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In S02E10 of Game of Thrones, Sam hides behind a rock when the White Walkers walk by.

One mounted White Walker seems to look directly into Sam’s eyes. After that the White Walker screams and all of them seem to go on, leaving Sam there. The scene (and season) ends here.

enter image description here

In the beginning of S03E01 we see Sam running. He stops by a dead man and then a White Walker attacks him.

What happened in the meantime? Did the White Walker "army" spare him? Why? Or did Sam really manage to escape (and we see him still running from that escape in the beginning of season 3)? It would seem rather hard to escape, as there are many White Walkers and Sam is not really fast.

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Slight Similar question to this scifi question scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/35987/… –  Near Jun 6 '13 at 10:27
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@AnkitSharma - Unfortunately that question's answer doesn't satisfactorily explain how Sam escaped. –  System Down Jun 6 '13 at 14:31
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@SystemDown that's why i added slight word in the comment. –  Near Jun 6 '13 at 15:11
    
It may be something to do with the dragon glass he was carrying. –  user6066 Sep 8 '13 at 20:31
    
Another similar question on Science Fiction & Fantasy: How come Sam is alive at all? –  unor Jun 23 at 8:23

6 Answers 6

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Now, it may very well have been just your good old fashioned MacGuffin, HOWEVER on closer inspection of the scene at the end.

You never actually see Sam or the mounted White Walker make eye contact. It is cleverly implied. Sam clearly hears the hooves padding through the snow and hears the rattling chains and the White Walker looks off to the left and then shrieks an order/battlecry.

BUUUUUUUUUUUUT, when the pan out begins, we see: The large rock is IN FRONT of the mounted white walker. Rock infront of white walker

The only other rock in the entire pan out is tiny and there is no shallow on the other side. enter image description here

And Sam is clearly seen getting behind a rock with a shallow which, when he sits down, gives about a foot of cover above enter image description here

Therefore

  • The walkers never actually saw him
  • He pressed his back against the rock and waited until he thought they had all gone past
  • He then legged it!

The council for the defense rests m'lud, although I would like to say at this point. This whole bit feels like it was just rammed in for a cliffhanger, and is actually full of gaffs!

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While the answer seems like a correct possibility, what on earth thus any of this have to do with a MacGuffin? –  Sonny Burnett Jun 14 at 18:18

If you look at all the things individually then

  1. Sam is slow and not a good warrior (This is something anyone can make out through previous episodes)

  2. There are too.. many White Walkers to escape from.

  3. White Walkers are not forgiving or sparing (Can be seen in previous episodes)

All of the above three things if added up will surely guarantee that Sam would definitely be killed by the White Walkers.

But on the contrary He does manage to escape.

The only conclusion that comes out, that how Sam managed to do this is.... is through the courtesy of the script writers of the show.

Possible reasons: 1. This can be considered a technical error on the makers part. 2. They had to keep Sam alive as he may come of use in the future episodes. 3. He may be important for the story.

Or

There may be some other reason that may be revealed in the future episodes.

Or

One other possibility is that through some miracle Sam manages to outsmart the White Walkers and walks away from certain death. This may easily be true as Sam as shown in previous episodes has been a book worm and has read many books related to their history. thus he may have come across some method in the books to escape from.

Hope this answers your question.

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Watch it carefully, the White Walker never actually looked at Sam. It's very clever camera work that implies it, but in the panning shot, the Walker is WELL behind the rock that Sam hid behind, so the looking to the left was merely to let out that banshee shriek to the Wights –  Kegg Sep 9 '13 at 12:46

I'm gonna answer based on what happened on the book.

This scene didn't happen at all in the book, not like this at least. This was just a cliffhanger for the final season, hence wasn't necessary to be explained in detail.

In the book, the night's watch group was attacked when camping, and Sam escaped using the Dragonglass (Obsidian) knife (BTW in the series they never tell what Dragonglass is in detail, and where did Jon and Sam found this knifes/dagger), just like when he used in the series to protect the baby boy from the white walker...

I believe there are big gaps between scenes in the TV show, and of course turn out to be confusing for people who haven't read the books.

(I apologize for my english grammar :D)

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It was a dragon glass/obsidian dagger that kills white walkers not valyrian steel. –  user5353 Jul 6 '13 at 7:57
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The series did show where they got the Dragonglass and Sam explained about Dragonglass/Obsidian. When they found an old Rangers cache at the fist of the first men, though he does not know that it can harm Others @Justin the books actually say that Valyrian is "also said to be effective against Others" However only Dragonglass is proven to work –  Kegg Sep 8 '13 at 21:52

I assumed that they felt killing him just was not worth the bother of stopping what they were doing.

It is not as if he was a threat or anything. So what if he warned people, they were on the march anyway.

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Could the divebomber leave a comment to help improve the answer? –  Stefan Sep 9 '13 at 8:26
    
"None knew why they came, but they killed all in their path, reanimating the dead as wights to kill the living at their command" - from the first march of the White Walkers upon the South. They do not feel, they only seek to enslave in death and make the re-animated Wights kill on command. The Walkers themselves need not bother themselves with the task. –  Kegg Sep 9 '13 at 12:44
    
"... they killed all in their path ... " is clearly not the case though is it? They did not kill Sam. Hence, when wondering why they might have spared him I think that mercy is unlikely, lack of capability is unlikely ... I can only think they did not try and that was because it was not worth the effort. Although the actual reason is almost definitely a plot device for dramatic purposes. –  Stefan Sep 9 '13 at 12:52
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Ah, that is a possibility - although the camera work does seem to imply that the walker is looking directly at Sam and then turns away. Also it would be odd that Sam was behind a rock and not a single one of the many walkers and associated army see him as they go passed. However, it is not explicitly shown so it is not impossible that he is unseen - although I find the idea that he is seen and ignored more plausible. –  Stefan Sep 9 '13 at 13:20
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Your answer is good (+1). However, I find it more likely that the on screen rock was an error, otherwise the camera work is intentionally very misleading for no apparent reason. I also find it implausible that a Wight would not kill Sam or at least mention he is there or that he would not be seen by hundreds of 'people' walking passed him - some within a few yards. –  Stefan Sep 9 '13 at 13:50

Assuming the walker did see him and look into his eyes, maybe he sensed that Sam had the dragon glass on him and decided not to initiate aggression since Sam was not?

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But then this wouldn't make sense at the scene of the third season, when the same walker comes to get the baby. –  ArturBalestro Jan 22 at 10:18

I felt that because Sam just sat there and was no threat to the white walkers at all they didn't harm him... They saw that he was scared and that he wouldn't attack them so why should they attack in return.... Just my thought

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