Game of Thrones Respect Threads #5: The Night King and the White Walkers

This is going to be a bit different from the previous respect threads that I have made so far. The Night King, and the White Walkers in general, are not human warriors like Jaime, Sandor, Brienne or Bronn, they are supernatural and mysterious demonic creatures who possess numerous special abilities, and are a great force to be reckoned with. It appears that in the upcoming season 7 they will finally be registered as they main threat to the Seven Kingdoms (and possibly the whole world), and a large portion of the attention in the show will be focused on them and the war against them. With season 7 coming very very soon, now is the perfect time to remind ourselves just what the new main baddies are capable of.

The White Walkers:

The White Walkers (in the books they are more commonly known as "Others"), contrary to the popular grasp of them, are NOT zombies. The first White Walker - now known as the Night King - was created by the Children of the Forest back in the Dawn Age (~10,000 years prior to the current timeline), to aid them in their war against the First Men. He was originally a human of the First Men, who was put through some experimental magic ritual (probably blood magic) that turned him into what he is now. The Children of the Forest probably created more White Walkers as well, although we never see them do it and it is possible that the Night King is the one who created the rest of the White Walkers. He appears to have different and more powerful abilities than any other White Walker and he has been seen in the series to possess the power to create White Walkers out of human babies, so whether he created the White Walkers himself or not remains to be discovered. Or not. In any case, the Children's plan to create a powerful race of Ice Demons that will serve them backfired horribly and they ended up creating the most feared, horrible creatures in Westeros, who turned against the Children of the Forest and the First Men alike. They finally holed themselves up in the northernmost part of Westeros - an uncharted territory called "The Lands of Always Winter". The war between the Children and the First Men ended with a pact, which ended the Dawn Age and heralded the Age of Heroes.

About 8,000 years prior to the current timeline, the White Walkers reemerged from the Lands of Always Winter and ventured south, killing and destroying everything in their path, in what is now known as "The Long Night". The calamity lasted a whole generation and ended in what is now known as "The War for the Dawn", in which all of Westeros united against the White Walkers and their undead army, lead by a hero by the name of Azor Ahai. After the White Walkers were driven back to the far north, the Wall was built by King Brandon Stark (AKA Bran the Builder") and imbued with mysterious magic, and the Night's Watch was established in order to guard the reams of men and prevent another Long Night.

Fast forward 8,000 years into our current timeline. The Night's Watch is considered by most to be a faltering bunch of former petty criminals holed up to freeze their asses off in the icy north, the Long Night is thought to be a bedtime story that was created to scare little children, and practically nobody believes that the White Walkers or the Children of the Forest existed in the first place. A lot of shit goes down, and now Westeros is again at the risk of suffering the wrath of the White Walkers once more.

The White Walkers appear generally humanoid. They are taller than most humans, their skin and their hair are pale white, and their eyes are bright, icy-blue. They are sinewy and their bones are showing through their skin, giving them a zombie/mummy-like appearance (although, as I said, they are NOT zombies). They carry weapons (mostly long pole-arms) that end with a blade of a mysterious crystal-ice material. They are often shown to be riding undead horses as well. They have only two known weaknesses - Dragonglass (Obsidian) and Dragonsteel (Valyrian Steel).

So, let's start with the regular White Walkers and their abilities before focusing on the Night King.

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Physicals:

Strength:

The White Walkers are extremely strong. Here, for example, a White Walker sends Samwell Tarly flying several meters aside like a mosquito with a casual pimp slap. And I don't need to tell you how, um... large... Sam is:

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Here a White Walker grabs Jon Snow by the shoulder and tosses him a few meters back like a toy:

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And again:

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He then struck Jon's chest with the pommel of his weapon and sent him flying down from the rampart. Judging by the fact that Jon twisted in pain and could barely breathe after that, it is very likely that the White Walker broke one or more of Jon's ribs:

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Jon managed to get up, but he only ran a few steps while clutching his chest before falling do the ground:

Also, take note how the White Walker just dropped down from the rampart. Not too impressive, but it's something.
Also, take note how the White Walker just dropped down from the rampart. Not too impressive, but it's something.

Durability:

The White Walkers are unaffected by the fire bombs hurled at them by the Children of the Forest:

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One of the Children of the Forest attempts to kill a White Walker with a spear and fails:

It is unclear whether this spear was made of Dragonglass or not. If so, then the only thing that saved the White Walker was his armor.
It is unclear whether this spear was made of Dragonglass or not. If so, then the only thing that saved the White Walker was his armor.

