Take the 2-minute tour ×
Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Throughout the first and second seasons of Game of Thrones, the White Walkers are considered to be dead by everyone but the wildlings (and the "deserter" Ranger in the first episode). For example, there is a scene where Maester Lewin dismisses Osha's words about the White Walkers "only sleeping".

Now, we know that Commander Mormont knew that the White Walkers were alive and kicking, since he knew what Craster did to his sons (he confirms this in What is Dead May Never Die). I can't think of any scene where he dismisses the idea of the White Walkers existing, but he certainly never mentions anything about the existence of the White Walkers. None of the men of the Night's Watch seem to believe in the White Walkers (when they let the wights in, and the numerous times when Sam talks about them).

So, my question is, if Mormont knew about the White Walkers, why didn't he tell anyone?

(I don't mind answers based on the books instead of the TV show)

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

In the episode Lord Snow, Mormont says about the wildlings

The ones who flee say they've seen the White Walkers

and says about Will (who gets executed by Ned Stark)

(he) swore he saw them kill his companions

Mormont and Maester Aemon try to convince Tyrion to tell Cersei they need help. So it does look like he's tried to get help and is aware of the White Walkers.

share|improve this answer
add comment

If you read the books, you will find that there is a lot of scepticism regarding the supernatural, and most people are of the opinion that "white walkers" only exist in myth. Even in the Night's Watch there is scepticism, up until the night when Mormont is attacked by wights.

Even so, the Night's Watch is far removed from the world, and by then the Starks and the rest of the North are deeply involved in the war against the crown, so the calls for help are largely ignored.

For example, (Spoiler ASOS, Season 3)

Mormont sends Ser Alliser Thorne to King's Landing with the animated hand of one of the wights as proof of his claims, but since Tyrion is hand of the king, and he despises Thorne, he is kept waiting until the hand decomposes, and he is left with no evidence of the "white walkers" and their minions. Subsequently he is ridiculed and his claims dismissed.

Also (Spoiler ASOS, Season 3)

The Night's Watch sends messages to all major houses imploring them for help, which are all largely ignored, except by one, who travels to the wall to help them.

So basically, Mormont is not certain of his claims until it is too late. After that, no one listens, because they are preoccupied with the war.

share|improve this answer
    
In the show, they have a scene in the King's Keep that shows this skepticism in the supernatural. Cersei reads the letter requesting men be sent to help the Night's Watch, and the Small Council all mock the request. –  Keen Feb 26 '13 at 19:11
    
Great answer! I didn't remember Tyrion, for all his cleverness, was a fool about this. –  Andres F. Apr 3 '13 at 0:04
1  
@AndresF. I believe Tyrion felt some ambivalence about it, but did not dare publicly announce his belief in such things. –  TLP Apr 3 '13 at 0:18
add comment

Mormont knows only of the sacrifices not of the ultimate fate of the babies or whatever they are sacrificed to, saying only that the wildlings serve crueller gods than Jon Snow or his kith. The sacrifices explain how Craster goes on living in the forest while other wildlings have been driven or scared away, as well as emphasizing Craster's cruelty and corruption. Mormont seems to know Craster better than most and seems willing to maintain silence re the sacrifices in return for shelter for his crows, a major flaw in his character.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.