Night's King

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Night's Watch.svgNight's KingNight's Watch.svg
NightsKing by Oriana Wiesner.jpg
The Night's King, by Oriana Wiesner ©
Reign 13 years
Full name Brandon Stark (possibly, according to Old Nan)[1]
Personal Information
Born the Age of Heroes
Race First Men
Culture Northmen
Dynasty Bolton, Magnar, Umber, Flint, Norrey, Woodfoot, or Stark (according to various people)[1]
Queen Corpse queen

Night's King,[1] also called the Night's King,[2] is a legendary Lord Commander of the Night's Watch who lived during the Age of Heroes.[1] His given name is unknown.

A different character with a similar name, the Night King, is portrayed in the television adaptation Game of Thrones. He is played by Richard Brake in the fourth and the fifth season of the show, and by the Vladimir Furdik from sixth to the eighth season.


Night's King is said to have been a fearless warrior. He used sorcery.[1]


The Legend

Night's King chases the white woman, by Sardag ©

According to legend, Night's King lived during the Age of Heroes, not long after the Wall was complete. While serving as the thirteenth Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, he fell in love with a woman he saw from the top of the Wall. This woman had skin white as the moon and eyes like blue stars, and her skin was cold as ice, but Night's King was fearless and chased and caught and loved her, and when he gave his seed to her he gave his soul as well. Night's King brought this woman back to the Nightfort, and declared her a queen and himself her king. With strange sorcery, he bound the Night's Watch brothers to his will, and ruled the Nightfort as his own castle for thirteen years with his corpse queen by his side.[1]

Night's King and his corpse queen, by Roman Papusev ©

During the dark years of his reign, horrific atrocities were committed, of which tales are still told in the north. It was not until Brandon the Breaker, the King in the North, and Joramun, the King-Beyond-the-Wall, joined forces, that Night's King was brought down and the Night's Watch freed.[2] After his fall, when it was discovered that Night's King had been making sacrifices to the Others, all records of him were destroyed, and his very name was forbidden and forgotten.[1]

Recorded History

The legend of the Night's King is frequently told, and in it the Night's King may be a Bolton, a Woodfoot, an Umber, a Flint, a Norrey, or even a Stark, depending on where the tale is told and who tells it. The legend is recorded in Archmaester Harmune's book, Watchers on the Wall, which includes many stories of the Nightfort. In the Citadel, archmaesters generally dismiss the tale as only fiction, though some consider the possibility that an early Lord Commander did indeed try to create a kingdom for himself. Some suggest that the corpse queen was actually a barrowlander, a daughter of the Barrow King.[2]

If the event truly happened, it is possible that it is what led the Night's Watch to never construct walls at their keeps, ensuring the keeps would always be accessible from the south.[3][4]

Recent History

A Storm of Swords

At the Nightfort, Bran Stark recalls a story about the Night's King that Old Nan, a servant in Winterfell, would tell the Stark children. Nan would always end the story saying that some people believe Night's King was a Bolton, a Magnar of Skagos, an Umber, a Flint, a Norrey, or a Woodfoot. But she would say that none of those were true— that Night's King was a Stark of Winterfell, and brother to King Brandon the Breaker, who brought him down. Nan would pinch Bran on the nose, and say that perhaps his name was Brandon, and he might have slept in Bran's own bedroom.[1]

A Feast for Crows

While talking with Jon Snow, Samwell Tarly uses Night's King as an example of legendary figures questioned by archmaesters of the Citadel.[5][6]


Night's King and his corpse queen, by Curtana ©

He had been the thirteenth man to lead the Night's Watch, she said; a warrior who knew no fear. 'And that was the fault in him,' she would add, 'for all men must know fear.'[1]

Bran Stark recalls Old Nan's stories

Night's King was only a man by light of day, Old Nan would always say, but the night was his to rule.[1]

—thoughts of Bran Stark

... in the books he is a legendary figure, akin to Lann the Clever and Brandon the Builder, and no more likely to have survived to the present day than they have.[7]



Unknown 13th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch
c. 8,000 BC/6,000 BC
Next known title holder: