137th Gebirg wrote:
What I was curious about was how long the Wildings were allowed to remain unmolested by the Others while they were hanging out north of the wall. The Others/Whites army was already on the move when they attacked the Watch at the Fist of the First Men, only slightly behind the Wilding army at best, marching in parallel with them at worst. The Wildings make it to the wall first, obviously, and they hang out there for quite some time - enough for Stannis' forces to arrive, come to an agreement and bring a ton of people through the gates. What are the Others waiting for? The bunching-up of the Wilding civilians moving through the wall would have been a perfect time to surround and attack a huge contingent of humans that would have been quickly turned to swell their own ranks.
I don't think their numbers are that huge, otherwise they would have done a lot more damage historically. Their troops are time-limited to how long their corpses stay together. I don't think troops can turn troops so it would require one of the Others to do the turning. Sam killed one of their knights but he was on his own. The only other time we see one of their knights is at the very beginning of the first book and he was on his own too.
Of course I could be completely wrong about troops turning other living things but it isn't clear and the troops don't rampage around willy nilly like modern day zombie movies; they are driven by someone who knows about combat and subterfuge.