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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."
Old Nan

A legendary race from beyond the Wall. Eight thousand years ago, during a generation-long winter called 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. Essos and the Seven Kingdoms are mostly unaware of their resurgence and doubt they ever existed, but those who do know of them consider their return a dark omen; if the living are not ready to face the Walkers when they come for the Seven Kingdoms, civilization is doomed.

  • 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 explode on contact.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: In the books, the Others are described as 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 balding old men with white hair, and the only armour they wear is likewise black.
  • 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 black and grey material which makes them stick out in the snow.
  • 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: 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. Season 8 reveals that the Night King wants to destroy all trace of humanity's world, suggesting the others are simply following his lead.
  • An Ice Person: Prominently, cold radiates from their bodies. White Walkers wield weapons made of ice, and strokes from these weapons or even their bare palms' touch can freeze and shatter non-magical blades almost instantly. Their footsteps can put out flames merely by walking through them and instantly freeze small puddles of water. 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: They can reanimate any dead thing they have access to as a wight, unless it has been burned.
  • 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 also 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 the 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. In Season 8, they become a Disc-One Final Boss and don't factor into the last three episodes' story conclusion.
  • Bioweapon Beast: A magical variant. 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 in their targets.
  • Chill of Undeath: They're implied to be not alive in the traditional sense, and 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 after spending a chunk of Season 7 somewhat at odds with Jon about it.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: Shared with the wights, implying a magical cause.
  • Dark Is Evil: All of them wear black and grey armor, and their blizzards blot out the sun if they're moving during the day.
  • Deader than Dead: Immediately after Arya slays the Night King, the White Walkers disintegrate and their Wight army become lifeless corpses.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The first death of a White Walker by Samwell using dragonglass is implied to be the reason by the other Walkers start donning armor instead of walking around half-naked. The White Walker which Jon duels in "Hardhome" has a visible Oh, Crap! reaction when Longclaw deflects the Walker's blade without shattering, due to being Valyrian steel.
  • 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 are just a myth (everywhere else). Once a Westerosi is finally convinced that the White Walkers are real, the horror they can inspire quickly takes hold.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: Taken to its logical extreme; see An Ice Person.
  • Evil Old Folks: White Walkers with the exception of the Night King look like humanoid old men. Though some if not most of them originated as babies who were offered to the Walkers by Craster.
  • 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 their kind.
  • Foreboding Fleeing Flock: Played With in "Second Sons", where birds behaving oddly and flocking together eerily forebodes a single White Walker's approach.
  • 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 foot soldiers to live so they can rally the south for a better fight. None of this stops them from killing children or having their wights eat soldiers and defenseless villagers alive.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Their eyes have a subtle glow, which becomes especially notable in the dark.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The last time they emerged from the Lands 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. Based on a particular shot at the final episode's end, their magic might even be responsible for the world's unpredictable season cyclenote  until their death causes the seasons revert to an annual cycle.
  • Grim Up North: And they are very grim.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Their shrieks are very much the sound you'd expect to hear from demons that come in the night to raid villages. 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: Eerie, undead creatures resembling tall, mummified men with unearthly blue eyes, who emanate freezing cold temperatures, reanimate corpses as wights, and carry themselves in a highly inhuman manner with only the briefest flecks of human-like emotions if any. Their legendary reputation among the Westerosi as demonic and otherworldly beings is well-earned.
  • Implacable Man: Or Monstrous Humanoid, in any case; much like their wights, there isn't a lot that can faze a White Walker, and even when faced with the deaths of other Walkers they don't ever stop until every living thing around them is dead or turned into one of their wights. The way that they're treated In-Universe is more akin to preparing for a horrific natural disaster than a conventional army.
  • It Can Think: They're much more than a mindless evil. They didn't much bother with armor in the first few seasons, but after Sam killed one of them with a dragonglass dagger, they started. After they witnessed Jon kill one of them with Longclaw, they started sending in the wights to fight for them more often. They've also started traveling almost exclusively as a group instead of going off alone and getting picked off.
  • Keystone Army: In Season 7, when Jon killing a White Walker causes most of the wights accompanying it to suddenly become lifeless, he and his expedition later theorize that killing a White Walker kills all the wights whom that Walker reanimated. Beric Dondarrion suggests that if one can kill the Night King, it could kill his entire army, since "he turned them all". He's proven correct in Season 8.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Dragonglass (obsidian) and Dragonsteel (Valyrian steel) weapons will typically inflict an instant death blow if the White Walkers' bodies are dealt a blow by such a weapon, likely due to the materials' relations to extreme heat and fire.
