Sunday, 19 July 2015

The Long Night

As a result of college and life in general this year I didn't have any blog posts for season 5 of Game of Thrones. Now that things are finally settling down and my course is finished I am going to do my best to get back into the swing of things. I'm going to kick things off with a short "history" post and explain a little about "The Long Night" that has been mentioned many times throughout the series.

Approximately 8000 years before the Targaryen Conquest a terrible darkness fell during a great winter that lasted for years. The Long Night lasted a generation and brought with it famine and terror. During the darkness and cold of the Long Night, the White Walkers invaded Westeros from the far north. Nobody knew why the White Walkers came or where they originated from, but they killed everyone who crossed their paths. They rose the dead as Wights to kill the living and soon led their army of undead across the continent.

Eventually, the First Men and the Children of the Forest joined forces to defend themselves against the White Walkers in a conflict knows as the War for the Dawn. The White Walkers were defeated and driven back to the uttermost north. After they had driven the White Walkers back, the First Men and the Children of the Forest built The Wall in the far North of Westeros to prevent them from returning. The Wall stands 700 feet tall and stretches from one side of the continent to the other. Legend tells us that the Children of the Forest infused The Wall with powerful magic to prevent the White Walkers from crossing it. In order to defend The Wall, an order called the Nights Watch was set up should the White Walkers return to attack the realms of men again.

A tiny section of The Wall
In present day Westeros many people believe the Long Night is just a children's story and that White Walkers and their undead armies are nothing more than legends. Even many of those who do believe they once existed, think they are now extinct, especially since none have been seen in the near 8000 years between their defeat and Robert's Rebellion.

However when the series begins the White Walkers and their Wights are some of the first characters that we meet. The Nights Watch has sent warnings of it's findings to those in the south but they go unanswered. As the War of the Five Kings goes on in the south it leaves the severely under-manned Nights Watch to defend the wall. Westeros is unprepared . . . .and Winter is Coming!

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