Game Of Thrones has returned with it’s eighth season and the series promises an epic showdown between the citizens of Westeros and the Night King’s forces.
Though he’s the big bad of the show, there’s actually very little that we know about the Night King and due to this there are an abundance of theories floating around the internet about his true identity and power.
To clear things up, I thought I’d put together a break down of everything that you need to know about the character as well as some of the major theories surrounding him.
There will be some spoilers here so if you aren’t fully up to speed with the show yet, then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
With that out the way, welcome to the channel where we explain it so you don’t have to!
The Night King Origin
Before becoming the evil king of The White Walkers, The Night King was actually a First man that was captured by a pack of The Children Of The Forest. Leaf who was amongst the pack used dragon Glass to press it against his chest which turned him into the first White Walker.
This ritual was originally carried out by The Children Of The Forest because they wished to defend themselves against Westeros who were slaughtering them in order to take their resources of trees. Whilst the White Walker army initially helped to defend The Children Of The Forest, they eventually turned on their masters and this began what was known as The Long Night.
In this the Children ended up having to team up with The First Men and together they drove the Walkers up North. In the Lands Of Always Winter, they faded into folklore and obscurity until they began to reappear in the events of the show.
The Night King Returns
The reappearance of The Night King comes in Season 4, when Bran shes him in a vision. Whilst initally the character does not quite comprehend what is going on, he later realises that this was a vision of The Night King picking up Craster’s son.
Through this vision, Bran learns that The Night King can transform the living into White Walkers upon touch and this of course makes him infinity more dangerous.
The Night King Later appears in Season five during the Evacuation of Hardhome. Leading the attack he watches as his forces slay the town in what is one of the shows best action set pieces.
The Night King’s Powers
The Night King demonstrates his power which is the ability to raise the dead and recruit them to his army. He can shatter weapons upon touch, sense Wargs: which is how he was able to detect Bran, ride dragons despite apparently having no related bloodline (which I’ll get into later) and live for thousands upon thousands of years.
Along with this the Night King also possesses the ability to mark people so that he knows where they are at all times. He does this to Bran which is how he is able to track them to the cave and overrun them which causes one of the best deaths in the show, Rest In Peace Hodor, you will be missed.
The Wight Hunt
The Night King is decreed as the biggest threat to life and during The Wight Hunt, Jon Snow and a band of warriors attempt to capture a wight in order to present it to the high lords of Westeros as proof of the impeding threat.
This puts them in a lot of danger though and eventually they get surrounded by the creatures and Daenerys is forced to rescue them. Whilst they get away, The Night King manages to bring down one of her Dragons and reanimate it which allows him to attack and bring the wall down, thus storming Westeros with his forces.
In Season 8, The Night King and his forces attack Last Hearth, massacre the forces and pin Ned Umber to the wall as a calling card.
The Night King’s Goals And Bran Theory
So, what are The Night King’s goals? Well this depends purely on how much weight you put into the theory that Bran is infact the character.
If this is the case and The Night King is infact Bran, then his goals could purely be to die and/or stop himself travelling back in time before he is able to be captured by the leaf children.
This is prophecised to happen when Bran develops the Greenseeing ability that will allow him to journey back. So the Night King’s goals could purely be to stop this from happening by killing Bran before the event.
Doing this would allow him to finally rest as his immortality is given credence by the fact that The Children Of The Forest killed him when he was out of his own time so therefore he is not subject to it’s rulings.
Whilst many argue that Bran is The Three Eyed Raven and therefore not The Night King there could actually be two versions of the character that split due to a paradox and both need to stop the other so that they are either not created or not killed.
The Other Theory
The other theory of The Night King’s identity pulls from his calling card which looks eerily similar to The Targaryens house crest. The symbol has appeared throughout the show at many important moments and it could be that The Night King is none other than Aerys II Targaryen, The Mad King brought back from the Dead.
This would explain his keen ability to ride Dragons and also why he wishes to seek revenge on Westeros so much. He was initially outed and destroyed by the people of the land and therefore this makes sense as to why he is on his quest.
Whilst the timelines may not match up, he could be the Night King leading the forces and there could be another, secret leader of The Wights that is using him as a distraction so all the forces put their effort into fighting him.
Whether this happens or not is a different thing altogether but it’s probably the theory that I side with the most.
We of course will all find out in the next handful of episodes but in the mean time I’d love to hear your thoughts on where you think the show is going and what else you think could happen down the line.