How can humanity defeat the White Walkers? A close look at dragonglass

Winter is coming, or so we keep getting told. Winter means cold and cold means White Walkers and White Walkers mean the long night that has no end. Whether you’re talking about Game of Thrones or A Song of Ice and Fire, the White Walkers are getting closer to invading the realms of men. It’s too much to hope that they won’t make some inroads by the time all is said and done, and when they do, the people of Westeros had best be ready for them.

But how do they fight back? The White Walkers are frosty death machines, with their armies of wights, steel-shattering swords, and spiders big as hounds. (When we are gonna see some hound-spiders, by the way?) The story has offered a few suggestions. Dragons are an obvious answer—ice monsters are bound to be afraid of creatures said to be “fire made flesh.” There’s also dragonglass, aka obsidian, a naturally occurring volcanic glass we’ve seen can end a White Walker’s life. YouTube channel Alt Shirt X has a new video focused on dragonglass, exploring its real-world applications, how caches could get to the Wall, and what role it’ll play in the coming war for the dawn.

Lest we forget, the show has not forgotten the potential of dragonglass as an anti-White Walker weapon. This past season, in “Hardhome,” Jon Snow offered a bag of obsidian daggers to the wildlings as a sign of good faith. Wun Wun seemed especially interested.

Alt Shift X suggests several ways the Night’s Watch, which is the first line of defense against the White Walkers, could get its hands on some dragonglass. I remembered a couple of those ways (mining for dragonglass on Dragonstone, Children of the Forest) but had forgotten two others (people on Skagos trade obsidian, and there’s probably leftover dragonglass in the ruins of Valyria). I doubt we’ll see Skagos on the show (go on, producers—I dare you to bring unicorns into this), but I like the idea of Daenerys bringing some obsidian with her to the Wall to gain the trust of the Night’s Watch.

And those dragons should be a help, too. Still, if the show is bothering to keep obsidian in the story (Stannis talked about it with Sam, too, although he didn’t mention mining for it on Dragonstone), odds are it’ll play a role in the future.