  • Legend Fades to Myth: Most of the world outside the North believe they never existed as anything more than a myth to begin with. They're also described as riding "pale spiders big as hounds" in Old Nan's tales of the Long Night, but said creatures are never seen when they return in the show.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: They disintegrate into ice shards more or less instantly when they're killed.
  • Loincloth: They wore scraps of brown cloth around their waists and even on their hands until after the third season. The need of undead Monstrous Humanoids to keep their groins covered is rather odd, considering this is Game of Thrones.
  • 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. A third time, severed human arms were nailed to the wall of Last Hearth's great hall, with the young Lord Umber in the center. We have no idea why they do this, but "The Door" reveals that the spirals are recreations of the stone monument that played a part in the ritual that created the White Walkers.
    • 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.
    • In "Winterfell", the Night King made the symbol with the newly-raised Lord Umber seemingly to taunt the Northmen as a symbol of his coming.
  • Monstrous Humanoid: Each White Walker Was Once a Man (or rather a baby), and they look like emaciated corpses that were left out to freeze but with winter-themed color coding.
  • Necromancer: Their magic 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.
    "An army which doesn't leave corpses behind on the battlefield."
  • 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 Ontological Inertia: In Season 7, it's discovered that if a White Walker is killed, the wights reanimated by that Walker will all die as well. In Season 8, managing to kill the Night King causes his entire army to promptly follow him.
  • No-Sell: Swinging any normal weapon at a White Walker won't do a lot — it'll just freeze the blade and shatter it. They're also unfazed by the Children of the Forest's magical fire-barrier, which they just walk right through while their cold beats back the flames.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Their morality is undetermined to be either actively malicious or just completely alien, and it's uncertain why precisely the Walkers follow the Night King's goal (see his folder for more info).
  • Not So Extinct: Just about everyone in Westeros thinks that the White Walkers are extinct, and some even believe that they never existed in the first place. They're all in for an unpleasant surprise.
  • 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 wide-eyed Jaw Drop when its metal-shattering spear fails to break Longclaw.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: As demonstrated in "Winter is Coming", when the pattern of corpses manages 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!: They seem to favor removing their victims' heads offscreen when they want to play the Mad Artist.
  • Ominous Walk: They've never been seen running, and it goes with the name.
  • One-Gender Race: All the White Walkers we have seen on-screen are male. They are shown to reproduce by stealing human children to create new members. The only children known to be taken are Craster's baby sons, so it's unknown if they have to convert males for some reason or if it's simply the Night King's preference. From the Books .
  • Outside-Context Problem: Most people assume they're all gone, if they believe they existed at all, and their reemergence has more or less nothing to do with all the politics and wars of the Seven Kingdoms and Essos during the first five seasons.
  • 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.
  • Silent Antagonist: The only vocalizations they have made are a shrill, bone-chilling shriek. 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.
  • Super-Strength: One throws Sam's considerable bulk back several yards with a simple punch, while another breaks Jon's ribs with a hit.
  • Taught by Experience:
    • Until Sam Tarly killed one with dragonglass, they went around shirtless. The next time we saw them afterwards, they started wearing black leathery armors. Said armors are thick enough to prevent the Walkers' skin from being in contact with the dragonlass, as shown during their assault on the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven when a Child of the Forest unsuccessfully tried stabbing a Walker in the belly section — Meera Reed destroyed it by throwing a dragonglass spear in its exposed head.
    • No White Walker whatsoever is seen amidst the Battle of the Dawn until most of the North's armies are slaughtered and the heroes too busy, isolated, exhausted and desperate fighting off endless waves of wights and the Night King and his Dracolich to be a threat. The Walkers preferred letting the wights do all the job and wait from a safe distance. This comes after losing some of their own during the battle at the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven and the battle of Hardhome, during which some Walkers decided to directly confront heroes only to find out the hard way they were equipped with dragonglass and/or Valyrian steel.
  • Transhuman Abomination: The show canonizes the books' unconfirmed speculation by Craster's wives that the fate of the baby boys sacrificed to the Walkers is to become Walkers themselves — one touch from the Night King turns the babies into something like what he is. It's heavily implied that each and every Walker besides the Night King was created this way.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: They were originally created by the Children of the Forest to fight the First Men. Needless to say, it's Gone Horribly Right.
  • Villain Ball: The first two White Walker deaths could have been prevented 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.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: In Seasons 2 and 3. Apparently Sam Tarly stabbing and killing one of 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 Night King himself was 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.
    • 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. It benefits the living army against the wights in Season 8.
  • Walking Wasteland: They radiate cold from their bodies, and a blizzard follows the main army courtesy of the Night King.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In all but one of their appearances they have been threatening children in some way, and they have child wights in their army.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Basically their entire plan is to create and lead one to conquer Westeros.

