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SF1_freeze

GAME OF THRONES - Beware Season 7 Spoilers!

9141 posts in this topic

I was referring to the events of the original Long Night.

 

As far as the recent events go, true enough, it appears on the surface as though the White Walkers and the Children of the Forest were at cross-purposes!

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2 minutes ago, Glóin the Dark said:

I was referring to the events of the original Long Night.

 

As far as the recent events go, true enough, it appears on the surface as though the White Walkers and the Children of the Forest were at cross-purposes!

 

I thought the Children created the White Walkers but then they had to ally with humans to beat back their own creations.

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7 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

I thought the Children created the White Walkers but then they had to ally with humans to beat back their own creations.

 

We know that the Children created the White Walkers, of course, but it's never been established that they somehow behaved differently than intended.

 

The humans in Westeros have no idea that the Children of the Forest created the White Walkers. They don't believe that the White Walkers were a weapon. They believe that they were a separate, independent race of creatures that were intent on wiping them out, until the humans managed to seek out and reconcile with the Children, who then helped them defeat the White Walkers (thereby saving mankind). Because that's exactly what they were supposed to think!

 

(Just as they're supposed to think now, once again...)

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My assumption has been that the Children created the White Walkers to wipe out humans but that the White Walkers didn't discriminate between humans and Children so they had to ally with the enemy they had intended to defeat.

 

But I guess that was never spelled out exactly, yeah.

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7 minutes ago, Glóin the Dark said:

 

We know that the Children created the White Walkers, of course, but it's never been established that they somehow behaved differently than intended.

 

The humans in Westeros have no idea that the Children of the Forest created the White Walkers. They don't believe that the White Walkers were a weapon. They believe that they were a separate, independent race of creatures that were intent on wiping them out, until the humans managed to seek out and reconcile with the Children, who then helped them defeat the White Walkers (thereby saving mankind). Because that's exactly what they were supposed to think!

 

(Just as they're supposed to think now, once again...)

 

I'm not sure I understand what you're getting at, then.  What are you not saying?  If the White Walkers are acting as the Children intended, then what is the Children's ultimate plan?  Simply to fool the humans into thinking they won for 800 years until ultimately being defeated by them when they grew in numbers?

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1 minute ago, Disco Stu said:

My assumption has been that the Children created the White Walkers to wipe out humans but that the White Walkers didn't discriminate between humans and Children so they had to ally with the enemy they had intended to defeat.

 

Yeah, I guess that's what we're supposed to assume, but it doesn't quite ring true for me. Apart from the fact that none of the human stories have any mention of the Children being responsible for the White Walkers, there's also the fact that the one myth that does incorporate the two races says that the "Last Hero" set out into the dead lands to find the Children and seek their help...which then apparently worked.

 

Most of all though, that interpretation fails the most important test: it's not compatible with Martin's mantra "We don't need any more Dark Lords"!

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Just now, Glóin the Dark said:

"We don't need any more Dark Lords"!

 

But that's exactly what the Night King is!  At least in the show, I'm not a book reader.

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3 minutes ago, Jay said:

I'm not sure I understand what you're getting at, then.  What are you not saying?  If the White Walkers are acting as the Children intended, then what is the Children's ultimate plan?  Simply to fool the humans into thinking they won for 800 years until ultimately being defeated by them when they grew in numbers?

 

To fool them, yes, though not simply into thinking that they'd won.

 

The Children and the Men had been in a state of perpetual war for, apparently, thousands of years because of their incompatible ways of life and the lack of restraint on the side of the humans. My hypothesis is that the Children, as a last resort, gathered all of their powers to create the appearance of a greater enemy, something that would frighten the bejeezus out of the Men, necessitate (in their minds) an alliance with the Children, and give them a genuine, lasting incentive to stick to the terms of that alliance long after the immediate conflict had ended.

 

That's why the human myths don't say "So there were these White Walkers created by the Children of the Forest..."

 

5 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

But that's exactly what the Night King is!  At least in the show, I'm not a book reader.

 

I know! That's why I don't buy the popular interpretation of what he's up to. It goes against Martin's well-known attitude to fantasy stories.

 

Everyone in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" connoisseur community knows this quote of Martin's, and yet almost everyone explains it away in some manner, as though he didn't mean it to apply to the White Walkers!

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6 minutes ago, Glóin the Dark said:

The Children and the Men had been in a state of perpetual war for, apparently, thousands of years because of their incompatible ways of life and the lack of restraint on the side of the humans. My hypothesis is that the Children, as a last resort, gathered all of their powers to create the appearance of a greater enemy, something that would frighten the bejeezus out of the Men, necessitate (in their minds) an alliance with the Children, and give them a genuine, lasting incentive to stick to the terms of that alliance long after the immediate conflict had ended.

 

OK, but how have the men been sticking to the terms of their alliance with the Children since the end of the Long Night?  And also, how does this tie into the Walkers marching south now in the endgame of the whole tale?

