After watching 6 seasons of Game of Thrones, we know that the only roadblock for White Walkers is "The Wall" to stop them from attacking Westeros. However, we see that King Stannis attacked wildlings through a ship route without crossing the Wall.

What is stopping the White Walkers from doing the same? They can ask wights to make Ships or rowboats. They have a lot of forests to get wood for making ships. They can simply land at the coast of the North and attack Winterfell or whatever they want.

  • We know that there is a strong magic in the Wall and this is what actually stops the White Walkers, not the Wall itself. Maybe it also stops them from bypassing the Wall. Dec 13, 2016 at 12:05
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    They wouldn't even need to chop wood to make ships. Don't forget that Jon Snow essentially gifted them a navy by abandoning all those ships in Hardhome. Dec 13, 2016 at 12:46
  • You could ask the same thing about the Wildlings. I think Alt Shift X addressed this in one of his episodes, the main reasons being that moving through water would be a logistical nightmare (for the wildlings) and would create an easy bottleneck for their troops (troops on land cannot support troops in boats because they are mainly melee fighters).
    – Flater
    Jan 27, 2017 at 12:02

1 Answer 1


It's plausible that White Walkers (The Others in the books) can cross water (either by ship or by magically freezing the water, creating a walkway for the army of the dead).

There is this quote from A Game of Thrones (book 1):

Mormont was deaf to the edge in his voice. "The fisherfolk near Eastwatch have glimpsed white walkers on the shore."

And in A Dance with Dragons (book 5):

Cotter Pyke had made his angry mark below. “Is it grievous, my lord?” asked Clydas. “Grievous enough.” Dead things in the wood. Dead things in the water. Six ships left, of the eleven that set sail. Jon Snow rolled up the parchment, frowning. Night falls, he thought, and now my war begins.

That being said, just because orchestrating a naval troop movement of the army of the dead (wights) is possible for the White walkers/The Others, we can only assume that, for some reason, they can't, based on the fact that they haven't done it (yet).

The canon surrounding The Others and magic is deliberately mysterious (ATOW), so a lot of this can't be more than speculation, but the leading theory is that The Wall isn't literally just a wall of ice, it is believed to be imbued with magic that is keeping the White Walkers/The Others (but not the Wights, they seem to be immune) away, on the northern side of The Wall.

There is this quote of Bran in A Dance with Dragons

"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. He came to meet us at the Wall, but he could not pass. He sent Sam instead, with that wildling girl.”

Therefore we can assume (from the previous assumption that they cannot cross the water) that the magic doesn't end abruptly at both ends of The Wall, but that it has some kind of effect that, ultimately, keeps them stuck north of The Wall (whether that means the magic field extends further out into the sea, and how that's detailed, is even less clear).

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