The most famous creatures in Game Of Thrones are the dragons, and how could they not be? The dragons make Daenerys Targaryen a fierce contender for the Iron Throne, and the show has gotten to the point where most of the series revolves around them.
But in both the books and the show, dragons aren’t the only mythical creature talked about in Westeros. In fact, this fantasy series has a wealth of magical creatures. Most of them aren’t as focused on as the dragons, some are seen and some are only talked about, but George R.R. Martin went further into his lore than just the cliché fantasy creatures, and here are 10 of the best.
10. White Walkers
White Walkers are easily the next biggest creature in the series. Not much is known about their background; only that many didn’t believe they existed until they began to breach the wall and come forward into Westeros. The best way to describe them is powerful ice zombies, who can recruit people into their army after they die. Although their motive is unclear, it seems as if they want to take over Westeros and have a vendetta against the people in it.
At the head of them is the Night King, many theorizing this is a past or future version of Bran Stark.
Direwolves are another creature who only existed beyond The Wall until the books began. Direwolf pups are found in the snow by House Stark, and the children take one each — including the so-called bastard Jon Snow, who takes the runt of the litter. The direwolves grow into fearsome beasts, much bigger than normal wolves and much more fierce.
Like dragons though, they seem to bond to one person and listen to them when given commands. Outwith that person they’re very vicious and dangerous, as proven when Nymeria attacks Joffrey for Arya. Despite their ferocity, however, they are very cute and a great addition to the series.
Shadowcats are large feline creatures that are found throughout Westeros and beyond The Wall, and pretty much confirmed to exist. They seem to be used frequently in spooky stories, but it can be surmised that they’re something like tigers, except they’re black with white stripes. They seem to have a lot of lairs throughout Westeros and their fur is pretty prized to be used as clothing.
They’re mentioned frequently and seem to be very common wildlife in Westeros despite how fearsome they are. It’s said they can smell blood from up to six miles away, which is actually pretty terrifying when you think about it.
In Persian lore, manticores are fearsome, huge creatures; but in this series, they’re something quite different.
Manticores in Westeros are poisonous scorpion-like creatures who are very aggressive. Their poison is extremely deadly and is used in many experiments by alchemists across Westeros for this very reason. One attacks Daenerys in an assassination attempt, leaving her very shaken. She was very lucky she escaped this considering it wouldn’t take a manticore long to kill a person. For such small creatures, they’re very bold. They’re comparable to an extremely poisonous spider.
It might be surprising to some that mermaids are mentioned frequently throughout the series, but before you get too excited thinking that mermaids might be featured in season eight or in one of the next two books, their existence is widely debated and even scoffed at. Despite that, in legend, they are definitely a thing; people talk of having seen mermaids out in the ocean.
Tyrion Lannister, however, who is considered extremely wise by most, dismissing their existence as old tales. It’s never been proven or disproven that mermaids exist, which means that the lore and information surrounding them is very limited, but they are features in Westerosi stories at the very least.
Wights are the people recruited by the White Walkers; the poor dead people who are brought back to some form of life as a zombie to do the White Walkers’ bidding. It is said only the White Walkers can create a wight. All wights have icy blue eyes and although they may have been dead for weeks, they have no sign of rot or decay; some sort of magic seems to keep their body going.
The good news is they’re very weak to fire, so there is some way to defeat this army that the White Walkers are creating. Aside from this, swords and normal weapons simply won’t work; you can even chop off their limbs… They’ll keep coming.
Krakens are a little like mermaids in that they’re considered to be mostly mythical, but some sailors swear having seen them, so who knows — one may yet pop up! Many sailors say they’re more akin to dragons than mermaids, creatures who were once very common and became almost extinct in later years.
In stories, they’re fearsome monsters who are drawn to the surface by the smell of blood. They’re the sigil of House Greyjoy, which is very apt for a fierce, pirate-like family. Although the reports of what they look like aren’t particularly consistent throughout the series, House Greyjoy’s sigil suggests they look like a giant squid.
Wargs are almost like humans, but not quite. They are people who have the ability to slide into the mind of an animal, letting them not only read the animal’s thoughts but control them.
In the show, Bran Stark is the only warg we know of. He goes into the mind of a crow to get information, as well as the mind of his own direwolf.
In the books, however, Arya seems to be doing the same. She often dreams of Nymeria and as the story goes on, it’s severely hinted at that she is not only dreaming of Nymeria, but going into her mind and running through the woods with her. It seems like warging runs in the family for Starks.
2. The Undead
The White Walkers and wights are not the only examples of the undead creatures.
In the books, we meet Lady Stoneheart. She is Catelyn Stark brought back to life, but she’s not quite Catelyn Stark; it’s not quite as simple as that. She’s some evil version of Catelyn, hellbent on revenge with a rotting body. It’s unclear if Lady Stoneheart is a unique case or if this is a thing that’s happened before, but what we can be sure of is that she’s not human and that this is another creature entirely. She doesn’t even seem to have quite the same personality as Catelyn, although this may just be a traumatized, revenge-driven version.
1. Children Of The Forest
Another very mysterious race are the Children of The Forest, who are said to be the original inhabitants of Westeros. They were living there when the first humans arrived, which is said to be about 12,000 years before the story that we know began.
The creatures look like human children, even as adults. They worshipped nature and had extremely long lives, living far longer than the average humans. They seemed to be able to use magic, but other than that, not much is known about them — which makes sense, since they’ve been extinct in Westeros for a long time. Westeros’ origin, however, seems to truly lie with them.