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8 Interesting Fan Theories About The Night King On "Game Of Thrones"

Is he Bran Stark? A secret Targaryen? Or someone else?

The Night King is one of the most mysterious characters on Game of Thrones. He's the Big Bad, and yet we know almost nothing about him.


Here's what we do know:

• He was once a human who was turned into a White Walker by the Children of the Forest thousands of years ago, to become a weapon against humans.

• He has the ability to turn others into White Walkers and wights.

• At some point, the Children of the Forest lost control of the White Walkers.

• The Children of the Forest and humans made peace in order to fight the White Walkers together. They didn't kill the Night King or the White Walkers but something happened that caused them to go into hibernation/hiding for thousands of years.

• He's really good at javelin.

Naturally, because we know so little about who he really is and what he wants, theories abound. Here are some of the most popular...

1. Bran is the Night King


This is the most well-known Night King theory out there. It posits that, just as Bran's warging while at Winterfell in the past caused Hodor's brain to fry, Bran will have another accident. Only this time, he'll trap himself inside the man who gets turned into the Night King. So for thousands of years he's stuck as the Night King, and now he wants to come home.

My take on this is that the incident with Hodor happened at a very specific time, when Bran was being transformed into the Three-Eyed Raven before he was "ready." I don't think the mistake will be repeated. He's a very different character now.

I do think Bran will be key to defeating the Night King, and he will probably have to sacrifice himself in some way. But becoming the Night King in the past? I don't buy it.

2. The Night King is a Stark ancestor


This theory is a bit broader than the "Bran is the Night King" idea. Instead, it suggests that the man who became the Night King was originally a Stark. People seem to have gotten the idea from the fact that the Night's King — a different but similar character in the books — was likely a Stark. He was the 13th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, who, according to legend, fell in love with a White Walker and married her, declaring himself the Night's King.

The Night King in the show is obviously a different character, and predates the Night's Watch as far as we know, but the showrunners might have borrowed pieces of the Night's King origin story. There's also the fact the Night King seems to be connected to/drawn to the Starks, and Bran in particular. But an explanation for that could simply be that it's because they're descendants of Brandon the Builder, who erected the Wall that locked the Night King out of the Seven Kingdoms for centuries.

That being said, it would make sense if the captured man who was turned into the Night King was a Northerner...and who is more representative of the North than the Starks? They are descended from the First Men, after all. They've been around long enough for it to be logical.

3. The Night King was a Lord Commander of the Night's Watch


Perhaps inspired by the book's Night's King, this theory suggests the Night King was a Lord Commander of the Night's Watch (but not necessarily a Stark). The theory is based mainly on the sigil (for lack of a better word) on the Night King's armor, which some think looks like a crow's skull.

The main problem with this is that, if we're assuming the Night King was the first White Walker — which is a safe assumption, considering they're played by the same actor — he predates the Night's Watch. The Night's Watch was created to man the Wall and protect men from the White Walkers. They're a direct response to the Walkers, not their cause.

4. The Night King was once the Three-Eyed Raven


This theory doesn't suggest that the Three-Eyed Raven we know from the show (either the original, or Bran) is the Night King. Rather, it posits that the Night King was the Three-Eyed Raven long ago, and the Children of the Forest used him as their weapon because of his powers.

Evidence supporting this theory is the fact that the Night King seems to be able to predict events. He appeared to attack Hardhome specifically because Jon and the Night's Watch were there at that moment, and in Season 7 it looks like he actually laid a trap for Dany and her dragons.

This theory also suggests that the Night King's control of wights is actually derived from his warging powers. Plus, there's the Night King's "sigil," which some think looks like a raven's skull with an eye in the center.

This theory is actually one of the more plausible, IMO.

5. The Night King is a Targaryen


Thanks to the fact that the Night King has become a dragon rider, coupled with his latest artwork somewhat resembling the Targaryen sigil, some fans think he might secretly be a Targaryen. Some have even suggested he's Rhaegar Targaryen (you know, Jon's father).

Honestly, this theory is a major reach. The evidence is super flimsy. The fact that the Night King can ride a dragon, when usually only Targaryens can, is probably more related to the fact it's a wight — you know, the creatures the Night King has total control over.

Plus the Night King has been around since waaaaaaaaaaay before the Targaryens. It doesn't add up.

6. There have been multiple Night Kings


This theory requires us to set aside the idea that the man we saw turned into the first White Walker is the Night King we know today (despite the fact they're played by the same men). Instead, it posits that the Night King is a title handed down — much like the Three-Eyed Raven identity was handed down to Bran — and that each time the White Walkers rise, a new Night King is crowned.

Some people who subscribe to this theory even predict that Jon Snow will have to become the new Night King, and that's how the heroes will "win" — with Jon becoming the very thing he most fears.

7. The Night King is Azor Ahai and/or the Last Hero

The Film Theories /

Azor Ahai and the Last Hero are both figures from legend (many believe they're one and the same) who defeated the "darkness" — in other words, the White Walkers. Some fans have suggested that the way Azor Ahai/the Last Hero did this was by becoming one of them. The theory goes that he was turned into the Night King by the Children of the Forest in order to control the White Walkers after they became unstoppable.

The thing is, that wouldn't really explain why the Night King is so bent on killing humans. One offshoot of this theory is that the "darkness" Azor Ahai/the Last Hero beat is not the White Walkers themselves, but humans. That was the purpose for which the Walkers were created, after all.

This theory is quite tinfoily and I don't think it's likely. But it is creative!

8. The Night King is no one significant


A very logical idea is that the man the Night King once was is no one we know or have any connection to. He was just a man unlucky enough to be captured by the Children of the Forest and turned into a monster. He's determined to destroy all human life because, well, that's what he was programmed to do. And that's it.

This is backed up by things the showrunners have said in the past, such as when D. B. Weiss told Deadline, "I don't think of the Night King as a villain as much as, Death. ... The Night King doesn't have a choice; he was created that way, and that's what he is. In some ways, he's just death, coming for everyone in the story, coming for all of us. In some ways, it's appropriate he doesn't speak. What's death going to say? Anything would diminish him. He's just a force of destruction."

After all the theorizing, this explanation would be somewhat anticlimactic. But it also seems pretty likely.

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