I’ve always known that running and showering are the jumper cables to my mind. My best lines in stories usually come because I happened to be thinking about the piece on a run. But apparently dreaming is a hot spot for me too. Because last night, my subconscious figured out the truth about White Walkers (HEAD’S UP: Don’t read this if you don’t want book/show spoilers).
The truth starts with a question: Why now? The White Walkers have been supposedly gone for a thousand years, then they suddenly turn up and start making wights (aka zombies) again. Think about it. The children of the forest stopped making White Walkers, and there’s no way they could just pop back into being on their own. That leaves two possibilities: Either the children of the forest or some other unknown character decided to remake an evil species for the fun of it, or the White Walkers were never gone. They were just hiding somewhere north of the Wall, biding their time until the right moment to strike.
But why was this moment the right one? That brings me to the Horn of Joramun (for those who are less nerdy than I am, this is the horn that supposedly can destroy the Wall if you blow it. I think it’s safe to say that the White Walkers have spent the last 1,000 years looking for it.) King-Beyond-The-Wall Mance Rayder told Jon Snow that he had the horn in A Storm of Swords and tried to use that as leverage to get Jon to let the wildlings through the wall. Jon then got the supposed horn and destroyed it, and we all thought the Wall was safe. But in A Dance with Dragons, we find out that the horn Mance had was not the Horn of Joramun, which just leaves Jon thinking, “Hm, I wonder where the real horn is,” and then he moves on to other things, and they all stop talking about it.
In theory, the White Walkers could take over the entire north of the Wall and turn every living thing up there into wights, but Westeros would still be fine. They can’t pass the magical barriers embedded in the Wall. We don’t know much about the White Walkers, but I think it’s safe to say that they don’t want to stay on that one side of the Wall forever (the long white hair, haunting blue eyes, magic scepter and haughty disposition while prancing around on dead horses tell me these guys are ambitious). That means in order to obliterate the human race (or at least Westeros), they need the horn.
My theory is that they already have it. That they’ve had it for a while now. Look at it like a chess game. The White Walkers aren’t going to start moving pieces around until they know how they’re going to end their plan. They found the horn at the beginning of the book series (maybe a little bit before), but they knew their mission would fail if they just walked up to the Wall in that moment and blew the horn (as for who will blow the horn, maybe they kidnapped Benjen Stark for this? That only applies to the books though). The Night’s Watch — even though it’s not what it used to be — would destroy them with a little bit of Valyrian steel. The White Walkers weren’t strong enough to succeed alone. They needed an army.
That brings us to the present (I’m talking about the book timing, not the show). The White Walkers have virtually taken over the Northern side of the Wall, their population has grown thanks to Craster, and a white raven has signaled that winter is here. They have an army that will grow in the season of their peak strength, and only the Night’s Watch and a dwindling wildling population believe they still exist.
If they have the Horn, they’re only a few moves away from checkmate.