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|“||Demons made of snow and ice and cold. The ancient enemy. The only enemy that matters.||„|
|~ Stannis Baratheon, to Samwell Tarly|
|“||They wasn't gone, old man. They was sleeping. And they ain't sleeping no more.||„|
|~ Osha to Maester Luwin, talking about the White Walkers.|
The Others, also known as the "White Walkers" among the wildlings, are major antagonists in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, as well as its TV adaptation, Game of Thrones. Before the events in the novel, the Others had supposedly not been seen for thousand's of years. So far the Others have appeared in the flesh only twice in the whole saga and their purpose remains unknown at this time.
They reside in the Land of Always Winter, north of the Wall. According to the religion of R'hllor, their god is named the Great Other, god of darkness and death, who is locked in eternal war with Rhilor, god of light and fire.
In the TV show adaptation, their leader is the Night King.
The Others are described in ASOFAI as tall, gaunt beings with pale white skin and eyes a inhuman shade of blue, said to as bright as stars and colder than ice. 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.
Their blood is said to be a pale blue, with bones as shiny as milk glass.
They wear armor that reflects its surroundings, constantly shifting colors, blending into the world around it. They tread lightly, leaving no tracks, moving as fast as lightning, graceful and swift.
The Others wield thin crystal swords that glow like the light of the moon, capable of passing through ringmail as though it were silk. When the sword connects with a metal blade, a shrill, high noise, akin to an animal screaming in pain is heard.
These blades radiate intense cold, so great that they can freeze metal to the point of shattering.
The language of the Others is unnamed, but those that hear it describe the words as sounding like the cracking of ice, with laughter being compared to sharp icicles.
The White Walkers decipted in the T.V Show Game of Thrones are shown as tall, pale-skinned beings, their flesh pulled taught over their form, lending them a mummified appearance, often seen with long, wispy beards and hair as pale as snow.
They are inhumanly strong, capable of throwing an adult man backward with a single blow
Wherever the Others go, intense cold follows, but it is unknown if they simply follow cold winds, or if they themselves bring it. While some stories claim Other's will only come out at night, others still say that they bring the night.
By far the most insidious power that the Others possess is their ability to resurrect the dead, these creatures are known as Wights, described as having pale blue eyes just like their masters. As such, Wildlings burn their deceased to ensure they do not rise as slaves to the Others will.
There are tales of their riding the corpses of dead animals such as bears, direwolves, mammoths, and horses, The Other 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 "ice spiders" as big as hounds.
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.
In the TV series Game of Thrones, during a ranging from Eastwatch-by-the-Sea to capture a wight beyond the Wall, it is shown that killing a White Walker will cause all the wights who had been resurrected by it to crumble upon their master's death. Furthermore, all wights and White Walkers are linked to the Night King in which if the Night King dies, the entire race will go extinct as when Arya killed the Night King, all White Walkers explodes into ice shards and all wights crumble.
- Although they are considered responsible for the Long Night in the world, no human can prove it's true. Some fans believe that the Long Night caused the Others to go south, rather than the Others causing the Long Night. The history and legends of the universe if Ice and Fire tell that thousands of years ago, the entire world was deprived of sunlight. Along with these stories there are legends of other kinds of demons, besides the Others, coming from the further east of Essos and the undergrounds of Yi Ti. In YiTish legends, the Bloodstone Emperor and his sorcery are blamed for the Long Night.
- George R.R. Martin has made it clear more than once that he does not plan for his novels to end after a great final confrontation against the Others. Martin does not want them to be the final enemy, and then simply have the ending. The 6th book will explore the further north known as Land of Always Winter, where the Others live.