Winter is coming. That’s what we keep hearing, again and again, from the mouths of various Game of Thrones characters. (Okay, pretty much exclusively Jon Snow.)
But … how long has it taken the army of the dead to actually get close to the main continent? How long does it take for Winter to actually arrive?
TheKinglnTheN0rth, a member of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” subreddit, recently shared a map detailing just how far the White Walkers have managed to travel in all this time, compared to the various travel exploits of Jon Snow.
Spoiler alert: these frigid zombies haven’t exactly been hustling.
There were several theories from other Redditors as to why the White Walkers might be moving at such a (*ahem*) leisurely pace.
If you’ll recall, the White Walkers are not necessarily always walking (so the label is a bit of a misnomer). Occasionally they just kind of stand there. “Raven Bran flew over them, and they were not moving. I think they are either taking a break, or waiting for something, maybe for the plot to get there?,” IronEad pointed out.
Some pointed out that the map was a tad oversimplified. “While I will agree that there’s been some minor pacing issues in the number of times we’ve seen characters realize ‘the army of the dead is coming!’ and then months pass in-universe, they did take a detour to (as best as we can tell) somewhere around where ‘the haunted forest’ text is on the image posted,” armchair_anger recalled.
Others pointed out that the army of the dead must kill in order to grow its numbers to a suitable size for battle — so it’s possible they haven’t even been “marching” into battle until now. “The army of the dead needs to be built. I think the only reason they went to Hardhome was to collect more dead,” TaquitoSunrise33 notes. “Then they continued to move around killing and building their army. Seems like now they’re finally on the march.”
Regardless of the explanation, one thing is certainly clear: these slow-poke dead people should probably be renamed the White Meanderers.