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[[File:White walkers by reneaigner.jpg|thumb|300px|Other or White Walker. Art by Rene Aigner©]]
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[[File:John_Picacio_the_Others.jpg‎| The Others ‎- © 2012 John Picacio|thumb|350px|right]]
[[File:White_walker_by_arkoniel.jpg|thumb|300px|Others by Mathia Arkoniel©]]
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The '''Others''', also known as '''white walkers''',{{ref|TWOIAF| The Stormlands: The Coming of the First Men}} '''cold gods''', and '''white shadows''',{{ref|ACOK|23}} are a species of humanoid beings that exist in the north [[beyond the Wall]]. As they have not been seen for eight thousand years, they are considered to be extinct.
  
{{Quote|Demons made of snow and ice and cold...The ancient enemy. The only enemy that matters. {{Ref|aSoS|78}}}}- [[Stannis Baratheon]] describing the Others.
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==Appearance and Characteristics==
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:''See also: [[:Category:Images of the Others|Images of the Others]]''
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The Others are tall and gaunt, with flesh pale as milk.{{ref|AGOT|0}} They have cold blue eyes that have been described as burning like ice,{{Ref|AGOT|0}} or being as bright as blue stars.{{ref|aCoK|23}} Others have pale blue blood and shiny bones like milkglass.{{ref|ASOS|18}}
  
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According to [[George R. R. Martin]], the Others ''"are strange, beautiful… think, oh… the [[w:Sidhe|Sidhe]] made of ice, something like that… a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous."''<ref name=graphic>[http://books.google.com/books?id=i_SorqUvsOEC&lpg=PT203&ots=5oK3EkTd8Y&pg=PT203#v=onepage&q&f=false A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1]</ref> Further, although [[Old Nan]] describes the Others as "dead things",{{Ref|AGOT|24}} Martin has stated that the Others are not dead.<ref name=graphic/> However, the [[Night's King]]'s queen, presumably an Other due to her blue eyes and pale skin, is described as a "corpse queen" on account of her white, cold skin.{{Ref|ASOS|56}}{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Wall and Beyond: The Night's Watch}}
  
The '''Others''', known as the '''"White Walkers"''' among the [[wildlings]], exist north of the [[Wall]]. Before the events in the [[A Song of Ice and Fire|Novel]], the Others had supposedly not been seen for many thousand years. So far the Others have appeared in the flesh only twice in the whole saga and their purpose remains unknown at this time.
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[[File:Marc Simonetti an Other ice sword.jpg|thumb|Blue-eyed Other gripping the pommel of a crystal sword - by Marc Simonetti ©]]
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The Others wear delicate, reflective, camouflaging armor that shifts in color with every step.{{ref|agot|0}} According to comic book artist [[w:Tommy Patterson|Tommy Patterson]], Martin told him that ''"the reflective, camouflaging armor"'' is able to pick up ''"the images of the things around it like a clear, still pond."''
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The Others appear to be superior swordsmen, wielding thin crystal swords.{{Ref|agot|0}} The pale swords are extremely sharp, capable of moving through ringmail as if it is silk.{{ref|agot|0}} The swords are alive with moonlight and have a faint blue glow to them.{{Ref|agot|0}}{{ref|ASOS|18}} When the sword touches a steel blade, only a high, thin sound, similar to an animal screaming in pain, can be heard instead of the sound of metal on metal.{{Ref|agot|0}} When the blades brush the flames of a torch, a screech as sharp as a needle can be heard.{{ref|asos|18}} When asked what substance the swords of the Others are made from, Martin answered ''"Ice. But not like regular old ice. The Others can do things with ice that we can't imagine and make substances of it."''<ref>[http://web.archive.org/web/20051103091500/nrctc.edu/fhq/vol1iss3/00103009.htm/ "Interview with the Dragon" Copyright © 2003 Robert Shaw.]</ref> The blades the Others use seem to be rather cold; They are able to cover a metal blade in frost, and shatter a steel blade.{{Ref|AGOT|0}}{{Ref|AFFC|5}}
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The Others are capable of resurrecting dead men or creatures as [[wights]].{{Ref|AGOT|52}} Only burning the bodies of the deceased can prevent the Others from resurrecting them.{{Ref|AFFC|5}} Martin has refused to answer whether or not the Others control these resurrected people and animals in the same way a [[warg]] or [[skinchanger]] can control an animal.<ref>[[So Spake Martin]]: [http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1282/ Conjose (August 29, 2002)]</ref> There are tales of Others riding the corpses of dead animals such as bears, direwolves, mammoths, and horses.{{ref|affc|5}} Some tales also speak of Others riding "[[giant ice spiders]]".{{ref|AFFC|5}}
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The Others go lightly on the snow and leave no prints to mark their passage.{{Ref|ASOS|18}}{{Ref|ADWD|13}} Their movements can be lightning quick and graceful.{{ref|asos|18}} Extreme cold accompanies them,{{Ref|AGOT|0}}{{ref|asos|18}} but it is unknown whether the Others only come when it is so cold, or whether they bring the cold with them.{{Ref|ASOS|33}}{{Ref|AFFC|5}} [[White cold|White mist]] also rises when they are near.{{Ref|ADWD|58}} They might appear during snowstorms or mist, and melt away when the skies clear.{{Ref|AFFC|5}} They hide from the light of the sun and emerge at night;{{Ref|AFFC|5}}{{Ref|ADWD|7}}{{ref|ADWD|58}} although once again some stories claim that their coming brings the night.{{ref|affc|5}} They are said also hate iron and fire.{{Ref|AGOT|24}} The [[languages|language]] the Others speak is unknown, but has been described as sounding like "the cracking of ice on a winter lake", and their laughter as being as sharp as icicles.{{Ref|AGOT|0}}
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According to Old Nan, the Others hate "every creature with hot blood in its veins".{{Ref|AGOT|24}} [[Stannis Baratheon]] calls them "demons made of ice and snow and cold".{{Ref|ASOS|78}} [[Melisandre]], a priestess of [[R'hllor]], believes that the Others are the "cold children" of the [[Great Other]],{{ref|ASOS|78}} allegedly an evil god of darkness, cold, and death who wages eternal war against [[R'hllor]].{{ref|asos|25}} According to Tommy Patterson, ''"[Martin] spoke a lot about what [the Others] were not, but what they were was harder to put into words."''<ref name=graphic/> The [[wildlings]] believe the Others and their wights can smell life, or rather its warmth.{{ref|asos|46}} According to the stories of Old Nan, the wildlings give the women they steal from the [[Seven Kingdoms]] to the Others, and used to lay with the Others during the [[Long Night]] to birth half-human children.{{ref|aGoT|1}} According to his wives, the wildling [[Craster]] leaves his sons for the Others, who he calls "the gods", come the "white cold", and, when he does not have any sons to give, gives them sheep.{{Ref|acok|23}} Craster's wives believe that Craster's sons become Others as well.{{Ref|ASOS|33}} Craster calls himself a godly man, and as such believes he does not have to fear any attacks from the Others or their [[wights]].{{Ref|ASOS|33}} 
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The Others have a few known weaknesses that are recorded in ancient texts. One is obsidian,{{ref|AFFC|5}} otherwise called [[dragonglass]]{{Ref|ASOS|43}} or "frozen fire".{{ref|asos|78}} Ancient texts also record a weakness to "dragonsteel",{{ref|affc|5}} which some think may be [[Valyrian steel]].{{ref|affc|5}} When asked about the ability of Valyrian steel to kill an Other, Martin simply replied that "the Night's Watch would like to know as well".<ref>[[So Spake Martin]]: [http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1201 Magic, the Darrys, and POVs (February 28, 2002)]</ref> Fire is known to dismay the Others.{{Ref|AFFC|5}} [[Mance Rayder]] and his wife [[Dalla]] believe that the [[Wall]] prevents the Others from crossing into the Seven Kingdoms.{{ref|asos|73}}
  
