We are more than a week removed from the Game of Thrones series finale and fans are still asking big questions about the hit show’s divisive ending. Is Jon now the king of the Wildlings? Why exactly is Arya heading west? In what world does Bran have the most interesting story in Westeros? But amongst loose ends, there is perhaps no end looser than the Night King and why the hell he was so determined to destroy everyone in the Seven Kingdoms. And now, we may finally have an answer to the big baddie’s ultimate motivation, though, sadly, you may find yourself disappointed.
The answer seems to come from The Last Watch, a behind-the-scenes documentary for Game of Thrones’ final season, where Vladimir Furdik, the actor who played the Night King, offered up his best version of an explanation of why his character was so determined to destroy all living things.
“I think he’s angry, he did not want to be the Night King,” says Furdik. “The Children of the Forest, they’ve changed him and now he’s [like], ‘Okay, you want me to be Night King? I’m going to kill you.’”
Confused? Furdik is referring to a scene from season 6, episode 5, “The Door,” where Bran gets to see how the Night King was created. It turns out, he was an unknown man who was turned into the Night King by the Children of the Forest. According to Furdik’s interpretation of his character, the Night King was so embittered about this eternal punishment that he decided to make everyone else suffer with him.
Admittedly, it’s not that much better of an explanation than what we got in the show, where Bran vaguely tells everyone that the Night King is coming for him because he wants to wipe out the history of Westeros. But at least it makes the Night King a little bit more nuanced as a character, rather than just evil figure that wants to kill everyone because that’s what evil figures do.
Fans hoping to find the answer they’re looking for in George R.R. Martin’s books will likely be disappointed, as the Night King as we know him in the show doesn’t actually exist. There is a Night’s King but he does not seem to be the ice zombies’ appointed leader. But there may still be reason to hope, as the answer could come in Bloodmoon, a rumored Game of Thrones prequel series that, according to Inverse, would “explore the initial conflict between the first humans in Westeros and the Children of the Forest.”