Many of the characters in Game of Thrones might be slow to believe that mythical creatures exist, but as viewers, we know they’re wrong. As Jon Snow says in the Season 6 trailer, “the long night is coming and the dead come with it. Also, stone zombies.”
Well, he might have left out that last part, but Jorah and Daario will be worrying about it soon enough, as Jorah’s Greyscale spreads. Game of Thrones loves its zombie creatures, from ice zombies (White Walkers) to stone zombies (the stone men of Valyria.) But which is worse? Let’s investigate.
Stone men are people afflicted with Greyscale — also known as the disease the adorable and doomed Shireen Baratheon had. If you suffer from the disease and your father isn’t royalty and therefore able to find someone to halt its progression, it consumes you to such an extent, you’ll look like The Thing from Fantastic Four. It also tweaks your personality into Hulk mode.
The Pros: They’re easier to fight than White Walkers and tend to travel in smaller groups. If you become one yourself, the process of turning is slow and, at least, you’d be able to live in the Abandoned Porn playground that is the ruins of Valyria.
The Cons: They might be easier to fight, but just one touch and you’re afflicted.
Though we’ve seen more of the White Walkers than we have the Stone men, they largely remain mysterious. Their true origins and motives are shrouded in secrecy and legend. We’re still not clear where they come from or what they want — besides Winter to come. All we know is that they have an ominous power structure, possibly lead by The Night’s King; they do creepy experiments with babies and raise the dead to be their minions.
The Pros: Because they travel in large groups, it’s harder for them to sneak up on you. You also have to die to become their minions — so unlike Stone men, you’re fine if one brushes your arm in a fight. But if you do turn into a wight, Hodor might secretly be your evil overlord. There are certainly worse people to follow.
The Cons: They’re incredibly hard to kill, with dragonglass and Valyrian steel being the only known substances that get the job done. Also, they’re generally soulless and terrifying.
So where does that leave us? Neither creature would fun to meet or turn into — but Stone Man are easier to fight off, and if you turn into one, you might be a social pariah, but at least you get nicer scenery than the cold lonely expanse of the land beyond The Wall. White Walkers triumph as the most terrifying Game of Thrones zombie creature. Let’s hope the Azor Ahai reborn prophecy is true and Jon Snow can kick some ice- zombie ass.