The top of the Wall is dug out in a trench-like manner to give protection from the weather. A special pulley system allows archers to hang over the edge of the Wall to fire straight down on enemies attempting to climb it. Following its release, the scythe can be retracted to prime it for another swing.
The physical nature of the Wall is its greatest defense, regardless of how many men garrison it. The Wall is too thick to simply smash through and its height makes it nearly impossible to storm. Normal archers cannot fire all the way to the top. Considering that the wildlings possess little in the way of advanced weaponry like ballistae, only giants armed with huge bows have any feasible chance at hitting defenders on the top.
The Wall can also shed large sheets of ice if disturbed, making scaling it an unpredictable and incredibly dangerous endeavor. On the ground, there are tunnels for rangers returning from beyond-the-wall expeditions.
Game of Thrones: Beyond the Wall is a strategy RPG for Android and iOS
The tunnel is guarded by an outer 4 inch thick, cold-rolled steel gate, and a thin slotted inner gate. Measurements in the Seven Kingdoms in both the books and TV series are given in imperial measurements. The Wall is about leagues or miles kilometers long, about feet tall meters and averages feet in width 91 meters. In " Mhysa ", Samwell Tarly says that the Wall is miles long. This appears to be an error, as the books clearly state that it is miles long and the evidence in the TV show such as the distances given for Winterfell to Torrhen's Square and the faster speed of travel between Winterfell and King's Landing suggests that Westeros may actually be smaller than in the books, while the Wall being miles long would actually make it substantially larger.
The game is canon to the show so it is possible that Sam was wrong. In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Wall is about feet tall and is defended by three manned castles, the Shadow Tower at the far western end, Eastwatch-by-the-Sea in the far east and Castle Black in the middle, where the Kingsroad meets the Wall.
The top is wide enough for a dozen mounted knights to ride abreast and it is thicker at the base. Castle Black is the Watch's headquarters and primary redoubt.
Sixteen additional castles stretch along the base of the Wall, but these are no longer permanently manned due to the Watch's lack of manpower. The Wall was allegedly built by Brandon the Builder after the War for the Dawn to defend against the return of the Others. Numbered on the map at right, these are names of the other castles. Of these, only the Shadow Tower is still garrisoned at the start of the books as well as Castle Black and Eastwatch, whose names are written out on this map.
All nineteen castles were not built at the same time, many of them centuries apart. Castle Black actually isn't the original headquarters of the Night's Watch. It isn't clear exactly how old Castle Black is, but it wasn't purpose-built as a replacement for the Nightfort the castle of Deep Lake was its replacement. Castle Black may have been built after the Andal Invasion, when there were fewer recruits who worshiped the Old Gods: note that Castle Black doesn't have its own godswood with a heart tree, thus Jon Snow has to swear his oath before a heart tree in the Haunted Forest on the other side of the Wall.
Some of the other, older castles along the Wall such as the Nightfort do have godswoods. One of the goals that Jon intends to achieve as the new Lord Commander of the Watch is to restore and garrison as many of the abandoned castles as possible, by both members of the Watch and wildlings.
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So far, most of those castles have been garrisoned, though badly undermanned. The Wall runs in a straight line from Eastwatch-by-the-Sea to Castle Black, but the western half between Castle Black and the Shadow Tower curves gently here and there like a snake, because it extends through the rough country of the foothills of the Frostfang Mountains.
Technically, the Wall doesn't actually extend "from coast to coast": Eastwatch actually does terminate at the ocean's coast which is why it serves as a port for the Watch , but the western end terminates at a massive gorge that is still somewhat inland. The Milkwater River carved a massive gorge through the Frostfangs which is practically as steep as the Wall itself, and which extends all the way to the ocean.
The gorge is held to be as impassable as the Wall - though small raiding bands with climbing equipment have perilously managed to climb both at times.
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The gorge is still seen as part of the overall defensive line provided by the Wall. At any rate the inlet formed by the Milkwater as it runs into the gorge is loosely thought of as an extension of the west "coast" of Westeros, and characters still speak of the Wall as running from one side of Westeros to the other.
Nonetheless, even when all of the castles of the Wall were fully manned, the western end never provided safe harbor for ocean-going ships the way that Eastwatch does. George R. Martin has stated that the Wall was inspired by Hadrian's Wall , a massive fortification built across northern England by the Roman emperor Hadrian. Both walls also had forts at regular intervals that housed groups of soldiers, and in some cases these soldiers were sent from considerable distances to man the wall, similar to how the Night's Watch draws its recruits from throughout the Seven Kingdoms.
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