    The Night King 

The Night King

Played By: Richard Brake (Seasons 4-5), Vladimír Furdík (Seasons 6-8)

"The true enemy won't wait out the storm. He brings the storm."
Jon Snow

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.

  • Armor Is Useless: Arya's blade doesn't go through the pieces of plate armor of the Night King but through one of the gaps between the armor where there is only what appears to be leather.
  • 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?
    • Arya kills him by stabbing him with a Valyrian steel knife in the same place the Children of the Forest stabbed him to turn him into a monster. According to the post-episode interviews with the showrunners, this is the only way to kill him.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: 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 him 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.
    • Bran notes that the Night King and the Three-Eyed Raven are this: the Night King wishes to eradicate all memory of the world of Men, and as the Three-Eyed Raven possesses all memory of the world, the Night King wants him dead more than any other.
  • Assimilation Plot: One aspect of his creating the Army of the Dead is that he wants to make everything undead just like him so that there's no more humanity left alive to remind him of what he's since lost by becoming the Night King.
  • 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 and he essentially becomes the ultimate Big Bad for the whole world. Although he is destroyed midway through Season 8, he is still by far the most powerful enemy the protagonists had ever or would ever face, threatening the entire planet, leaving the villains that came after him looking completely insignificant in comparison - even Daenerys, who burned all of King's Landing to the ground after her tragic fall to darkness.
  • Bookends: His existence as the Night King began when he was stabbed through the heart with an obsidian dagger under a weirwood by a being resembling a teenage girl. It ends from a quick stab from Arya's Valyrian dagger, also under a weirwood.
  • Bring It: He locks eyes with Jon while he raises his arms and raises the dead at Hardhome 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 or whoever survives.
  • 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. A close-up picture reveals that his pupils are in the shape of a seven-pointed star, making them even creepier.
  • Crown-Shaped Head: The Night King sports a crown made of ice shards covering its head.
  • Dark Is Evil: Wears all-black armor and is a dire threat to humanity. His powers also include blocking out the sun.
  • Death Glare: He has one of these for Jon once he sees the Lord-Commander slay a White Walker with Valyrian steel. When Jon and co. are later trapped on an ice lake after attempting to capture a wight, Beric suggests that maybe killing the Night King will destroy his whole army. At that point Jon and the Night King again share death glares.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: A very interesting example for Season 8 (the final season). He meets his demise in the third episode, seemingly leaving Cersei as Big Bad for the three remaining episodes, until Daenerys becomes a Fallen Heroine in the second to last episode and wipes Cersei and most of King's Landing off the face of the planet, serving as the final Big Bad.
  • Dragon Rider: He becomes one when he turns Viserion into a wight/White Walker and uses him to destroy a portion of the Wall at Eastwatch.
  • The Dreaded: Even 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.
  • Eviler than Thou: The Boltons are small time compared to him. As is Daenerys (though this was before her Face–Heel Turn); she's totally helpless against him even with her dragons and slave armies.
  • The Fair Folk: His minions capture human infants and he transforms them into new White Walkers.
  • Final Boss: Effectively serves as this for the series. The final confrontation with him in the final season, built to since the very first scene in the series, represents the largest and most important clash in the world's history. There are two antagonists that technically come after him (Cersei and Daenerys) but neither are anywhere near his threat level (the stakes revert to "who gets the throne" rather than "will humanity survive") and both are easily dealt with in a single episode each, making them more like Post Final Bosses.