 
==History==
 
==History==
: {{See also|The Long Night|Night's Watch}}
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: {{See also|Long Night|Night's Watch}}
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[[File:White walkers by reneaigner.jpg|thumb|300px|Other or white walker. Art by Rene Aigner©]]
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According to legend, the Others came from the [[Lands of Always Winter]] six or eight thousand years ago, and brought with them cold and darkness that lasted a generation: the [[Long Night]]. They resurrected dead men and animals to serve them.{{ref|AGOT|24}} In the [[Battle for the Dawn]], they were finally defeated, by the first men of the [[Night's Watch]] and the [[children of the forest]], an alliance made possible by the [[last hero]].{{Ref|twoiaf| Ancient History: The Long Night}}{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Wall and Beyond: The Night's Watch}} When asked whether there was a closer relationship between the Others and the children of the forest than there thus far has seemed to be, Martin replied that it was possible, and that the topic would be explored later on in the story.<ref>[[So Spake Martin]]: [http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/Asshai.com_Interview_in_Barcelona/ Asshai.com Interview in Barcelona (July 28, 2012)]</ref>
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The [[Night's King]], the thirteenth [[Lord Commander of the Night's Watch]], is said to have married a woman with pale skin and blue eyes, matching the description of the Others. Reportedly, she was a sorceress. He brought her to the [[Nightfort]], where he proclaimed himself king and her his queen, and bound his Sworn Brothers in the Night's Watch to his will. After a thirteen-year reign, he was defeated by [[Brandon Stark (Breaker)|Brandon the Breaker]], [[King of Winter]], and [[Joramun]], [[King-Beyond-the-Wall]], after which it was discovered that he had been sacrificing to the Others.{{Ref|ASOS|56}}{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Wall and Beyond: The Night's Watch}}
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In his ''[[Lies of the Ancients]]'' [[Archmaester]] [[Fomas]] speculates that the Others were a tribe of the [[First Men]] who had been living in the far north. Fomas suggests that the Long Night pressured these men, the ancestors of the current [[wildlings]], to migrate south. Over the years, they became more and more monstrous in the telling of the tales about them, because the Night's Watch and the [[House Stark|Starks]] wanted to seem heroic. However, ''Lies of the Ancients'' is little regarded nowadays, as it contains erroneous claims about [[Valyria]], the [[Reach]], and the [[westerlands]].{{Ref|twoiaf| Ancient History: The Long Night}}
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The [[Wall]] was built to protect the people of the realms in [[Westeros]] from the threats of the north,{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Wall and Beyond: The Night's Watch}} specifically the Others.{{Ref|ADWD|44}} However, the Others have not been seen since the Long Night ended, and are now regarded as nothing more than fairy tales to frighten the little children.{{ref|asos|18}} Some people believe they never existed at all.{{ref|AGOT|4}} They are often mentioned in curses, such as "The Others take his eyes."{{ref|AGOT|1}}
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==Recent Events==
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===''A Game of Thrones''===
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[[File:Waymar Others.jpg|thumb|Ser [[Waymar Royce]] discovers the Others - by Amok ©]]
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During a ranging [[beyond the Wall]], Ser [[Waymar Royce]] is confronted by a group of at least five Others who speak an icy language. Waymar duels one of the Others, but the [[ranger]] is blinded when his sword shatters. The laughing group butchers Waymar, who then rises as a [[wight]] to slay [[Will]].{{ref|AGOT|0}}
  
