The best part of any Game of Thrones DVD or Blu-ray is always the Histories and Lore section, which delves into the pasts of various houses, heroes, places, religions, and events of Westeros. Everything the show only hints at, but that makes the world of George R.R. Martin so complex and rich. The histories included always relate to that most recent season, and though they are designed not to be spoilers for any viewers that have yet to see those episodes, we’re certainly up to date with the show (so if you haven’t seen season six yet, stop reading—there’ll be spoilers), so for us they are potential clues about what might still happen. And the first one released from the season six set (due out November 15th), about the war between the First Men and the Children of the Forest, has some very interesting new information for us to dive into and speculate on.
The first history from the upcoming DVD and Blu-ray release, shared by io9, is narrated by Max Von Sydow, who played the Three-Eyed Raven this past season. This is fitting, since it was he who showed Bran the shocking revelation that the Children of the Forest created the White Walkers by placing a shard of dragonglass into the heart of a man, all to help them in their war with men. However, the Children lost control of their weapon, and instead released a monster that, even thousands of years later, threatens the world of the living.
We have already covered the war between the First Men and the Children in depth, as well as The Long Night when the White Walkers were defeated by those two former enemies coming together. But this new history answers some unexplained, and even contradictory, gaps in the timeline of events. (Admittedly, such problems were to be expected, since there were no written histories from the time period.)
So what are the new and most interesting tidbits from this history?
- Beyond just thinking they were sacred, and seemingly being able to use them to literally see through them, the Children believed the weirwoods contained the actual spirits of their ancestors. So when the First Men were chopping them down, they weren’t just desecrating the gods of the Children, they were killing their family. It makes the importance and reason for the Children’s fight more than just one of survival, and explains why they became so desperate.
- The Children created the White Walkers (or at least the first one) hundreds of years before the treaty between them and the First Men was agreed to on the God’s Eye (a locale itself that might yet play an important role going forward), which explains how the White Walkers didn’t show up until long after the treaty (something that didn’t make sense within the timeline we knew). The Children live for thousands of years, they could create a weapon that takes a long time to develop (and helps explain why the White Walkers have needed so long to regroup). The problem was that by the time it was ready they didn’t need it, but they had lost control of it. That’s why they fought alongside the First Men against the White Walkers centuries later, and why they knew dragonglass could kill them.
- “Now it comes again, when the Children are a shadow of what they were, and men have long forgotten. But the trees remember, and Brandon Stark must learn, or, as we watched the First Men, so will we watch the last.” We know Bran is important, but this quote puts even more responsibility on him than we might have imagined. What might be the lessons of the trees that he must learn to stop the White Walkers again? The legend says the last hero defeated them, but how exactly? Jon or Daenerys could be the Prince That Was Promised, but might only Bran be able to tell them how to be victorious? There must be more to the past that we, and Bran, haven’t learned about yet.
We seem to have some answers about a cloudy timeline that never made complete sense, but it also raises even more questions. How might the living triumph over the dead one more time if it all comes down to a crippled boy no one knows is alive, north of The Wall, surrounded by that enemy? And what more might he have to learn about to be the hero the Three-Eyed Raven says we need him to be?
Hopefully the world has enough weirwood trees left to teach him.
What do you think? What might this history tell us about the future? Tell us in the comments below.
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