Are Wildlings Scottish

Carole Stephens
• Saturday, 12 December, 2020
• 11 min read

Any Westeros fan has surely noticed the significant links between certain aspects of the show’s plot and major events in Scottish history. The same is true for any Game of Thrones fan when they hear the words ‘Red Wedding’.

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Horrific scenes from The Glencoe Massacre are undoubtedly mirrored in the bloodshed outside the Fray’s castle on that unforgettable episode, ‘The Rains Of Cashmere’. However, what was intended as a peaceful gathering developed into one of the most bloody moments in Scottish history.

Despite the prevalent laws of hospitality at the time, the Douglas men butchered their hosts on the grounds that the Campbell's had not acknowledged the new monarch. Martin, the fateful Scottish historical happenings of The Black Dinner and The Glencoe Massacre served as direct inspiration for this game-changing Game of Thrones moment.

‘The Wall’ has a momentous presence and is an imperative entity in the Game of Thrones world. The idea of a barrier used to separate the wild savages of the far north from the civilized south comes directly from Hadrian’s Wall.

Speaking of barbarians, it’s not hard to surmise the real world inspiration for ‘the Wild lings ’. Their brutal fighting techniques and unique choice of attire can undoubtedly be compared to that of the Ancient Celts.

Additionally, the Northerners’ thick accents and rugged way of life hit the nail on the head. Their job was to prevent predatory acts towards the free people of Scotland and the advancement of rebels into the kingdom.

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They are considered savages by the rest of Westeros, due to their barbaric lifestyles and worship of the Old Gods of the Forest. Such factions include the raiders from the Frozen Shore, the woodsmen of the Haunted Forest, ice-river clans believed to be cannibals, and the people of Then.

The people of Westeros believe that all Wild lings are savage and are the main reason as to the necessity of the wall and the Night's Watch. However, the Night’s Watch does not forget its origin and believes the Wild lings are the least threatening force to come from beyond the wall.

Game of Thrones has become one of the most popular books in the genre of fantasy, and the most watched show in HBO history. The Wall stretches for 100 leagues (300 miles) along Westeros’ northern border, ostensibly defending the realm from the Others.

The map of Westeros can be interpreted as England and Ireland inverted to create the western continent. When building Hadrian’s Wall, the Roman surveyors exploited features in the natural British landscape.

Hadrian’s Wall facing east towards Crag Lough lake in Northumberland, England. In contrast, when Brandon the Builder constructed the Game of Thrones ‘ Wall 8,000 years ago, it was entirely made of ice and stood almost 700 feet high and 300 miles long.

glen deer scotland lyon highlands scottish
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At every fort and mile-castles there was a gateway that acted as a check point to control movement and goods between the north and south of Britain. The mile-castles were small forts at intervals of a Roman mile that were defended by a patrolling garrison who would be able to quickly respond to any distress or situation.

Along the Game of Thrones ‘ Wall, there are nineteen castles, three of which remained manned while the others were abandoned with their gates sealed. Prices (left) with the Roman embassy at the court of Attila the Hun, holding his (History, which the painter has incorrectly spelled ).

Proclaims, a sixth-century Roman historian, gives a fantastical view of Britain, one that would fit in with Martin’s vision: In the island of the men of old built a long wall, cutting off a large part of it; and the climate and the soil and everything else is not alike on the two sides of it.

For to the south of the wall there is a salubrious air, changing with the seasons… many people dwell there, living in the same fashion as other men. But on the north side everything is the reverse of this, it is actually impossible for a man to survive there and every other kind of wild creature occupy this area as their own.

The inhabitants say that if any man crosses this wall and goes to the other side, he dies straightway, being quite unable to support the pestilential air of that region, and wild animals Old Nan (Margaret John) would entertain Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) with scary stories about the Others during his convalescence, something characters like Tyrion might deem to be Snarks and Drumlins.

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This is an example of rumor and tales that go along with unknown parts of the world; however, in Game of Thrones some seem to be true. The Wildings: specifically, Rattle shirt (either Edward Dorian or Ross O’Hennessy) and his war band.

The wild lings have similar societal structures to the pre-Roman Britons or Scots: chieftain societies organized in tribes and clans which were not politically unified. The ‘civilized’ people of the southern kingdoms describe the wild lings and their way of life using language similar to that of the Roman ethnographers.

The same is said for Game of Thrones, the people in the south have both a fear and hatred for the wild lings and circulate stories of their savage cultures. Savages, raiders, rapers, more beast than man,” and these types of descriptions carry on throughout the novels.

