SPOILER ALERT: This article is 93 percent spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 5 “The Door,” 4 percent background info from the books, and 3 percent awesome images and GIFs.
In typical Game of Thrones fashion, for every question answered on Sunday’s episode “The Door,” at least a few more questions came up, like what’s going on with Jorah and Dany?!. We also finally learned where the White Walkers came from, but what about the Children of the Forest? Keep reading for more info of one of the first races of Westeros.
Who Are The Children Of The Forest?
Back in the Dawn Age, before the First Men conquered the Seven Kingdoms, the Children of the Forest were some of the first inhabitants of Westeros. This elf-like race worships the old gods, and were a peaceful species until the First Men threatened their way of life.
Bran’s vision of the Children of the Forest opens with a shot of a face carved in a tree. From A Song of Ice and Fire, we know that this is a weirwood tree, in which the Children of the Forest preserve their spirits. We also learn in the books that the Children initially welcomed the men to Westeros, claiming that there was plenty of land for everyone. But when the men began to chop down the sacred weirwood groves, the Children decided to take action.
Using Blood Magic, they created the White Walkers. We see this in Bran’s vision, where Leaf drives an obsidian blade (a.k.a. dragon glass) into a man, turning him into the first White Walker, the King of the Night.
Why Have The White Walkers Turned Against Their Makers?
Bran’s brief vision of the Children creating the first White Walker does little to explain how the White Walkers wound up fighting the very people that created them. One possible explanation is that the Children of the Forest created the White Walkers out of desperation and with a singular purpose: to act as a weapon against men. Since the whole thing came about with the use of Blood Magic, it follows that there would have been drastic repercussions. So perhaps it’s not that the White Walkers turned against the Children of the Forest, exactly. They were never really controllable in the first place.
Who Is Leaf And What Did She Do?
We first meet Leaf in the finale of Season 4 as the wights are chasing Bran, Meera, Jojen and Hodor. Leaf rescues them by leading them into the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven (although Jojen doesn’t quite make it in time).
In the last episode, “The Door,” we learned that it was Leaf that drove the dragon glass into the man that would become the White Walker King as part of the master plan to create a race that could challenge men. It makes sense, then, that her guilt drives her to keep protecting Bran and ultimately give her life to save him at the end of the episode. If Bran is able to complete his training, he could be part of the solution that will stop the White Walkers from taking over when the Long Night descends on Westeros.