Five Things You Need to Know About...The Night King from Game of Thrones
Winter is Here.
Unless you live in the outer realms of Westeros, it was almsot impossible not to have seen or heard about one the best episodes of Game of Thrones that culminated in the epic battle/massacre at Hardhome.
The much-feared but rarely-seen White Walkers finally made their icy presence felt in the most dramatic way possible with one of the best fight sequences in the show's history.
The entire massacre was orchestrated by the leader of the dead known as 'Night's King' and here are some things that you need to know about him
1) Who plays him?
The man behind those cold blue eyes is actor Richard Brake who has appeared in a host of films and TV shows including Kingsman:The Secret Service, Thor:The Dark World, The Counsellor and more.
His most famous role though was in Batman Begins when he played Joe Chill (we don't even need to point out the irony), the convict who killed Bruce Wayne's parents.
2) Wasn't he in Game of Thrones before?
Yes, fans of the show will remember the episode entitled 'Oathkeeper' when Jon Snow was given permission to take 60 fellow crows on a voyage north of The Wall in order to stop some of their former mutinous members from talking to Mance Rayder's army.
The cliffhanger of that episode involved one of Craster's sons being left out in the cold as a sacrifice to the White Walkers, enter Night's King.
One touch and the child instantly turned into a wight.
3) I only watch the TV shows, does he have a back story in the books?
This is where things get very interesting because this exact TV version of the character wasn't specifically mentioned by George R.R. Martin in 'A Song of Fire and Ice'.
In 'A Storm of Swords' - the third book in the series - Bran Stark mentions a character called Night's King who was once the 13th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Yep, that's right Night's King was once a 'leader of crows' just like Jon is.
The basic gist of Bran's story is that Night's King was a respected leader and soldier until he fell in love with a woman "with skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars". The couple got married, got their freak on and he turned into a White Walker himself.
This rogue Night's Watch soldier then took control of the Nightfort (a castle along The Wall) and declared himself a king.
He ruled with a cruel, brutal iron fist, sacrifices were common as terror spread throughout the North for 13 years.
It took the combined force of the King of Winterfell and the King-Behind-The-Wall to defeat this harbinger of doom.
The synopsis for the 'Oathkeeper' and 'Hardhome' TV shows do in fact confirm that this character is Night's King so we assume that his backstory is this exact one as mentioned by Bran. It's rumoured in the books (only rumour) that Night's King is also a Stark. Is that the reason why his look lingered on Jon for so long? We don't know.
4) Where has he been?
As mentioned previously, Brandon Stark aka 'Brandon the breaker' teamed up with the King-Beyond-The-Wall Joramun to push him back. Joramun is said to have blown “The Horn of Winter,” which caused the giants to awaken, thus sealing their victory.
During the Long Night (the last battle between the realms of men and the White Walkers), it is said that the Children (those people who helped Bran in last seasons finale) showed the First Men how to use dragonglass to kill the Others, but if Brandon and Joramun had no dragonglass during the battle, it is quite possible Night’s King survived.
5) Can he be killed?
We're not sure what direction the show runners are going to take with this arc but we presume Night's King must abide by the rules of his fellow White Walkers in that he's suspect to dragonglass, Valyrian steel and, of course, dragon's fire.
That stare at the end is clearly loaded with meaning. Just like Melisandre, we can't help but think that even Night's King sees something special in Jon Snow. His parents must be proud.