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Posted on June 3, 2015 at 9:55 PM

History of The Night's King

Published by Courtney Russell / June 3, 2015

Now that Episode 8 of Season 5 of The Game of Thrones has had it's time to sink in, we can finally wake up from the shock caused by what was a truly EPIC episode we can finally go ahead and give the answer to the question that we know everyone has been asking. Who's the bad-ass ice zombie with the frozen crown, well that bad-ass my friends is the Night's King, the leader of the white walkers. According to legend, the Night's King lived during the Age of Heroes, not long after the Wall was complete. He was a fearless warrior named the thirteenth Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Later, he fell in love with a woman "with skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars". He chased her and loved her though "her skin was cold as ice", and when he gave his seed to her he gave his soul as well. He brought her back to the Nightfort and after the unholy union, he declared himself king and her his queen, and ruled the Nightfort as his own castle for thirteen years. During the dark years of his reign, horrific atrocities were committed, of which tales are still told in the North. It was not until Brandon the Breaker, the King of Winter, and Joramun, the King-Beyond-the-Wall, joined forces that the Night's King was brought down and the Night's Watch freed. After his fall, when it was discovered that he had been making sacrifices to the Others, all records of him were destroyed and his very name was forbidden and forgotten. 

The Night's King made his first appearance on the tv show in Season 4 where we saw him  in a vision that Bran Stark has, when he uses the Greensight and Wargs with a Weirwood Heart tree. He experiences a flood of images from the past, present, and future, many of which he was not physically present for. He does not comprehend what all of these images are. In retrospect, one of them is an image of the Night's King picking up the last of Craster's sons on an ice altar. Once inside, the White Walker approaches an icy altar ringed by large icy spikes and places the baby upon the altar. In the distance, a group of thirteen black-garbed White Walkers are revealed to be viewing the proceedings from afar. One of them breaks from the middle of their number and approaches the altar, stopping to regard the human child for a moment before gently gathering him in its arms. The baby immediately calms, staring into the face of the Night's King, who is revealed to have a crown of horns jutting from its head. He places his index finger upon the baby's cheek, causing the child's eyes to slow turn to icy, depthless blue and his skin to grow pale, finally revealing the fate of Craster's other sons.

Now catching back to the story in Season 5 the Night's King appears again when Jon Snow and Tormund Giantsbane are coordinating the evacuation of Hardhome. He appears to be leading the attack, or is at least observing it with some other White Walkers, and watches from one of the cliffs above the town as Jon slays one of his lieutenants with Longclaw. As Jon, Tormund and the remaining defenders leave on the boat, the Night's King appears on the dock and locks eyes with Jon. With a mere raise of his arms, the Night's King raises the entirety of Hardhome's erstwhile defenders as wights, and keeps his gaze upon Jon as the boat slips away.  What awaits Westoros in the wake of this invasion of the undead? Who knows, probably Jon Snow but he knows nothing. Well we can't wait to see more of the undead king and his horde of wights.

Powers & Abilities

The Night's King possesses a number of supernatural powers or abilities – it is not, at present, clear how many of these are unique to him, or if other White Walkers possess some of these.



  • White Walker conversion: The Night's King can turn a human baby into a White Walker by pressing the tip of his finger to the baby's cheek. The child's skin will begin to pale and its eyes will turn the same blue as the other White Walkers.
  • Raising Wights: The Night's King can raise corpses as wights. He doesn't require physical contact to do so, and can raise hundreds of wights at a single time with a mere raise of his arms.
  • Superior strength: Although he has not been observed engaging in single combat, the Night's King presumably has the same enhanced strength that other White Walkers exhibit.
  • Weapon shattering: the Night's King's touch can presumably shatter regular metal weapons, as with most White Walkers.


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