Game of Thrones' Night King is after a specific "target" – who is it?

Photo credit: HBO
Photo credit: HBO

From Digital Spy

There was some major Game Of Thrones news last week, when Night King actor Vladimír Furdík gave a rare interview in which he revealed that the Night King has a single target.

“People will see he has a target he wants to kill, and you will find out who that is. There’s also that moment [in “Hardhome”] when Jon Snow was on the boat and the Night King looked at him and raised his arms – there’s a similar and even stronger moment between Jon and the Night King this time.”

Perhaps that’s the reason he doesn’t get interviewed much, as that’s a fairly massive spoiler – far more information than we’ve been given in an interview for a while.

But who is the Night King’s target? We’ve looked at the information in the quote, lined it up with what we’ve seen on the show, and we think we have a fairly good idea.

So, be warned, speculative spoilers follow, because, you never know, we might be right. (It's happened before.)

Arya Stark?

Photo credit: HBO
Photo credit: HBO

Whoever the Night King’s target is, they have a strong connection to Jon, going by Furdík’s quote, and no-one has a stronger connection to Snow than Arya Stark. Arya’s Jon’s favourite, and Jon is Arya’s (it’s there on the show, but even more so in the books, where they can’t stop thinking about each other – though that may be a hangover from the first draft, where they were lovers. Yes, we know. Makes auntcest with Daenerys seem less creepy somehow, doesn't it?)

The first proper season-eight trailer opens with Arya looking absolutely terrified, holding a dragonglass dagger and running from danger. That means she’s definitely facing the Night King’s army, but could it be the Night King himself?

She does talk with some bravado about facing what sounds like the Night King. ‘I know death, he’s got many faces, I look forward to seeing this one.’

The only problem with this theory is we can’t see a single reason why the Night King would target Arya, who was just a child when he started making his moves, and is someone who he has had no real interaction with.

Our money’s on Arya being scared by, and running away from, an army of wights who have invaded Winterfell, not even the White Walkers, let alone the Night King himself.

So, scratch off Arya, let’s move on to our next contender.

Samwell Tarly?

Photo credit: 2016 Home Box Office, Inc
Photo credit: 2016 Home Box Office, Inc

Someone who’s also very close to Jon, Samwell Tarly has been very involved with the fight against the Night King, making the significant discovery in season three that dragonglass is the weapon that kills White Walkers.

He hands over a dragonglass dagger to Bran Stark and gives Meera Reed a set of dragonglass arrowheads for their journey beyond the wall. Handing two of the Night King’s major foes a powerful tool.

With Vladimír Furdík mentioning revenge as a motivating factor for the Night King’s actions in the EW interview, could the nocturnal monarch be annoyed at Sam for giving his enemies such a key piece of information?

Nah, we love Sam, but it would be the biggest anti-climax in Westeros if this was the drive behind eight seasons of genius. We’d expect there to be a bit more to it than this.

Daenerys Targaryen?

Photo credit: HBO
Photo credit: HBO

This one’s a bit more complicated and requires some book knowledge but basically, there’s a theory that the Night King’s target is actually a new wife.

In George RR Martin’s books, the Night's King (note the slightly different name) was a Night's Watch commander who fell in love with a woman "with skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars"; he loved her though "her skin was cold as ice.”

Now, it’s interesting that EW’s interview photoshoot revealed that the Night King’s eyes have been redesigned again, to more closely resemble blue stars – but we digress.

Sadly, the Night’s Queen (as she’s known in the books) is killed – stabbed in the stomach by Brandon Stark (not to be confused with Bran Stark, oh George, you and your characters with such similar names). In the books, the Night’s King dies too but on the show, he’s survived, which has slightly annoyed Martin.

"As for the Night's King (the form I prefer), in the books he is a legendary figure, akin to Lann the Clever and Brandon the Builder, and no more likely to have survived to the present day than they have."

If we're taking the Night King and the Night's King to be the same character, could he be travelling to Westeros to take revenge for his murdered wife, by murdering – or kidnapping – the new wife of the new head of the Starks? If Dany and Jon get married in season eight then this theory could be on the table.

But, of all the possible targets, one really does stand out.

Bran Stark!

Photo credit: HBO
Photo credit: HBO

Easily the most obvious contender. In season six, episode five, the Night King grabs Bran. The Three-Eyed Raven says, "He touched you, and now he'll come for you." Bran replies, "He can't get in,” and the Three-Eyed Raven says, “He can now, his mark is on you.”

When Bran allowed the Night King to touch him, there’s a good chance that’s what broke the magic that held the Night King and his army behind the wall.

Now the Night King has used a dragon (which is also magic) to bring down the wall, he can follow Bran wherever he goes, with Bran’s mark potentially operating as a homing beacon. That would explain why the trailer seems to suggest the Night King’s first port of call is Winterfell.

Bran hasn’t told anyone at Winterfell that the Night King's mark is on him, which feels like maybe something you’d mention if it was supposed to be significant but maybe Bran’s in denial about what happened or he’s too busy being Doctor Strange and examining every possible event from past, present and future to care.

But why is the Night King coming for Bran? To answer that, we need to go back to Vladimír Furdík’s interview and get his full quote about revenge.

“Somebody made him the Night King. Nobody knows who he was before – a soldier or part of [nobility]. He never wanted to be the Night King. I think he wants revenge. Everybody in this story has two sides – a bad side and a good side. The Night King only has one side, a bad side.”

Is there a chance that the Children Of The Forest downplayed the Three-Eyed Raven’s role is creating the Night King and, as Bran is the current Three-Eyed Raven, the Night King wants to take an unjust revenge against Bran for what Bran’s former mentor did to him? That would be a pretty bad thing to do.

Going for Bran would certainly make sense in terms of Furdík’s insinuation that his target would lead to an intense moment between him and Jon. Arya might be Jon’s favourite, but Bran is a very close second, and any threat to Bran would create an angry response from the King in the North.

So, yeah, our entire fortune of Golden Dragons are on Bran being the person Furdík’s talking about.

And we don’t have long to wait to find out, we’re only weeks away from the first episode of Game Of Thrones season 8, which lands on Sky Atlantic on April 15.

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