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Old 05-02-2019, 06:40 PM
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GOT: What does the Night King want? (Spoilers up to current episode)


The Night King in Game of Thrones is one of the most fearsome baddies ever to appear on page and screen. Nearly immortal and indestructible, he can resurrect and control the dead. Mostly what weve seen him do with his army of dead is to create more dead, then resurrect them to increase his army, ad infinitum. His goal, I suppose, is to wipe out all the life.

Weve also learned that hes been after the Three-Eyed Raven for some time, as the TER represents the memory of the worlds past, which he wants to eradicate along with its future. OK, but

Why?

Whats his end game? Whats he planning to do when hes ruler of a world full of undead corpses? Hes a formidable threat, and has been used to great dramatic effect on the show, but Im not clear on his ultimate motivation.

I watch the show but have not read the books. However, since this is my thread, I will allow discussion based on both media. And yes, I know hes been destroyed; I was waiting until after mouse-over territory to mention it. We can refer to him in the past tense now.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:47 PM
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He was literally created to fight against humans by the children of the forest, so he does. That's how i see it.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:33 PM
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He was literally created to fight against humans by the children of the forest, so he does. That's how i see it.
So then the question becomes: what do the children of the forest want?

"No humans," apparently.

(Not as interesting as it could have been, really. What if they didn't care at all about the existence of humans, but just hated, I don't know, seeing water moved out of its natural course? So the children of the forest would want to kill off all the humans and the beavers.)
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:03 PM
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So then the question becomes: what do the children of the forest want?

"No humans," apparently.

(Not as interesting as it could have been, really. What if they didn't care at all about the existence of humans, but just hated, I don't know, seeing water moved out of its natural course? So the children of the forest would want to kill off all the humans and the beavers.)
Well they were at war because the humans were taking over the territory, being left alone would have probably been enough for them. They eventually allied with humans to fight the Night King, so it wasn't simply pure hatred driving them.
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:19 PM
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Well they were at war because the humans were taking over the territory, being left alone would have probably been enough for them. They eventually allied with humans to fight the Night King, so it wasn't simply pure hatred driving them.
That's how I see it, too.

The NK is essentially a bioweapon that got out of hand - similar, thematically, to the planetkiller from the original Star Trek episode "The Doomsday Machine" - continuing to inexorably wage a long-ended war according to his lethal "programming."
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Old 05-03-2019, 05:26 PM
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Well they were at war because the humans were taking over the territory, being left alone would have probably been enough for them. They eventually allied with humans to fight the Night King, so it wasn't simply pure hatred driving them.
Good point.

It's hard to see how this supernatural element can still play a major role in the show's resolution, though of course the books may be a different matter.
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Old 05-03-2019, 05:36 PM
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The NK is essentially a bioweapon that got out of hand - similar, thematically, to the planetkiller from the original Star Trek episode "The Doomsday Machine" - continuing to inexorably wage a long-ended war according to his lethal "programming."
That makes sense. I do still wonder, had NK managed to succeed in wiping all humanity from the face of the earth, what he would do then. He's clearly not just a mindless drone; he's capable of making plans and thinking ahead. The question must have occurred to him.
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Sherrerd View Post
So then the question becomes: what do the children of the forest want?

"No humans," apparently.

(Not as interesting as it could have been, really. What if they didn't care at all about the existence of humans, but just hated, I don't know, seeing water moved out of its natural course? So the children of the forest would want to kill off all the humans and the beavers.)
Each season of the show has histories and lore extras attached to the DVD releases. They are really good. Check this one out.

https://youtu.be/Nz0JpXUnh2M
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Old 05-04-2019, 07:02 PM
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Each season of the show has histories and lore extras attached to the DVD releases. They are really good. Check this one out.

