‘Game of Thrones’: Who Is the Night King? Does It Even Matter?

     August 27, 2017


The White Walkers have always been the Big Bad of Game of Thrones. They were teased in the very first scene of the series, and their presence has been beefed up over the years as a constant reminder of an oncoming threat that could destroy all of Westeros. While the White Walkers don’t seem to have any politics or beliefs beyond killing anything that gets in their way, they do have an organizational structure where wights (reanimated corpses) follow White Walkers and the White Walkers follow the Night King (played by Richard Brake in Seasons 4 and 5 and Vladimir Furdik in Seasons 6 and 7).

As far as we can tell, the Night King, while never speaking, does have some serious attitude. When Jon Snow was leaving Hardhome after the wights overran the town, the Night King stepped straight down the pier, looked right at Jon Snow, and then raised the dead as if to threaten his enemy. Although the Night King doesn’t have emotions, it was clearly a threat and a dramatically made point. He wants to inspire fear even if he doesn’t have any emotions.

But that’s still not enough for some fans, and now they are wondering if there’s more to The Night King than meets the eye. Currently, we’ve been working under the assumption that the Night King and his fellow White Walkers were created by the Children of the Forest. This is what Bran discovers in Season 6, Episode 5 “The Door.” Here’s the scene:

The Children of the Forest explain they were at war and created the White Walkers as a defense against mankind.

But we also found out in Season 4, Episode 4, “Oathkeeper”, that White Walkers can create other White Walkers by using their magic on human infants:

So if you work under the assumption that White Walkers can turn anyone into a White Walker (and remembering that wights are just the reanimated dead), fans have started speculating that the Night King could be someone we already know.

One theory that’s been circulating is that Rhaegar Targaryen is the Night King. We’ve never seen Rhaegar in the show, but we assumed he was killed by Robert Baratheon at the Battle of the Trident. However, as Game of Thrones has pointed out, stories we hear are not necessarily what truly happened. It’s possible that Rhaegar is actually the Night King somehow, and that by virtue of him being in the bloodline of the Targaryens (fire) and then becoming a White Walker (ice), he fulfills the title of the book series, A Song of Fire and Ice.