Zombies in Fantasy: The White Walkers of HBO’s Game of Thrones

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The White Walkers, strange, terrifying creatures of the North. Eldrich Abominations, or just undead things?

A grimly accurate depiction. It’s like they stole it from my head.
Kidding.

I like zombies. Not because of the benefits of a zombie apocalypse, or the satisfaction of having a morally acceptable cannon fodder and killable monster,  but rather the overall undead appearance, and the metaphor it represents: a literal Walking Death to all it passes.

Yeah, the factors I said before those still matter–you can’t have one undead bastard running around without other undead bastards running around, hence a zombie apocalypse. They’re undead, and as such are probably a menace to the living (duh), so you have to kill them. Or, if you were a Necromancer, you could boss them around the like, because it’s awesome.

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, you’re given this intimidating impression that the White Walkers are just that, or at least their by-products are. Earlier in season one, you see a group of wildlings mercilessly killed.  A girl was left hanging on a tree branch during the encounter. Suffice to say, that girl, that creepy, creepy girl turns too look at the screen.

I won’t mention the moments afterwards, but that was horribly chilling (and how fitting! Being in the Wall and all.)

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Creepy shit.

 I think how they were elaborated on (the White Walkers, not the wildling girl), were pretty intimidating–raiding cities in the winter and what not, and it was, again, positively chilling to watch it unfold like that.  And the fact that the people they kill reanimate as wights, as if they weren’t deadly enough.

I think in the end the best thing about the white walkers is this impending sense of doom. Winter is Coming, as the Starks say, and with winter comes the White Walkers, with their undead army of wights.  And the Game of Thrones being played in King’s Landing would be all for naught, because Winter is coming.

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One response »

  1. Pingback: Zombies in Fantasy: Diablo (Retrospective) « An Inescapable Rain.

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