The info I remember about the Wall was that it was built, using magic, by the Children of the Forest after the last long winter and Others invasion. It's purpose is to retain the Other should they return.

No doubt the Night's Watch is very concerned about the Others rising. They don't seem to think the Wall alone is nearly adequate defense against the Others. Is it ever explained how exactly the Other can threaten them around the Wall? Can they climb the Wall? Chisel thru the Wall, take over the tunnels?

I know Mance had a horn that could supposedly shatter the Wall. But there's no mention that the Others are searching for that horn or anything like that. If the Night's Watch just brought the horn south of the Wall that would be it for that threat.

  • 2
    I don't see the point of this question, since there is no available answer.
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 8:03
  • Mance never had that horn he was bluffing, it is a myth as far as we know (revealed in A Dance With Dragons). Also, the brothers of the nightwatch never saw the wall in action against the others, they have no idea what they're capable of, especially in the magic section. They know wildlings could climb it, so why not some ice magical zombies ! I don't think there's a clear answer for your question though, we still know almost nothing about the others, all we've seen are they're converted soldiers that are sent to do their dirty work whereas their masters lurk behind. Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 8:10
  • 1
    It was built by Bran The Builder, not the Children of the Forest.
    – Daft
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 9:12
  • 1
    And Joramun blew the Horn of Winter, and woke giants from the earth.
    – TLP
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 9:50
  • 2
    A wall is only as good as it's defenders. It's fair to assume that if the Night's Watch is defeated, the Wall will become only a minor impediment.
    – gowenfawr
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 12:27

4 Answers 4


It isn't mentioned how they can threaten Westeros, but we have seen some things they might be able to do.

From the books, we know they can use dead animals as allies, which might help them get past the Wall at the sea. They can mount mammoths, which can be used to damage the doors that are on the Wall (like the giants did) and pass through.

In the World of Ice and Fire, it is mentioned that they had huge ice spiders; these might be able to climb the Wall.

There are giants north of the Wall, and I wouldn't find it surprising if the Others could influence them to help the destruction of the weak points of the Wall.

But besides Mance's horn, we don't know any other way how the Others could pass the Wall.

  • Mance's horn is a bluff, as far as we know, The Horn Of Joramun is a myth. What Mance held was a horn they dug out of some giant's grave as revealed in A Dance With Dragons. However I have another comment about this answer : we have no idea what the others are, what we saw so far was the foot soldiers, the turned ones, the ones back from the dead, the real others are supposidely made of "COLD" whatever the hell that is Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 8:14
  • @yondaime008 There are multiple instances where Others are encountered. Samwell Tarley for example, kills one of the members of the race, not someone who was just raised from the dead by them.
    – Firebat
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 8:25
  • 1
    If Coldhands was not able to pass through the Wall, what makes you think that Others may pass? Whatever magic or spells kept Coldhands from going through might as well work against the Others. So not until it happens (Others attacking the Wall) all answers to this question will be just speculations.
    – Nika G.
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 8:34
  • @S.Fruggiero We don't know that for sure, the wildlings describe them very differently than those encountered by Sam and Jon. Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 8:42
  • 1
    @yondaime008 We do know that for sure, as the Others are intelligent and carry a sword of ice. The Wrights are what the Others make when they turn the dead. Ser Waymar Royce is slain by Others, the baby boys are taken by Others, Sam kills an Other.
    – Firebat
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 8:52

The Wall is completely untested against the Others, but it is more than just ice.

The Wall was built by Bran the Builder, but it's entirely possible that the Children of the Forest assisted. After all, the Children were still allies of men at the time. Since it's construction, however, there is no record of the Others ever attacking or even approaching The Wall.

It's important to keep in mind that The Wall is not simply a 700 ft. tall wall of ice. The original wall was infused with magic, and we know that the magic appears to nullify whatever magic the Others use to animate wights. Essentially, if a wight crosses the barrier of The Wall, it falls down dead and is simply a corpse again.

However, we also know that a corpse beyond or inside the wall can be reanimated into a wight. This tells us that the magic of the Others will work near The Wall but cannot cross it. If that is the only restriction, then crossing The Wall becomes a physical obstacle and could be done with effort - as demonstrated by wildlings on several occasions.


Nope, it's not been explained yet, all we can do is theorize:

  • It's clear from the first attack on LC Mormount, we can see that the Walkers' wights cannot cross the Wall, they are held back by the magic which was used in creating it.

  • It's a definite possibility that the magic used in creating the Wall has weakened over the 8,000 years since it's construction, which may be why the Walkers are attacking now.

  • The Others had giant ice spiders, they could be handy in scaling the Wall.

Personally, I think they'll walk right through the gate:

  • The Night's Watch is weaker now than it's ever been, both in manpower and spiritually. Is it a coincidence that the White Walkers are advancing now?

  • The Night's Watch has already killed at least one Lord Commander - Jeor Mormount. Which is a testament to how far they have fallen.

Major spoiler if you're watching the show :

and Jon Snow (if you believe h's dead)

  • When Bran discovers Coldhands is a wight, he says to Meera:

    He's some dead thing. The monsters cannot pass so long as the Wall stands and the men of the Night's Watch stay true, that's what Old Nan used to say

    Which to me indicates that the magic holding back the Others is directly linked to the Night's Watch

I don't think the Others could scale the Wall or even sail around it as long as the magic which sustains the Wall stays strong. To me, the Wall is a massive invisible barrier which prohibits the Others from travelling further south than a certain latitude. But as the Night's Watch weakens, so too does the magic holding back the Others.

  • The wall is not impregnable, remember the wight that attacked Mormont inside Castle black? Somehow, magic did not stop him, once he turned zombie on the south side of the wall. The Others may have some trick.
    – Josh
    Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 10:44
  • @Josh that's my point, the magic of the Wall is weakening.
    – Daft
    Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 10:52
  • What threatens Westeros is another Long Night, since it is not clear if the Others bring winter, or the winter spawns the Others... the danger is that another harsh winter starts spawning Others south of the wall. "In recent times" a harsh winter even froze the White knife river, on White harbor which in fact is the southmost northern city.
    – Josh
    Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 10:57
  • There is evidence that the magic is linked to the Nights Watch from the magic weirwood door under the Nightfort that opens when the oath of the Nights Watch is spoken.
    – casey
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 17:38

The White Walkers could possibly use the Horn Of Joramun to bring down the wall.

As @yondaie008 already mentioned: In A Dance With Dragons we learned that the horn that Mance had was a fake. He never found the real Horn Of Joramun. This could either mean that the horn is a myth and never existed, or that the horn is still beyond the wall, possibly in the possession of the White Walkers.

There were also mentions of "dead things in the water" around Hardhome (an old free folk settlement) north of Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. Probably this "things" can swim/drift around the wall an attack from the south.

Also we don't know how effective the magic in the wall really is against the White Walkers. From Coldhand we know that Wraiths can't pass under the wall. But maybe the White Walkers are not affected or affected in a different way. Or they have magic themselves to counter the magic of the wall.

But before the next book is released, all of this is just speculation.

  • not before, if the next book is released ! Oh GRRM, I could kill you right now with my bare hands. Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 8:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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