'Game of Thrones' season 8 episode 3 proves that Night King is a Targaryen
The 'Game of Thrones' prequel show that is coming to HBO in the near future will hopefully address Night King's origin story.
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) just validated all of us rooting for her through eight straight seasons, and boy, do we feel vindicated. As hyped as Night King (Vladimir Furdik) has been throughout 'Game of Thrones,' it took a couple of seconds and an ingenious attack plan by the girl of many faces to take him down - along with his army of the undead.
As opposed to Arya's moment of glory, Night King's death left an aftertaste of longing in most of us - a longing to know more about this personification of death, a longing to know who he was before becoming the Night King, what his motivations are behind coming for the Three-Eyed Raven aka Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright), among others.
The most recently aired season 8 episode 3 titled 'The Long Night' at least answered one of them - partially: Who was the Night King before he became the commander for the army of the dead. In the episode we saw the army of White Walkers - basically, the undead made ice - getting killed by weapons made of dragon glass and Valyrian steel. The third and possibly the most important element is fire - and the Red Woman (Carice van Houten) ensured that they had enough of it to give them a slight head start.
The White Walkers, controlled by the Night King, however, threw themselves into the fire and doused the fiery border the Red Woman created to protect Winterfell. The barricade hurt many of them, but there is one non-man who was unaffected by the fire - the Night King. In fact, he was unaffected by any fire, including dragon fire. Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) asked her dragon to turn the Night King into barbecue but was instead met with a completely unaffected Night King with a slight twitch of his lips ending in a smirk.
This got us thinking - who are the only people unaffected by fire? Dragons aka Targaryens. Remember how Danny sat in Khal Drogo's (Jason Momoa) funeral pyre and came out with three baby dragons? If the Night King is able to remain unscathed by dragon fire, he definitely comes from the same bloodline - and our first guess is that he is the Mad King aka Aerys II.
After all, the dragons can only be ridden by people of the Targaryen bloodline - Daenerys and Jon aka Aegon Targaryen. Undead or not, there is no other explanation as to why the Night King is riding Viserion willy nilly if not for his past life.
When Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) and Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) burned Ned Umber's (Harry Grasby) undead body, and the mutilated human body wall art along with it, it burned in the shape of the Targaryen sigil - or something very close to it. Coincidence? Think again.
From the books, we know that the Night King is among the First Men, who were captured by a tribe of the Children of the Forest. Leaf converted him forcefully after he pressed a dragonglass dagger on his chest. He is known among some of the noblest families in the seven kingdoms, but there is not much known about him and his whereabouts - just as nothing is known about what happened to the Mad King's slain body after Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) killed him.
The biggest clue that the Mad King is the Night King lies in the facts that Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) uncovered in season 7. The Citadel has recorded many winters braved by mankind, and how things go back to being normal eventually.
However, 'The Long Night' - had Arya not stepped up and ended the war - would have gone awry pretty fast. White Walkers have been in existence since the time of the First Men, but it never recorded a ‘March of Dead’ before the death of the Mad King - the king who was so addicted to his power and his throne that he would march an army of the dead to King's Landing, killing everyone and everything in his way to get to it.
While the death of the Night King permanently closes any opportunities to address his origin story, we certainly think the 'Game of Thrones' prequel that is coming to HBO in the near future will definitely address it.