Game of Thrones season 7 hinged on Jon Snow's plan to prove to Queen Cersei Lannister that White Walkers exist, yet he should have doubted whether it would actually work. In the final season of HBO's hit series, everyone knows the White Walkers are indeed real. But earlier in the series, proving the ice zombies exist to most of the people in Westeros was a daunting task, one the Night's Watch already tried in vain.
Throughout Game of Thrones, Jon and the Night's Watch fought the White Walkers several times and barely survived - and Jon has twice come face-to-face with their fearsome leader the Night King - but it's easy to forget that until Games of Thrones season 7, most of the people in Westeros still thought the ice zombies were a myth. After all, the Night's Watch was, at best, an afterthought and, at worst, a joke to the high lords. Far from an elite fighting force, the Night's Watch's dwindling numbers were comprised of criminals and other undesirables banished to the Wall; they fought the Wildings but otherwise, most people in Westeros mocked the idea that magical monsters lived beyond the Wall.
As Game of Thrones heads into its final season, it can no longer be denied that Winter has Come. The White Walkers have broken through the Wall, thanks to the Night King's ice dragon Viserion, and are spreading into Westeros. But this threat was something the Night's Watch had been fruitlessly warning the Iron Throne about long before Game of Thrones season 7.
- This Page: The Two Times The Iron Throne Was Warned About The White Walkers
- Page 2: The Night's Watch's Plan Is A Game of Thrones Plot Gap
Jon Snow's Plan To Capture A Wight To Show Cersei
In season 7, Jon Snow originally came to Dragonstone to ask Daenerys Targaryen for the rights to mine dragonglass to use as weapons against the White Walkers. The Dragon Queen didn't believe the King in the North that the threat was real, but circumstances (and Jon and Daenerys' mutual attraction, despite unknowingly being aunt and nephew) drew Dany to Jon's side. At the time, Cersei had gotten the best of Daenerys and her Hand, Tyrion Lannister, who lost their fleet and key allies like Olenna Tyrell, Ellaria Sand, and Yara Greyjoy. Meanwhile, Jon found drawings left by the Children of the Forest in the mines of Dragonstone, which convinced Daenerys that Jon was right about the White Walkers. They agreed that fighting the war in the North was more pressing than the war with Cersei, but they needed an armistice - and hopefully, an alliance to fight the Night King - with the Iron Throne.
But to forge an armistice, Jon and Daenerys needed to prove to Cersei that White Walkers were real, which is where Jon's foolhardy plan to go beyond the Wall and capture a Wight came to play. Jon led a team comprised of "The Hound" Sandor Clegane, Thoros of Myr, Beric Dondarrion, Tormund Giantsbane, Gendry, and Jorah Mormont into White Walker territory. They captured a Wight, but Thoros was killed and the group needed to be rescued by Daenerys and her three dragons - which led to the Night King killing Viserion and resurrecting him as his own ice dragon.
Cersei agreed to meet with her enemies at King's Landing, which is when Daenerys and Jon showed the Lannister Queen their captured zombie. Their plan worked, in a way. Cersei couldn't deny that the White Walkers were real, though she still ended up only serving her own interests. Still, this convoluted gambit worked better than the previous attempt by the Night's Watch to prove the existence of ice zombies - which fans never even got to see on the show.
The Night's Watch Already Tried The Same Plan - And Failed
In Game of Thrones season 1, Lord Commander Joer Mormont actually sent Ser Allister Thorne to King's Landing to prove that the White Walkers are real - a plan which apparently failed. At that time, Jon Snow was a new recruit to the Night's Watch and he immediately made enemies with the cruel and rigid master-at-arms Ser Allister, who mockingly dubbed the bastard of Winterfell "Lord Snow". Towards the end of the season, Jon's direwolf Ghost found the corpses of two Night's Watch rangers. They brought the body of Othor into Castle Black but the ranger reanimated into a Wight and attacked; Jon saved Mormont's life and cut Othor's arm off before burning and killing him.
Later, after Mormont gifted his own family's Valyrian steel sword, Longclaw, to Jon, the Lord Commander explained that he sent Snow's nemesis Ser Alliser to King's Landing with Othor's severed arm. Mormont told Thorne to throw the arm "at the boy king's [Joffrey's] feet", which he hoped would prove his case that the White Walkers were real and get the Night's Watch the resources they need. But fans never actually saw this happen on Game of Thrones... but they do know it failed.