Who are the White Walkers in Game of Thrones and why did the Children of the Forest create them?

9 April 2019, 13:59 | Updated: 10 April 2019, 10:22

The Night King is the master of the White Walkers and the Army of the Dead
The Night King is the master of the White Walkers and the Army of the Dead. Picture: YouTube / HBO, Game of Thrones

Hit series Game of Thrones is almost back for its last instalment. Season 8 of the show will focus on the role of the White Walkers, and the ultimate battle for humanity.

Game of Thrones fans are waiting with baited breath for the eighth and final season, which debuts this Sunday (14 April)

Not only are audiences desperate to find out who will sit on the Iton Throne, but we expect to find the secret behind the White Walkers and their Army of the Dead, and see an epic showdown between them and Houses of Westeros.

Watch the full trailer for Game of Thrones Season 8:

Here's everything we know about the White Walkers so far...

*If you haven't watched season 7, look away now*

Last season we saw the Night King turn Dany's dragon
Last season we saw the Night King turn Dany's dragon. Picture: YouTube / HBO, Game of Thrones

Who are the White Walkers?

The White Walkers in Game of Thrones are zombie-like creatures that pose a supernatural threat to humankind.

Author George R R Martin describes them as "gaunt and hard as bones, with flesh pale as milk" in the books, and frequently refers to them as "the Others".

While the White Walkers have been kept at bay behind The Wall for some centuries, they have now broken down that barrier with Daenerys' undead dragon, Viserion.

The White Walkers are led by the Night King, who was the first White Walker to be created. Their army is then referred to as "Wights".

So far, we've learnt that they can be defeated with dragonglass, Valyrian steel and fire. We also know they can't swim.

The Night King, however, appears to be immune to fire, as in the season 7 finale, we watch him walk through the flames unharmed.

We've also seen previously that killing the White Walker simultaneously wipes out all the Wights that Walker created.

So, there's the theory that killing the Night King will destroy all of them, as ultimately, it was him who started turning people into Wights.

READ MORE: Here's a refresher on how Jon Snow is related to Daenerys

In season 6 we discovered the role the Children of the Forest played in creating the White Walkers
In season 6 we discovered the role the Children of the Forest played in creating the White Walkers. Picture: YouTube / HBO, Game of Thrones

Why did the Children of the Forest create the White Walkers?

Cast your minds back to season 6 of the show, when Bran, Meera and Hodor (RIP) entered the magical cave where the Children dwell.

They came across the previous Three-Eyed Raven, who then taught Bran to follow in his footsteps.

It was during one of Bran's visions that he saw the head Child, Leaf, create the first ever White Walker.

She does so by driving a dragonstone dagger into the heart of a human man. His eyes then turn that chilling blue colour, before he transforms into the Night King.

Leaf then explains that the Children of the Forest created the White Walkers in order to help them defeat the First Men, whom they were at war with.

The First Men were destroying the sacred forests, and the Children believed they needed stronger protection.

Sadly, the White Walkers turned against the Children, and became the fearsome force we've all come to know now.

READ MORE: Bastille made a cameo in Game of Thrones - and you probably didn't even realise!

Leaf created the first ever White Walker in order to help protect the Children the Forest from the First Men
Leaf created the first ever White Walker in order to help protect the Children the Forest from the First Men. Picture: YouTube / HBO, Game of Thrones

When is Game of Thrones season 8 out?

You can watch the new season from Sunday 14 April 2019.

It kicks off at 9pm on Sky Atlantic, or you can stream it on NOW TV.

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