You can spot him from among the others through his pointed crown which too many viewers have mistaken for a pair of horns. A foe who can control his army not with orders but with telepathy, and who can raise dozens of dead people in a jiffy is no adversary to toy with. As head of a once clandestine civilization called the White Walkers, the Night King has gradually led his army of the dead close to toppling Winterfell. When this happens, they will usher in the much-talked-about “Long Night”; a winter-like period that would mark the end of every life form in Westeros.
Who is the Night King on GOT?
The Night King is a fictional character who features in the HBO high fantasy TV series Game of Thrones (GOT). The series is an epic adaptation from George R. R. Martin’s novel series A Song of Ice and Fire. Being the oldest, most dangerous and powerful of the White Walkers, the Night King is portrayed as the leader of his race and the first White Walker to ever exist. Although quite instrumental in the GOT storyline, the Night King doesn’t appear in the original novel but is the sole creation of the TV adaptation.
The closest representation of the character in the original novel goes by the title “Night’s King”; an ancient legendary 13th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, who allegedly had a female White Walker for a wife and caused the Night’s Watch to perpetrate despicable carnages. Asides that, no other character bears his exact name or semblance in the original story. His character was depicted by British-American actor Richard Brake in the fourth and fifth seasons of the series. And then by Slovak actor Vladimir Furdik in the sixth and eighth seasons.
The Night King first came on the scene in the fourth season of the show; through a vision Bran Stark had with a Weirwood Heart tree. There, Stark is inundated with a deluge of images all representing past, present, and future events. With some dating back to periods and scenes he was not even present to witness. Initially confused as to what those images meant, Stark later recalls one particular image which shows the Night King picking up Craster’s last son from off an ice altar.
The images come from a time when Rast left Craster’s last son in the Haunted Forest. When a White Walker retrieves the child, he travels with him to the Lands of Always Winter and safely rests the infant on an altar made of ice. There, the Night King walks up to the child, places a finger on him and transmutes him into a White Walker. This was part of a truce between the White Walkers and Craster the wildling, who offered his baby boys so as to be left in peace.
The seventh season saw the reappearance of the Night King. This time, he is seen leading his army south. He then watches as the wights (dead soldiers reanimated by the White Walkers) and White Walkers clash with Jon Snow at the Wight Hunt. In the heat of battle, Beric Dondarrion suggests that they go for the Night King himself, as killing a White Walker invariably kills all wights it has ever created.
That is to say, killing the Night King would mean destroying every monster he’s given life to. That would’ve been the best strategy, except that the Night King isn’t a cheap target. Besides, fighting their way through the entire swarm of wights to get to the Night King sounded more like a suicide mission. But just how powerful is the Night King? What can he do?
Other Things We Know About Him
1. What Are His Abilities?
For all we know, the Night King is the first of the White Walkers. He dates back to the time the earliest Night Walkers first clashed with red-blooded men. This automatically puts him atop the ranks. Together with his army of White Walkers, the Night King can reanimate any dead human (wights) or animal; and ingraft the same into their fighting force. How else did he gain such numbers fighting on his side?
Aside from the ability to communicate telepathically with his icy horde, the Night King’s greatest strength comes from his ability to raise and recruit the dead. He can also hurl icy objects across long distances.
2. How to Kill the Night King
As it remains true that a White Walker can be killed with either dragon glass or Valyrian steel; the same happens to be the case for the Night King himself.