The Night King is one bad bastard. That’s how I reckon he likes to refer to himself anyway. “Oi lads, I’m a right bad bastard, me” – that’s what he says to all his Walker mates when they’re all sat around with a few pints on a Friday night. The Bad Bastard King of the Undead.
We already know he has the power to raise the dead, and this week we learned he is also a dead aim with a spear. He’s bagged himself an undead dragon for the army and is generally looking in a pretty strong position when it comes to his war against the living.
But there are several details from this week’s episode which make him even more terrifying, and suggest he has far more power than we could have even imagined.
See, there are many aspects of the episode that suggest the Night King knew Jon and co. were coming, and was prepared for everything. More than that, he actually wanted them to come.
In ‘Eastwatch’, Bran has a vision of the Army of the Dead when he wargs into a flock of ravens that fly beyond the Wall. He sees them all amassed at one particular location – one that will look very familiar after watching ‘Beyond the Wall’.
That picture above is Bran’s vision, and the one below? Jon, The Hound, Tormund and friends preparing to face the onrushing wights. It’s the same place.
Did the Night King know they were coming? Did he prepare for everything? Did he deliberately make sure they were marooned on that island, with no way to escape? Did he know that, because of this, they would have to call for help from Daenerys and her dragons? Was his plan all along to force Daenerys to travel north of the Wall so that he could snare one or more of the beasts for his own?
The answer to all of these questions is “yes, probably”, but how?
Well, there’s a very good chance that the Night King, like Bran Stark, is a greenseer. This means that he can warg and see into the future.
The proof? There’s quite a lot. Firstly, there’s the fact that he was able to touch Bran in that vision Bran has back in Season 6. Greenseers are able to interact with each other in visions, whereas normal people cannot see them. That’s why Bran and the original Three-Eyed Raven were able to talk, and probably why the Night King was able to touch Bran, marking him.
The next piece of evidence is this scene from ‘Beyond the Wall’.
This is The Hound capturing the wight they eventually managed to take back south. You can definitely see the wight’s eyes turn blue here, suggesting he has been possessed, or warged, almost certainly by the Night King.
This allows the Night King to essentially spy on Jon and the group. He can see and hear what they’re doing and adjust his plans accordingly.
This could also be the reason that, at several points later in the episode, the wights are visibly seen trying to take the captured wight back. Normally, wights do not care about each other – none of them get particularly angry when The Hound lobs that rock into one of their faces, for example, but later on they make several feverish attempts to reclaim this wight.
Is that because, thanks to the Night King, they know the Suicide Squad’s plan, and are trying to stop it from succeeding?
The third piece of evidence also comes from this episode, and from this still in particular, spotted by Sizzor19 on Reddit.
You can see here that the Night King and his army have exactly three of those javelins – one for each dragon. His plan all along was to lure Jon and co. in, force them to call for Daenerys, and kill her dragons. And they literally fell right into his trap. They were lucky to get away with only Viserion dead – if Drogon hadn’t gained a bit of experience dodging huge arrows courtesy of Bronn a couple of weeks back, then he could well have been a goner too.
There’s a good chance the undead dragon will be what helps the Night King either take down or get beyond the Wall somehow. So what he’s been doing is playing a long game this whole time, waiting for his chance to seize his key weapon, and now he has it.
All of this just makes defeating the Army of the Dead feel like an even more insurmountable task than it did before. There’s just one glimmer of hope – the fact that, in this episode, we also learned that killing a White Walker also kills all the wights they raised.
That means that if Jon/Daenerys/someone managed to take out the Night King, they win the war.
But if he really is as powerful as this episode suggests, how the hell are they going to do it?