8

In season 5, episode 8 (Hardhome), we saw the Night King

seemingly resurrect the dead by the wave of a hand, but he stares at Jon so there is no line of sight.

So it is a fact that there is no line of sight necessary. In season 7, episode 6, we saw

the Night King seemingly reanimating a dragon by the touch of his hand.

One theory might be that the ability to resurrect diminishes with distance.

Also, I don’t think the white walkers spread a "disease" and don’t have to do anything to resurrect because otherwise, at the beginning of season 6,

Jon would have come back as a wight.

As far as resurrection distance goes, they probably can’t resurrect across the wall. If we assume the Night King’s motive is the destruction of humanity, it would have been over very soon.

At this stage, I have to admit that the motivation of the Night King is unclear (at least to me) - just having the ability is a different thing from actually doing it.

So, are there any other indications in the TV series as to how far their ability to reanimate the dead reaches?

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    @TheLethalCoder They were already "created", They weren't rotting and had blue eyes, which is why NW took them in to have Maester Aemon look at them – Aegon Aug 22 '17 at 15:21
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    @Möoz While your proposed dupe provides information about who can or cannot be reanimated, I don't see anything that addresses where the reanimation can take place. – Blackwood Aug 23 '17 at 1:47
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    @Cradle2theGabe The show has only shown the Night King to resurrect but they have hinted that other white walkers can in the latest episode. – TheLethalCarrot Aug 23 '17 at 8:07
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    @JohnBell <citation needed> – TheLethalCarrot Aug 23 '17 at 9:35
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    @JohnBell The wights are animated by necromancy, it is known. – Skooba Aug 23 '17 at 19:45
2

Unclear, but not any farther than one town

There is not enough evidence to clearly answer this, however, the largest distance we've seen is in Hardhome when the Night King raises an entire town of the dead. This can be seen during the epic and iconic 'arm raise' scene:

The Night King raises his arms and an entire town of 'dead' rise as 'undead'
img src

Not gonna lie, this was one of my favourite scenes of the series so far!

White Walkers vs Wights

There is also something to clear up, raising the dead as inferi Wights seems to be different to the process of conversion into a White Walker. The former requires only his 'command' and the latter seems to require his 'midas touch'.

enter image description here


Further reading:

  • Unclear, but not any farther than one town I don't understand this. Surely the town would be the lower bound not upper one? – TheLethalCarrot Oct 12 '17 at 9:22
  • @TheLethalCarrot It's the upper bound in that it's the farthest we've seen resurrection happen. It's the only known upper bound. – Möoz Oct 13 '17 at 3:10
  • Your statement says "not any farther than one town" but your reasoning is that's just the furthest we've seen. Your reasoning means it's the known upper bound but your statement essentially says this is the upper bound. – TheLethalCarrot Oct 13 '17 at 7:57
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The Night King's resurrecting powers are not limited to a radius, but by sight of who died. The NK doesn't actually have to look at the thing, he just needs to know someone/something died, feel its presence, and resurrect it. We know that NK has an excellent vision: he can spot dragons flying in the distance and Jon Snow from above a mountain.

We also know that he doesn't just see living beings. He can actually feel the soul inside them, which is why he sharply looked at the ravens Bran had warged. He was the only one noticing them, which means he doesn't need use his eyesight, but some sort of power allowing him to look at a living being's state. This range extends as far as he can "see" those things. Hence, he can physically see something, then tap into their state, and then control them. Combining his cool power with his excellent vision gives him a good range of resurrection.

Note that the NK is the only one with resurrecting powers, because his creation happened under magic conditions (weirwood, a ring of stones, etc). Therefore, your question "From how far away can White Walkers resurrect?" is not exactly precise; NK is the only one who can resurrect.

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    Can you provide sources for this answer? It seems like quite heavy speculation. – Edlothiad Aug 26 '17 at 18:40
  • none of this is supported by show, books, or (to the best of my knowledge) out of universe commentary... – kuhl Aug 27 '17 at 0:32

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