Game of Thrones season 7 made the threat of the Night King and his undead army all too real for the various warring factions of The Seven Kingdoms, and the season ended with the calamitous milestone of the Eastwatch section of The Wall being brought down by an undead dragon, and the army of the dead marching through into Westeros, unchecked.
Up until now, Game of Thornes has been teasing the threat of the army of the dead as a malevolent force of nature: the dead swarm over anything living in their path, and add more victims to their ranks. It's basically a cancer eating the world for the sake of its own voracious hunger - or so we thought.
Some intrepid Game of Thrones fans are positing a theory that may reveal an intelligent design to the Night King's plan - here's how it goes:
One Reddit user posits that the Night King is on a path for the Gods Eye, in the southeastern Riverlands, which is close to Eastwatch and the breach in the Wall.
What waits at Eastwatch is The Isle of Faces - aka the site where the children of the forest and the First Men signed the pact ending their long war, and where some believe the remaining children of the forest (the green men) hid out in order to survive the Andal invasion.
From here, the theory gets a little more speculative. It's theorized that some kind of magic exists on The Isle of Faces, that the Night King wants. Since the Night King has the greensight and warg abilities like Bran, it's speculated that he know or has seen something (like the existence of Leaf and other surviving children of the forest) that's leading him to Gods Eye.
The biggest leap of speculation is that the Night King is looking for some form of magic that will restore life to his army - possibly to undo the transformation that the children put him through when they created The Night King out of one of their First Men prisoners. The question is, however: for what purpose?
We've already seen how powerful the Night King is: able to vanquish any living opposition, or even kill and convert dragons. What would he gain from becoming a living man again, or restoring his army to life? It would, admittedly, be a big twist in the story that few would see coming if it turned out that the Night King wasn't really a villain at all!
After all, The Night King was an unwitting pawn, turned into a weapon against his will - collateral damage in the power struggles that have plagued Westeros since the beginning. Maybe all this time, all he's wanted is to get back what he lost?
We'll know more when Game of Thrones season 8 finally arrives to finish the story.