According to legend, the Others first appeared approximately 8,000 years before [[War of Conquest]], during a winter that lasted a generation and a period of darkness known as [[the Long Night]].  Eventually they were defeated, supposedly by the [[Night's Watch]] and [[The Wall]] may have been raised as a defense against them.  
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Lord Commander [[Jeor Mormont]], in conversation with [[Tyrion Lannister]] at [[Castle Black]], refers to white walkers being glimpsed by fisherfolk on the shore near [[Eastwatch-by-the-Sea]]. Tyrion discounts them, however, by mentioning mythical [[merlings]].{{Ref|aGoT|21}}
  
In apparent contradiction the [[Night's King]] appears to have married a White Walker, but after he was defeated the Others are supposedly not heard of again and became regarded south of the [[Wall]] as nothing more than fairy tales to frighten the little children.  
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[[Old Nan]] tells [[Bran Stark]] about the [[Long Night]], when white walkers moved through woods.{{ref|AGOT|24}}
  
Oddly enough however, Lord Commander [[Jeor Mormont]], in conversation with [[Tyrion Lannister]], refers to White Walkers being glimpsed by fisherfolk on the shore near [[Eastwatch]], with little concern.  He does not say whether they were glimpsed on the shore north of the [[Wall]] or on the shore to the south of the [[Wall]]. [[Tyrion]] is unable to hold his tongue at the mention of White Walkers replies that fisherfolk of [[Lannisport]] often glimpse merlings.{{Ref|aGoT|21}} The conversation then moves to the movements of the [[wildlings]] which is (at the time) a more pressing concern.
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Traveling in the [[wolfswood]], Bran encounters six [[wildlings]] and deserters from the [[Night's Watch]], who discuss whether to take the boy hostage and return north to sell him to [[Mance Rayder]], the [[King-Beyond-the-Wall]]. Out of fear for encountering the white walkers, one of the men decides not to do so.{{Ref|AGOT|37}}
  
The Others' first appearance in the saga is in the [[A Game of Thrones-Prologue|Prologue]] of the [[A Game of Thrones|first book]], killing two rangers of the [[Night's Watch]]. [[Craster]] gives up his infant sons to the Others, and his wives declare that they become White Walkers themselves, although this has yet to be established.
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===''A Clash of Kings''===
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At [[Craster's Keep]], [[Gilly]] tells [[Jon Snow]] that [[Craster]] gives up his infant sons to the cold gods; Jon determines she is speaking of the Others.{{ref|ACOK|23}}
  
==Characteristics==
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===''A Storm of Swords''===
[[File:John_Picacio_the_Others.jpg‎| The Others ‎- © 2012 John Picacio|thumb|300px|right]]
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[[File:Samwell Dragonglass.jpg|thumb|[[Samwell Tarly]] with an [[obsidian]] dagger - by Amok ©]]
The Others appear in the prologue to AGoT as tall and gaunt with flesh pale as milk and blue eyes, deeper and bluer than human eyes, burning like ice, as bright as blue stars, and as cold. {{ref|aCoK|23}} The White Walker who married the [[Night's King]] is similarly described as having skin as pale as the moon and eyes like blue stars. [[Old Nan]] declares them to be cold dead things, hating all life, but in an email to the comic-book artist Tommy Patterson [[George R. R. Martin|GRRM]] wrote:
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Encamped at the [[Fist of the First Men]], the [[Night's Watch]] hear three horn blasts signifying Others. The brothers are then attacked by [[wights]] in the [[fight at the Fist]].{{ref|ASOS|Prologue}}{{ref|ASOS|18}}
{{Quote|"The Others are not dead. They are strange, beautiful… think, oh… the [[w:Sidhe|Sidhe]] made of ice, something like that… a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous." <ref>[http://books.google.com/books?id=i_SorqUvsOEC&lpg=PT203&ots=5oK3EkTd8Y&pg=PT203#v=onepage&q&f=false A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1] </ref>}}
 
They wear reflective armour that shifts in colour with every step - rather like the stealth armour once said to have been worn by the [[Children of the Forest]].
 
According to Tommy Patterson he,
 
{{Quote|'Had many talks with George. He told me of the ice swords, and the reflective, camouflaging armor that picks up the images of the things around it like a clear, still pond. He spoke a lot about what they were not, but what they were was harder to put into words.'}}
 
The Others appear to be superior swordsmen, wielding thin crystal swords said to be so cold as to shatter any object they touch, including the steel blades favoured by the [[Night's Watch]]. {{Ref|aGoT|Prologue}} The sword of the Other that Samwell Tarly slew gleamed with a faint blue glow, when the ice blue blade brushed the flames of [[Grenn]]'s torch a screech as sharp as a needle stabbed Sam's ears.
 
When asked if he knows what substance an Other sword is made from GRRM answered,
 
{{Quote|“Ice. But not like regular old ice. The Others can do things with ice that we can't imagine and make substances of it.” <ref>[http://web.archive.org/web/20051103091500/nrctc.edu/fhq/vol1iss3/00103009.htm/ "Interview with the Dragon" Copyright © 2003 Robert Shaw.]</ref>}}
 
  
The Others go lightly on the snow and leave no prints to mark their passage.  Their movements can be lighting quick.  Their [[languages|language]] is unknown, although readers have speculated that it may be the [[Old Tongue]]. When one spoke in the prologue his voice was said to sound like the cracking of ice, but this may simply have been a figure of speech. The [[wildlings]] believe the Others and their Wights can smell life, or rather its warmth. [[Old Nan]] used to say that there were [[wildlings]] that would lay with the Others to birth half-human children. {{ref|aGoT|1|p 13}}{{ref|aCoK|23|p 374}}
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While the survivors retreat through the [[haunted forest]] back to Craster's Keep, an Other knocks away [[Grenn]]'s torch and kills [[Small Paul]]. [[Samwell Tarly]] stabs it in the throat with a [[dragonglass]] dagger, however, and Sam hears a sound similar to the cracking of ice beneath one's foot. The Other's armor, flesh, and bones melt away as a result, dissolving away until nothing remains.{{ref|asos|18}} {{ref|ASOS|18}} Sam is dubbed Sam the Slayer, which he finds mocking.{{ref|ASOS|33}}{{ref|ASOS|75}}
  
