I just rewatched ‘Valar Morghulis’ (season 2 ending) (I am up to date to the tv series, haven’t read the books though) and I had the same question I had when I first watched it, only now I know about https://scifi.stackexchange.com/ :).

Who blows the horn three times announcing the White Walkers? They are at the Fist of the First Men, beyond the wall, so it could’t have been the Night’s Watch. One thought I had it was that that there could have been a sentinel, but again they are in wildlings’ territory and I think they could’t have a sentinel there (not safe) and also they are unaware of the wildlings whereabouts (that’s why the party went beyond the wall), which indicates they don’t have sentinels beyond the wall.

And I was under the impression that the White Walkers army was marching on the Wall. If so, why didn’t they reached the wall yet (in the tv series)? Even if they weren’t marching on the Wall, Sam did see them, yet the Night’s Watch doesn’t seem to be very concern with them.

  • It's been a bit since I've seen that episode, so I don't remember it that well, but wouldn't it be possible for the White Walkers' army to blow the horn? This upgraded version of the war-cry is quite common in historical/fantasy settings, where the attacker tries to scare the defender by announcing the coming attack. Apr 29 '14 at 8:10
  • 4
    What exactly makes you think that the Old Bear did not post sentries in the surrounding woods? Being in Wildling Territory is generally unsafe. Sentries/Scouts are just common sense in a military operation in enemy territory, even if the job is dangerous.
    – MrLemon
    Apr 29 '14 at 8:32
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    @LarissaGodzilla it had to be a friendly blowing the horn. Earlier in the episode they say one horn is friends approaching, two horns wildlings and three horns White Walkers.
    – bolov
    Apr 29 '14 at 8:52
  • @bolov: That's right, I remember now. In that case I'd go with sentries, too. Looking forward to the answer, though. Apr 29 '14 at 8:55
  • I am pretty sure in the book they mention something about sentries at the bottom of the hill? it has been a long time since I read that book tho so might not be remembering right
    – Marriott81
    Apr 29 '14 at 8:59

The horn is blown by the night's watch, and yes they have sentries hidden around their camp.

Here's quotes from Storm of swords, prologue.

He edged past them, placing each foot carefully. He would clap his left hand down over the fat boy's mouth to muffle his cries, and then …


He stopped midstep, swallowing his curse as the sound of the horn shuddered through the camp, faint and far, yet unmistakable. Not now Gods be damned, not NOW! The Old Bear had hidden far-eyes in a ring of trees around the Fist, to give warning of any approach.

And this is from TV episode.

Having reached the fortified summit of the Fist of the First Men the rangers prepare their camp. They are digging through the snow and unloading their gear. Ghost has rejoined the party and watches the men work from atop a mound of snow. Sentries dot the edges of the summit.


  • I'm not familiar enough with the spoilers markdown to say why, but your spoiler markdown is broken (not that these spoilers are too severe)
    – user20310
    Apr 29 '14 at 12:01

The white walkers march to the fist of the first men at the end of season 2, not to the wall (right now the can't pass the wall because the wall have magic that block the white walkers). As we learn at the beginning of season 3 the white walkers and their army fought with the rangers of the night's watch in the fist of the first men, and as we know they killed almost all of the 300 crows in there (leaving their horses slaughtered in circles)

  • This doesn't answer the question of who blows the horn.
    – Moogle
    Sep 21 '14 at 17:13
  • @Moogle but it does answer the last part of my question
    – bolov
    Sep 23 '14 at 11:55
  • Ah yes, so it does. Apologies, H.e.
    – Moogle
    Sep 23 '14 at 15:38

The situation in S02E10 you are asking about, is when Samwell, Grenn and Ed hear the three horn blows at the Fist of the first men.

Watch beginning of S03E01 for the answer :-). Samwell thinks it's Jon Snow and Qhorin Halfhand, but their rangers' group has been killed/captured. It's the group of crows lead by Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, which afterward meet with Samwell, Grenn and Ed.

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