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|“||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.||„|
|~ Melisandre to Samwell Tarly|
|“||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.||„|
|~ Alliser Thorne to Jon Snow.|
The Wights are reanimated corpses that appear in A Song of Ice and Fire and the TV series Game of Thrones. They are also known as the army of the dead.
Dead men or creatures raised up by the Others, seemingly when touched by the cold that accompanies them. They act as minions of the Others and they are supposedly attracted to warm blood. Anyone who dies fighting against the Others must be burned or else they'll rise again as wights. These walking corpses obey only the white walkers, and things and memories from their lives remain in their heads. Besides dead wildlings and rangers of the Night's Watch, the army of the dead includes giants, horses, birds, ice bears, wolves, dogs, and shadowcats.
Their appearance depend entirely on the condition of the corpse when it is raised. Some are lifelike, while others are badly rotten. Their eyes turn bright blue. Wights can be stronger than they look, but can also be slow and clumsy. Their scent makes animals run away and the horses and the hounds refuse to get close to them. They feel no pain since they're already dead, but can be stopped with mutilation, though they'll still move. When a wight is destroyed, the blue disappears from its eyes. They are able to stand firm and playing dead, even buried in the snow, waiting for their victims. They are extremely flammable and fire is the only effective weapon to get rid of them. It is unknown if they are able to cross the Wall on their own since they can be destroyed by the magic of the Children of the Forest, but can still reanimate if brought on through the Wall. They are also shown to be immune to dragonglass and Valyrian steel, the only 2 known deadly weapons for their masters. When they die, the blue leaves their eyes and they return to be normal rotting corpses.
The television series shows another way to destroy more wights at once: by killing a White Walker, all beings that had been resurrected personally by this Walker will be destroyed on their own. Wights that are not resurrected by a specific White Walker will remain active until their master is dead.
A Game of Thrones
Ser Waymar Royce raises as a wight after being killed by the white walkers and kills Will. Benjen Stark and his party go in search for Royce, remaining close to the Wall, but they never return. Months later, only two dead bodies of two rangers that were with Benjen are found in the Haunted Forest: Jafer Flowers and Othor. Both of the corpses have the same pale skin, black hands, and staring blue eyes. Samwell Tarly points out that the blood in the corpses’ veins is dry and crusty as if they have been dead for a long time. However, the bodies do not stink and have not begun to decompose; they are also untouched by maggots or scavengers. Suspicious of the untouched nature of the corpses, Mormont orders Chett to bring one of the hounds closer, but no matter how hard he tries, the hound fights to stay away from the bodies. In addition, Sam points out that there are no pools of blood to indicate the men were killed there, indicating that the bodies have been moved. The old forester Dywen and Ser Jaremy Rykker also note that they do not recall either Othor or Jafer having blue eyes. Jeor has the bodies to be brought at Castle Black, so Maester Aemon can examine them.
During the night, the wight of Othor kills a guard and enters Jeor Mormont's room, with the intention of murder him. Othor fights against Jon Snow and Ghost. Jon saves Jeor's life by setting Othor afire. The wight of Jafer Flowers is slain by the garrison of Castle Black, but not before he manages to kill Ser Jaremy Rykker and four other men. The next day Jeor gives the moving hand of Othor in a jar to Ser Alliser Thorne and sends him to King's Landing, with the intention of scaring the Iron Throne.
A Clash of Kings
Alliser Thorne arrives at King's Landing with Othor's hand 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. However, the Hand of the King Tyrion Lannister remembers him as the mean-spirited man who likes to torment recruits. Out of spite, Tyrion keeps Ser Alliser waiting so long that Othor's hand decomposes, leaving bones, and is therefore not very convincing. Tyrion does not allow Alliser to see the king, and when Thorne starts to act aggressive at court, Tyrion has the Kingsguard sending him away, allowing him to take some weapons from the Red Keep.
A Storm of Swords
In the camp at the Fist of the First Men, Jeor Mormont and his men are waiting for Qhorin Halfhand, Jon Snow, Ebben, Dalbridge, and Stonesnake to return from their mission to kill Mance Rayder. But most of the group has been killed by Rattleshirt's party, and Jon taken as Mance's prisoner. Jarman Buckwell and his scouting squad are still outside, in the wilderness, searching for wildlings. Jeor is tired of waiting: the wildlings, the giants, and their mammoths are moving and Orell's eagle is looking at the Night's Watchmen. Jeor decides to attack the wildlings the next day with his 300 men from Castle Black and the Shadow Tower. Chett, Clubfoot Karl, and other men plan to flee and kill Jeor and many of his men, including Samwell, to prevent him from sending ravens to the Wall. But before the battle or the mutiny can happen, that night the camp is attacked by hundreds of wights, both human and animals, including bears. The Battle at the Fist occurs, and the fire arrows are shot against the wights. Mormont manages to form up about 50 survivors and they are forced to retreat. Most of the officials, such as Thoren Smallwood, Ottyn Wythers, and Mallador Locke, are killed, leaving only Jeor to command the survivors. The fight is described as a horrifying experience for the Night's Watch, that leads many to consider mutiny in order to survive, while others who were part of the former conspiration to desert the Watch have a change of heart and remain loyal. Samwell sent ravens in the south, to warn everyone about the situation beyond the Wall, but forgot to add any message on them. The survivors run for the Wall, pursued by the wights.