In Game of Thrones, Jon Snow’s perspective on the wild lings is that of an outsider, a man from Winterfell and not North of the Wall. When Jon enters the wild lings camp, he notices their tents made of skin and hide, and makeshift shelters.

He sees their warlike nature, men and women making primitive weapons and spearheads, as well as fighting each other. When Jon begins to live among the wild lings, he still believes that “they have no laws, no honor, not even simple decency.

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They steal endlessly from each other, breed like beasts, prefer rape to marriage, and fill the world with base born children.” Yet he quickly became fond of Dortmund, sharing stories and learning the customs of the wild lings. Initially, Jon still believes the southern stereotypes of the wild lings as savage brutes constantly fighting.

Jon begins to respect and care for the wild lings, he learns from Dortmund, he grows to admire Dance Ryder and falls in love with Gritty. He proposes letting some wild lings pass through the Wall to protect them from the beings of the north, which is not a popular idea with the other men of the Night’s Watch.

The Roman writer Prices was able to observe the court of Attila the Hun during a diplomatic mission and gives a completely different view. Although Prices was in Attila’s court for a far shorter time than Jon Snow is with the wild lings, Prices had the opportunity to observe and discuss Runic customs and differences from the Romans with a member of Attila’s court.

Jon Snow comes to the same conclusion about the wild lings : they’re humans and not the monsters they are made out to be. Jon grows to respect some wild lings, even though they have distinct cultures and are different from the men of the south, he recognizes that they need help, and tries to make decisions for the greater good rather than personal prejudices.

Jon Snow is basically a Roman who gets the opportunity to explore beyond the Wall and observe and partake in the society of the Other. George RR Martin explores history in a unique and different way.

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In addition, the descriptions of the wild lings are similar to the Roman ethnographers, both categorized the Other as brutes, savage and primitive peoples. Jon Snow, however, is able to give a description of the wild lings life, culture and needs, while the Romans lack this type of source in the society of the Britons.

Martin takes elements of Classical society and perceptions, he enhances them to make mythology and misconception into reality. The Wall and the wild lings both reflect historical reality for the Britons and Romans, but Martin changes and exaggerates them to create a new universe in the epic fantasy genre.

The Free Folk is the self-given name for the people who live in the lands beyond the Wall, still on the continent of Westeros but beyond the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms. The name they employ makes reference to their society, which recognizes no inherent or hereditary political authority, except for leaders whom they choose to follow.

Normally the wild lings are divided into many rival clans, but occasionally, they unite behind a single over-chieftain known as a King-Beyond-the-Wall, as they were under Dance Ryder. The Free Folk are now allies of House Stark after many of their people were saved by Jon Snow.

They were, essentially, the people unlucky enough to be living north of the Wall when it was constructed eight thousand years ago. Besides this shared ethnic heritage, their common descent means that there are also many cultural similarities between the wild lings and the Northerners.

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The wild lings are much closer in lifestyle and habits to how the First Men lived thousands of years ago (though they lack the level of political organization that the first men possessed), as the North has come under some cultural influence from their Sandal neighbors who invaded southern Westeros six thousand years ago, and particularly since the Seven Kingdoms were united into a single realm by the Targaryen Conquest three hundred years ago. The Free Folk have made many attempts to invade the Seven Kingdoms since the construction of the Wall (Jon Snow mentions that there have been six such invasions in the last thousand years, before Dance Ryder).

Despite the bravery and perseverance of the Free Folk, all attempted invasions of the Seven Kingdoms have failed, as those who live north of the Wall lack the weapons, training and organization to defeat their southern counterparts. Over the ages, the people of the Seven Kingdoms to the south had largely forgotten why the Wall was constructed in the first place and came to believe that it exists to protect the realm from the wild lings, whom they regard as primitive savages and barbarians.

The shift of focus also reduced the Night's Watch from a band of honorable warriors into largely a penal colony for exiled criminals, disgraced noblemen, and bastards with no where else to go. The Free Folk consist of a wide variety of many fractious tribes and village-dwellers, some reasonably refined, others savage and hostile.

Even in the lands of House Stark, there are some followers of the Faith of the Seven, often southern noblewomen who come to the North to secure marriage alliances. While in certain times the clans will unite behind a “King-Beyond-the-Wall”, the title and position are not hereditary, as the Free Folk will follow no man simply because of who his father was.