The old stories reveal uncertainty whether the Others come when it is cold or that it becomes cold when they appear, during snowstorms or mist and melt away when the skies clear. They hide from the light of the sun and emerge at night; although once again some stories claim that their coming brings the night.  
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During the [[mutiny at Craster's Keep]], one of Craster's wives warns Sam that Craster's sons will soon arrive for [[monster|Gilly's newborn boy]].{{ref|ASOS|33}}
  
There are tales of Others riding the corpses of dead animals such as bears, direwolves, mammoths, and horses.  The Other, called Puddles, that [[Samwell Tarly]] slays is riding [[Mawney]]’s dead horse. Hoarfrost covers it like a sheen of frozen sweat, and a nest of stiff black entrails drag from its open belly.  On its back is a rider as pale as ice. The Others can be accompanied by "[[giant ice spiders]]" as big as hounds. <ref>[[A Feast for Crows]], p80</ref>
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At the parley during the [[battle beneath the Wall]], Mance Rayder reveals to Jon that he is trying to lead the [[free folk]] south of the Wall to protect them from the Others and their wights.{{ref|ASOS|73}}
  
[[Melisandre]] thinks that Others are servants of the [[Great Other]], allegedly an evil god of darkness, cold, and death who wages eternal war against [[R'hllor]].
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===''A Feast for Crows''===
[[File:Themico the Other.jpg|an Other - by TheMico ©|thumb|300px|right]]
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Sam finds limited information about the Others while researching in the library of Castle Black.{{ref|AFFC|5}}
As the [[wildlings]] are passing through [[the Wall]] to settle on the [[Gift]], Lord Commander of the Night's Watch [[Jon Snow]] asks [[Tormund Giantsbane]] to tell him of their foe, the Others.  He tells him he wants to know all there is to know of the Others.
 
  
Tormund is plainly uncomfortable with the mention of the Others; he tells Jon that he does not want to discuss them, not here, not on the northern side of the Wall.  He then glances uneasily towards the trees in their snowy white mantles.  He says to Jon:
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===''A Dance with Dragons''===
{{Quote|They’re never far, you know. They won’t come out by day, not when that old sun’s shining, but don’t think that means they
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[[Jon Snow]], now the [[Lord Commander of the Night's Watch]], and [[Tormund]] discuss their common foe, the Others, when Tormund's four thousand wildlings cross the Wall. Jon asks if the Others troubled the wildlings on their march to the Wall, and Tormund informs him that the Others had been with them all the way, though they never attacked the free folk in force.{{ref|ADWD|58}}
went away. Shadows never go away. Might be you don’t see them, but they’re always clinging
 
to your heels. {{Ref|ADWD|58}}}}
 
Jon asks if the Others troubled the wildlings on their way to the Wall.
 
Tormund informs him that they never came in force, if that’s what Jon is meaning, but they were with them all the same, nibbling at their edges.  They lost more outriders than he cares to think about, and it was worth your life to fall behind or wander off.  Every nightfall they would ring their camps with fire.  Tormund says they don’t like fire much:
 
{{Quote|When the snows came though…snow and sleet and freezing rain, its bloody hard to find dry wood or get your kindling lit, and the cold…some nights our fires just seemed to shrivel up and die.  Nights like that, you always find some dead come the morning. ‘Less they find you first.{{Ref|ADWD|58}}}}
 
He says to Jon:
 
{{Quote|A man can fight the dead, but when their masters come, when the white mists rise up … how do you fights a mist crow?  Shadows with teeth … air so cold it hurts to breath, like a knife inside your chest … you do not know, you cannot know … can your sword cut cold? {{Ref|ADWD|58}}}}
 
  
==Weakness==
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==''Game of Thrones''==
The Others have a few known weaknesses that are recorded in ancient texts. One is obsidian, otherwise called [[dragonglass]] or "frozen fire". When [[Samwell Tarly]] accidentally stabbed an Other with an obsidian dagger, its flesh and bones melted away leaving only an icy puddle. Ancient texts also record a weakness to "dragonsteel", which several have taken to be [[Valyrian steel]]. [[Mance Rayder]] expressed belief that magic wards in the [[Wall]] prevent the Others from crossing into the Seven Kingdoms.
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[[File:Other HBO WhiteWalker.jpg|thumb|400px|White Walker as depicted in ''[[Game of Thrones]]'']]
  
After listening to [[Tormund]]’s words [[Jon Snow]] remembers all the things that Sam had told him, the things he’d found in his old books. He thinks to himself that [[Longclaw]] had been forged in the fires of old Valyria, forged in dragonflame and set with spells.  ''Dragonsteel'', Sam had called it. Stronger than any common steel, lighter, harder, sharper … But he thinks that words in a book were one thing. He knows that the true test comes in battle.
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There are notable differences between the Others in the novels and [[w:HBO|HBO's]] television adaptation, ''[[Game of Thrones]]''. In the television adaptation, the Others are known only as '''White Walkers'''. In the audio commentary for "[[Winter Is Coming]]", producers [[w:David Benioff|David Benioff]] and [[w:D.B. Weiss|D. B. Weiss]] explained that the change was made to avoid confusion that may arise between references to the race known as the Others and "others" meaning other groups or people within the show. Additionally, [[George R. R. Martin]] has stated that the change was decided upon early in the development process to avoid confusion with the Others from [[w:American Broadcasting Company|ABC's]] show ''[[w:Lost|Lost]]'', the mysterious inhabitants of the island on which that show mostly takes place.<ref>[[So Spake Martin]]: [http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/12432 Stockholm and Archipelacon Report (June 28, 2015)]</ref>
  
