With Game Of Thrones nearing the end of its final 13 episodes, the show is finally gearing up for the epic conflict it has been teasing since the opening scene of the very first episode: The invasion of Westeros by the White Walkers. In that regard, exploring some Game Of Thrones Season 7 theories about the Night King will be crucial for the viewers' understanding of this mythological threat to the Seven Kingdoms.
Given the fact that the force from beyond the Wall has been steadily mounting for six seasons now, there's not a lot that's actually known about the White Walkers, their motives, or their goals; even less is known about their intimidating leader. Who is the Night King? What does he want? Bran saw in a Season 6 flashback as the first White Walker — presumably the immortal Night King himself — was created by the Children of the Forest.
But that opaque origin story is pretty much all there is when it comes to actual info on the biggest and the baddest of the show's Big Bads. So, what's really going on with him and his legions of undead soldiers? Here are a few ideas on what he'll get up to in Season 7:
1. He Will Topple The Wall
In order to invade Westeros, the Night King is going to have find a way to get around the Wall… or, more accurately, a way through it. But how? George R.R. Martin's novels set up the existence of a fabled artifact, the Horn of Winter, that is said to be able to make the Wall crumble with one blast. Mance Rayder was searching for it, but it's actual whereabouts are unknown. Could it be in the hands of the Night King?
Alternatively, the fall of the Wall could have something to do with Bran. The Night King marked the Stark boy during one of his Season 6 visions, and the mark somehow allowed the Night King to penetrate the magical defenses of the Three-Eyed Raven's lair. If Bran passes under the Wall, it's possible that the Night King's mark will also render that magical barrier moot, shattering the spells that hold up the Wall… and allowing the White Walkers to spill through into Westeros, wreaking havoc just in time for the final season.
2. He Will Turn A Dragon
Even if the Night King and his wights do get past the Wall, there's still one small thing standing in their way. Or rather, three large things: Dany's dragons. As massive and intimidating as the undead army is, surely a trio of fire-breathing lizards would make short work of it.
In order for the final battle to not be exceedingly anticlimactic, something major will have to happen to turn the tide in the Night King's favor; and what would be more major than turning a dragon into a wight? If the Night King manages to kill one of them during combat, then surely the fallen beast — just like anything that dies in the Night King's vicinity — will rise again under his sway. And what could be more terrifying than a blue-eyed ice dragon?
3. He Will Fight In The "Mindbowl"
Who will defeat the Night King once and for all? Some fans, like Reddit user YezenIRL have a theory: Bran will bring him down in a mystical fight referred to as the "Mindbowl." (The name is a reference to another highly-anticipated Game Of Thrones fight, the so-called Cleganebowl.) According to this theory, the Stark boy will be able to defeat the White Walker using his powers as a greenseer.
Although Bran is typically invisible while greenseeing (such as when he visited a young version of his father at the Tower Of Joy), somehow the Night King was able to see — and touch — Bran during one of his visions, suggesting that the two share a psychic connection. The "Mindbowl" refers to a hypothetical battle that the pair may have on this psychic plane. Perhaps, while the Walker is busy dueling with Jon Snow, Bran will be able to attack him in a vision, distracting the Night King long enough for Jon to land the killing blow.
4. He Is Bran Stark
If Bran is the one who defeats the Night King, there will be a certain amount of poetic justice to that development… considering that many fans believe the Night King is Bran Stark, such Reddit user turm0il26. According to this theory, Bran will eventually lose himself while traveling through time (something he was warned against repeatedly) and wind up creating the very evil he's trying to prevent.
In an attempt to change the past, Bran may go back to the vision of the Children creating the Night King and warg into the man being sacrificed… only to realize too late that he can't change the past, with Bran's consciousness stuck inside the man's mind after he's transformed into the Night King.
5. He's Trying To Save Westeros
Sure, anyone who leads an army of the undead seems evil — but there's usually more to George R.R. Martin's villains and heroes than black and white. With Cersei in possession of explosive wildfire and Dany bearing down on Westeros with a trio of dragons, it seems likely that the continent will soon be consumed by a fiery apocalypse, with thousands of people dying in the process.
But what stops fire? Ice, of course. Could it be that the Night King is marching south in order to prevent the apocalypse, not cause it? What if he and the rest of the White Walkers emerge once every few thousand years, just when humanity is about to consume itself, in order to purge the world of enough evil and strife to effectively restore balance — sort of like a literal ice age, resetting Westeros' clock and preventing its inhabitants from warring themselves into extinction?
6. He Will Pass The Crown To Jon Snow
Whether the Night King is Bran or not, whether he's a force for good or not, one thing seems certain to some fans: he will inevitably pass the mantle of the Night King on to Jon Snow before the series is over. Reddit user theDarkLordOfMorder explains as much in a lengthy theory, positing that Jon is destined to ally himself with the White Walkers and eventually become their leader, becoming the literal Ice King to Dany's Fire Queen — and only when the two decide to marry and rule together will peace be restored to Westeros.
Hopefully the seventh season of Thrones has some answers in store for viewers when it comes to the show's most enigmatic villain.