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Game of Thrones – A Lesson in Children of the Forest, White Walkers, Gendry & Rhaegar

Game of Thrones has ramped up the speed of storytelling this season, obviously this is partly due to the show winding down and we now have only 8 episodes left until the show ends for good. This means that in a previous season it may take a character a few episodes to travel across Westeros, but in season 7 you’ll find Jon traveling from Winterfell to Dragonstone and back to the Wall in a few episodes.

As much as I love the pace of this season; I’m literally spending most of the episodes on the edge of my seat, it is a noticeable change in pace and some big plots and reveals are only getting a few minutes airtime which is a shame.

With this in mind, we thought we’d recap a few key points needed for this season and the remainder of the season. We’ll recap who the children of the forest are, who the white walkers are, Jon Snow’s parentage, what the letter Arya found in episode 5 is all about and what could occur over the next few episodes of the season.

Firstly, the Children of the Forest and the White Walkers. The Children of the Forest are a clan based non-human race who are the alleged first indigenous inhabitants of the continent of Westeros. They are humanoid in appearance and as adults they are about as tall of a human child. They live in forests in hidden villages, in caves or around swamps and appear to live very long lives.

In episode 5 of season 6, during one of his three eyed visions, Bran watches as the Children create the white walkers, plunging a dragon glass dagger into the heart of a man tied to a tree. When he’s awake, Bran confronts one of the children, Leaf, who explains they needed to create the white walkers to help the children fight the first men. The first men were the first humans in Westeros, and they were at war with the Children, who were losing and needed an upper hand in the war; so the white walkers were created. The white walkers helped the children in the war and after two thousand years of fighting the two groups agreed to a peaceful end to the war. But soon the walkers broke free of the children’s control and disappeared.

The creation of the White Walkers

After another two thousand years of peace, the White Walkers, now massive in numbers made their way down from far north and waged war on both the children and the first men. Now the Children and the first men formed an uneasy alliance to drive back the walkers. And this is when allegedly, they used magic to help bran the builder raise the great wall to keep the walkers at bay.

After this, the children were unheard of again for thousands of years, until we meet them again in season 4.

Touching again on the white walkers, above we explained their creation, the rebellion against their creators, their return to wage war on the children, first men and anyone across Westeros, so thought we’d offer a bit more information. Anyone who’s seen the show knows how terrifying the walkers look; humanoid in appearance, but taller than an average man, they have pale blue skin, ice blue eyes, white thin hair and magic unlike anything we’ve seen in GoT. They can freeze anything they touch, they have extreme strength and their most terrifying trick; reanimating the dead into white walkers.

The Night King ‘turning’ one of Crastor’s sons

The night king himself has an addition to the reanimation magic, he only has to touch someone to turn them, which we saw when he placed his finger on the Craster’s son in season 4 an immediately the baby started to turn into a white walker. The white walkers are relentless in their destruction and “recruitment”, and the only time we’ve seen them even remotely show any emotional reaction is when an army marched passed Sam during season 3. The head of the army stopped, saw Sam the proceeded to order his army onward leaving Sam there. We don’t know why they spared Sam or if we’ll ever find out, but this scene sticks out a lot when every other scene involving the white walkers is 100% death, destruction and reanimation of the dead.

White Walkers Leave Sam – Cut to 2:40

So far, the only weakness we know of to kill the white walkers is if they’re struck with dragonglass or Valyrian steel they’re killed immediately. We now know they’re heading South and winter is well and truly here. Daenerys has finally listened to Jon and is allowing him to mine dragon glass. Tyrian is trying to arrange a meeting between Cersei, Jon and Daenerys to get them to realize the threat the walkers pose and to work together to defeat them.

Sam kills a White Walker

Onto Gendry. Gendry is the bastard son of King Robert Baratheon and a tavern wench who Robert had sex with once and who died when Gendry was a child. Gendry wasn’t aware of his parentage and spent most of his life in Fleabottom.

Eddard meets Gendry

Eddard Stark tracked Gendry down in season one and realizes who the boy is. However when the purge of Robert’s bastards begins (killing off any potential heirs to the iron throne), Gendry heads out of Kings Landing to join the Nights watch. Gendry is soon captured and taken to Harrenhal with Arya, Toren and Hot Pie. Soon, the group escape Harrenhal and are soon taken in by the Brotherhood without Banners. Soon Gendry is sold to Melisandre who reveals Gendry’s parentage to him.

Melisandre reveals his true parentage to Gendry

At Dragonstone Melisandre wants to kill Gendry as a sacrifice to the lord of light, but Davos helps Gendry escape, sending him back to Kings Landing in a boat, and this was the last time we saw Gendry prior to episode 5 of the current season 7.

So Gendry is still a true contender to the throne, but with the current tyranny Kings Landing is enduring at the hands of Cersei, any attempt Gendry could make to take the throne would result in his death. So Davos sneaks Gendry out of Kings Landing and Gendry joins Jon and his band of misfits and heads north of the wall to capture a White Walker to provide proof to Cersei of their existence.

Finally, we’ll touch on Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. Rhaegar was the eldest son and heir to the Mad king Aerys II, and older brother to Daenerys and Viserys and husband of Elia Martell, whom he had two children with: Rhaenys and Aegon. Recently it’s been discovered that he had his marriage to Elia annulled and secretly married Lyanna Stark and the two had a son: Jon Snow, who was raised by Lyanna’s brother Eddard, but to protect Jon, who would have been killed following the Targaryen massacre, he was raised as Eddard’s bastard son. So Jon isn’t a bastard, he’s a true hair to the Targaryen throne, and when and how this is revealed will turn everything on it’s head. And also put the kibosh on any Jon/Dany hook up considering she’s his Auntie, although saying that incest seems to be an option for many in Westeros, so you never know 😉

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