A major different between ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ the novels and ‘Game of Thrones’ the series is the inclusion of a major villain in the series known as the Night King, who is not to be confused with the Night’s King, an ancient and mythological figure from Westeros’ past who is mentioned in the books. The show drew a clear distinction between the two characters in Season 6 when they revealed the origins of the Night King, and revealed he and the White Walkers were created by the Children of the Forest by tying a man to a tree and stabbing him through the heart with dragon glass as a means to create a foe to take down their enemy, the First Men, a plan which massively backfired.
Recently, Entertainment Weekly sat down with showrunners with D.B. Weiss and David Benioff to discuss the series as the premiere of the final season looms closer. Of course, the topic of the Night King inevitably came up, especially since the character is ostensibly riding an ice-dragon with his army of the dead toward Winterfell as the season opens. When asked by EW why they created the Night King for the show, Weiss answered with:
“It was almost logical as you went back in time, as you create the prehistory for all this. We’ve seen what the White Walkers do, we’ve seen how they perpetuate themselves and created the wights. If you’re going backwards, well, they made these things … so what made them? We always liked the implication that they weren’t some kind of cosmic evil that had been around since the beginning to time but that the White Walkers had a history — that something that seems legendary and mythological and permanent wasn’t. They had a historical cause that was comprehensible like the way the wars on screen we’re seeing unfold are comprehensible. They’re the result of people, or beings, with motivations we can understand.”
With Benioff adding:
“And once you go back into that flashback scene, that required a person there — and that was Vlad, who for a long time was our best stuntman.”
And when EW asked what the Night King truly desires on the series, Benioff answered with:
“I don’t think of him as evil, I think of him as Death. And that’s what he wants — for all of us. It’s why he was created and that’s what he’s after.”
Lastly, EW asked another common question of the character, namely why we never hear him speak, to which Benioff replied:
“What’s he going to say? Anything the Night King says diminishes him.”
What do you think of the inclusion of the Night King in the series? Do the fact that he is not in the books diminish him in any way? Do you have any theories on how our heroes might be able to take him down in the upcoming season? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!