The Battle of Winterfell provided a lot of surprises, but the most shocking moment was how it all ended. After being teased from the very first scene of the show, Game of Thrones has set up the White Walkers and the Night King as the greatest threat to Westeros. After a bloody battle that left several key characters dead, Arya dealt a killing blow, ending the Night King’s attack.
The swift death of the Night King was totally unexpected for many fans who had been theorizing about who he was and what he wanted for years. With his death, many of those theories have been answered. Here are some of the Night King theories that were wrong and some which turned out to be true.
10 Not True: He Is Bran
With Bran’s powers as the Three-Eyed Raven, there are many theories about what it means and who he really is now. One of the most popular theories is that Bran and the Night King are somehow connected. The thought is that through Bran’s warging, he brought the Night King from the past to invade Westeros for some unknown purpose.
The theory has previously been shot down but the last episode really solidified that it’s not true. Not only do Bran and the Night King seem to be sworn enemies, but Bran seemingly set up the Night King’s death.
9 True: He Wants To Kill Bran
While they are not the same person, there certainly is a connection between Bran and the Night King. Some fans thought that Bran was the target of the Night King all along. The theory came up when he and his forces attacked the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven, killing the previous individual to hold that title. It was suggested that Bran holds the key to defeating the Night King and, therefore, must die.
This theory was right on the money as Bran confirms he is the target. The Night King wants an endless night and first must wipe out the world’s connection to the past, which is Bran.
8 Not True: He’s In King’s Landing
Before the Battle of Winterfell, the last we saw of the Night King was riding his dragon past the Wall and into Westeros. When his army arrived at Winterfell at the end of Episode 2, he was nowhere to be seen. This led some to speculate that the Night King was leaving his army take Winterfell while he would fly his dragon for a sneak attack on King’s Landing.
While the Night King remained hidden for the first part of the battle, he was indeed at Winterfell. Of course, seeing as poorly things went for him there, he probably wishes he had taken on Cersei first.
7 True: The Crypts Of Winterfell
Episode 2 of this season, "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms", it is said many times that those who aren't fighting in the battle will hide in the crypts of Winterfell. Given how often this was mentioned and the fact that the Night King can raise the dead, many guessed the dead would rise within those crypts.
The theory, of course, was true because they couldn't give up an opportunity like that. While we didn't see zombie Ned Stark or any familiar characters, it added some nice horror to the scene. Though it still seems like a bad place to hide in the first place.
6 Not True: He's Actually A Good Guy
Game of Thrones, and George R.R. Martin especially, are big fans of playing with expectations. The characters on the show are rarely black and white, with some seeming to be heroes turning out to be villains and vice versa. Some thought the same might be true of the Night King and that his mission is actually to save Westeros from the devastation of Daenerys' conquest.
In the end, he just seemed like a pretty bad dude. While we still didn't learn too much about him, nothing suggested that he had any more virtuous purpose than to kill everyone and rule everything.
5 True: Dragonfire Does Not Kill Him
Since very on in the series, dragonfire was presented as the key to killing the Night King and stopping his army. We knew that Valyrian steel and dragon glass could kill White Walkers, and since they are both forged using dragonfire, it made sense dragonfire would do the trick. But in the episode “Beyond the Wall”, we see the Night King walk through dragonfire, making some believe he was impervious to it.
Sure enough, when Daenerys unleashes a blast of dragonfire on the Night King during the battle, he walks away unscathed. Of course, this started a whole new bunch of theories that he’s another secret Targaryen.
4 Not True: Jon Kills Him
Jon Snow has been set up as the hero of the show for quite a while now. He is the first one to come face-to-face with the Night King and see his full powers on display. That moment seemed to set up their eventual showdown. Jon being the probable “Prince Who Was Promised”, armed with a Valyrian steel sword, seemed destined to kill the Night King and save the day.
In a subversion of expectations, Jon proved fairly ineffective during the battle. This has shown once again that, while he may be a skilled fighter, he’s not much of a strategist. So while Arya was saving the day, Jon was yelling at a dragon.
3 True: Arya Will Kill Him
Even though few people expected he would die so soon, many assumed someone would eventually kill the Night King. Jon Snow was the most popular theory given his hero status and his Valyrian steel sword. But after Arya was given a Valyrian steel dagger from Bran, some started suggesting she’d be the one to bring him down.
The theory proved true, and yet still a surprise. While some have suggested Arya being the one to kill him is unrealistic, she does seem like the obvious choice in retrospect. She’s certainly more stealthy than Jon, and she’s one of the most skilled fighters and an expert assassin.
2 False: He Can’t Be Killed
The Night King certainly seemed like a nearly unstoppable enemy and some fans thought might literally be the case. The theory suggested that the Night King could never be killed, but rather, he would have to be replaced. The thought was that it was a title and only by someone taking up the mantel of Night King could Westeros be saved.
Very untrue as it turns out. Arya proved that theory wrong in the most badass way possible. While dragonfire proved ineffective, she succeeded with one of her most effective methods – stick them with the pointy end.
1 True: He Is Not The Final Enemy
As much as the threat of the Night King and his army has been a big part of the show since the beginning, this story has always been about backstabbing, shaky alliances and the fight for power in Westeros. To have it end with a fight against zombies didn’t seem right. This led many fans to theorize that the Night King was not, in fact, the final enemy.
With his surprisingly quick death, the theory was confirmed that there were bigger threats to come. Now the stage seems set for the final showdown to be against Cersei who may prove to be just as destructive as the Night King.