Episode 5 of HBO’s Game of Thrones brought much needed answers to why Hodor (Kristian Nairn) could only utter the one word. But, there is something that has been overlooked in this episode: Just why were the white walkers so desperate to kill the children of the forest?
SPOILER ALERT: This article contains information about HBO’s Game of Thrones. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers, particularly is you have not yet viewed Episode 5 (entitled “The Door”) of Season 6.
Who Are The Children Of The Forest?
The children are a race of people in Westeros that are considered the original inhabitants of the land. Humans arrived about 12,000 years before the present time in Game of Thrones to wreak havoc on the land. The children are not actually children, but because of their physical features, they appear a lot younger than they actually are. They are not technologically advanced and prefer to reside in nature rather than built structures. They are considered magical, and Bran’s knack for greensighting is something attributed to the children.
Originally, it was assumed the white walkers and the children were separate from each other. The children fought a bitter war against the humans after they appeared in Westeros. This vicious battle was waged because the humans were tearing down the trees that the children so revered. A pact was eventually made between the children and the humans and a peace settled across the lands. This pact enabled the humans to use the open lands as they needed but left the forest to the children and thus they became known as the “children of the forest.”
According to the history of Westeros, this pact lasted for two thousand years and then broken when the white walkers entered Westeros from the utmost north and all hell broke loose once more. In this instance, the children sided with the humans to knock the white walkers back to where they came from. After this, the children helped another Bran, Bran the Builder, to create the great wall that now keeps the white walkers out of Westeros. This Bran was considered the very first Stark.
But, in Episode 5 of Game of Thrones, the current-day Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) had a vision that one the children of the forest, Leaf (Kae Alexander) created the very first white walker, the one now known as Night King (Vladimir Furdik). This contradicts everything we have been told about the history of Westeros in Game of Thrones.
Why Do The White Walkers Hate The Children Of The Forest Now?
When Bran confronted Leaf about the fact that they had created the first white walker, the defense was that they had no choice as they were in direct conflict with the humans. This indicated that either the white walkers were a part of the original battle that resulted in the pact between the humans and the children of the forest, or that the children created the white walkers after peace had settled in an effort to get rid of the remaining humans. Although Leaf did mention the fact that humans were cutting down their trees, which implied the white walkers could have been created before the pact was made.
But, it might just be a case of history getting it wrong. Perhaps the children did create the white walkers in order to try and take down the humans so they could have their world back. However, Episode 5 of Game of Thrones showed us that the white walkers seem to have a grudge against the children. This could indicate that something went wrong after the pact. Perhaps the children could no longer control their own creation, and the white walkers rebelled, which forced the children to side with the humans in order to defeat the white walkers.
As of yet, there does not appear to be any other clues in Game of Thrones suggesting why the children, and the creatures they created, no longer get along; but, if Episode 5 is anything to go by, regardless of the cause, their feud is bitter and the white walkers are determined to get back into Westeros to attack the children once more.
What do you think caused the rift between the children and the white walkers? Let us know your thoughts and theories by commenting below!
Season 6 of Game of Thrones returns to HBO with Episode 6, entitled “Blood Of My Blood,” on Sunday, May 29, at 9 p.m. ET. The official synopsis for Episode 6 is as follows.
“An old foe comes back into the picture. Gilly (Hannah Murray) meets Sam’s (John Bradley) family. Arya (Maisie Williams) faces a difficult choice. Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) faces off against the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce).”
[Image via HBO]