  • Fisher King: It's heavily implied that his magic is what's responsible for turning the lands North of the Wall (which are shown to have been lush and green when he was first created) into the subarctic wastes they are today, and possibly also for the Bizarre Seasons Westeros has been experiencing for the past several millennia. After his defeat, in the show's last episode, the weather is shown to be much more mild, with grass even shown sprouting past the Wall (bear in mind that a very short length of time has passed since the Westerosi winter's beginning at the end of Season 6 and that it was being predicted throughout the show that the encroaching winter would be a long one), implying that the seasons are returning to normal now that he's gone.
  • Flat Character: Comes with being The Voiceless and The Stoic. He's stone-faced to a fault (save for his smirk to Daenerys in "The Long Night" after no-selling Drogon's fire) as he has zero personality to speak of. Likewise, his motives are a complete mystery save for washing away everything in death and ice, somewhat making him a Generic Doomsday Villain as well. But because of the sheer threat he poses, rather than a character he's something closer to an extreme force of nature that must be dealt with.
  • 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.
  • Foil: To Daenerys. Both are Big Bads reliant on magic, both have their "children" as their main minions,note  both were once part of Westeros but now act as external invaders who bring terror on it, and they're associated with opposite elements- fire and ice. Their clothing (Daenerys wears white, the Night King wears black) and titles (Night King and Dragon Queen) also allude to this. The main difference is that the Night King was pretty much evil from the day he was born and was an obvious villain when the show first showed him. Daenerys on the other hand started the series as a hero, and one of the series Big Goods but starts Slowly Slipping Into Evil due to going increasingly insane in the final two seasons before becoming the series final antagonist.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: From a First Man the Children of the Forest captured to perhaps the greatest threat Westeros has ever faced.
  • Genre Savvy: It's not clear if he knew that Valyrian steel weapons could kill his kind (the White Walker that Jon kills in "Hardhome" certainly seemed surprised), but once this is established, he never again puts himself in a position where Jon — who wields the Valyrian steel bastard sword Longclaw — can get to him.
  • 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.
    • House Of The Dragon all but states that one of the main reasons Aegon, Rhaenys and Visenya first arrived in Westeros to conquer it was to stop The Night King from ending the world, thanks to a dream Aegon had. This means that he's responsible for indirectly shaping the history of Westeros as a whole.
  • 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. Season 8 adds Theon to his list of victims.
  • 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.
    • Finally put to rest by Bran in Season 8, where Bran reveals that the Night King simply wants to annihilate the Realm of Men and create an endless night in which only the living dead exist. His immediate target is the Three-Eyed Raven, now Bran, because the Three-Eyed Raven represents the memory of the World of Men.
  • 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, such as being able to manipulate the weather. This guy is basically a humanoid apocalypse.
  • Immune to Fire: He's completely immune to heat and fire. Even when Daenerys has Drogon breathe a jet of dragonfire directly onto him, he is completely unharmed when it ends, and even gives Daenerys the tiniest smirk in response.
  • 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 R.R. Martin states that the "Night's King" of the books is a legendary figure only and is there primarily for the Worldbuilding (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.
  • It's Personal: With the Three-Eyed Raven. Bran relates the Night King wants him dead more than any other; as the embodiment of the world's memories, killing him would be a major success in the Night King's campaign to wipe away all trace of men's existence. Bran also notes the Night King has tried hunting down many previous incarnations of the Three-Eyed Raven, but failed to kill them (at least before they had a successor).
  • 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: His goal. Bran Stark goes even further by suggesting not only that he wants to end all human life, but the experience of being human as well, which is why he sees the Three-Eyed Raven as his Arch-Enemy.
  • Kill It with Fire: Averted. Wights are succeptible to fire, and extremely vulnerable to dragon fire, but the Night King and his White Walker generals are impervious to fire. The Night King in particular is able to put out fires with his mere presence, and even takes a blast of dragon fire strong enough to melt a castle head-on and barely flinches.
