For the past seven seasons, Game of Thrones has brought fans action-packed, cinematically pleasing scenes on television. The battles, the drama, and the terror have all contributed to making the series one of the most successful shows in television history. But with a show this complex, many might get stuck with the details from time to time, especially regarding the types of creatures in the series. We all know Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons and the direwolves, but what about the difference between the terrifying White Walkers and the wights? Here’s a rundown of what makes them different.
The White Walkers are the skeletal soldiers that the Night King commands. They were created by the Children of the Forest thousands of years ago as a way of creating an army that would protect them against the First Men, who were cutting down the forest. But the scary creatures eventually broke free, and became one of the biggest threats in Westeros.
White Walkers look somewhat similar to humans, because they are their descendants, but they’ve lost all humanity. They have long white hair, sometimes a white beard, and glowing blue eyes. They’re very tall and have greyish-white skin which could be compared to a mummy. Dragonglass and Valyrian steel are the White Walkers’s biggest threats: they will die if they’re struck by them.
On the other hand, wights are simply the products of White Walkers, who have the ability to resurrect the dead and turn them into wights. These creatures are especially creepy, because they’re pretty much the zombies of the dead—they take on the appearance of the person when he or she died. Their purpose is to serve the White Walkers and act as their minions. Stories claim only White Walkers can create wights. And the only way to kill a wight is to burn them. It’s believed they can survive anything else, even beheading.
The Night King is expected to be the biggest problem in the upcoming final season of Game of Thrones, as Jon Snow and Daenerys try to figure out how he’ll be defeated. And since Vladimír Furdík, the actor behind the Night King, has confirmed that his character is after one person specifically, we suspect it won’t be an easy task. We’ll face the undead creatures once again when the show returns this Sunday.
This article also appears on Mental Floss.