the world from a distance as the roots grow through me?
Bran: So why did you?
Three Eyed Raven: I was waiting for you.
Bran: I don't want to be you.
Three Eyed Raven: I don't blame you.
- Dream Weaver: How he communicates with Bran.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Though only officially introduced in the Season 4 finale, he's appeared since Season 1 as the Three-Eyed Raven. Bonus points for appearing as an actual bird.
- Face Death with Dignity: He keeps his composure as he's about to be killed by the Night King.
- Legacy Character: Due to a literal Brain Upload, both the current character and Bran's uncle Benjen state that in many ways Bran is the Three-eyed raven now, after the first one is killed by the Night King. It's possible that it's some sort of title for the most powerful living Greenseer.
- The Mentor: Since the start of the series, he's been driving Bran toward him; in order to fully develop his unprecedented abilities.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: The Night King kills the Raven when he invades the Raven's cave.
- Mysterious Backer: To Bran. He's been sending him visions ever since Bran lost the use of his legs.
- Not So Omniscient After All: He can see the past and present clearly, but the future is far more difficult. He didn't foresee the Night King touching Bran in his vision of the undead army, resulting in the cave being found and forcing the Three-Eyed Raven to hurry up his plans, giving all his knowledge to Bran at once rather than over time as he intended.
- Obi-Wan Moment: When he realizes that the White Walkers are coming for him, the Raven does something to help Bran "become him." In Bran's vision, the Raven tells him to go before disappearing into a black mist as the Night King kills him in the real world.
- The Omniscient:
- He appears to be all-knowing.Three Eyed Raven:: I have been watching you, all of you, all of your lives. With a thousand eyes, and one.
- He appears to be all-knowing.
- 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. He no longer sports one in Season 6.