  • 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.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: His greatest weakness. If he is killed then 'every' White Walker and wight that has been raised will all instantly die.
  • Made of Iron: After being knocked off an undead Viserion, Dany engulfs him with Drogon's fire for about half a minute. Once the fire clears, the Night King is revealed to be untouched and just gives Dany a smug grin. Note that, as seen in this episode and a few episodes later, dragon fire can pulverize entire towers made of solid stone like nothing.
  • Menacing Stroll: The Night King never moves faster than a walk. This bites him in the ass in the Battle at Winterfell; if he had moved faster, Arya would not have been able to stop him from killing Bran.
  • Monster Lord: Effectively the king of all undead creatures (except Gregor Clegane).
  • 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.
  • No Ontological Inertia: In Season 7, Jon hypothesizes that if he dies, then the entire Army of the Dead dies with him. Season 8 proves this hypothesis correct.
  • No-Sell: He's immune to dragon's fire, to Dany's horror.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Given his nature and silence, it's unclear whether he's a psychopathic Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds who's embittered by his fate, or a Humanoid Abomination who literally doesn't think and feel with thought processes that a human brain can understand (or not anymore, at least). The writers and Vladimir Furdik likewise have differing opinions on whether the Night King is motivated by revenge or by doing what he was created to do.
  • Occult Blue Eyes: Just like the rest of the White Walkers although taken further since his pupils are in the shape of a seven-pointed star, the same shape used by the Faith of the Seven. Though in his case it's due to being stabbed with a dragonglass dagger while tied to a weirwood tree.
  • Oh, Crap!: He gets a very subtle one while he's holding Arya by the throat after catching her backstab attempt. In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, his eyes snap from her face to her now empty hand, and you can see the gears turning when he realizes what she plans to do. Lucky for her, with one hand on her wrist and the other on her throat, he has no way of stopping her from stabbing him in the gut once she catches the dagger with her free hand.
  • 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. Season 8 confirms the Night King's ultimate goal is to not only exterminate the race of Men, but to also erase all traces of their world, leaving a lightless world inhabited solely by the living dead in its place.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Arya is the first and only character to successfully hurt him, stabbing him in the stomach with her Valyrian dagger. It instantly vaporizes him and his entire army.
  • One-Man Army: An interesting version: he can raise an army from the dead on his own.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: As Bran points out, the Night King is obsessed with driving humanity extinct and as such wants to kill its archive of knowledge, the Three-Eyed Raven, personally. This desire to do the deed himself directly leads to his death. His victory would've been guaranteed if he had stayed off the battlefield and left the task to his wights or White Walkers, who run roughshod over the Northern forces and end up completely surrounding Bran in the Godswood. The Night King exposing himself at this moment allows Arya to sneak up and kill him, totally disabling his Keystone Army.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Usually leading from behind and never putting himself in harm's 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 is always seen with a dull poker face. The only time we get anything different is his first appearance, in which he appears to have a very macabre smile as he converts Craster's son into a White Walker and when he completely shrugs off Daenerys's attempt to destroy him with dragon fire.
  • Physical God: He can control the weather, raise the dead, create more of his kind by converting human children into Wight Walkers, has some psychic abilities, has vastly superhuman strength, is Nigh-Invulnerable,note  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.
  • Put Them All Out of My Misery: According to Bran, the principle motivation for his Omnicidal Mania is resentment of the living, which he once was but no longer is. He seeks to eliminate the living reminder of what he lost at the hands of the Children of the Forest (i.e. humanity itself), chief among them the Three-Eyed Ravens who act as the preservers of all human memory.
