Night King

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Note This article is about content invented for the television adaptation Game of Thrones developed by HBO. Although this is a licensed derivative work based upon A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, it is not written by him.
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Night King
Night king.jpg
The Night King as portrayed in the TV Series

Allegiance White Walkers
Race First Men
Born In ~10,000 BC, at Westeros
Died In 305 AC, at Winterfell

Played by Richard Brake
Vladimir Furdik
TV series Season 4 | Season 5 | Season 6 | Season 7 | Season 8

The Night King is the leader of the White Walkers in the television series Game of Thrones,[1] where he is played by Richard Brake and later by Vladimir Furdik.

Game of Thrones


Before he became a White Walker, the Night King was a First Man who was captured by Children of the Forest, Leaf among them. Leaf pressed a dragonglass dagger into his chest, causing his eyes to turn blue and turning him into the first of the White Walkers. The Children of the Forest created the White Walkers to defend themselves when Westeros was invaded by the First Men, who were cutting their sacred trees and slaughtering them.

Season Four

The Night King first appears in a vision of Bran Stark when he communes with a weirwood heart tree. Bran experiences a flood of images but he does not comprehend what they are. In retrospect, one of them is an image of the Night King picking up the last of Craster's sons on an ice altar.

The last infant son of Craster is taken by a White Walker from the haunted forest to the Lands of Always Winter, where they are awaited by the Night King and a group of thirteen black-garbed White Walkers. The baby is placed in an icy altar ringed by large icy spikes, which the Night King starts approaching. When the Night King takes the boy into his arms the baby immediately calms and then he touches the child's face with his index finger, turning his eyes icy blue and his skin to grow pale.[2]

Season Five

The Night King commands White Walkers and wights during their attack on Hardhome. He watches from one of the cliffs above the town as Jon Snow slays one of his lieutenants with Longclaw. As Jon, Tormund and the remaining defenders leave on the boat, the Night King appears on the dock and locks eyes with Jon. With a mere raise of his arms, the Night King raises the entirety of Hardhome's slain free folk as wights, and he keeps his gaze upon Jon as the boat slips away.[3]

Season Six

The Night King appears in another of Bran's visions, where the boy sees him as a human being transformed into a White Walker by the Children of the Forest.

Later, when Bran decides to experience a vision on his own, he finds himself looking at an army of wights and the Night King and the other White Walkers at the back. Bran walks closer and is shocked to see that the Night King notices his presence. Bran wakes up screaming after the Night King suddenly appeared right next to him. The Three-Eyed Raven says that the Night King touched him, which Bran confirms when a blue hand-mark is imprinted on his forearm. The Three-Eyed Raven says because of that mark, the Night King now knows exactly where they are, and the cave cannot protect them any more.

The Night King and his army quickly travel to the cave, preceded by their aura of cold, which notifies the Children of the Forest and Meera Reed. The Children of the Forest prepare their scarce defenses outside the cave, but are quickly overrun, and they are forced to retreat back to the tunnels. The Night King sends his army of wights to attack the tunnels, and they kill most of the Children and Summer, though Bran, Meera and Hodor manage to leave the cavern. The Night King enters the cavern, and glares at the Three-Eyed Raven before he kills him. The Night King then sends the rest of his wights to go after Bran.

Season Seven

The Night King on the Undead Viserion

Bran using his gift to see through the eyes of ravens spots the Night King's army marching towards the Wall. The Night King looks up at the ravens, and Bran immediately loses his connection.

Meanwhile Jon Snow and his band go North of the Wall to capture a Wight as proof to the rest of the Seven Kingdoms of the threat approaching. They are later trapped and encircled by the Night King's army, Jon theorises that if they slay the Night King, it will collapse the rest of his undead horde.

Daenerys and her three dragons arrive to rescue Jon and the survivors. The Dragons lay waste to the Night King's army. One of the Night King's lieutenants hands his master a spear made of ice. The Night King targets the Dragon Viserion who is in flight and laying waste to his forces with his flaming breath.

The Night King throws the spear like a javelin. The enchanted weapon sails through the air and impales the White Dragon causing him to crash into the ice of the lake, where he dies before sinking. The Night King is handed a second spear and attempts to take down Drogon as he takes off and flees, but the Dragon dodges the projectile.

The Night King's forces later use chains taken from Hardhome to pull Viserion's corpse from the lake. The Night King then places his hand on the dead dragon's head and his eyes open, now bright blue.

Taking the undead Viserion as his personal mount, the Night King assaults the Wall at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. Viserion now breathing magical blue flames melts the section of the wall causing it to collapse. The army of wights led by White Walkers marches through the ruins of the fallen Wall while the Night King flies overhead.

Season Eight

The Night King quickly leads the White Walkers south of the fallen Wall, advancing to Last Hearth, massacring the population and raising them as wights. The child lord Ned Umber is slain. His body is discovered by Beric Dondarrion, who deduces that the severed arms arranged in the spiral around the child's corpse is a message from the Night King.[4]

The Night King rides Viserion when the White Walkers advance on Winterfell. Bran skinchanges into ravens in order to track down the Night King, who orders the wights to move forth on the trenches of Winterfell that have been lit ablaze by Melisandre's magic. He then engages in an aerial duel with Daenerys Targaryen atop Drogon, and Jon Snow atop Rhaegal, pursuing Daenerys with Viserion's flame. The Night King manages to blast a hole in Winterfell's walls, but is stopped by Jon, who has Rhaegal fight the undead Viserion. Daenerys then flies Drogon into Viserion, and the Night King falls from his mount, landing hundreds of feet below. When Daenerys spots him, she commands Drogon to blast the Night King with dragonflame, but when the fires clear, the Night King emerges unscathed. He hurls an ice spear at Drogon, but Daenerys evades the attack.

Rhaegal is injured from his fight with the undead Viserion, and falls to the ground. Jon dismounts from him, and engages the Night King on foot, but becoming aware of Jon, the Night King raises the battle's dead as wights, directing them to Jon. The Night King also manages to raise the dead buried in the crypt of Winterfell.

The Night King manages to enter the godswood of Winterfell, attempting to slay the three-eyed raven, Bran Stark. The other White Walkers accompany him, as the wights kill the ironborn men surrounding Bran. Theon Greyjoy charges at the Night King, but is breaks Theon's charge, and impales Theon with his own broken spear. Just as the Night King is ready to kill Bran, he is charged at by Arya Stark, who jumps at him from behind wielding her Valyrian steel dagger. The Night King turns around, seizing Arya's throat and grabbing at her knife arm. Arya drops her dagger to catch it with her other hand, stabbing at the Night King's chest. The Night King dies, and all the White Walkers shatter upon his death, bringing an end to the new Long Night.[5]

Behind the Scenes

When asked if there is a connection between the Night King of the White Walkers and the Night's King of legend, George R. R. Martin replied,

As for the Night's King (the form I prefer), 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.[6]

See also