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The Night King (or alternatively Night's King) is the leader of the White Walkers. The character was possibly partly based on the legendary figure of the same name, who was only mentioned in the novels but as of yet he has only appeared in the TV series, 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 that was captured by the 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.
The Night King first appears in a vision that Bran Stark has, when communes with a Weirwood Heart tree. He experiences a flood of images but he does not comprehend what they are. In retrospect, one of them is an image of the Night's 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 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.
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's King appears on the dock and locks eyes with Jon. With a mere raise of his arms, the Night's King raises the entirety of Hardhome's slain free folk as wights, and keeps his gaze upon Jon as the boat slips away.
The Night King appears in one of Bran Stark's visions, where he witnesses him as a human being transformed into a White Walker by the Children of the Forest.
Later, Bran decides to experience a vision on his own, and 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 of 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 warging Three-Eyed Raven before he kills him. The Night King then sends the rest of his wights to go after Bran.
Behind the Scenes
- Night's King article on the Game of Thrones TV series wiki.