Welcome to my first ever post about Game of Thrones. I would like to point out that if you aren’t caught up with the series (up to season 6), there will be a few spoilers here and there. I would also like to point out that my analysis is primarily based on the HBO series, and not on “A Song of Ice and Fire”, so excuse me if I interpret something a little differently.
For starters, I will be showing you my personal analysis of why the Night’s King is back with the Army of the Dead, and a little information about the Wights and White Walkers in general.
The White Walkers (also referred to in “A Song of Ice and Fire” as the Others) were first made by the Children of the Forest. As seen in Bran Stark’s vision with Bloodraven, the Children of the Forest captured one of the First Men and stuck a dragonglass dagger into his heart, turning him into a Wight. It is said that the first Wight they made became the Night’s King. The Children of the Forest actually made the wight to defend themselves and the sacred Weirwood trees from the savage First Men.
According to George RR Martin, author of “A Song of Ice and Fire”, the Wights speak in a language called Skroth. It sounds like the cracking of ice.
First encounter with the Wights
In “A Song of Ice and Fire” and in the HBO series, we know of the White Walkers at the very beginning of the story. Three Night’s Watch rangers, Waymar Royce, Will and Gared, are on an expedition beyond The Wall. Gared patrols the area to find dead bodies lined up into a shape (presumably a sigil, but I personally haven’t seen it in the series other than that one time). He informs Waymar and Will that they need to return to The Wall, but rather than believe him, Waymar threatens him with the law (that Night’s Watch deserters are sentenced to death). They continue the patrol only to encounter the Wights a few moments later. Waymar and Will are killed, and Gared manages to escape and flee south of The Wall. Gared informs Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, of the encounter, but he is beheaded as a deserter anyways.
We know from a few episodes in the series that the Wights are vulnerable to Dragonglass and cannot induce their magic powers onto Valyrian Steel. It was also stated by Samwell Tarly that Dragonglass and Dragonsteel were the only things helpful in battle against the White Walkers, according to old scripts he read.
The Night’s King and the Night’s Watch
Some of the details in “A Song of Ice and Fire” suggest that the Night’s King is actually the 13th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. His headquarters was in Nightfall Castle, the first castle to be built at The Wall. It was said that the Night’s King claimed that name as ruler of Nightfort. He fell in love with a woman with pale white skin and eyes as blue as the stars. She was believed to be a Wight. After he married that woman, he gave her his soul and became a Wight as well. He ruled ruthlessly until Brandon the Breaker and the King beyond The Wall put an end to his reign, freeing the Night’s Watch.
This story suggests that if this is true, the Night’s King might be seeking revenge against the Night’s Watch for not abiding by his rule. In consequence, he would also be seeking revenge against house Stark, since Brandon the Breaker was a Stark. This explains the Night’s King’s fascination with Bran Stark and Bloodraven, who was ex-Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.
The Night’s King and House Stark
In the first season of the HBO series, Eddard Stark talks about “Bran the Builder” to Arya Stark. Brandon the Builder was the man who founded House Stark and built Winterfell. He also had a hand in building The Wall, along with the First Men and the Children of the Forest. As the YouTube channel “Game of Theories” stated, it is plausible that most of the Children of the Forest fled south of The Wall and are currently protecting Weirwood trees in Westeros. As we know, the Night’s King might have been made by the Children of the Forest. The Night’s King was, at first, one of the First Men, a human being with a real life. He might be after the Children of the Forest to annihilate them for taking his life away (considering that he now lives an eternal but meaningless life).
House Stark has been historically the first line of defense of the North in Westeros. By building The Wall, Brandon the Builder ensured that the First Men were safe from the Wights, and that the Land of Always Winter was separated from the Seven Kingdoms. Thousands of years later, the Night’s King seeks revenge against the Children of the Forest (who mostly might be south of The Wall) and the people who helped them escape the Wights’ wrath (Brandon the Builder). This might be another explanation as to why the Night’s King is fascinated by Bran Stark and Jon Snow (during the massacre of Hardhome).
Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed my insight about this topic. If you have any suggestions for topics I should research or give my personal opinion on concerning Game of Thrones, leave them in the comments of this post. Valar Morghulis.