==Wights==
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Unlike the strange beauty Martin describes them as having in the book series, the White Walkers of ''Game of Thrones'' are depicted with frightening, emaciated appearances. In ''[[Valar Morghulis]]'', the tenth and final episode of the [[Season 2|second season]], Others appear looking like undead men without skin, their bones and muscles white from ice and snow. Their eyes are bright blue. They wear little armor and no camouflage.{{Ref|hbogot|s02e10}} In "[[Oathkeeper (TV)|Oathkeeper]]", several White Walkers appear dressed all in black.{{Ref|hbogot|s04e04}}
:{{main|wights}}
 
[[Wights]] are dead men or creatures raised up by the Others, seemingly when touched by the cold that accompanies them. {{Ref|aGoT|52}} They are thralls to the Others.  Men who fall in battle against the Others must be burned, or else the dead will rise again as their thralls.
 
  
==TV series==
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The language spoken by the Others, unnamed in the book series, is called [[Skroth]] in the TV series.<ref name=blackwater/><ref name=screenertv>[http://screenertv.com/television/game-of-thrones-language-creator-white-walkers-dont-speak/ ‘Game of Thrones’ language creator explains why White Walkers don’t speak]</ref> Although it was created for the first episode of [[Season 1]] by [[w:David J. Peterson|David J. Peterson]], it was eventually not used. The language has been described to sound "ice-cracking" and "pretty scratchy".<ref name=blackwater>Entertainment Weekly: [http://ew.com/article/2012/05/27/game-of-thrones-blackwater-2/ 'Game of Thrones': How producers pulled off 'Blackwater' (May 27, 2012)]</ref><ref name=screenertv/>
[[File:Other HBO WhiteWalker.jpg|thumb|300px|White Walker as depicted in the [[A Game of Thrones|TV series]]]]
 
  
The Others, as they are often known in the novels and were still known by this name in the first draft of the pilot script of the [[Game of Thrones|TV series]], were later renamed to 'White Walkers' instead. Whilst the producers have not commented directly on the reasons for the name change, fans speculate that this was done to avoid similarities to an identically-named faction in the television series ''Lost''.<ref>[http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/White_Walkers GOT Wikia - White Walkers]</ref> Additionally, in the series, the Others/White Walkers have a very different appearance to that described in the books, appearing instead as shadowed humanoids with brutal facial features.
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The leader of the White Walkers is known as the [[Night King]] in ''Game of Thrones''. He is first seen in "Oathkeeper", transforming Craster's last son,{{Ref|hbogot|s04e04}} and next in the [[Season 5]] episode "[[Hardhome (TV)|Hardhome]]". He differs in appearance by having a ring of small icy horns atop his skull that form a natural crown.{{Ref|hbogot|s05e08}} The synopsis for "Oathkeeper" on the HBO Viewer's Guide originally listed this specific character as the [[Night's King]], a legendary figure that has been mentioned a few times in the novels, though this was later removed. It is unknown whether this was due to an error in identification or the fact that this would be a major spoiler.
  
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While in the novels, the backstory of the Others has barely been revealed, the [[Season 6]] episode "[[The Door]]" has [[Bran Stark]] seeing a vision of the [[children of the forest]] creating an Other from a captured [[First Man]], in an attempt to create a defense against the invasion of the First Men.{{Ref|hbogot|s06e05}}
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==Quotes==
 
==Quotes==
{{Quote|The Others are as dead as the [[children of the forest]] , gone eight thousand years. Maester [[Luwin]] will tell you they never lived at all. No living man has ever seen one. {{Ref|aGoT|2}}}}
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{{quote|The Other said something in a language that Will did not know; his voice was like the cracking of ice on a winter lake, and the words were mocking.{{ref|AGOT|Prologue}}|thoughts of [[Will]]}}
- [[Eddard Stark]] to [[Catelyn Stark]]
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{{Quote|The Others are as dead as the [[children of the forest]], gone eight thousand years. Maester [[Luwin]] will tell you they never lived at all. No living man has ever seen one.{{Ref|aGoT|2}}|[[Eddard Stark]] to [[Catelyn Stark]]}}
  
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{{Quote|If the Others ever come for us, I pray they have archers, because you lot are fit for nothing more than arrow fodder.{{Ref|aGoT|19}}|[[Alliser Thorne]], to the Night's Watch recruits}}
  
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{{Quote|The Others are only a story, a tale to make children shiver. If they ever lived at all, they are gone eight thousand years.{{Ref|agot|52}}|[[Jon Snow]]'s thoughts}}
  
{{Quote|The Others are only a story, a tale to make children shiver. If they ever lived at all, they are gone eight thousand years. {{Ref|agot|52|p 555}}}} - [[Jon Snow]]
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{{quote|The cold gods. The ones in the night. The white shadows.{{ref|ACOK|23}}|[[Gilly]] to [[Jon Snow]]}}
  
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{{quote|The white walkers of the wood, the cold shadows, the monsters of the tales that made him squeak and tremble as a boy, riding their [[giant ice-spiders]], hungry for blood ...{{ref|ASOS|18}}|[[Samwell Tarly]]'s thoughts}}
  
{{Quote|If the Others ever come for us, I pray they have archers, because you lot are fit for nothing more than arrow fodder. {{Ref|aGoT|19}}}}
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{{quote|A godly man got no cause to fear such. I said as much to that [[Mance Rayder]] once, when he come sniffing round. He never listened, no more'n you crows with your swords and your bloody fires. That won't help you none when the white cold comes. Only the gods will help you then. You best get right with the gods.{{ref|ASOS|33}}|[[Craster]] to the [[Night's Watch]]}}
- [[Alliser Thorne]]
 
