In the very first episode of the first season, Winter is Coming, three rangers come throughout a wildling camp killed by a White Walker. The pedestrian then kills 2 that the rangers, but permits Gared come live.

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In episode 10 that the second season, Valar Morghulis, Samwell Tarly sees an army of wights led by a White Walker. The pedestrian spares (ignores) Samwell Tarly but assaults the camp at the Fist of very first Men. (Also remarkable is that some wights likewise pass Sam just before the White walker on his horse does, and also either don"t watch him or overlook him.)

The walkers plainly spared these 2 people since they could have overpowered and also killed either.

From a tactical allude of view, the walkers acquire nothing through sparing anyone. They are far better off killing the person and also thereby recruiting the person into your undead army. And also the downside is that the survivor deserve to warn others who would then flee the walkers. The an outcome is that the walkers have actually fewer human being to recruit because many people fled.

Is over there an explanation because that why the White Walkers sometimes spare somebody?

I prefer solution from the books, yet I will take one native the TV shows.

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edited might 26 "17 at 5:18
asked january 7 "17 at 6:36

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Three ranger in the Prologue of game of Thrones were Will, Gared, and Waymar Royce. In the publication Will to be up a tree, hiding and watching:

“On her feet, Will,” Ser Waymar commanded. “There’s no one here. Ns won’t have you hiding under a bush.”

Reluctantly, will obeyed.

Ser Waymar looked him end with open disapproval. “I am not going back to Castle black a failure on my first ranging. Us will discover these men.” he glanced around. “Up the tree. Be quick around it. Look for a fire.” .... “Will, where space you?” Ser Waymar called up. “Can you view anything?” that was turning in a slow circle, unexpectedly wary, his sword in hand. He must have felt them, as will felt them. There to be nothing to see. “Answer me! Why is that so cold?”

It was cold. Shivering, Will clung much more tightly come his perch. His challenge pressed hard against the trunk of the sentinel. He can feel the sweet, sticky sap on his cheek.

His commander, Waymar Royce combated the white walkers and also died:

Royce went to his knees, shrieking, and covered his eyes. Blood welled between his fingers.

The watchers moved forward together, as if some signal had actually been given. Swords rose and fell, all in a deathly silence. It to be cold butchery.

When he finally came under Royce came earlier to "life" and killed him.

Will rose. Ser Waymar Royce stood end him.

His fine garments were a tatter, his challenge a ruin. A shard from his knife transfixed the remote white pupil of his left eye.

The ideal eye to be open. The pupil burned blue. It saw.

The broken sword fell from nerveless fingers. Will certainly closed his eyes to pray. Long, elegant hands brushed his cheek, then tightened roughly his throat. They were gloved in the finest moleskin and sticky through blood, yet the touch to be icy cold.

The third ranger, Gared, ran off prior to the white walkers confirmed up and was later on seen south of the wall. The Starks did no take his talk about white walkers seriously and beheaded him because that deserting the Night"s Watch.

As for Sam, in Storm the Swords, thing 18 (first Sam chapter, very close come the end) they space retreating from the Fist of the very first Men and encounter a white walker:

And climate he was stumbling forward, falling much more than running, really, closeup of the door his eyes and shoving the dagger blindly out prior to him through both hands. He heard a crack, choose the sound ice cream makes once it breaks beneath a man"s foot, and also then a screech for this reason shrill and also sharp that he walk staggering backward v his hands over his muffled ears, and also fell difficult on his arse.

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When he opened up his eyes the Other"s armor was running under its legs in rivulets together pale blue blood hissed and steamed about the black color dragonglass dagger in his throat. It got to down through two bone white hand to pull the end the knife, yet where its finger touched the obsidian castle smoked.