Game of Thrones is almost back (thank the Old Gods, the New Gods, the Lord of Light, the Many-Faced God, and The Drowned God), so it’s time for a refresher on one of the most important elements of the show: The White Walkers.
These ancient, terrifying, mummy-like antagonists with their ice zombie army are becoming increasingly vital as Game of Thrones races towards its inevitable conclusion. As everyone and their mother (i.e. Cersei) is vying for the Iron Throne, a desperate few know that the true threat lies beyond The Wall… and that it’s coming for the world of men.
Here’s everything you need to know about The White Walkers:
Who are the White Walkers?
The White Walkers are leaders of an ice zombie horde known as “wights” seemingly intent on destroying the world of men. They come from the far North, deep beyond The Wall, but have been organized under the rule of the Night King and are making their way south to Westeros as we speak.
Not that anyone besides the wildings, Jon Snow, the Night’s Watch, and Ser Davos are taking the threat seriously, though. In the first trailer for Season 7, we hear Davos tell someone: “If we don’t put aside our enmities and band together, we will die. And then it doesn’t matter whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne.” Listen to the man, dammit!
Where did the White Walkers come from?
The White Walkers were created by the Children of the Forest thousands of years ago as a form of protection against the First Men who were cutting their sacred trees and slaughtering their tribe. (Rude). The White Walkers were originally First Men themselves, before being captured by the Children of the Forest to be changed into weapons. The Children of the Forest pressed dragonglass daggers into the chests of these First Men to create the first White Walkers.
Eventually, the White Walkers rebelled, Cylon-style, from their lives of forced war-making and decided to make war on their own terms, attacking the living indiscriminately and becoming the most feared creatures in all of Westeros. Or so the legends say. We’ve yet to hear the White Walkers’ side of the story.