In the epic run-up to the Game of Thrones finale, there’s one wild theory that’s gained popularity: Bran Stark as the Night King. During Monday night's gripping episode, we saw Arya Stark finally defeat the knight once and for all. However, that still leaves us with one major question: what did the Knight King what with Bran in the first place?
Czech actor Vladimír Furdík- the man behind all the makeup and prosthetics who plays the villain - told Variety that the Night King's motivation is clear: "revenge."
Revenge? Revenge for what? Luckily Vladimír had more to say about the Night King's motivations. Explaining to the outlet that he was targeting Bran "Because somebody, many years ago, made some mistake and he became the Night King, and he didn't want to be the Night King. It's not a fun life.
"He was like now I have a way to go to war. Now I kill everybody because you made me the Night King and made me live seven or ten thousand years behind the wall in a cold country. He's tired of living out there in the cold and the snow."
Other GOT fans are still convinced that Bran might be the Night King. For the uninitiated, this theory dates back to season four, when Bran 'contacted' the Night King for the first time - in a vision foreshadowing the moment pair meet. While we didn't see much, we did hear the Night King's voice eerily calling to Bran: “Look for me, beneath the tree.”
The second major clue that Bran is the Knight King occurs in season six's heartbreaking episode titled The Door. Here we establish two important facts; Bran can change the past with his gift and he has an unbreakable psychical bond with the NK. (Remember the scar he flashed in A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms?)
Now, here's where things get speculative so let's proceed with an open mind. According to the theory - which was first explained by a Reddit user - Bran will go back in time to stop the White Walkers from existing by stopping the creation of the Night King.
Except - according to GOT theories - Bran's plan doesn't go as planned. When Bran goes back to watch the birth of the Night King, he will try to intervene in the process by using his mind-bending ability to 'become' the man who was set to become the Night King. Thus, merging their fete and making Bran Stark the Three-Eyed-Crow.
Fans point to Bran and the Night King's similar costumes and even face shapes as clues which back up the theory. Nonetheless, there’s a lot of evidence for why it’s not true.
In a blog post aptly titled: "Why Bran Stark Is Not The Night King" GOT detectives explain that Bran can't just inhibit people's bodies.
One person who isn't on board with the theory, actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright (the actor who plays Bran). Speaking at the season eight premiere in Belfast, the actor – when asked if there are any theories doing the rounds that he likes – he told reporters: “I tell you what isn’t my favourite theory; the Night King one.”
It's uncertain whether the action will play out beneath the tree with the red leaves or the Stark Crypts, as some fans speculate. Yet, Bran is confident the Night King will come for him. He told the council of Westeros as much in a dramatic bombshell in this week’s episode. When Samwell Tarly asked Bran what the Night King wants, Bran answered:
“An endless night. He wants to erase this world, and I am its memory.”