The 'Game of Thrones' Night King Actor Explains Why He Didn't Fight Jon Snow At The Battle Of Winterfell
Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3. The Night King may have become Game of Thrones' most iconic villain without ever uttering a word, but the actor who portrayed him is speaking up now. Following his character's shocking demise in the Battle of Winterfell, Slovakian actor, stuntman, and stunt coordinator Vladimír Furdík spoke to Bustle about playing the Night King on Game of Thrones.
Though Furdík hasn't always played the chilling villain — he took over the role in Season 6 from British actor Richard Brake — his reign of terror has been quite memorable, to say the least. He served some threatening stares, killed a whole lot of people, and even rode an undead ice dragon! And though his time on the show seemingly came to an end in Season 8, Episode 3 thanks to Arya Stark's awesome assassin ingenuity, Game of Thrones fans know that resurrection isn't always out of the question. The way Furdík reminisces about the role, however, makes it seem like the Night King is really gone for good. Here are some of his favorite memories and biggest takeaways from playing the role of a lifetime.
On His Favorite Night King Moments
"The Long Night" was arguably the Night King's most climactic episode, so it makes sense that Furdík's favorite moment came during that episode's battle, when Kit Harington's Jon Snow approaches him on the ground and the Night King slowly turns to look at him.
"This was a very nice moment between me and Kit, to just slowly turn and look at him thinking, 'OK, what do you want? What do you want from me?'" Furdík says. GoT fans have wondered exactly the same thing about what the Night King wants, after all.
On Filming The Death Scene
Furdík says it look a long time to figure out exactly how the Night King should die at the hands of Arya. But he hadn't initially expected Maisie Williams' character to be the one to take him out. "I was actually surprised," he says. "This small lady, she's going to kill me? Why not Jon Snow? Why not a fight between Jon Snow or some other surprise?"
Ultimately, though, Furdík was on board with Williams delivering the fatal blow (as was the OG Night King Brake). He jokes that he tried to put his own spin on the death by getting Bran involved. "I said, 'OK, I have a better idea. What about, I will grab you and you will throw the knife to Bran and he will throw the knife at me in my back or something?'" he says. "So we had fun. We just spoke about the other variations with Maisie and little Bran [Isaac Hempstead Wright] — they are very good friends."
On His Wordless Connection With Bran
In "The Long Night," it almost seemed as if the Night King would finally speak to Bran after branding him during "The Door." But Furdík didn't think words were necessary between them. "I think through the eyes and through my face, I told him everything," Furdík says. Because, really, what better way to go out than by communicating silently with the best starer in all of Westeros?
On Not Fighting Jon Snow
While the Night King and Bran have a connection, Furdík clearly has a special place in his heart for the Night King's antagonistic relationship with Jon Snow. He initially wanted some hand-to-hand combat between the characters.
"At first, I thought, 'Why not?'" Furdík says. "But then I decided that in history, everywhere, kings never fight. I am a king, I have bodyguards. If I need to kill Jon Snow, there are 10 or 12 other White Walkers who can fight him." Tell that to Jon and Dany.
On What His Family Thinks Of Him Being The Night King
Being the Night King is an impressive addition to any acting résumé, but it doesn't give Furdík much street cred with his family. "My wife, she doesn't really care. My mom as well," he says. "My brother and sister, they just know I'm the Night King, but we don't ever speak about my job." The only people in his family who do seem impressed are his children, who ask him "many questions" about his major role.
On Avoiding Online Comments
Furdík hasn't shied away from posting theories on Twitter since joining the social media platform in April 2019. But he said one cast member taught him to avoid other online commentary. "Maybe three or two years ago, I tried to read something and I saw some couple comments. And then I spoke with Kit Harington about it and he said, 'Don't read anything,'" Furdík says. "There are many nice comments, but many are not fair."
On Who He Wants To See On The Iron Throne
Although the character of the Night King never came face-to-face with him, Furdík is rooting for an underdog. "I would like to see Tyrion Lannister on the throne," he says.
On What He'll Miss Most About Game Of Thrones
While the Night King posed the biggest danger to humanity on Game of Thrones, Furdík had a good relationship with the cast and crew in real life. "I'm missing the people," Furdík says, noting how there was "good professional cooperation between every department" on the show.
The residents of Westeros will certainly not miss the Night King. But just like Furdík misses his fellow cast and crew, some masochistic part of viewers might miss the ominous presence provided by him on Game of Thrones — especially since Cersei may pose an even greater threat to some fan-favorite characters in the end.