There’s only one winter that separates us from the new season of Game of Thrones. Earlier this month, HBO made an official announcement that the show will return in April 2019 for its eighth and final season.
The last season ended with Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen joining forces to fight the White Walkers and Cersei agreeing to loan Tyrion her forces to help in this epic war. Basically, it all comes down to Westeros against the undead army, where the White Walkers, wights and Night King will take up screen space for most of the episodes.
So, let’s get to know them better, because winter is coming!
First, who or what exactly are White Walkers?
The ice monsters aka White Walkers are an ancient race of humanoid ice creatures that live beyond The Wall, way north of Westeros. They are over thousands of years old, created by the Children of the Forest to protect themselves from the First Men. However, White Walkers broke free from their control and turned on the Children of the Forest and all of Westeros.
The Legend of the White Walkers
Eventually, there was a massive war between the White Walkers and the First Men, which ended with the defeat of the Walkers at the Battle for the Dawn. The Wall was then built by Bran the Builder to keep them from returning south. The White Walkers slowly passed from fact to folklore, until reports of them first reached Ned Stark thousands of years later in episode 1 of season 1.
Winter is coming and so are the White Walkers
Since season 1, the White Walkers’ army of the undead kept increasing. The White Walkers are the leaders of this army. You can tell them apart from the rest, by the jacket they wear and the horses they ride. They have the ability to raise the dead and recreate them into Wights. Their goal is to multiply forces, penetrate The Wall and take control of Westeros.
Wights, GOT’s version of zombies
Wights are the undead hordes that walk and fight with the White Walkers. They mostly consist of the dead, who’ve been revived into zombie-like ice creatures. They also contain dead animals, including Viserion, one of Daenerys' dragons, who now fights with the undead army, led by the Night King.
Who is the Night King?
The Night King is the leader of the White Walkers. You can tell him apart from the rest by the crown of icy horns on his head and his electric blue eyes. It appears that he’s in control of the whole undead army through some sort of telepathy, similar to Bran’s warg ability. Legend has it that he was one of the First Men, who was turned into a White Walker by the Children of the Forest.
More Importantly, How Can The Night King And The Undead Army Be Killed?
The wights can be burned but the White Walkers won’t be affected by fire, because they are so cold. However, in season 3, Samwell Tarly kills a White Walker using a blade of dragonglass. In season 5, Jon Snow takes out a White Walker with his Valyrian steel sword. So, it’s believed that the White Walkers and Night King can be killed with either of them. However, there aren’t many dragonglass blades or Valyrian steel swords to take them all down.
White Walkers in Westeros
As of last season, the White Walkers have crossed The Wall into Westeros and are bringing the winter along. Their main goal still stays limited to fan theories and the episodes coming up ahead.
It’s going to be a cold winter before the final season of Game of Thrones starts. In the meantime, you can binge-watch seasons 1-7, while sipping on the White Walker by Johnnie Walker . This is a limited-edition bottle brought to you by Johnnie Walker and HBO’s Game of Thrones to celebrate the final season. The unique feature of this bottle is that when you keep it in a freezer, the temperature-sensitive glass displays a secret message.
So, are you curious enough to go find out? The bottles will be available soon, grab them!