What the Night King Really Wanted on ‘Game of Thrones’

SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading unless you’ve seen “Game of Thrones” Season 8 Episode 3, titled “The Long Night.” 

Up until Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones,” the Night King had never said a word and the show never fully explained his motivations.

After that shattering conclusion in which Arya stabbed the evil leader, causing him to disintegrate into a million pieces, we may never know why he wanted to annihilate the living.

However, Czech actor Vladimír Furdík the man behind all the makeup and prosthetics, told Variety that the Night King’s motivation is clear: “revenge.”

Furdík, who was previously a stunt man on the show and only started playing the Night King in season 6, revealed the white walker’s darkest secrets.

How did you score the role of Night King?

Easy, I picked up the phone, somebody said, ‘Hey Vlad, do you want to be the Night King,’ and I said, ‘Yes!’

They asked me if I wanted to be the Night King because they liked my performance in season 5 when I was fighting with Jon Snow and he killed me in the cottage. After that episode they asked me if I wanted to play the role for season 6 and I said yes why not.

What was going through your mind when you were playing the character?

With the costume and the makeup you already are the Night King, the makeup changes you, it helps you so much. Miguel Sapochnik [the director] also made the job easier for me. We had many discussions before in the office. Because I wasn’t an actor, he gave me a lesson on how to play. Afterwards my homework was to go to the hotel and cry in front of the mirror. He said, “I would like to see your tears, just play with your face.” He gave me many tests and directed me exactly where to go.

This character made your face infamous around the world.

I was so happy to have work, especially in this business. As a stunt man, many times directors asked me if I wanted to play small roles, until season 5, nobody knew how big this role was. It became bigger step by step, people started to talk about the Night King from season 6. Nobody knew how this character would grow up. Now we do.

Did you ever want to say anything on the show?

No, I don’t need to say anything because I kept running everything through my mind.

You just used your face to express things.

Exactly.

What did you think of this Sunday’s episode, it was a big one for you?

When I saw this I said, “Oh My god.” The music when I’m walking to Bran, it was amazing, I was so proud to be a part of this show. My daughter, she is very critical of everything I do, and she just said, “Wow, that’s unbelievable,” and she was very happy. She is always critical when I am a stunt man and fight, but if she loved it, for me that beats what anyone else says.

What was it like shooting that final scene with Arya?

This was one of the hardest days of my life. I did many difficult stunts, running through fire, many crazy things. But this moment with Arya when I grab her, and the emotions from Maisie were so strong, I felt like I spent all my energy that day. It was raining, it was cold, it wasn’t easy for Maisie to jump at the right time, it wasn’t easy for me to grab her at the right time, it was the most difficult thing to do in front of a camera.

Was Maisie the actor you were closest to on set?

Yes, Maisie was one of the first ladies who knew who I am, because many of the actors didn’t know. I did a couple of fights against some actors in a different costumes as a stunt man, but I prepared Maisie for the fight with the small sword and the big sword in the courtyard with Brienne, I spent hours and hours with her on that dance.

What do you think was the Night King’s motivation in the end?

He wants revenge.

Revenge for what?

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 10 thousand years behind the wall in a cold country. He’s tired of living out there in the cold and the snow.

RELATED:

More TV

  • Chaka Khan arrives at the Vanity

    Chaka Khan Joins Fergie in Pantheon of Memorable NBA National Anthem Performances

    It takes a lot to make a performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” before the NBA All-Star Game trend higher on social media than the game itself, but Chaka Khan has managed what Fergie was able to two years ago, with a unique rendering of the National Anthem that threatened to render anything that followed [...]

  • Jason Davis

    Jason Davis, Voice Actor on Disney Channel's 'Recess,' Dies at 35

    Jason Davis, a voice actor on the Disney Channel show “Recess,” died in Los Angeles on Sunday. He was 35. “I am so heartbroken to share the saddest news of my life that my son Jason Davis passed away this morning in Los Angeles. Jason had a true heart of gold with such a zest [...]

  • Caroline Flack

    'Love Island’ Pulled For Second Night After Former Host Caroline Flack’s Death

    For a second consecutive night, ‘Love Island’ will not air on U.K. broadcaster ITV2 following the death of former host Caroline Flack, Variety has confirmed. An ITV spokesman said: “Many people at ITV knew Caroline well and held her in great affection. All of us are absolutely devastated at this tragic news.” “After careful consultation between [...]

  • Caroline Flack

    Caroline Flack's Death Prompts U.K. Petition Demanding Media Inquiry

    A petition calling on the U.K. government to launch an inquiry into British media coverage of public figures has garnered close to 206,000 signatures. The death of former “Love Island” host Caroline Flack, one of the country’s most popular TV personalities, spurred the initiative, which asks government to investigate the press following “the maltreatment of [...]

  • Caroline Flack

    'Love Island' Host's Shock Death Revives Concerns Around Mental Health, Media Scrutiny

    The death of popular “Love Island” host Caroline Flack has sent shockwaves across the U.K. and again raised long-running concerns about broadcaster ITV’s support of cast members on the hit reality competition as well as the country’s intense media scrutiny of public figures. Flack, one of the U.K.’s most recognizable reality hosts, was found dead [...]

  • Caroline Flack'ITV Palooza!', Royal Festival Hall,

    Caroline Flack, Former 'Love Island' Host, Dies at 40

    Caroline Flack, the former host of the U.K. reality competition, “Love Island,” has died. She was 40. “Everybody at ‘Love Island’ and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news. Caroline was a much loved member of the ‘Love Island’ team and our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends,” [...]

  • Lynn Cohen

    Lynn Cohen, Magda on 'Sex and the City,' Dies at 86

    Lynn Cohen, a veteran stage and screen actor who played Magda on “Sex and the City,” died Friday. She was 86. Magda was Miranda Hobbe’s (Cynthia Nixon) housekeeper and eventually her nanny, and Cohen also appeared in both film adaptations of the show. She talked to Cosmopolitan about her role in 2018. “It showed a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content