After the Mutiny at Craster's Keep, Sam and Gilly are attacked by wights during a night in the Haunted Forest. Sam recognizes some of his former brothers died at the Fist of the First Men, including Chett, Small Paul, Hake, Lark, Softfoot, and Ryles. Sam tries to stab Small Paul with a dagger made from dragonglass. The dagger shatters against Small Paul's chainmail. Paul tries to strangle Sam, who smashes Paul with a chunk of smoldering wood. Paul's wight is burned and destroyed. As Sam and Gilly escape with Craster's baby, a storm of a raven, led by a mysterious wight-looking dead figure named Coldhands, saves both of Sam and Gilly. Nothing is known about Coldhands, a part that he was a ranger of the Night's Watch and died many years ago. He doesn't breathe and he fears the magic of the Children of the Forest, but unlike the wights, he can talk and has black eyes.
After the Battle of Castle Black and the arrival of House Baratheon of Dragonstone at the Wall, the wildlings who are not captured scatter everywhere in the Haunted Forest. 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.
A Dance With Dragons
After the arrival of King Stannis Baratheon at the Wall, the lands north of the Wall are invaded by wights. The wildling skinchanger Varamyr was deadly wounded by Melisandre's magic. He flees in the Haunted Forest with his group and a few days later, as night approaches, he is warned by the spearwife Thistle that an army of Others and wights is near and they have to leave, Varamyr tries to take over her body. However, she reacts madly, screaming, tearing out her eyes and biting her own tongue off, expelling him from her mind. Varamyr's body dies, but his mind lives on in his wolf One Eye. From a distance away, he sees that Thistle has become a wight and is killed by her.
While listening to gossip in the Lazy Eel in White Harbor, Lord Davos Seaworth observes that no sailors discuss wildlings, wights, and giants, unlike the men at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.
Outside the cave of the three-eyed-raven, a group of wights hiding in the snow attacks Bran Stark, Hodor, Jojen and Meera Reed. They manage to survive thanks to the help of Coldhands and Summer. The magic of the children of the forest prevents the wights from getting close to the tree-cave. Coldhands does not enter the cave because of its magic.
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. Septon Cellador is highly disturbed by this.
Jon 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. 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.
Almost every place beyond the Wall is under attack by wights. They kill many wildlings and giants, and Jon leads many rangings to find the wildlings beyond the Wall and save them. Jon Snow finds his first ranger, Black Jack Bulwer and his men murdered by the Weeper. The other ranger parties disappeared beyond the Wall, including Ser Alliser Thorne, who threatened Jon that wights remember. Melisandre warns Jon that another of the two groups he sent outside will die. Wildling families with children are found by the rangers, with also Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun the giant. Later Jon allows Tormund and four thousand wildlings who were constantly attacked by the Others to pass through the Wall, while giants and mammoths pass through Eastwatch.
Cotter Pyke, the commander of Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, 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. At the same time, most places beyond the wall are full of wights. Melisandre sees in the flames that the wildlings at Hardhome are doomed, and Queen Selyse Florent and Ser Axell Florent advise Jon Snow to let Cotter and the wildlings die, but Jon refuses. Jon wanted to go to Hardhome, but receives a sudden letter from Ramsay Bolton, telling him he defeated and killed King Stannis Baratheon. Jon decides to send Tormund with other men to save Cotter Pyke and his team, and the thousands of wildlings at Hardhome. While Tormund prepares to leave, however, Jon is stabbed to death by a group of mutineers of the Night's Watch who killed him while crying: "For the Watch!".
The Massacre at Hardhome
In the TV show, Melisandre's vision of the possible imminent massacre at Hardhome has already occurred in the show. Like in the books wights were massing around the ruined village of Hardhome, but in this version, Jon Snow arrives before being stabbed by the mutineers and before Stannis and Ramsay start to fight. Jon arrives with also Stannis' ships from Eastwatch, accompanied by Tormund, Dolorous Edd, Todder, 18 other men of the Watch, and Stannis' royal fleet. But the White Walkers know that he plans to save the wildlings, so before he manages to get them all on the ships, a large wight army attacks Hardhome and later, the Night's King himself witnesses the massacre. Jon Snow, Edd, Tormund, and Todder survive and manage to save a few thousand wildlings and a giant, Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun. But the losses are bigger: about 10 Night's Watch rangers and 10,000 wildlings became wights, including Karsi. In the book version, Wun Wun is found the Haunted Forest, while all the other Giants and their mammoths are allowed to get south of the Wall passing through Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.
- Ser Waymar Royce
- Bruni, slain by Osha
- Jafer Flowers, slain by Castle Black garrison.
- Othor, slain by Jon Snow.
- Small Paul, slain by Samwell Tarly.
- Torwynd, slain by his own father Tormund.
- Viserion (TV series only)
- For some reason, the TV series Game of Thrones made dragonglass lethal for the wights, as in the seventh season it is shown that dragonglass can kill a wight. This differs from the novel version: dragonglass shatters upon touching a wight.