Game Of Thrones: Sympathy For The White Walkers

I’m throwing in my lot with The White Walkers on Game of Thrones. And I've got good reason too....

Winter’s coming on Game of Thrones and the White Walkers are looking for some cool new real estate. Maybe something not quite as cold as Westerosi winters get, a fixer upper to kick their feet up. Just south, they will find an iron chair that might fit. It won’t keep them warm but they might be entitled to it. It’s not a comfy chair by any stretch of the imagination, but it affords a great view and comes with fringe benefits. When you’re living on the fringe, any benefit helps.

Much has been said about the zombification of American entertainment. AMC’s The Walking Dead and the movies Shaun of the Dead and Zombielandtriggered a virus that wrought an entertainment zombie apocalypse, which now threatens to devour screens big and small. Good. For critics who say there are too many zombies in the movies and on TV, I say we need more zombies. 

I like the White Walkers. They walk the walk without saying a word. I think the lure of the White Walkers, the little teasers the writers of Thrones throws at us, keeps me in there as much as the acting, nudity, and humor. I got some slack for cheering on the Red Wedding and I know I’m on record as rooting for the villain, the bad guy, the monster, but this isn’t the same as rooting for the zombies on The Walking Dead, the shark in Jaws, or the boogie down Bogie Men in March of the Wooden Soldiers, even though I do. I root for them because there is a mystery to those monsters. What does go on behind the gnarled faces and blood spittle lips? I never bought the whole thing in Bride of Frankenstein when the Creature says “we belong dead” and pulls the handy dandy self-destruct lever like that’s his predetermined end. Why? What did Frankenstein’s monster really do that he deserved to fry for? Who was he, Lepke? And King Kong. If you didn’t cry when that monkey died, if you saw it when you were a kid and your eyes stayed dry, there’s something wrong with you. Khal Drogo cried when King Kong died. Or was it Hitler who cried over the big ape? Either way you have to be a monster not to love the monster.

Are the White Walkers evil, really? What do we know about them? How do they treat their pets? Do they eat their pig’s feet one toe, I mean cloven hoof, at a time? White Walkers have been around forever and for all we know, they wrote the very first song. The First People talked about The White Walkers, behind their backs, in snarky terms and the White Walkers laid waste to the First People. Maybe the White Walkers had a point? Maybe the First People were assholes. They called themselves the First People for a kickoff. They must have been insufferable at parties. Their collective first noses up in the air, blowing first snot into second peoples’ eye brows, freezing, turning them white. I’m just saying: we don’t know much about the Walkers except for a mythology that predates dates.

Craster, the wilding with the daughter-wives, tells Mormont, the Nightwatch scout commander, that he sacrifices his sons to the “real gods.” If the first people knew about the White Walkers, could they be the real gods? If they are, they certainly have a good claim to the Iron Throne. And if they’re not, who’s really going to pluck up the nerve to tell them? Now, I don’t know what the White Walkers want with Craster’s kids, maybe they want to turn them into more White Walkers, maybe they want to eat them. I like to think they just want to save them from Craster.

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I predict that, at some point toward the end of the run of the series, the Imp, the Mother of Dragons, and the crippled Stark boy are going to have to align together against the White Walkers. It’s probably in the books. I’m waiting until after the series ends before I read them. Although I can always ask resident Thrones expert David Crow. All of George R.R. Martin’s personal favorites are going to go up against everyone’s favorite pigmentally-challenged zombies.

read more: Game of Thrones Season 8 Predictions and Theories

The White Walkers are on the march. The Imp will have to broker some kind of peace between the remaining Starks and the Dragon MILF, because the White Walkers are going to be claiming the land under the throne and once the White Walkers realize that the land includes the Iron Throne, no one is going to be happy. Perennial mope Sansa is never happy, so it won’t affect her much. But the rest of Westeros is going to be mighty uncomfortable, or so we are being led to believe. Westerosi live in dire fear of the White Walkers. They must be killed on sight, although Dragon glass is pretty hard to come by. White Walkers are the greatest threat to the relative security of the land south of the wall. A conglomeration of all the monsters in the collective subconscious.

