‘Game of Thrones’: What Life Will Be Like Without the Wall
The Season 7 finale of Game of Thrones ended on a gasp-worthy note. The Wall — which has been manned by the Night’s Watch for thousands of years came crumbling down. With the help of the reanimated corpse of Daenerys Targaryen’s dragon, Viserion, the Wall shattered in a heap of fiery blue flames, as the Night King and the White Walkers led their Army of the Dead north.
It was both shocking and horrifying, especially since we learned that Cersei Lannister has no real plans of protecting King’s Landing or the 1 million people who call the capital of Westeros their home from the impending doom the White Walkers will certainly bring.
Dany and Jon Snow have formed an allegiance (in more ways than one). However, the Starks and their allies, as well as the forces that fight for the Mother of Dragons, might not be enough to keep Westeros safe from the White Walkers and their terrifying army of wights.
While “The Dragon and the Wolf” episode will have to hold us over until GoT returns for an eighth and final season, we have a pretty good indication of what life in Westeros will be like without the Wall keeping everyone safe.
1. Wights galore
The White Walkers would be terrifying on their own, but it’s their Army of the Dead, aka wights, who really set our teeth on edge. After a harrowing battle beyond the Wall, Jon and his ragtag group of comrades were able to capture a wight and drag it with them to King’s Landing, with the hopes that they might convince Cersei to call a truce — at least until the White Walkers are defeated. After The Hound provoked the lifeless creature and it came barreling towards Cersei, even the most homicidal woman in Westeros had to take a pause.
As we’ve seen over the course of the series and most recently, with poor Viserion, the White Walkers only need to touch a corpse to bring it back to life. Human beings are easily killed, but wights can only be stopped with fire and dragonglass (as Jon so thoughtfully demonstrated in the season finale).
With the White Walkers still seen as just mythical beings, a shortage of dragonglass, and a lack of cooperation from those blondes in the South, Westeros is sure to be crawling with wights by the time Season 8 premieres. As Mance Rayder once said of the White Walkers, “We’re all the same to them. Meat for their army.”
2. A very Long Night
Ned Stark warned us all that winter was coming way back in Season 1 and now, the Long Night has finally arrived. With the Wall down and the Army of the Dead penetrating Westeros, it will surely be one of the longest nights in history.
The Long Night isn’t your average three-month winter. Lasting for years at a time, the Long Night left kings frozen in their castles, and mothers were forced to resort to smothering their babies to prevent them from starving.
During the seventh season of GoT, we watched Sansa Stark, in the absence of her brother Jon. ready Winterfell for the Long Night. If she underestimated the amount of food her people might be able to survive on, starvation and death might come long before the White Walkers even reach Winterfell.
3. Even more White Walkers
We know from Bran Stark’s vision that the Children of the Forest created the first White Walker to defend themselves against mankind. Unfortunately, the Whites, being the demons that they are, turned on the children, and the Wall had to be built to keep them out.
There has been much speculation that the original White Walker is now the Night King. However, his other White Walker minions had to come from somewhere. In earlier seasons of GoT, we saw Craster of the Free Folk form a truce with the White Walkers — delivering his inbred sons (you know the ones he conceived with his daughters.)
During the fourth season of GoT, Craster’s last male offspring was retrieved by a White Walker after being abandoned in the Haunted Forest. As the White Walker touched the baby’s cheek, the infant’s eyes turn an icy cold blue — the mark of the White Walkers. The babies aren’t killed, but instead reanimated like the wights — which means that they might grow up and become full fledged Whites.
Now that the Wall is no more, the White Walkers have unparalleled access to tiny infant humans which can only mean one thing — more White Walkers.
4. The Greyjoys might side with the undead
With the likes of Theon and Euron Gregjoy, it’s clear that the Ironborn aren’t exactly stand-up people. Euron had no qualms about murdering his brother to become the leader of the Iron Islands. Now with the tyranical captain’s sights set on Cersei, it’s clear that the Greyjoys are going to do whatever is in their best interest — no matter what the cost.
At first, it seemed that Euron bowed out of the Dragon Pit meeting, claiming he was going to go back to his island and chill (wights can’t swim after all). Now, we know that he actually went to Essos to retrieve The Golden Company, a mercenary army that Cersei purchased with her Lannister coins to defend King’s Landing.
While Euron is intrigued by Cersei because of the power that she wields, he could easily be swayed to a different side if she wasn’t the most powerful person around. If the Night King is able to reach the Iron Islands on the back of the resurrected Viserion, the Greyjoys might be convinced to join his army.
5. Massive ice spiders
If you’re still shook because of the wight dragons and giants, then you might not remember Old Nan’s story of the Long Night from the first season of GoT. In the terrifying tale, Nan sits knitting by young Bran’s bedside and begins to tell him about the first Long Night.
She recalls a time when the world was buried under 100 feet of snow. Children were born, lived, and died in the darkness, and the White Walkers roamed the cities for a generation with their dead army, giants, and massive spiders the size of hounds at their sides.
With the Wall gone, we can all assume that this dreadful time will return again.
6. Complete havoc
Forget The Great War! With Cersei on the defensive, The Great War won’t simply be a war against the dead like Dany and Jon had hoped. Instead, the newly formed couple is going to have to deal with the White Walkers coming at them from one side, and Cersei eventually coming at them from another. There won’t be many people left standing at the end of this all. Liam Cunningham, who plays Ser Davos Seaworth on GoT told The Hollywood Reporter,
I think the next season is where all of the pieces of the puzzle are going to come together. I think that’s what we had in this season, overall, the disparate places and people. Eventually, the funnel has come to a point where everyone is together. It’s going to be interesting where it goes, because all of these people and families who don’t know each other are getting together to fight the common enemy. The dynamic is incredibly interesting.
7. The Lannister brothers may switch sides
“The Dragon and the Wolf” saw the Lannister siblings all back in the same place — something viewers hadn’t seen since Season 4 of the series.
Tyrion confronted Cersei, trying to reason with her about the danger of the undead. We saw two people who’ve despised each other for decades come to an understanding. With family on his mind, could this “truce” and the knowledge of Dany and John’s romantic relationship cause Tyrion to betray his newfound allies for his family?
In contrast, Jamie and Cersei are on the outs. As the sinister Queen told her blindsided twin brother, “I always know you were the stupidest Lannister.” When Jamie learns that his sister has made false promises to Jon and Dany, he leaves King’s Landing, choosing survival over power.
8. ‘The Prince That Was Promised’ will be unveiled
Perhaps one of the most riveting bits of information revealed during the season seven finale of GoT was Jon’s lineage. The “R+L=J” theory was confirmed, and we learned that Jon Snow’s real name is Aegon Targaryen. Jon’s older slain brother was also named Aegon, and his real father, Rhaegar Targaryen, was obsessed with prophecies. Rhaegar might have purposely named his newborn son the same as his dead son because of the legendary Azor Ahai aka “The Prince That Was Promised.” So who exactly is this prince, and are he and Jon the same person?
We don’t quite know yet, but we do know that Azor ended the first Long Night and that the followers of the Lord of Light believe he will show up once more to save the world from the impending darkness. Jon may or may not be the savior Westeros needs after the Wall’s collapse, but since the word “prince” has no gender in ancient Valyrian, it’s pretty much any one’s title to claim.
Follow Aramide on Twitter @midnightrami.
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