Hey, here’s a thought: Would it be that bad, really, if the Night King won? Like, if Game of Thrones ended next year and everyone was dead and the Night King was sitting on the Iron Throne, or whatever the throne becomes once he touches it? The Ice Throne? I don’t know. His call, I guess. It would be great if he turns the whole room into a hookah lounge with bean bag chairs and soft fluffy pillows. Just for the visual. The Night King and a bunch of White Walkers flopped all over the floor, relaxing, blowing smoke rings and such, like that was their objective the entire time. Then, boom, credits, show over. I don’t think I’d ever stop laughing.
I’m sorry. I’m already off-topic. Kind of.
It is an increasingly fair question, though. Would it be so bad if the Night King won? Because your gut reaction — the one the show has been conditioning you to give over six-plus seasons of people discussing winter in hushed, fearful tones — is probably “Yes, it would be bad.” But let’s look at this objectively. Let’s really break it down.
The Case Against The Night King
He would kill everyone and turn them into undead marching ice zombies. Which seems… not great. And it means Tormund and Bronn and Brienne would die, which I don’t think I’m prepared to deal with, and may never be. So there’s that.
The Case For The Night King
Have you looked at the other options lately? A quick rundown:
Daenerys: Daenerys seemed like the best hope heading into this season. She freed slaves and roasted Khals. She united the Unsullied and Dothraki. She has dragons. But in the last few weeks she a) almost got a dragon killed by flying it straight toward a giant crossbow, and b) did get a dragon killed because she signed off on Jon and Tyrion’s insane zombie kidnapping plan, rather than just swooping in with a dragon and plucking one off before the Night King and his army had a chance to surround everyone. Can we trust a leader who makes such questionable dragon-related decisions? I’m not sure. And that’s before we get to the troubling ancestry and Mad King business, and the thing where she toasted the Tarlys — over Tyrion’s repeated objections – for not bending the knee. Looking more and more dicey every week.
Jon Snow: Very brave, sure. And someone people are apparently willing to rally behind. That’s pretty good, leadership-wise. Less good: He is dumb. He is so, so dumb. His plans are dumb and bad, almost always. He would have gotten massacred at the Battle of the Bastards if not for Sansa. He led a suicide mission to kidnap a zombie, with the end goal of convincing a notoriously manipulative and murderous alcoholic to do “the right thing,” not long after he and his coalition roasted half of her army and almost killed her brother/lover. The most popular and lasting line of dialogue about him is “You know nothing.” He’s a sweet man who wants the best for everyone but he would definitely get tricked by a slick-talking huckster into building a shoddy monorail through King’s Landing, bankrupting the kingdom and resulting in mass starvation.
Sansa or Arya: Currently fighting with each other over something Littlefinger tricked them into fighting over. Sansa sent Brienne away for reasons that are unclear at best. Arya appears to be an emotionless supervillain now and she’s running around with a bag of faces so she can assassinate people. Not an ideal situation.
Cersei: See above, re: “notoriously manipulative and murderous alcoholic.” Also, please note that she had Qyburn and his brightest thinkers work up a plan to take out a fire-breathing dragon and the best they came up with was a big dumb crossbow that is now ashes blowing in the wind because they made it out of wood, while the Night King heaved one magical ice javelin with his bare hands and scored a kill shot. Gotta count for something.
And hey, maybe being an undead ice zombie is pretty cool. We don’t know that it’s not. Maybe they love it. Maybe the whole thing is a “You know, I didn’t think I’d enjoy an Alaskan cruise but then I went on one and the views were just stunning” type of situation. There is, if you think about it, a second unseen show contained within Game of Thrones. One that runs on the exact same timeline as the original, but from the perspective of the Night King and his Walker army. One where, possibly, they’re the heroes and the humans who beat them back and sent them into the snowy abyss are portrayed as villains. Maybe even a sitcom, like on Parks & Rec how Leslie Knope and company banded together to achieve various tasks, often in competition with the wealthy citizens of Eagleton, but with more murder and ice dragons.
Point being: The people of Westeros are probably so hosed, even in the scenario where they fight off the White Walkers and Dany and/or Jon take the throne in a hypothetical bloodless revolution. Shouldn’t we at least hear the Night King out? I mean, there’s no perfect option out there, so maybe it’s time to shake things up a bit and look to an outsider who can make Westeros great aga-…
Oh no. Oh God. I just realized what I’m saying here. This will not do at all.