Characters: Game Of Thrones White Walkers
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The White Walkers
The White Walkers
"They swept through cities and kingdoms, riding their dead horses, hunting with their packs of pale spiders big as hounds."
Old Nan: "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 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 establishment of the Night's Watch. By the time of Game of Thrones
, most people assume either that they're a myth or that they died out centuries ago. They didn't, and now they're coming back.
- Achilles' Heel: Dragonglass, or obsidian. Being stabbed with it causes their bodies to turn rapidly into ice, before shattering violently. After all, what's the opposite of ice? Volcanic glass.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Inverted. The Book!Others are described as oddly beautiful, sort of ice-themed versions of The Fair Folk. In the show they are Humanoid Abominations.
- Adaptation Name Change: They are most often referred to as "The Others" in the books, though "White Walkers" is occasionally used. The change is believed to have been made to avoid confusion with the... other Others.
- That, and the fact that you can't hear the capital letter on TV, so it would sometimes be hard to tell whether characters would be talking about some "others" in general, or the Others.
- Also, this name is much more frightening and evocative of what they actually are.
- Alliterative Name
- An Ice Person: One White Walker freezes Samwell's sword then shatters it.
- Army of the Dead: Invaded Westeros with an army of undead warriors during the Long Night. It is revealed in "Valar Morghulis" that they have a massive army of wights.
- Barehanded Blade Block: White Walkers can not only pull this off, but freeze the blade and shatter it.
- 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.
- Bigger Bad: 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.
- Blade on a Stick: The White Walkers in Valar Morghulis wield ice spears while mounted on dead horses.
- 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: Not for the faint of heart.
- The Dreaded: There is no way to properly describe the sheer horror people in Westeros have for the White Walkers.
- Though the fact they built The Wall specificially to keep them out, kind of says it all.
- Actually, kind of defied; 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 the last episode, one of them froze and shattered Sam's sword just by grabbing it for a few seconds.
- 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
- Godzilla Threshold: The last time they emerged from the Land of Always Winter, 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...
- Grim Up North
- 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.
- The Horde: More so than the Wildlings.
- 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.
- Literally Shattered Lives: When killed with dragonglass.
- 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.
- Necromancer: The touch of a White Walker can raise the dead as wights.They are, evidently, good enough at this to raise an enormous army of their undead servants, formed from the people they've killed. And the White Walkers have had a lot of time perfecting the art of killing.
- 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
- Oh Crap: The White Walker that Sam kills has this reaction after it realises it's been stabbed with dragonglass.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stupid Evil: Averted; a White Walker had the chance to kill Sam in Valar Morghulis but ignores him. Sam ends up killing the same Walker in Second Sons when it comes for Gilly's son.
- Super Strength: One throws Sam's considerable bulk back several yards with a simple punch.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: But not in a good way.
- Weaponized Weakness: The dragonglass blades at the Fist of the First Men.
- Walking Wasteland: They radiate cold from their bodies, and a blizzard follows them.
- Would Hurt a Child: Whatever they want with Craster's sons, it's unlikely to be nice. They might eat them, or use them as some form of sacrifice. From the books...
- Zombie Apocalypse: They lead one during the Long Night thousands of years ago. And as of the second season finale, they're leading another straight against the Night's Watch.
"They were touched by White Walkers. That's why they came back. That's why their eyes turned blue. Only fire will stop them."
Corpses of humans, and animals, raised by the White Walkers to act as their enforcers. Vulnerable only to fire.