Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and their respective armies are waiting to battle the Night King at Winterfell in the next episode of Game of Thrones - but what if he's attacking King's Landing instead? The plan for defeating the White Walkers and their massive army of the undead hinges on luring the Night King to the godswood and killing him, but if the Night King doesn't show himself then Jon and Daenerys have little chance of winning the Great Battle of Winterfell.
After making a false promise to send the Lannister army to help with the fight, Queen Cersei is currently sitting smugly on the Iron Throne in King's Landing, waiting for the armies of the living and the dead in the North to decimate one another so that her forces can deal with whoever's left. However, now that the Night King has the ice dragon Viserion under his thrall, he is free to fly down to King's Landing and devastate the capital while his followers fight the main battle.
Bran Stark thinks that he knows what the Night King wants, and how to draw him out, but so far we've seen no evidence that the Night King is even at Winterfell. Here why there's good reason to believe he's planning to attack King's Landing instead.
The Night King Wants Bran Stark Dead
In Game of Thrones season 8, episode 2, "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms," Bran revealed that the Night King is determined to kill him, specifically. The leader of the White Walkers wants to bring about eternal night and an end to the realm of man, and as the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran is that world's memory. So long as he lives, the Night King will never have the victory he wants.
The plan, then, is for Bran to wait in Winterfell's godswood and lure the Night King out, where he can be killed. The White Walkers' numbers are so overwhelming that this appears to be the only way to defeat them. But the Night King is an ancient and intelligent military leader, so the idea that he would stupidly walk right into a trap seems unlikely. After all, if he wants Bran Stark dead then one simple way to achieve that would be to simply let his army overwhelm Winterfell and kill everyone there.
The Night King is Conspicuously Absent From Winterfell
"A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" ended with the White Walkers finally arriving for the Great Battle of Winterfell, and we saw a number of the army's leaders at the front of its ranks. Noticeably absent, however, are both Viserion and the Night King - and Viserion in particular is difficult to miss. The trailer for episode 3 shows a dragon flying through the snow with what appears to be a rider on its back, but it's unclear whether this is Viserion or Daenerys on the back of Drogon. At one point in the trailer Jon says, "The Night King is coming," which indicates that the Night King still hasn't arrived. Why would the army of the dead's leader, and its most powerful weapon, be so apparently absent from the battle?
In terms of storytelling, there's a logistical reason why the Night King might not be at the Great Battle of Winterfell: he's simply too powerful. Simply by swooping over Winterfell on Viserion and letting loose blue fire, the Night King could kill most or all of our favorite characters in one go. This will be the longest battle scene ever filmed for TV, and having Viserion and the Night King there could cut it short. Moreover, it makes sense strategically for the Night King to head to King's Landing instead.