  • Reforged into a Minion: We're shown early on that he can transform human infants into White Walkers. Season 6 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.
  • Silent Antagonist: Never speaks 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.
  • 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 sporadically, especially when he nonchalantly walks through the Children's defensive fire completely unharmed. He later flashes Dany a positively chilling smirk after she unleashes the full might of Drogon's fire on him and he emerges unscathed. Note that both times the Night King did this was when he No-Selled fire.
  • 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-Persistent Predator: Bran notes that the Night King can track him anywhere in the world, thanks to the mark he left on Bran when they first met. Bran also adds that the Night King has previously tried to hunt down and kill many previous incarnations of the Three-Eyed Raven.
  • 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.
  • Super Prototype: In comparison to the other White Walkers, being the first (and being created in a different way) gives him beefed up versions of their powers, including being able to raise an absolutely massive amount of dead people with only a gesture.
  • 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.
    • He flashes a surprisingly smug one when Drogon's flames fail to harm him in the slightest.
  • 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.
  • Transhuman Abomination: He was originally a First Man over 10,000 years ago, who was turned into the undead, cryokinetic Humanoid Abomination he now is by the Children of the Forest in a ritual.
  • 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.
  • The Unfought: Appears on the battlefield many times but is never engaged in combat directly until Dany tries to destroy him with dragon fire, and then Arya stabs him with the catspaw dagger, killing him.
  • Viler New Villain: While the series has many manipulative bastards and power-hungry nobles, they're motivated by human desires and relatable reasons for what they do. By contrast the Night King is a completely inhuman force who only wants to destroy every living thing, and is a Flat Character without anything remotely human in his personality.
  • Villain Ball: The Night King loses when Arya manages to stab him at the last moment, disabling his entire undead Keystone Army. Up until this point, he was close to a perfect victory—the Northern forces stood no chance against the wights' sheer numbers (helped by the stupid Hollywood Tactics). And the Walkers' weather control allowed them to nearly No-Sell the North's various incendiary tactics. On top of that, the Night King could just revive any enemy dead at will and turn them to his side. If the Night King were smart, he would've just stayed home and waited, but he had to kill Bran in person.
  • 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.
    • Implied when he kills Theon. Note that he lets the guy charge at him without any of the wights surrounding them intervening. And after delivering the fatal blow, the Night King notably lifts his eyes to glare at his intended target Bran; then after a brief cut between scenes, the Night King's suddenly looking back at Theon as if in acknowledgement of the noble lengths Theon went to as the last life leaves the latter, before he steps past the fresh corpse towards his main target.
  • 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. He also takes particular interest in both Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen as opponents.
  • Xanatos Gambit: It's heavily implied that the whole "Hardhome" battle was part of a plan to bait Daenerys into bringing him a dragon to kill and revive; note that the wights already had the massive chains there.
  • 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.
  • Worthy Opponent: His view of Jon, or so we think. After Jon slays one of the White Walkers attacking Hardhome, he gives Jon the faintest of nods, and takes time to personally taunt and challenge him as Jon, the Night's Watch, and the Wildlings flee the sacked city. We see this again when his army surrounds Jon Snow's crew on the ice lake, where the duo exchange stares while the Wights wait for the ice to re-freeze. When the Night King kills Viserion, Jon angrily tries to fight toward him in a righteous rampage to kill him, until Jon realizes that he's about to kill Drogon as well and runs back to tell Daenerys to leave.