https://youtu.be/Nz0JpXUnh2M
Max von Sydow! Pretty cool. (thanks)
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Old 05-05-2019, 03:53 AM
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Let's see... the Children of the Forest created the Night King from a First Man to kill off humans in Westeros. I have to wonder if the Night King then said, OK, I have to do this thing for you, kill off all the humans, but you know what? I'm kind of pissed off at you stabbing me like that so I'm to kill off all of you, too. In fact, I'm so frickin' pissed off now I'm just going to kill everything. I just want to watch the world burn freeze.
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Sherrerd View Post
(Not as interesting as it could have been, really. What if they didn't care at all about the existence of humans, but just hated, I don't know, seeing water moved out of its natural course? So the children of the forest would want to kill off all the humans and the beavers.)
That's not Children of the Forest, though. That's Children of the Dammed.
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Old 05-05-2019, 04:12 PM
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That's not Children of the Forest, though. That's Children of the Dammed.
heh

(As beaver jokes go, that one avoided some obvious areas of danger. ^_^)

Last edited by Sherrerd; 05-05-2019 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:47 PM
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Arya Stark's head on a platter.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:01 PM
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Reassurance that he is heard.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:30 AM
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So then the question becomes: what do the children of the forest want?

"No humans," apparently.
The Children of the Forest were in a fight for their survival against humans, and they created a new monster to try to win that fight. Instead, the monster turned on everyone and got our of their control. The Night King is not a person; the Night King is a very advanced robot that is following its programming.

That's an old, classic story. Jewish tradition tells tales of golems, artificial creatures made to serve a purpose, and in many stories the golems become troublesome. Those stories have inspired more "the creation gets outta control due to hubris" tales than I can count.
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Last edited by RickJay; 05-08-2019 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:45 AM
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Revenge against the living? Upshot: he didn't want to be this immortal undead dude and he's just a bit sideways with the living as a result. Dunno if I can buy it--the actor's just an actor, not a writer.

I think he's just sick of being cold and he want's to hang out in Dorne, but they put up this big wall at the border and nobody will give him a visa and they won't say why. So, being immortal, he makes this big migration caravan of dead folks to overrun the border, and everyone on the other side of the wall freaks out and mobilizes their armies to stop them....
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:05 PM
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The Children of the Forest were in a fight for their survival against humans, and they created a new monster to try to win that fight. Instead, the monster turned on everyone and got our of their control. The Night King is not a person; the Night King is a very advanced robot that is following its programming.

That's an old, classic story. Jewish tradition tells tales of golems, artificial creatures made to serve a purpose, and in many stories the golems become troublesome. Those stories have inspired more "the creation gets outta control due to hubris" tales than I can count.
True enough. It's a timeless theme.

Not sure if tales of golems ever included them raising armies; that would have diluted the 'be careful what you make' message, possibly.
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Old 05-11-2019, 01:21 AM
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This might be tangential, but it feels relevant to me -- I'm running through my dvds based on something I noticed in 8.01. It reminded me of a couple of scenes, which I've gone and spot-watched.

Starting with the most recent:

Quote:
8.01. Winterfell Godswood

ARYA: You used to be taller.

JON: How did you sneak up on me?

ARYA: How did you survive a knife through your heart?

JON: I didn't.

[JON gives ARYA a giant bear hug]

[Following, a discussion about swords including Jon's Valyrian Steel sword. Arya has Bran's dagger on her belt but doesn't draw it.]
That scene is too close a mirror to the climax of 8.03 when Arya kills the Night King to be happenstance. They were designed to be similar. Now, whether that counts as mere foreshadowing that Arya will kill the Night King, or maybe something deeper, depends on how much weight you give to Sansa's words to Arya back in 7.04 when she anticipated this very reunion between Arya and Jon: "When he sees you his heart will probably stop!"

I think this is a significant bit of purposeful writing, but I don't want to get into fan speculation at the edge of the endgame. I'll be watching how this develops though.

Last edited by gupwalla; 05-11-2019 at 01:21 AM.
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Old 05-11-2019, 01:44 AM
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I missed the edit window, but wanted to add:

The line about height works in-scene because Arya has had quite the growth spurt since she last saw Jon. But if there is any possibility of a connection between Jon and the Night King in this scene, it also works as a sly 4th Wall comment on the actor change for the Night King. The original actor stood over 6'2" while the new actor (season 6 onward) is just shy of 6'.

That's a very speculative "if" on my part, though.
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