'Game of Thrones': Night King's Motive Revealed

The Battle of Winterfell is nearly upon us in this week's Game of Thrones, and for the first time we have a pretty clear idea of what the Night King really wants.

Warning! Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2 lie ahead!

Game of Thrones has told many stories in the web of interweaving political schemes, wars and intrigue over the years. However, it has always warned as that there was one great war ahead, one between light and dark, life and death, fire and ice. On a symbolic level this has made sense, but on a more concrete level, it got vague at times. Last week's episode rectified that by explaining the White Walkers' goal once and for all.

Unsurprisingly, it was the monotone magus Bran Stark who filled us in. At a strategy meeting with Jon Snow, Daenerys and all the other leaders of mankind gathered around a table, Bran revealed inside knowledge of what the Night King — the leader of the Army of the Dead — wants.

From his experience in the north, Jon reasoned that killing the Night King might kill all the other White Walkers and wights all at once, since he saw the same thing happen before. Bran did not dispute this guess, though Jaime Lannister said the Night King would "never expose himself" if that was really a risk. Bran disagreed.

"Yes, he will," Bran said. "He'll come for me. He's tried before, many times, with many Three-Eyes Ravens."

Apparently for the first time, the others asked what the Night King was after. Bran had an answer ready.

"An endless night. He wants to erase this world, and I am its memory," he said.

Taking this information on its own, it seems relatively straightforward. As Sam Tarly points out, killing Bran would be a good first step in wiping humanity off the map. However, Bran's explanation does seem to hint at at a deeper meaning to the Night King's motives that many fans are grabbing hold of.

If the Night King really is so intent on going after the Three-Eyed Raven, many fans speculate that the omniscient green-seer must pose some kind of threat to his power. Some have gone so far as to say that Bran will be the one to defeat the Night King, at least in the visionary realm where they have met before. If the Night King is willing to face down two dragons and an army to get to Bran, it seems likely that he knows something about the wheelchair-bound teen's powers that we don't yet.


On the other hand, many fans predict that Bran is wrong in this instance. They theorize that the Night King will not show himself in the Battle of Winterfell, flying south on his undead dragon while his armies fight the men at the gate. They suggest that the Night King wouldn't bother taking on Daenerys, who could possibly beat him, when he could just head straight to King's Landing, either on his own or with some of his 100,000 soldiers in tow.

We will just have to tune in this week to see. Game of Thrones airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.