    The Wights
"They were touched by White Walkers. That's why they came back. That's why their eyes turned blue. Only fire will stop them."

"We're all the same to them, meat for their army."
Jon Snow

Corpses of humans and animals, raised by the White Walkers to act as their enforcers. Vulnerable only to fire.

  • 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. The creators have stated this change was intentional, as sword fights are more practical to film than having to burn literally every last one of them. Burning them seems in fact to only be about as effective as it would be on humans, compared to in the books where they go up like their whole body is made of pitch.
  • 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, "Hardhome" and "Winterfell".
  • 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.
  • Deader than Dead: Immediately after Arya slays the Night King, the White Walkers turn into dust and their Wight army goes back to being corpses.
  • 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.
  • Fragile Speedster: In contrast to their book counterparts, at least. These wights are fully capable of sprinting and charging headlong into danger without fear, but have an added weakness to dragonglass and are usually put down rather easily. In contrast, the books' version of the wights has them with a typical Zombie Gait, no dragonglass weakness, and they can take several hits before going down permanently.
  • 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.
    • In the following battle, after Beric ignites one without finishing it off, the wight promptly ignores the rest of the group to try and kill the captured wight instead.
  • Keystone Army: Killing a White Walker makes the wights he raised fall apart.
  • Kill It with Fire: One way to kill a wight is to set it on fire, which will completely consume the corpse.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Setting them on fire causes them to go up like kindling, and if stabbed with dragonglass, they stop moving and become truly dead. In the books however, dragonglass was no more effective against them than any other weapons, and they were only truly vulnerable to fire.
  • Made of Incendium: 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 to becoming a full fledged Zombie Apocalypse.
  • No Ontological Inertia: In Season 7, it's discovered that if a White Walker is killed, their Wights will all die as well.
  • No-Sell: Things that would kill the living will barely slow them down. Dismemberment will do the trick in a pinch, even though it won't actually kill them. Fire, obsidian, and Valyrian steel will permanently kill 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. 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: 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
"We were at war, we were being slaughtered, our sacred trees cut down. We needed to defend ourselves."
Click to see Leaf as played by Octavia Alexandru 

Played By: Octavia Alexandru (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.

  • Adaptational Badass: The Child of the Forest in the show can shoot fireballs, something never seen in the books.
  • 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 

The Three-Eyed Raven
"You will never walk again. But you will fly."
Click to see the Three-Eyed Raven as played by Struan Rodger. 

Played By: Struan Rodger (Season 4), Max von Sydow (Season 6)

"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.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Downplayed, but there is something distinctly sinister about Bloodraven's current appearances in the books, with a lot of emphasis on decidedly horrific imagery and themes being put into his Training Montage with Bran. In the series, the Raven is creepy looking, but is unambiguously one of the most purely intentioned characters in the show.
  • 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. Season 8 reveals that he was not the first Three-Eyed Raven so it's possible he could still be Bloodraven and was just counting his predecessors.
  • 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.
  • Metaphorically True: After Bran realizes that his father could sense his presence in the past, the Raven tells Bran that the past is already written ("it's dried ink"). The Raven's first denials that "(Ned) heard the wind" are blatant lies. The reason the Raven lies is to ensure that Bran doesn't realize that he can make minor changes to the past and thus ensure that Wylis is corrupted into Hodor so that Bran will be saved by Hodor in the present. The metaphor comes from the fact that the past is written. All changes to the past made by the Ravens has to happen for the present to occur.
  • 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.
  • Passing the Torch: What he essentially did with Bran, teaching him how to visit the past and other places at the present, and how to better warg. Bran thus became the next Three-Eyed Raven after this one perished by the hand of the Night King.
  • 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.
  • Stealth Mentor: To hammer in the point that Bran shouldn't mess with the past, he allows Bran to corrupt Wylis into Hodor. At least this is implied as Bran is so horrified by this, that he's unlikely to change the past intentionally. On top of that, Hodor being created was necessary to ensure Bran would survive the attack. This might not be a Broken Aesop because of the fact that Bran's timetraveling also caused the Night King to find and kill everyone else in the cave including the Raven and Hodor. Again whether the aesop is broken is zigzagged, as Hodor's creation was necessary for Bran to meet the Raven in the first place and all of these events would lead to the Night King's defeat. Unless the Raven was actually trying to teach Bran that sometimes time manipulation is a necessary evil.
  • 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.

Alternative Title(s): Game Of Thrones White Walkers, Game Of Thrones Children Of The Forest