When there was a Stark in Winterfell, a maiden girl could walk the kingsroad in her name-day gown and still go unmolested, and travelers could find fire, bread, and salt at many an inn and holdfast. But the nights are colder now, and doors are closed.
Soon comes the cold, and the night that never ends.
The thought that keeps going around in my mind during my reread is “We** did this to ourselves.” (**We, meaning humanity, or the sum total of all characters in the story.) The Others are barely on the page, and I know that some people complain about that, but it seems very fitting to me.