Why do we immediately write off the White Walkers? They have as much right to sit on that unyielding loveseat as any one of the Westerosi. More so. They were probably there first. Right away everyone assumes that if the White Walkers take over, it’ll be some kind of medieval zombie apocalypse.

This White Walker bashing has got to stop. For all we know, these guys might set up a more reasonable government to the Westerosi. One that doesn’t require eating Crow arms and burning children. Where a wedding feast isn’t served cut to the bone and the guests aren’t served up like finger food on arrowhead toothpicks. I am reminded of the lesson we learned from the Power Puff Girls when Mojo Jojo, the evil genius of Townsville, USA, actually got the key to the world and ruled over earth. His reign was benevolent and altruistic. He solved world hunger and cleaned up the environment. Just because he was an evil genius didn’t mean his Utopian worldview had to be unloving or cruel. Maybe we need an evil genius to save the earth. Evil dumbasses certainly haven’t been much help.

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The White Walkers have a pretty good claim to the throne too. David Crow tells me that legends say some self-claimed King in the North took a White Walker for his bride and her divorce lawyer screwed him out of Winterfell. The White Walkers went north one winter, to sleep off some blackberry wine, and when they woke up, there was a big wall. 

The White Walker problem is an immigration issue. Southerners just don’t want the White Walkers taking Westerosi jobs. Game of Thrones keeps promising us that winter’s coming, and with winter there is going to be a lot of work. The White Walkers would probably take all the jobs that the Westerosians don’t want anyway. Someone’s got to shovel the motes and keep the armor from bursting. The Night’s Watch isn’t ready to move into a winter economy and they’ll be damned if they’ll let a bunch of ice-crusted slush munchers get a jump on them just because they own a pair of snowshoes. The guys who wear the black are like glorified Ku Klux Klansmen, except that they don’t wear white hoods because that doesn’t scare the already luminous White Walkers. Lisa Simpson, on The Simpsons obviously, is doing charity work for the undead, or will be in a not-too-distant future. Lisa will be doling out brains in a soup kitchen for the living impaired. That means that zombies are on their way to being assimilated into society and these White Walker pogroms will stop.

I’d written this before the Purple Wedding turned the show into a Middle-earth version of Clue or Murder by Death, with everyone having cause and opportunity to slip the Game of Thrones’ high-rent version of Draco Malfoy a mickey. (The Red Woman, in the dungeon, with a slug.) I had originally predicted that Gang of Thrones  was about due for a Manson Lamps  character. Manson Lamps characters are HBO staples, characters that are so out of control that even the villains kinda get scheeved by them, going back to Richie Aprile on The Sopranos. The White Walkers are Game of Thornes’ Manson Lamps. But they’ve been on a slow freeze-out instead of a hot flameout. I was going to go for King Joffrey, but he wasn’t long for this world, or that world or any road where they wear the Crown of Thrones because Manson Lamps characters, by definition, burn bright, hot and go out in a blaze.

Sure, White Walkers might not be your idea of a dream date, what with your sunshine and your tans, because you work in the fields. But north of the wall, those Northern White Walker girls keep their Whitewalking boyfriends warm at night. Don’t you wish they could all be White Walker girls? Whether they are gods, the people before the first men, or just plain old cognizant zombies – and yes, they’re cognizant, they’ve assembled for peaceable demonstration – White Walkers are marching south and it’s not the first time. Game of Thrones mythology says The White Walkers came from the place where it’s always winter, like the Nordic Tunnel only all the time. A travel agency would make out great there. My guess is if the White Walkers do move south, they won’t be White Walkers for long, a couple of weeks in the sun and they’ll be darker than the Dothraki. And they’ll be nicer. Less violent. Easier on the horses. I’m rooting for the White Walkers.

read more: Game of Thrones Season 8: What to Know

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