So Game of Thrones is over for another year – probably more like a year and a half – which means all we’ve got left to do is come up with more and more crackpot theories about how the show might end when it finally returns for Season 8.
There are some safer bets about what might go down in the show’s final outing – Jaime kills Cersei, Jon and Daenerys get married, Davos is still a total legend – and then there are the more off-piste ones, but hey, those are much more fun to read, right?
So, disclaimer here, this theory is quite wild, and it’s about how the show might reach its conclusion with regards to the White Walkers. Basically, there’s an idea that they might actually be a force for good, and it all related to the ‘Bran is the Night King’ theory. I’m not saying I totally believe this will happen, but it’s kind of convincing, so bear with me if you can, and see what you think...
So, you’ve probably heard all about the Bran as the Night King theory by now. Basically, it states that Bran warged into the man who the Children of the Forest turned into the Night King back during the war between the Children and the First Men, to try and convince them not to do it.
However, the theory goes that he fails, and gets trapped inside the Night King’s body – therefore becoming the leader of the Army of the Dead.
There are a number of convincing pieces of evidence for this, such as their similarity in face shape since the Night King was recast, how similarly they dress (like, it’s exactly the same), and this piece of dialogue between Bran and Leaf, when Bran discovers it was the Children who created the first Walker:
Leaf: We were at war. We were being slaughtered. Our sacred trees cut down. We needed to defend ourselves.
Bran: From who?
Leaf: From you.
While it is assumed that Leaf ‘you’ here refers to men in general, some people have suggested that she could actually be referring to Bran himself.
However, what if Bran didn’t go back to try and convince the Children not to create the Walkers? What if Bran wanted to becoming the Night King?
But why would we want that? Well, because ever since the First Men came to Westeros, it has been embroiled in war and hate. The constant power struggles, betrayals, and lusting over the Iron Throne have hardly created a peaceful environment for people to thrive.
Perhaps what Westeros needs is a common enemy – something to end the infighting once and for all, and that will unite all humans against a single cause.
That’s where the White Walkers come in – what if Bran has become the Night King in order to be this common enemy? What if he is essentially sacrificing himself for the good of the world?
Seems far-fetched at the moment, right? But there are a number of moments throughout the series that could lend itself to this theory – starting with the very first scene, when we see a group of Night’s Watchmen encounter some Walkers beyond the Wall.
The one Watchman who escapes – the guy who is eventually executed by Ned Stark for being a deserter – is clearly spared here. The Walker could kill him, but he doesn’t. It’s almost like they want him to carry the message of their existence back to the rest of the living. The first step in ensuring everyone eventually knows they’re there.
Next there’s the scene in the Season 2 finale, when Sam is beyond the Wall and encounters a small army of wights, led by a Walker. He hides behind a rock, and somehow survives. It’s unclear whether the Walker actually sees Sam or not, but if he does know he’s there, what if he’s deliberately sparing Sam, again to send a message back behind the Wall, to spread the word further?
The evidence gets more convincing when you get to Hardhome, however. Jon has gone to Hardhome to try and convince the Wildlings to join him and the Night’s Watch in the fight against the White Walkers. Then, conveniently, the Army of the Dead shows up. What better way to make people band together against a terrifying common enemy than to literally turn up and force them into it?
And then there’s ‘Beyond the Wall’ in Season 7. As we’ve stated before, it looks extremely likely that the Night King is a greenseer, knew Jon and co. were coming, and even deliberately trapped them in that spot so they’d be forced to call for Daenerys.
This meant that the Night King was then able to spear his own dragon, but what it also achieved was convincing Dany to join the fight against his army, further uniting Westeros.
We’re at the point now where it’s basically only Cersei who isn’t part of the alliance fighting against the dead – even Jaime decided to ride north at the end of the season finale. Whether he’s meaning to or not, the Night King is doing a very good job of uniting the living, you’d have to agree.
So if Bran is the Night King, and all of this really is deliberate, then that could hint at what George R. R. Martin is referring to when he talks about the story having a ‘bittersweet ending’. Could that bittersweet ending be that Jon killing the Night King will also mean him killing his brother? And that Bran has meant for this all along?
It’s definitely a long shot, but then it would be nice if the Walkers had some kind of purpose other than just ‘destroy all humans’, wouldn’t it? Let us know in the comments if you’re buying it, and we’ll see you in two years for the answer.