Wights

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All wights are easily identified by their eyes having turned bright blue, like two blue stars. Art by Thomas Denmark. © Fantasy Flight Games
Wight, dead raised up by the Others. Art by AniaEm©
Waymar Royce raised as a wight. Art by Sardag ©

Wights are dead men or creatures raised up by the Others, seemingly when touched by the cold that accompanies them.[1] Anyone who falls against the Others must be burned, or else the dead will rise again as their thralls. Fear of their own dead becoming wights leads the free folk to burn them.

Contents

Appearance

See also: Images of Wights

The appearance of wights depends entirely on the condition of the corpse when it is raised. Some are lifelike, while others are badly rotten although the process of decay has been halted. All are easily identified by their eyes having turned bright blue[2][3] like two blue stars[4] and their hands and feet black and swollen with pooled and congealed blood.[5]

About

Wights are supposedly attracted to warm blood and will attack with surprising strength. Unlike the Others they are slow and clumsy.[6] Wights have a queer, cold scent that can panic animals if they catch a wiff of it.[4] It appears that wights retain at least some of their former memories.[1][7]

Being dead, wights feel no pain and will continue to fight regardless of injury.[4] Though they can be stopped by total dismemberment, their limbs will continue to move if detached from their bodies. When a wight is destroyed, the blue disappears from its eyes.[1][4]

Wights appear to be able to remain in a state of stasis, such as outside the hillside entrance to the cave of the three-eyed crow. The snows have buried most of the dead men, but they remain frozen and waiting.[8]

Dragonglass cannot stop a wight[4] but fire can. They are highly flammable and will be quickly consumed if set aflame.[1] It is unknown at this time whether wights can cross the Wall on their own, although corpses brought through the Wall can apparently still reanimate as wights. Burning corpses appears to prevent them from being reanimated by the Others to become wights.

It is stated in the Seven-Pointed Star that spirits, wights, and revenants cannot harm a pious man, so long as he is armored in his faith.[9]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Ser Waymar Royce rises as a wight after falling to the Others beyond the Wall and kills Will.[2] Jon Snow rescues Lord Commander Jeor Mormont from the wight which was Othor; the wight seemed to know where Mormont slept and who he was as it tried to kill him.[1]

Old Nan tells Bran Stark the tale of the last hero in which she mentions that the Others led hosts of the slain and fed their dead servants on the flesh of human children.

A Clash of Kings

Othor's still-moving hand is sent to King's Landing in a jar with Alliser Thorne to impress on the Iron Throne the severity of the threat from beyond the Wall so that the king may send more troops to the Wall. Tyrion Lannister keeps Ser Allister waiting so long that Othor's hand decomposes, only bones are left, and is not very convincing.[10]

A Storm of Swords

During the Battle of the Fist of the First Men, the Night's Watch is unable to defend against the wights that are sent against them. In a crushing defeat, the majority of the Night's Watch who fight on the Fist are slain by the insurmountable odds.

Those who survive are led by Mormont on a grim march back to Craster's Keep. Samwell Tarly notices that there are no attacks by the Others or the wights while they are there.

After the Battle of Castle Black, the wildling Torwynd dies a few days later from the cold. He rises as a wight and his father Tormund is forced to slay him.

Coldhands saves Samwell Tarly, Gilly and her son when they are beset by wights, some of whom had been men of the Night's Watch.

A Dance with Dragons

Although he is in the body of a wolf, Varamyr Sixskins thinks that the wight of Thistle recognises him.[7]

While listening to gossip in the Lazy Eel in White Harbor, Davos Seaworth observes that no sailors discuss wildlings, wights, and giants, unlike the men at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.[11]

Lord Commander Jon Snow consigns some wildling corpses from a weirwood grove in the ice cells of Castle Black, hoping they can be studied when they rise up.[12] Maester Aemon and Samwell Tarly would have understood Jon's actions, but Septon Cellador is horrified, saying,

Wights are monstrous, unnatural creatures. Abominations before the eyes of the gods. You … you cannot mean to try to talk with them?[13]

Jon replies,

Monsters they may be, but they were men before they died. How much remains? The one I slew was intent on killing Lord Commander Mormont. Plainly he remembered who he was and where to find him ... My lord father used to tell me that a man must know his enemies. We understand little of the wights and less about the Others. We need to learn.[13]

Jon Snow later goes down to the ice cells where they have four living men and two wildling dead men, whom he had almost forgotten. He had hoped to learn something from the bodies, but the corpses stubbornly remained dead.[14] When Jon decides to move the living men he instructs Bowen Marsh to leave the corpses. Jon thinks he will need to burn them eventually, but for the time being they are bound with iron chains inside the cells to hold them harmless.[14]

Cotter Pyke sails towards Hardhome by the command of Lord Commander Snow. By rescuing the wildlings Jon hopes to prevent the Others from raising an enormous army of wights by killing the thousands of wildlings stranded at Hardhome and raising them as their thralls. Jon knows that if the Others manage to do this the wights will head for the Wall in their hundreds and their thousands. When Cotter arrives at Hardhome he sends a report to say there are dead things in the woods and dead things in the water.[15]

Known Wights

A list of individual characters that have been turned into wights over the course of the series:

Quotes

The cold winds are rising, and men go out from their fires and never come back ... or if they do, they're not men no more, but only wights, with blue eyes and cold black hands. Why do you think I run south with Stiv and Hali and the rest of them fools?[16]
Osha, to Bran Stark


We’ve seen the dead come back, you and me, and it’s not something I care to see again.[17]
Jeor Mormont, to Jon Snow


Samwell: Why don’t they come finish us?
Grenn They only come when it’s cold.
Samwell: Yes, but is it the cold that brings the wights, or the wights that bring the cold?[3]

Samwell Tarly and Grenn


You'd best pray it's a wildling blade that kills me, though. The ones the Others kill don't stay dead ... and they remember.[18]
Alliser Thorne, to Jon Snow


You saw the wights come swarming up the Fist, a tide of living dead men with black hands and bright blue eyes.[19]
Jon Snow, to Samwell Tarly

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