HBO's Game of Thrones is far more fantasy than horror (despite having some of the goriest kills on television). But Sunday's season finale took the show into a very dark place. The episode ended with a full-on zombie army trudging across a frozen wasteland. Let's discuss after the jump.
I should preface this by stating that I have not read the books, am not familiar with them, and likely will not be reading them. My knowledge and analysis comes entirely from the TV show.
The zombies are actually what Game of Thrones calls wights. A mythological race known as White Walkers (gaunt, icy white humanoids with piercing blue eyes) swept through the land thousands of years ago, killing all in their path. Their victims were reanimated as wights and will kill the living on the command of the White Walkers. In the show, most believe the White Walkers are the stuff of legend; those who do believe they existed believe them to be long extinct. After a little research, it would seem that the White Walkers (called The Others in the books) seldom made an appearance and their purpose is still unknown.
To me, it seems that this appearance of the wights, being led en masse by White Walker commanders would suggest these creatures will have a much bigger role in season three. Boiled down to its most basic plot, Game of Thrones is a story set in a fantasy land that is not too different from feudal Europe. About a half-dozen or so heads of "houses" (like monarchs of countries) believe that they are the true and rightful ruler of the continent and each are intent on taking the Iron Throne in the name of their house.
So what possible role could a zombie army have in the show? As far as I can tell, the White Walkers want their own stab at the Iron Throne, and have conjured up a zombie army to aid them in their quest. If George Romero has taught us anything, a zombie army is damn near impossible to stop.
We will have to wait another year before we get to see what role these zombies will play in the show. For now, enjoy this clip of the zombie march.