No matter what ends up happening in the upcoming eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, one thing is clear: The Night King is coming for blood. (And no, adding a dragon to his team isn’t going to be enough to quench this particular thirst.) While the actor who plays the leader of the White Walkers, Vladimir Furdik, has spoken about what he believes the character’s motivations (and chief target) are, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss recently set the record straight with Entertainment Weekly.
These two would know, of course, seeing as how they created the character from scratch. (The Night King does not exist in George R.R. Martin’s finished books.) So, why did they do it? Basically, as Weiss explains, the Game of Thrones writers wanted to give the White Walkers a historical reason for being:
“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.”
This makes sense, especially for a show that has had to adapt its stories and characters from Martin’s completed books, while also expanding its own universe in order to fill out eight seasons’ worth of content. Plus, without the Night King, the invading army of the undead might never have obtained an ice dragon. But what is the character’s purpose, ultimately? Killing Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen or Bran Stark? All of the above and more? Or is he meant to be something more?
As Benioff puts it, “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.” So, he’s basically Westeros’ equivalent of the grim reaper. That sounds nice.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)