Speed/skill:

This first one is more of a stealth feat. A White Walker sneaks up on two unsuspecting Night's Watch rangers and kills one of them:

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The other tries to escape, but the White Walker outruns him:

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Then he sneaks up on him again, and kills him too:

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A White Walker dodges the Magnar of Thenn's blows, shatters his axe and kills him:

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Special abilities:

Weather manipulation:

The White Walkers have many special powers. One of them, is that they bring snow, winds and freezing cold wherever they go. Here for example, the sentries on the Wall blow the horn three times - which is the Night's Watch code to signal the coming of White Walkers. In the span of seconds the weather picks up and gets stormy:

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Freezing touch:

The second most notable trait of the White Walkers is that they shatter any blade they come in contact with, other than Dragonglass or Valyrian Steel. They can shatter it either with their hands like so:

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Or with their own blades, like this White Walker did to the Magnar of Thenn:

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And then to Jon Snow:

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This ability is derived from the cold that they bring. There's an aura of frozen mist that surrounds them and their weapons:

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Fire immunity:

I have no idea why but many people assume that White Walkers are weak against fire. Nope, those are just their wights. The White Walkers are invulnerable to fire. When they approach fire, it just parts like Moses and the Red Sea. For example here:

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And also here, notice how the fire goes back to place after the Night King and his posse get a bit farther:

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My guess would be that it's because of their freezing aura. It just quenches any fire or heat-source around them. However this is just a guess and there might be more to it, maybe we will find out in season 7.

Weaknesses:

Dragonglass:

Sam is the first character in the show that kills a White Walker. He does it by stabbing him in the back with a Dragonglass dagger:

This earned him the nickname
This earned him the nickname "Sam the Slayer", although it was given to him as mockery.

Then the White Walker kind of "melted away" after a few seconds of screaming:

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Meera Reed also killed a White Walker with a Dragonglass spear. He died a lot quicker for some reason:

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Valyrian Steel:

Valyrian Steel is the only metal that doesn't shatter when it meets the White Walkers' blades (to the White Walker's own surprise just as much as Jon's):

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When Jon tagged the White Walker with Longclaw, he also immediately "melted away":

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The Night King - the original gangster:

The Night King possesses several abilities that were not demonstrated by other White Walkers. It is quite safe to assume that he possesses all the abilities and physical stats of the regular White Walkers that were shown above, but all the extra abilities that he demonstrated are most probably exclusive to him alone.

He differs from other White Walkers in appearance by not having any hair or beard, and instead having horn-like spikes that surround his head, forming what appears to be somewhat of a crown. His weapon is also different from those carried by other White Walkers. It is some sort of pole-arm with a weird thin curved blade at the end.

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Origin:

His creation by the Children of the Forest was witnessed by Bran in one of his LSD trips visions:

Special abilities:

Physical strength:

In one of the show's most traumatizing moments so far, the Night King tosses an ice-javelin and kills one of Daenerys Targaryen's dragons, Viserion. The throw crossed a huge distance, and hit Viserion when he was mid-flight, which makes it not only a great strength feat but also a good accuracy feat:

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As of now, Undead Vserion is the Night King's mount. He used him to bring down the Wall:

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Creating other White Walkers:

The Night King can turn living humans into White Walkers with a touch of his finger. It is unknown whether he can do it only to newborn babies, and it is unknown how long it took the baby to turn into a grown White Walker. It is also unknown whether it can be done to males alone or to females too, as no female White Walkers were ever seen in the show. They are mentioned in the books however. Anyway:

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Earth manipulation:

The Night King has some form of Geokinesis. He only used it once on screen so it is unknown how powerful it is, but with a simple touch he created a crack in the earth across what appears to be at least 50 meters:

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Which made the cave start collapsing into itself:

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Raising the dead:

The Night King can raise the dead by the hundreds in one go, turning them into wights who serve him and the White Walkers:

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It is shown that, among the White Walkers' army of wights, there are also undead giants:

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Animals, such as bears, can be resurrected as well:

Not a bear expert or anything, but it appears that this undead bear is far stronger than a regular bear would be as well.
Not a bear expert or anything, but it appears that this undead bear is far stronger than a regular bear would be as well.

And of course:

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Greensight:

The Night King has the gift of Greensight, same as Bran and Bloodraven. He makes physical contact with Bran in one of his ecstasy trips visions:

This touch apparently "marked" Bran. It allowed the Night King to sense Bran's location, which resulted in the Night King's attack on the cave (was magically hidden from him up to this point), which resulted in the deaths of Bloodraven, all of the remaining Children of the Forest, Summer, and Hodor. Summer and Hodor died because Bran is an irresponsible little brat.

His weapon:

As I said, it has a unique design. Here he uses it to kill Bloodraven while he is in a DMT trip vision with Bran:

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That's it on the White Walkers and the Night King so far. We are bound to see a lot more of them in season 7 so I will try to update this thread frequently as the season goes on. Hope you enjoyed the read! ;)

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