  
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{{Quote|'''Melisandre''': [[Necromancy]] animates these [[wights]], yet they are still only dead flesh. Steel and fire will serve for them. The ones you call the Others are something more.<br>
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'''Stannis''': Demons made of snow and ice and cold. The ancient enemy. The only enemy that matters.{{Ref|aSoS|78}}|[[Melisandre]] and [[Stannis Baratheon]] to [[Samwell Tarly]]}}
  
{{Quote|Thousands and thousands of years ago, a winter fell that was cold and hard and endless beyond all memory of man. There came a night that lasted a generation, and kings shivered and died in their castles even as the swineherds in their hovels. Women smothered their children rather than see them starve, and cried, and felt their tears freeze on their cheeks.
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{{quote|They're never far, you know. They won't come out by day, not when that old sun's shining, but don't think that means they went away. Shadows never go away. Might be you don't see them, but they're always clinging to your heels.{{ref|ADWD|58}}|[[Tormund]] to [[Jon Snow]]}}
In that darkness, the Others came for the first time, They were cold things, dead things, that hated iron and fire and the touch of the sun, and every creature with hot blood in its veins. They swept over holdfasts and cities and kingdoms, felled heroes and armies by the score, riding their pale dead horses and leading hosts of the slain. All the swords of men could not stay their advance, and even maidens and suckling babes found no pity in them. They hunted the maids through frozen forests, and fed their dead servants on the flesh of human children. Now these were the days before the [[Andals]] came, and long before the women fled across the narrow sea from the cities of the [[Rhoyne]], and the hundred kingdoms of those times were the kingdoms of the [[First Men]], who had taken these lands from the [[children of the forest]]. Yet here and there in the fastness of the woods the children still lived in their wooden cities and hollow hills, and the faces in the trees kept watch. So as cold and death filled the earth, the last hero determined to seek out the children, in the hopes that their ancient magics could win back what the armies of men had lost. He set out into the dead lands with a sword, a horse, a dog, and a dozen companions. For years he searched, until he despaired of ever finding the children of the forest in their secret cities. One by one his friends died, and his horse, and finally even his dog, and his sword froze so hard the blade snapped when he tried to use it. And the Others smelled the hot blood in him, and came silent on his trail, stalking him with packs of pale white spiders big as hounds- {{Ref|aGoT|24}}}}
 
- [[Old Nan]]
 
  
==References and Notes==
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==References==
 
{{References|2}}
 
{{References|2}}
{{EnWP|Night's Watch|small=yes}}
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{{Creatures}}
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[[Category:Others| ]]
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[[Category:Beyond the Wall]]
 
[[Category:Sentient species]]
 
[[Category:Sentient species]]
[[Category:Beyond the Wall]]
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[[es:Otros]]
 
[[es:Otros]]
 
[[fa:آدرها]]
 
[[fa:آدرها]]
 
[[fr:Autres]]
 
[[fr:Autres]]
[[ru:Иные]][[pt:Outros]][[zh:异鬼]]
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[[pt:Outros]]
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[[ru:Иные]]
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[[zh:异鬼]]

Latest revision as of 02:19, 8 April 2019

The Others ‎- © 2012 John Picacio

The Others, also known as white walkers,[1] cold gods, and white shadows,[2] are a species of humanoid beings that exist in the north beyond the Wall. As they have not been seen for eight thousand years, they are considered to be extinct.

Appearance and Characteristics

See also: Images of the Others

The Others are tall and gaunt, with flesh pale as milk.[3] They have cold blue eyes that have been described as burning like ice,[3] or being as bright as blue stars.[2] Others have pale blue blood and shiny bones like milkglass.[4]

According to George R. R. Martin, the Others "are strange, beautiful… think, oh… the Sidhe made of ice, something like that… a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous."[5] Further, although Old Nan describes the Others as "dead things",[6] Martin has stated that the Others are not dead.[5] However, the Night's King's queen, presumably an Other due to her blue eyes and pale skin, is described as a "corpse queen" on account of her white, cold skin.[7][8]

Blue-eyed Other gripping the pommel of a crystal sword - by Marc Simonetti ©

The Others wear delicate, reflective, camouflaging armor that shifts in color with every step.[3] According to comic book artist Tommy Patterson, Martin told him that "the reflective, camouflaging armor" is able to pick up "the images of the things around it like a clear, still pond."

The Others appear to be superior swordsmen, wielding thin crystal swords.[3] The pale swords are extremely sharp, capable of moving through ringmail as if it is silk.[3] The swords are alive with moonlight and have a faint blue glow to them.[3][4] When the sword touches a steel blade, only a high, thin sound, similar to an animal screaming in pain, can be heard instead of the sound of metal on metal.[3] When the blades brush the flames of a torch, a screech as sharp as a needle can be heard.[4] When asked what substance the swords of the Others are made from, Martin answered "Ice. But not like regular old ice. The Others can do things with ice that we can't imagine and make substances of it."[9] The blades the Others use seem to be rather cold; They are able to cover a metal blade in frost, and shatter a steel blade.[3][10]

The Others are capable of resurrecting dead men or creatures as wights.[11] Only burning the bodies of the deceased can prevent the Others from resurrecting them.[10] Martin has refused to answer whether or not the Others control these resurrected people and animals in the same way a warg or skinchanger can control an animal.[12] There are tales of Others riding the corpses of dead animals such as bears, direwolves, mammoths, and horses.[10] Some tales also speak of Others riding "giant ice spiders".[10]

