We know that at the very beginning of the books, two rangers, namely Othor and Jafer Flowers were found just outside the gates. Their bodies were brought through the wall by the Night's Watch. Later they rose and got destroyed.

In one of the last episodes of the show we learn that

Benjen Stark cannot pass to the south of the wall, due to some magic. We know that due to his age, Benjen would be wight, not a white walker.

Do we know anything about how some wights pass through the gates but some cannot?

  • 1
    My intuition is that the Wall doesn't destroy the wights, it just neutralizes the magic animating them as long as they are close enough. Maybe Benjen could pass with some help, but would he really want to ? He probably wouldn't be welcomed south of the Wall.
    – Reyssor
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 15:04
  • It does make sense. It reduces the ambiguity in the reanimation of Othor and Jafer. Maybe they were sent to the wall, but couldn't get near it.
    – user65648
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 15:08
  • It's quite clear, if you take its full meaning: Wights cannot pass the wall. It means they cannot of their own power walk into the wall and beyond. It does not say they cannot be carried across.
    – TLP
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 17:38
  • 1
    @Reyssor: I agree with you. First of all, Benjen's claim is in no way confirmed. He could've been wrong or, more interestingly, lying. He has reasons to lie: (1) he has a mission beyond the wall but feels like he cannot convince Bran and therefore give Bran a fake reason (2) he doesn't want to face the Crows now that he is a wight. He'd feel ostracized from essentially the last family he'll ever have as a Crow. I'm a big fan of option (2) because it makes a lot of sense for Benjen's character, imo.
    – Flater
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 16:57
  • @Flater I honestly like your reasoning. However, assuming that one of the characters is outright lying may lead us to question everything we know, of course except Littlefinger, he is always lying :) But yeah, either Benjen is lying or wights can be carried through the wall, as long as their magic is not intact.
    – user65648
    Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 10:53

2 Answers 2


Wights can cross, Benjen is a special case

Jon took a wight prisoner in the books and put it in the cells to learn from him/it, so the answer is yes: they can cross through the door, or at least the magic that awakens them can.

Monsters they may be, but they were men before they died. How much remains? The one I slew was intent on killing Lord Commander Mormont. Plainly he remembered who he was and where to find him ... My lord father used to tell me that a man must know his enemies. We understand little of the wights and less about the Others. We need to learn.

A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 39

On the other hand Jon put a body in the cell and it reawakened there. So maybe wights already awakened can't cross the doors.

Vahx mentioned in another question that one possibility is that we can consider the castle to be inside the wall. If that's so, the magic doesn't prevent wights from awakening; yet, as the question asks, we didn't see any awakening happening south.

My own speculative conclusion is that Benjen's case is probably different since he is not exactly a whight, and wights should be able to cross the door. I think the White Walkers are not crossing waiting to have a large enough army of wights to make the attempt. Then again, they could be searching/waiting for the Horn of Winter.

PS: Spoilers

In S7E6 we finally see a wight captured behind the wall go beyond it, and not just someone awakened inside the wall.

  • 2
    You have to keep in mind that Benjen is technically not a wight anymore. He was dead and turning into a wight when the Childeren of the Forest pushed a piece of dragon glass inside his heart to turn him into.. whatever he is now.
    – Vahx
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 16:50
  • @Vahx exactly my point:he's something different. Rules that apply to him might not apply to wights.
    – Ram
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 18:26
  • @Vahx Wait, where did you get the 'dragonglass' part from?
    – Möoz
    Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 3:58
  • @Mooz I don't remember, I think from the episode where he appears and explains what happened to him.
    – Vahx
    Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 13:17
  • @Mooz I might also have gotten it from this wiki page gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Benjen_Stark where it is written "Benjen explains that, during his fateful ranging beyond the wall, he was attacked by White Walkers, one of whom shoved an ice sword into his gut and left him for dead. He was discovered by the Children of the Forest, who saved him and stopped him from becoming a wight by shoving a piece of dragonglass into his chest."
    – Vahx
    Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 13:21


It's unclear what Benjen Stark actually is in his present state though he's obviously some sort of "dead" thing.

BENJEN: I led a ranging party deep into the North to find White Walkers. They found us. A white walker stabbed me in the gut with a sword of ice. Left me there to die. To turn. The Children found me. Stopped the walker’s magic from taking hold.
BRAN: How?
BENJEN: The same way they made the Walkers in the first place. You saw it yourself.
BRAN: Dragonglass. A shard of dragonglass plunged into your heart.
Game of Thrones, Season 6 Episode 6, "Blood of My Blood"

Later on he says this to Bran Stark and Meera Reed.

BENJEN: The Wall is not just ice and stone. Ancient spells were carved into its foundations. Strong magic to protect men from what lies beyond. And while it stands, the dead cannot pass. I cannot pass.
Game of Thrones, Seaosn 6 Episode 10, "The Winds of Winter"

As such it is clear that dead can't pass through the Wall.

There are three occasions so far when a wight has been brought beyond the Wall.

  • Season 1: The wight bodies of the dead rangers are brought back to Castle Black. This could either be a plot hole, Benjen was wrong or because they were brought through the Wall, they didn't come through under their own steam.
  • Season 7, Episode 6: The wight was carried over the Wall on Drogon so whatever magic is in the Wall only works for the Wall itself and doesn't extend above it.
  • Season 7, Episode 7:

The Wall is torn down by the Night King on Vicerion and the wights walk over the ruins. Either the magic in the Wall was destroyed or it was because they walker "over the top" of it.

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