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33 minutes ago, Jay said:

 

 If the White Walkers are acting as the Children intended, then what is the Children's ultimate plan?  Simply to fool the humans into thinking they won for 800 years until ultimately being defeated by them when they grew in numbers?

 

 

35 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

 

But that's exactly what the Night King is!  At least in the show, I'm not a book reader.

 

He is essentially a Dark Lord, and that's part of why the show has gone of the rails. It's pretty much just a typical fantasy show now, with typical fantasy tropes.

 

More than anything, this season is REALLY making me want to go back and watch the first four.

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3 minutes ago, Jay said:

OK, but how have the men been sticking to the terms of their alliance with the Children since the end of the Long Night?

 

They probably haven't (we don't know exactly what the terms of that alliance would have been). But the Long Night was a very long time ago. There could well have been a period of millennia, in its aftermath, when the Men remembered it well enough and stuck to their side of whatever bargain was struck. In the era of the story, of course, the Long Night is largely forgotten by much of Westeros, and no longer thought of as cause for concern even in the North.

 

11 minutes ago, Jay said:

 And also, how does this tie into the Walkers marching south now in the endgame of the whole tale?

 

It doesn't, except in that they're using the same basic tactic again.

 

The Children of the Forest are on their way out. There are hardly any of them left, and they seem to be resigned to extinction in the not-too-distant future (from their perspective), with Men being the inheritors of their homeland. But the world that Men have created is itself one of perpetual warfare, destruction and suffering. The feudal power structure is never robustly stable. Before they bow out once and for all, the Children are harnessing their old magics for one last push, and using the same deceptive ploy that worked for them in the original Long Night: creating a terrible, greater enemy that will force the humans into a state of cooperation - not, this time, with the Children of the Forest, but with themselves.

 

There are lots of forms that this state of cooperation should take (after the conflict), but it would likely be some combination of principles that emerged in Europe as its nations gradually transitioned from feudal times into the Enlightenment era - separation of powers, constitutions, regional representation, a greater voice for the common folk, less emphasis on hereditary power, etc. In general, a state of organisation and government designed to make the whole thing less vulnerable to conflict and collapse.

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So the ultimate endgame of the show / books is a lesson in man becoming a better species?

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1 minute ago, Jay said:

So the ultimate endgame of the show / books is a lesson in man becoming a better species?

 

Yeah...or, at least, a better organised one. I'd put money on that.

 

There has to be jeopardy, obviously. It has to be possible for them to fail. I imagine "Improve or die!" will be the choice they're presented with.

 

There's a quote from George R. R. Martin which I think is one of the best keys to understanding what his work is about. On his attitude to writing fantasy, he said "You treat it like history, but you make everything bigger". This includes making things literally bigger in their physical dimensions (like the Wall, etc.) but more generally exaggerating and sensationalising things, making them more colourful and emphatic.

 

The history that he's dealing with in A Song of Ice and Fire is well-known to have been inspired by the Wars of the Roses, and then to have expanded in conception to incorporate elements of world history from many places and eras. But it's mostly focused on ideas relating to mediaeval Europe and its power structures. And what happened in mediaeval Europe in the long run? [Spoiler alert!] The feudal systems died out, and the types of government that replaced them have their own problems but are generally thought to be something of an improvement.

 

Take that basic outline, make everything "bigger", throw in some ice and fire, and there you have it...

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Sounds right to me!

 

But will Benioff and Weiss pull that off as elegantly as Martin will (or, as well as the Martin who wrote the original trilogy in a timely manner before he got rich could have?)

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I'm going to guess "No" for that one. :P

 

But I still have reasonable hope that it's not going to turn out to be the standard zombie story that most people already assume it is.

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Eh, the story you've outlined is pretty standard too though, its basically the plot of Watchmen

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I'm not saying that it would be unique in that respect (though I've never seen or read Watchmen, and can't think of another example of that type of story, at least off the top of my head). I meant, specifically, that it would not be a "standard zombie story".

 

How standard or original the story would be (either in the books or the TV show) would, I suppose, be dependent on a more detailed outline than the basic ideas I suggested... 

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What I don't understand in Gloin's logic is that he keeps on saying the Night King isn't "your typical Dark Lord", and the end goal of the White Walkers isn't to wipe out the entire human race, but none of his arguments prove that. His arguments only suggest that the idea of the Children Of The Forest, by creating the White Walkers, was to have the humans learn to cooperate and live with them, and in the present story, it is now to have the humans try to work together (and so far, I'm sure he's right, or at least close to the truth), but how does that prove the White Walkers don't want to kill the human race? As he said, the Children Of The Forest probably created the White Walkers to create a bigger enemy for humans than themselves (the Children, that is), in order to "divert their attention". But in order for that to work, they had to have the White Walkers want to kill humans, no? Or did the Children said to the Walkers: "OK, you have to pretend you're very evil so that humans will now be nice to us, and then you can go!"?

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