The Night King has been a constant presence on Game of Thrones since season four. But despite his many appearances on the show, including when he taunted Jon Snow at Hardhome and killed one of Daenerys’ dragons, we still didn’t know what he wanted. There were guesses, obviously, most of them involving waging a war against the citizens of Westeros, but it was never explicitly stated until tonight’s episode, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.”
With many of the main characters gathered around a table in Winterfell plotting a defense against the dead, Jon notes that if the Night King falls, his soldiers will fall with him. “He’ll come for me,” Bran pipes in. “He’s tried before, many times, with many Three-Eyed Ravens.” But why? “An endless night. He wants to erase this world, and I am its memory.” Forgetting is no different than death, and “if we forget where we’ve been and what we’ve done,” Sam says, “we’re not men anymore. Just animals. Your memories don’t come from books. Your stories aren’t just stories. If I wanted to erase the world of men, I’d start with you.”
The Night King wants Bran, er, the Three-Eyed Raven dead because he’s a living document of Westeros: take him out, and you destroy the present and past. In that sense, Bran is more of a threat than any sword or dragon. It’s likely someone’s story will come to an end next episode — but whose?