The Free Folk will follow a King-Beyond-the-Wall into battle, but they do not perform ceremonies of submission such as kneeling in front of him or referring to him as “your Grace”. They call the people of the feudal Seven Kingdoms Keepers “, because they physically kneel to men who they didn't choose to rule over them.

At the time of the War of the Five Kings the Free Folk are divided into about 90 different clans or tribes, some of which have long been bitter enemies with each other. Normally they are politically divided, but were united under King-Beyond-the-Wall Dance Ryder for the common goal of forcing their way south of the Wall before the next winter comes, which will bring the White Walkers with it.

After his death, Dortmund and Jon Snow traveled to Hard home, along with other members of the Night's Watch and the Free Folk, to attempt to convince the rest of the Free Folk to join them in the upcoming war against the White Walkers and their armies of Wights. Numerous clans from the vast Haunted Forest, immediately north of the Wall but east of the Frost fang Mountains.

The Then, who dwell in a valley north of the Frost fangs, who know how to forge bronze and engage in ritual cannibalism and self-scarification. The communities of the Frozen Shore, known for riding sleds and chariots made of walrus bone pulled by dogs.

Horn foots, who dwell on the Frost fangs, known for the blackened and hardened soles of their feet due to not wearing anything on them Ice-river clans Cave people The non-human race of giants who live beyond the Wall had also allied itself with Dance Ryder and marched in his willing army.

Loosely speaking they may thus be considered part of the wild lings “, though the inhabitants of the Seven Kingdoms generally use the term to refer to specifically the human clans living beyond the Wall. The North men have a bitter feud with the Free Folk due to being at the forefront of the latter's incursions into the Seven Kingdoms.

Other kingdoms south of the Wall share similar derisive sentiments, but to a lesser extent, seeing the Free Folk as a light threat and the Night's Watch as an unnecessary organization where criminals and undesirables are sent to join. For as centuries passed, the White Walkers, the Night's Watch's true enemies, largely came to be considered myths, and Watch's resources have been directed towards fighting the Free Folk for subsequent generations, forgetting the order's real purpose.

While at Castle Black, Tyrion Lannister converses with Been Stark and Loren regarding the Free Folk. While not outright sympathizing with them, Tyrion makes clear his view that the only real difference between the Free Folk and the rest of Westeros is that the former group just happened to live on the northern side of the Wall when it was first constructed 8,000 years ago.

{The Lord of Bones}, aka Rattle shirt, a renowned leader of a raiding war band now aligned with Dance Ryder. {Nobody}, a Then who assumes a position of seniority over his clan following the death of Star.

This may be the TV series version of the Frozen Shore tribes, who have been mentioned in the Histories & Lore features. The lands they live on are desolate, but the surrounding waters are plentiful, so they gain most of their sustenance from the sea.

Little grows there, and what few animals live there don't make for good furs, so the inhabitants just decorate themselves with bits of bone from whatever small game they can hunt. They may be the TV version of the Horn foot people, which the Histories & Lore videos describe as living in the mountains.

Wild lings from the vast Haunted Forest, like Dance and Dortmund, wear heavy animal furs. Add a photo to this gallery In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Free Folk consist of various factions, such as the people of Then, raiders from the Frozen Shore, and settlers and woodsmen in the Haunted Forest.

At the time of the books, they are unified under a King-Beyond-the-Wall, Dance Ryder, a former member of the Night's Watch who fled the Wall and betrayed the Sworn Brothers. With the Wall grievously under-strength, as the first book begins, there are fears that the wild lings may try to invade and that Lord Edward Stark might have to lead his banners against them in a punitive strike.

The wild lings prefer to kidnap women far from their villages, rather than from their own clan, and it is considered a great sin to marry relatives. The Old Gods of the Forest, worshiped by both the Free Folk and the North men, don't have as many formal rules as the Faith of the Seven, but their religion still maintains a few fundamental social prohibitions, one of which forbids Incest.

Due to the harsh conditions Beyond the Wall, the wild lings have a high infant mortality rate and believe that naming a baby after birth is an ill-omen.

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1 en.wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisenia_fetida
2 www.wormsetc.com - http://www.wormsetc.com/worms-etc-blog/2010/12/eisenia-fetida-hortensis-whats-difference-red-wigglers-european-nightcrawlers/
3 wormscrum.wordpress.com - https://wormscrum.wordpress.com/scientific-name-and-classification/
4 wormfarmfacts.com - http://wormfarmfacts.com/Red-Worms.html