They were here together, the children of the forest and the First Men. They fought together against their common enemy. Despite their differences, despite their suspicions. Together. We need to do the same if we’re going to survive.
Jon Snow reveals to Daenerys Targaryen ancient mural paintings by Children of the Forest carved long before the seven kingdoms existed, depicting the Night King and White Walkers within the Dragonglass cave at Dragonstone / Game of Thrones (7.04)
Is it possible, in theory, to give the Others a backstory in a way that does not ruin their mystique? Any backstory, not necessarily the show version.
Sure! They’re an exaggerated omnicidal version of the Unseelie Court, aka the Bad Faeries, to the Children’s Seelie (or Summer) Court.
The faeries of the Seelie Court are rarely presented as an unambiguous good from the perspective of their human neighbors, and neither are the Children. The Unseelie Court and its various inhabitants, however, bring the true nightmares. They require no offense from humanity before attacking (check), they regularly abduct humans into their Horde (check), they enjoy toying with mortals and occasionally taking a particular one as pet (check), and they’ve been known to transform mortals into faeries (possible check).
Of course, the Others are considerably more destabilizing to the overall cycles of nature than your traditional Bad Faeries, so one must also reckon with the enormous influence of Terry Pratchett, felt all over ASOIAF but especially in the echoes of Pratchett’s Elves in GRRM’s Others:
A land of ice…
Not winter, because that presumes an autumn and perhaps one day a spring. This is
a land of ice, not just a time of ice.
And three figures on horseback, looking down the snow covered slope to a ring of
eight stones. From this side they look much bigger.
You might watch the figures for some time before you realised what it was about
them that was strange-stranger, that is, than their clothing. The hot breath of their
horses hung in the freezing air. But the breath of the riders did not.
“And this time,” said the figure in the centre, a woman in red, “there will be no
defeat. The land will welcome us. It must hate humans now.”
“But there were witches,” said one of the other riders. “I remember the witches.”
“Once, yes,” said the woman. “But now…poor things, poor things. Scarce any
power in them at all. And suggestible. Pliant minds. I have crept about, my deary. I
have crept about o'nights. I know the witches they have now. Leave the witches to
"I remember the witches,” said the third rider insistently. “Minds like…like
"Not anymore. I tell you, leave them to me.” The Queen smiled benevolently at the
“And then you can have them,” she said. “For me, I rather fancy a mortal husband.
A special mortal. A union of the worlds. To show them that this time we mean to
"The King will not like that."
"And when has that ever mattered?"
"The time is right, Lankin. The circles are opening. Soon we can return."
The second rider leaned on the saddlehorn.
"And I can hunt again,” it said. “When? When?"