The Others go lightly on the snow and leave no prints to mark their passage.[4][13] Their movements can be lightning quick and graceful.[4] Extreme cold accompanies them,[3][4] but it is unknown whether the Others only come when it is so cold, or whether they bring the cold with them.[14][10] White mist also rises when they are near.[15] They might appear during snowstorms or mist, and melt away when the skies clear.[10] They hide from the light of the sun and emerge at night;[10][16][15] although once again some stories claim that their coming brings the night.[10] They are said also hate iron and fire.[6] The language the Others speak is unknown, but has been described as sounding like "the cracking of ice on a winter lake", and their laughter as being as sharp as icicles.[3]

According to Old Nan, the Others hate "every creature with hot blood in its veins".[6] Stannis Baratheon calls them "demons made of ice and snow and cold".[17] Melisandre, a priestess of R'hllor, believes that the Others are the "cold children" of the Great Other,[17] allegedly an evil god of darkness, cold, and death who wages eternal war against R'hllor.[18] According to Tommy Patterson, "[Martin] spoke a lot about what [the Others] were not, but what they were was harder to put into words."[5] The wildlings believe the Others and their wights can smell life, or rather its warmth.[19] According to the stories of Old Nan, the wildlings give the women they steal from the Seven Kingdoms to the Others, and used to lay with the Others during the Long Night to birth half-human children.[20] According to his wives, the wildling Craster leaves his sons for the Others, who he calls "the gods", come the "white cold", and, when he does not have any sons to give, gives them sheep.[2] Craster's wives believe that Craster's sons become Others as well.[14] Craster calls himself a godly man, and as such believes he does not have to fear any attacks from the Others or their wights.[14]

The Others have a few known weaknesses that are recorded in ancient texts. One is obsidian,[10] otherwise called dragonglass[21] or "frozen fire".[17] Ancient texts also record a weakness to "dragonsteel",[10] which some think may be Valyrian steel.[10] When asked about the ability of Valyrian steel to kill an Other, Martin simply replied that "the Night's Watch would like to know as well".[22] Fire is known to dismay the Others.[10] Mance Rayder and his wife Dalla believe that the Wall prevents the Others from crossing into the Seven Kingdoms.[23]

History

Other or white walker. Art by Rene Aigner©

According to legend, the Others came from the Lands of Always Winter six or eight thousand years ago, and brought with them cold and darkness that lasted a generation: the Long Night. They resurrected dead men and animals to serve them.[6] In the Battle for the Dawn, they were finally defeated, by the first men of the Night's Watch and the children of the forest, an alliance made possible by the last hero.[24][8] When asked whether there was a closer relationship between the Others and the children of the forest than there thus far has seemed to be, Martin replied that it was possible, and that the topic would be explored later on in the story.[25]

The Night's King, the thirteenth Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, is said to have married a woman with pale skin and blue eyes, matching the description of the Others. Reportedly, she was a sorceress. He brought her to the Nightfort, where he proclaimed himself king and her his queen, and bound his Sworn Brothers in the Night's Watch to his will. After a thirteen-year reign, he was defeated by Brandon the Breaker, King of Winter, and Joramun, King-Beyond-the-Wall, after which it was discovered that he had been sacrificing to the Others.[7][8]

In his Lies of the Ancients Archmaester Fomas speculates that the Others were a tribe of the First Men who had been living in the far north. Fomas suggests that the Long Night pressured these men, the ancestors of the current wildlings, to migrate south. Over the years, they became more and more monstrous in the telling of the tales about them, because the Night's Watch and the Starks wanted to seem heroic. However, Lies of the Ancients is little regarded nowadays, as it contains erroneous claims about Valyria, the Reach, and the westerlands.[24]

The Wall was built to protect the people of the realms in Westeros from the threats of the north,[8] specifically the Others.[26] However, the Others have not been seen since the Long Night ended, and are now regarded as nothing more than fairy tales to frighten the little children.[4] Some people believe they never existed at all.[27] They are often mentioned in curses, such as "The Others take his eyes."[20]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Ser Waymar Royce discovers the Others - by Amok ©

During a ranging beyond the Wall, Ser Waymar Royce is confronted by a group of at least five Others who speak an icy language. Waymar duels one of the Others, but the ranger is blinded when his sword shatters. The laughing group butchers Waymar, who then rises as a wight to slay Will.[3]

Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, in conversation with Tyrion Lannister at Castle Black, refers to white walkers being glimpsed by fisherfolk on the shore near Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. Tyrion discounts them, however, by mentioning mythical merlings.[28]

Old Nan tells Bran Stark about the Long Night, when white walkers moved through woods.[6]

Traveling in the wolfswood, Bran encounters six wildlings and deserters from the Night's Watch, who discuss whether to take the boy hostage and return north to sell him to Mance Rayder, the King-Beyond-the-Wall. Out of fear for encountering the white walkers, one of the men decides not to do so.[29]

A Clash of Kings

At Craster's Keep, Gilly tells Jon Snow that Craster gives up his infant sons to the cold gods; Jon determines she is speaking of the Others.[2]

A Storm of Swords

Samwell Tarly with an obsidian dagger - by Amok ©

Encamped at the Fist of the First Men, the Night's Watch hear three horn blasts signifying Others. The brothers are then attacked by wights in the fight at the Fist.[30][4]

While the survivors retreat through the haunted forest back to Craster's Keep, an Other knocks away Grenn's torch and kills Small Paul. Samwell Tarly stabs it in the throat with a dragonglass dagger, however, and Sam hears a sound similar to the cracking of ice beneath one's foot. The Other's armor, flesh, and bones melt away as a result, dissolving away until nothing remains.[4] [4] Sam is dubbed Sam the Slayer, which he finds mocking.[14][31]

During the mutiny at Craster's Keep, one of Craster's wives warns Sam that Craster's sons will soon arrive for Gilly's newborn boy.[14]

At the parley during the battle beneath the Wall, Mance Rayder reveals to Jon that he is trying to lead the free folk south of the Wall to protect them from the Others and their wights.[23]

A Feast for Crows

Sam finds limited information about the Others while researching in the library of Castle Black.[10]

