For seven seasons, Game of Thrones has built up to the fight for the throne. Major characters are finally coming together to choose their side of the battle. Although the throne has been a priority for many, a shivering threat makes its way down from the North – The Night King and his Army of the Dead.
For many seasons, the Night King has been a part of the show and finally came face to face with Jon Snow (Kit Harington) in season five. The terrifying scene was enough for Jon and his men to recruit allies and prepare for an upcoming war. Brandon Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) has seen visions of him.
The Night’s King was a character often told in legendary tales from George R.R. Martin’s novels. Although he has been mentioned numerous times over the course of five books, he has yet to make a physical appearance in front of the other characters.
Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss discuss the origins of the undead character in the TV series.
“It was almost logical as you went back in time, as you create the prehistory for all this,” Weiss said. “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.”
From the beginning, fans wondered what the Night King’s intentions were.
“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,” Benioff told Entertainment Weekly.
The Night King returns April 14 on HBO’s Game of Thrones with its eighth and final season.