Frau Blucher wrote:
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.
I thought the whole impetus for the Wildlings gathering together and marching was that the Others were making inroads into their communities. They wanted the horn of Joruman (or at least for Jon to think it had power or was to be desired) to get past the Wall and make it to safety. Did the books not mention that Mance had patrols along the march that were to harry the straglers and move people along? I assumed that was because just like in the flight from the fist, those at the far flung sides or rear were easy pickings.
Once Tormund makes it through the Wall, he said that one of his sons died in the night and came back as a Wight. No one realized he was dead until he raised up and Tormund had to "kill" him. I don't recall Tormund mentioning an Other attack in conjuction with that incident. (Tormund and his band had fled the Wall in the wake of Stannis' attack.)
Mel reveals the Wall is powerful. Could perhaps the spells within the Wall have protected the Wildlings while they were assualting it? Dead stored within the ice vaults don't become Wights.
Is it then safe to assume that anyone that dies beyond the Wall now and is not burned immediately will rise?
I still think Cotter Pyke's message from Hardhome is so chilling. Dead things in the Water.
Perhaps they have not moved yet because they are waiting for the dead and dying to swell their ranks?
I don't think the Wights decompose. Sam pointed out that the flesh was ropey and that there was no corruption.