Game Of Thrones: 10 Unanswered Questions We Still Have About The Night King
Game of Thrones had plenty of memorable villains over its eight-season run, but probably the most intriguing was the Night King. The leader of the army of the dead, the Night King posed the biggest threat to our heroes and Westeros in general with his massive army and ancient powers that made him almost unstoppable.
The defeat of the Night King in the third episode of the final season stuck out to many fans as a waste of the character. With years of build-up, he turned out to be not much more than a minor inconvenience. Worse still, there was so much left unknown about the character. Here are some of the biggest unanswered questions we still have about him.
10 Who Was He Before?
Part of what made the Night King so interesting was the mystery surrounding him. He never spoke, we didn't know where he came from, or how he got his powers. Eventually, we got a bit of a backstory about him as we saw the Children of the Forest create him by sticking a piece of dragonglass into a man's heart to be used as a weapon against mankind.
We assumed there would be more information to come, but that throwaway origin story was all we got. We never even learned his real name. In the books, there are hints that he was a former member of the Night's Watch but there's no real evidence of that here.
9 Why Did The Children Of The Forest Choose Him?
It seemed like the show thought that the brief scene of the Night King's creation would be enough for fans. Instead, it only created more questions. We see in the flashback that the man is tied down and submitted to this transformation unwillingly. But why was he chosen?
It's clear that he soon turned on the Children of the Forest. Was he an enemy of theirs? A prominent figure among the First Men? Or was he just some random guy they captured? It really makes the character less interesting if he's just treated as an instrument of destruction.
8 Where Did He Go After The Long Night?
The events we see in Game of Thrones was not the first time the Night King attempted to take over the realms of man. He led his army into Westeros thousands of years before the events of the show only for his invasion to fail and for him to disappear.
We can assume that the Night King was laying low following his first defeat and waiting for the right opportunity to attack again. But what was he doing for all that time? It didn't seem like he had any major plan that took thousands of years to put together? Was he hibernating or was he brought out once magic re-entered the world?
7 Why Didn't Dragon Fire Kill Him?
While the Night King and his army looked like a very serious threat, we also knew that once Daenerys and her dragons joined the fight, they would be in trouble. We'd already seen the dragons make short work of entire armies, so the White Walkers would be just as easily dealt with.
However, while must of us assumed dragon fire would kill the Night King, the Battle of Winterfell proved that theory wrong. We knew dragonglass and Valyrian steel could kill them, which is made with dragon fire, so why would dragon fire itself be so ineffective?
6 What Is The Significance Of The Spirals?
Before we had even seen the Night King, he left a cryptic mark to communicate how brutal and sadistic he was. At various times throughout the series, people would come across the remains of folks who had fought the White Walkers and died. The corpses were always cut into pieces and arranged in a spiral symbol.
We got another look at such a symbol as rocks were arranged in a similar way during the ceremony in which the Children of the Forest created the Night King. It appears to be a symbol of significance to the Children of the Forest as well as the Night King, but there is never any mention made about it in the show.
5 Why Didn't He Kill Jon Snow?
It seemed as if the show was setting the Night King and Jon Snow up for a big confrontation in the end. Of course, Jon then spent the entire Battle of Winterfell being totally useless before Arya Stark had to step in and finish the Night King herself.
As satisfying as it was to see Arya get the kill, it did feel like something was set up between Jon Snow and the Night King that never paid off. They met on the battlefield several times and the Night King had plenty of chances to kill Jon but never did. Was he saving him for some other purpose?
4 Why Was Bran His Target?
While the Night King seemed to want to kill everyone in Westeros, he had a special target for the Battle of Winterfell. Just like he killed the previous Three-Eyed Raven, the Night King wanted to kill Bran Stark himself before continuing his invasion.
The show gives the explanation that the Night King wants to erase the world and all memory of it. Sam theorizes that Bran carries all the memories with him so he is the obvious target. Though they act like that makes perfect sense, it's a pretty lazy explanation. If the Night King is just going to kill everyone who could remember anyway, why does killing Bran specifically matter?
3 How Was He Defeated The First Time?
We know that the Night King invaded Westeros before and that his invasion wasn't successful. In the books, the Night King and his army were driven back during the Battle of the Dawn and then the Wall was constructed to ensure they couldn't invade again.
But what would make a being as powerful as the Night King retreat in the first place? It is said that the forces of mankind discovered dragonglass can kill them, but that didn't stop him from invading again. The original prequel series was said to have focused on this era and could have shed some light, but now it's just more open questions.
2 What Did He Want?
George R.R. Martin's books have always done a could job of avoiding cliché with his characters. There are plenty of evil characters in his stories, but none are just evil for the sake of being evil. Thus, many assumed the Night King would be another complex character who is not just a mindless figure of evil.
Unfortunately, the show didn't seem too interested in exploring his motivations. The most in-depth explanation we get is that he wants an "endless might." But why does he hate the world of the living so much? What would he do once he wiped everyone out?
1 Can He Come Back?
It's possible that the first time the Night King was defeated, he was actually killed like he was in the show. That would seem like the only way to get rid of him. However, he still came back so could he theoretically return again?
At the end of the series, the Night's Watch still exists. Are they expecting more trouble from beyond the Wall? That might help to explain how he was defeated so easily, but would we ever see him again in any spin-off series?