Why Didn't The Night King Kill Jon In The Battle Of Winterfell On 'Game Of Thrones'? He Had Bigger Plans

Helen Sloan/HBO

Spoilers ahead for Game Of Thrones Season 8 ahead. It seemed inevitable that the King in the North (or the Warden in the North, as Dany has taken to calling him) would face off against the Night King during the Battle of Winterfell. And while it did technically happen, their face-off wasn't quite the exciting rumble fans had expected. So although the Night King didn't kill Jon — or try, at the very least — it seems like the White Walker had bigger fish to fry.

With Dany, Jon, and the Night King all flying through the air above Winterfell on their respective dragons, it seemed imminent that they would run into each other eventually. Jon is a Targaryen, you'll remember, so he's taken to dragon-riding quite effortlessly. As a result, the majority of Jon's fight with the Night King took place in the air, with the zombie Viserion and his sibling nipping at each other while spiraling through the sky above Winterfell.

They finally crashed into the ground, and while Dany commanded her dragon to breathe fire on the Night King, it had no effect on him, and he reappeared from the flames, grinning up at her. It then seemed like the Night King was going to face off against Jon, with them staring at each other across the scorched ground Dany's dragon had just singed. However, the Night King simply smiled at him sardonically, raised both of his arms, and raised all of the dead bodies back as wights. Yikes.

And it's probably for the best. Although Jon is a great warrior, he likely wouldn't have made it out of that fight alive. That said, the Night King was playing coy, too, so perhaps he was equally wary of the King in the North? Or maybe he just didn't have the time to deal with two Starks in one night — let alone a third, who ended up being his downfall.

Regardless of his motivation, this gave him a distraction enough to continue to his true target: Bran. The Three-Eyed Raven knew as much, too, as he said in Episode 2, the Night King wants "an endless night." The Stark continued, saying, "He wants to erase this world, and I am its memory." As Bran mentioned, the Night King has tried to kill many Three-Eyed Ravens before, and thank goodness he didn't succeed this time. Because what is Westeros without its history or memories?

As a result, Bran and Theon were waiting for him in the Godswood. And although Jon didn't get his epic face-off with the Night King, he's doubtless beaming with pride that his little sister was the one to take the White Walker down. And thank the gods Jon didn't have to face off against him and gets to fight another day.

But even if the Night King really is dead and his army of wights and White Walkers have been defeated for good, there's still Cersei and Euron to contend with, who seem hellbent on keeping the Iron Throne no matter the cost. And you know what they say: When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die — and Jon has already died.