Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8 ahead. The Battle of Winterfell was won halfway through Game of Thrones Season 8 — with the esoteric villain bursting into a thousand icy cubes. But is it really over? It all seemed a little easy (well, if you consider fighting hordes of zombies and zombie giants easy), leading many to wonder whether or not the Night King can return on Game of Thrones or not. Everyone is safe for now, but it's possible that this storyline isn't entirely closed yet.
Characters have come back from the dead before on Game of Thrones, however, the Night King as we know him seems good and well dusted — right? Arya's Valyrian steel stab wound did the trick. Even those who doubt the "no body no death" rule of television after Jon Snow's resurrection would agree that there's probably no coming back from Arya's shattering attack.
However. (You knew there was a however coming, right?) There's three episodes to go. All of the theories about someone else becoming the new Night King still stand. All it takes to create a new Night King and new White Walkers, according to the vision Bran had in Season 6, is by stabbing a shard of dragon glass through a person's heart. There's a lot of dragon glass going around these days, thanks to the weapon prep that went into the Battle of Winterfell. Don't let anyone get any ideas about where to stick those pointy ends, or they could start this cycle all over again.
The Night King may not return, but a Night King (or Queen) certainly could. It could be Jon Snow, it could be Daenerys Targaryen, or Cersei Lannister. Yes, even Bran could still become the Night King, though that theory is particularly divisive. Speaking of the little Raven, he and Arya were both touched by the Night King before he died. That might be something to watch out for going forward as well.
We're at least going to need some kind of NK debrief from Bran now that the silent shrugging killer is dead. The youngest Stark sibling went mind surfing somewhere in the Godswood. What knowledge was he downloading? Does he want to share it with the class? If there are consequences for taking the blue monarch down, we need to know now.
Westeros came together and managed to defeat what seemed like an impossible evil using all of their resources and a little improvisation. Honestly, it's fine that the Night King is dead. He never even said a single line! We don't know anything about him personally and it's too late to learn anything about him now. Going forward, what's important is what the Night King and his White Walkers represented and how they are connected to the coming of winter.
The Children of the Forest created ol' NK for a reason, after all. "We were at war," Leaf told Bran in Season 6. "We were being slaughtered. Our sacred trees cut down. We needed to defend ourselves. From men." History tends to repeat itself, even without Three-Eyed Ravens and their ability to create time-loops and Hodors. If killing the Night King seemed too easy, there was probably a reason for that.