The Children of the Forest Were Here FirstPhoto: HBO
The Children of the Forest were the original inhabitants of Westeros. They were here thousands of years ago, when there were vast swaths of forests. They were non-human and small in stature and only grew to about the average height of a child. They have been described by giants as “little squirrel people.” They preferred the crannogs, caves, and deep forests. Their forest dwelling earned them the name the Children of the Forest, or the Children.
They worshipped the Old Gods of the Forest, all of the spirits of every rock, river, stream, plant, and tree. The weirwood tree was a large part, if not the central part, of their rituals. The Children carved the faces in the weirwood trees and considered them sacred. Their priests are greenseers.
The First MenPhoto: HBOWhen the First Men from Essos migrated to Westeros, they chopped down the sacred weirwood trees and slaughtered the Children. The men and Children fought wars for over 2,000 years. The Children destroyed the Arm of Dorne (the land bridge the First Men used to make their way to Westeros) and their greenseers flooded the Neck, where Howland Reed and other crannogmen live today.
The Children made peace with the First Men called The Pact at the Isle of Faces at the center of God's Eye lake, agreeing that the humans would have the open lands and the Children would be given back the forests. The peace lasted 2,000 years.
They Saved Benjen for a Very Important ReasonPhoto: HBO
And then he was Coldhands! Benjen is gravely injured by the White Walkers and the Children push a dragonglass knife into his wound and brought him back, using the very same method to create White Walkers in the first place.
Benjen has worked with the Three-Eyed Raven to look over Bran from a far. He helped Bran come into his full powers, but was ulimately slain in Season 7 by the army of the dead.
The White Walkers AttackPhoto: HBO
About 2,000 years into the Pact, the peace was interrupted by the White Walker invasion, when Walkers killed both men and Children in great numbers. The First Men and the Children came together to fight the White Walkers.