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Who are the White Walkers and who is the Night King in Game of Thrones?



Credits: HBO

During the entirety of the initial seasons of Game of Thrones, we see the characters fight over whether White Walkers are a serious threat to the realm or just a mythical legend. Despite various brothers of the Night’s Watch and Wildlings claiming that they are real, nobody takes White Walkers seriously. We can’t blame them since they had a more pressing matter at hand aka the war to claim the Iron Throne.

Only when the courageous Jon Snow presents a White Walker live in their presence, do they understand and introspect the threat at hand. White Walkers turn out to be as real as the dragons they once didn’t believe in. Keeping the squabble for the crown aside, everyone except Cersei unites to defeat the army of White Walkers. For this, they had to delve into the history and biology of the zombie-like creatures.

Quick Answer: White Walkers are the army of undead soldiers, commanded by their leader the Night King. The Children of the Forest created them to fight humans but they eventually turned evil and wanted every living being to die. They aspired to initiate a Long Night again.

Also Read: David J Peterson had created a language for White Walkers, but it wasn’t used in Game of Thrones

Who are White Walkers?


Credits: HBO

In George R.R. Martin’s world, anything is possible. Heroes can awaken from the dead, half-dead people can rise in mutiny, dragons can rain fire, and dragonriders can withstand fire. Fans believed the biggest threat in Game of Thrones would only be the power-hungry houses and the cruel rulers. But Martin proved everyone wrong by crafting a villain so iconic and fearsome that fans were blown away.

Armed with a rich origin story, White Walkers are not mere zombies as many generally believe. The Night King-led army thrives in ice as they have been frozen for centuries before they finally awaken to seek more death. Bran or the Three-Eyed Raven traveled back in time to witness how the White Walkers came to be. The Children of the Forest created them to protect themselves from the dangers of the human race.

After humans established civilization, they stood at odds with the Children of the Forest. White Walkers were created with the Children stabbing a man with a knife made of dragon glass. The anonymous man struggled but eventually gave in as his eyes were covered in ice blue. Eventually, the Children of the Forest fall prey to the White Walkers who kill the Children and come after the Three-Eyed Raven.

The White Walkers are central to the story since they are the “Ice” in A Song of Ice and Fire. They are born through dragon glass, offering them unique powers and mythic abilities since they cannot die that easily. While there are some leaders like in any other army, most of the White Walkers are undead soldiers, blindly following the commands of the Night King.

Also Read: Characters will have to face White Walkers along with each other in this final season

Who is the Night King?


Credits: HBO

The Night King is the ruler who commands the army of White Walkers. He’s the only one who can order them to do anything without uttering a single word. Sort of like a hive mind, the Night King interacts with the Whtie Walkers telepathically. While Game of Thrones did not dive into who became the Night King in the past, A Song of Ice and Fire books have some easter eggs that might tell us the identity of the menacing Night King.

The books refer to him as the Night’s King. He does not make an appearance directly, but only in children’s stories and legends. Old Nan, the caregiver of Stark children, claims that the Night King might be a Stark lord. Being the Northernmost house, the Starks were known to go beyond the wall often and even help the Night’s Watch whenever required. It seems like Bran the Builder’s brother made his way beyond the wall and fell in love with a White Walker. He then took on the role of Night’s King and led the undead rebellion.

The ultimate aim of the Night King was to eclipse the world in an endless night that saw the death of every living being. His threat was so large that the Free Folk joined hands with Southerners to protect their land and stay alive. In many ways, the White Walkers forced Westeros to work in tandem if they ever hoped to destroy the Night King’s army.

Also Read: The actor who played a White Walker on Game of Thrones for three seasons reveals all in new interview

Game of Thrones’ Night King’s powers


Credits: HBO

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Being made of cursed magic, the Night King is a powerful foe against the whole of Westeros. His range of powers includes,

  • Freezing at will
  • Converting dead people into White Walkers
  • Enhanced strength
  • Shattering weapons with ease
  • Marking the prey for the army
  • Dragon riding
  • Immune to fire and immortal to an extent

Also Read: Who is Ewan Mitchell in House of the Dragon?


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Vidhi has been an entertainment writer for the past 4 years. She has a knack for identifying subtleties and intricacies of movies and television shows that can add a new dimension to her content. Having watched Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon countless times, she knows most details by heart and thrives in trivia contests related to the same!