A Dance with Dragons

Jon Snow, now the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, and Tormund discuss their common foe, the Others, when Tormund's four thousand wildlings cross the Wall. Jon asks if the Others troubled the wildlings on their march to the Wall, and Tormund informs him that the Others had been with them all the way, though they never attacked the free folk in force.[15]

Game of Thrones

White Walker as depicted in Game of Thrones

There are notable differences between the Others in the novels and HBO's television adaptation, Game of Thrones. In the television adaptation, the Others are known only as White Walkers. In the audio commentary for "Winter Is Coming", producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss explained that the change was made to avoid confusion that may arise between references to the race known as the Others and "others" meaning other groups or people within the show. Additionally, George R. R. Martin has stated that the change was decided upon early in the development process to avoid confusion with the Others from ABC's show Lost, the mysterious inhabitants of the island on which that show mostly takes place.[32]

Unlike the strange beauty Martin describes them as having in the book series, the White Walkers of Game of Thrones are depicted with frightening, emaciated appearances. In Valar Morghulis, the tenth and final episode of the second season, Others appear looking like undead men without skin, their bones and muscles white from ice and snow. Their eyes are bright blue. They wear little armor and no camouflage.[33] In "Oathkeeper", several White Walkers appear dressed all in black.[34]

The language spoken by the Others, unnamed in the book series, is called Skroth in the TV series.[35][36] Although it was created for the first episode of Season 1 by David J. Peterson, it was eventually not used. The language has been described to sound "ice-cracking" and "pretty scratchy".[35][36]

The leader of the White Walkers is known as the Night King in Game of Thrones. He is first seen in "Oathkeeper", transforming Craster's last son,[34] and next in the Season 5 episode "Hardhome". He differs in appearance by having a ring of small icy horns atop his skull that form a natural crown.[37] The synopsis for "Oathkeeper" on the HBO Viewer's Guide originally listed this specific character as the Night's King, a legendary figure that has been mentioned a few times in the novels, though this was later removed. It is unknown whether this was due to an error in identification or the fact that this would be a major spoiler.

While in the novels, the backstory of the Others has barely been revealed, the Season 6 episode "The Door" has Bran Stark seeing a vision of the children of the forest creating an Other from a captured First Man, in an attempt to create a defense against the invasion of the First Men.[38]

Quotes

The Other said something in a language that Will did not know; his voice was like the cracking of ice on a winter lake, and the words were mocking.[39]

—thoughts of Will

The Others are as dead as the children of the forest, gone eight thousand years. Maester Luwin will tell you they never lived at all. No living man has ever seen one.[40]

If the Others ever come for us, I pray they have archers, because you lot are fit for nothing more than arrow fodder.[41]

Alliser Thorne, to the Night's Watch recruits

The Others are only a story, a tale to make children shiver. If they ever lived at all, they are gone eight thousand years.[11]

Jon Snow's thoughts

The cold gods. The ones in the night. The white shadows.[2]

The white walkers of the wood, the cold shadows, the monsters of the tales that made him squeak and tremble as a boy, riding their giant ice-spiders, hungry for blood ...[4]

Samwell Tarly's thoughts

A godly man got no cause to fear such. I said as much to that Mance Rayder once, when he come sniffing round. He never listened, no more'n you crows with your swords and your bloody fires. That won't help you none when the white cold comes. Only the gods will help you then. You best get right with the gods.[14]

Melisandre: Necromancy animates these wights, yet they are still only dead flesh. Steel and fire will serve for them. The ones you call the Others are something more.
Stannis: Demons made of snow and ice and cold. The ancient enemy. The only enemy that matters.[17]

They're never far, you know. They won't come out by day, not when that old sun's shining, but don't think that means they went away. Shadows never go away. Might be you don't see them, but they're always clinging to your heels.[15]

References

  1. The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: The Coming of the First Men.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 23, Jon III.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 A Game of Thrones, Prologue.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 18, Samwell I.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 24, Bran IV.
  7. 7.0 7.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 56, Bran IV.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 The World of Ice & Fire, The Wall and Beyond: The Night's Watch.
  9. "Interview with the Dragon" Copyright © 2003 Robert Shaw.
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 5, Samwell I.
  11. 11.0 11.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 52, Jon VII.
  12. So Spake Martin: Conjose (August 29, 2002)
  13. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 13, Bran II.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 33, Samwell II.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 58, Jon XII.
  16. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 7, Jon II.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 78, Samwell V.
  18. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 25, Davos III.
  19. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 46, Samwell III.
  20. 20.0 20.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 1, Bran I.
  21. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 43, Arya VIII.
  22. So Spake Martin: Magic, the Darrys, and POVs (February 28, 2002)
  23. 23.0 23.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 73, Jon X.
  24. 24.0 24.1 The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Long Night.
  25. So Spake Martin: Asshai.com Interview in Barcelona (July 28, 2012)
  26. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 44, Jon IX.
  27. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
  28. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 21, Tyrion III.
  29. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 37, Bran V.
  30. A Storm of Swords, Prologue.
  31. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 75, Samwell IV.
  32. So Spake Martin: Stockholm and Archipelacon Report (June 28, 2015)
  33. Game of Thrones, Season 2, "Valar Morghulis".
  34. 34.0 34.1 Game of Thrones, Season 4, "Oathkeeper".
  35. 35.0 35.1 Entertainment Weekly: 'Game of Thrones': How producers pulled off 'Blackwater' (May 27, 2012)
  36. 36.0 36.1 ‘Game of Thrones’ language creator explains why White Walkers don’t speak
  37. Game of Thrones, Season 5, "Hardhome".
  38. Game of Thrones, Season 6, "The Door".
  39. A Game of Thrones, Prologue.
  40. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
  41. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 19, Jon III.