Saturday, August 1, 2015

Where Have the White Walkers Been?

While writing my post on why the prologue for A Game of Thrones is the best you will ever read, I wondered: Where have the Walkers been this entire time?

We know from the prologue that White Walkers haven't been seen for over 8000 years, so: what made the Walkers suddenly want to show up?

Here are a couple of theories.

Martin has done an exceptionally good job of not leaving many clues as to where the Walkers have been hiding. However, we can all reasonably assume, based on the Walker's natures, that they have been holed away in the Land of Always Winter. But why have they decided to come out now?

Throughout the books, there are only two vague references as to why the Walkers have decided to descend upon Westeros now:

1. The wildlings stirred up trouble.

Image: HBO

In a discussion with Jon, Ygritte reveals that the wildlings have been uncovering sacred ancient sites looking for the Horn of Winter. Ygritte implies that the wildlings' excavations may have accidentally unleashed or disturbed something . . . Could this something be the White Walkers?

2. The White Walkers are not aging gracefully.

Leaf, the Child of the Forest north of the Wall who helps Bran's party escape from the wights, briefly touches upon the death of the ancients: the Children of the Forest themselves as well as the direwolves, giants, and the Others.

Apparently all of the ancients from the dawn of ages were related in some way (perhaps just by virtue of being the first to exist), and Leaf mentions that each ancient took to their dying out in different ways: the Children of the Forest retreated from the realms of men, slowly ding out as they stopped having offspring; the giants raged, as per their nature, fighting their way to extinction; and the Others . . . well, here Leaf gets a bit fuzzy. The Others, in Leaf's estimation, pretty much just . . . went away. Perhaps back to the Land of Always Winter?

The only issue I have with both of these theories is Craster's Keep.

Image: HBO

Craster, in an effort to maintain the power he had over his wives/daughters and to keep his position of head male intact, sacrifices all of his born sons to the Others. So the Others must have been around all that time . . .

Also, I have a feeling the Others were "raising" Craster's male offspring to become White Walkers.

What do you all think?

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