The Night King is terrifying. Whenever he appears on the screen we immediately grab our comfort blanket and curl up underneath it. His iconic appearance — bright, glassy blue eyes, mottled short horns coming out of his head, and his ominously stoic facial expression — is a testament to the power of makeup to transform.
However, some Redditors have noticed a difference in the Night King's face from season 5 through season 7, and wonder if his spooky qualities have changed. The newer Night King seems to look older, and eerily more human, with more natural jawline and smaller brow bone. The change is subtle, but noticeable: The Night King now looks more like a very old person and less of an evil caricature.
Below, the Night King at Hardhome during season 5, and the Night King from Sunday's upcoming season 7 episode, "Death is the Enemy."
The Night King is currently played by Slovenian actor Vladimir Furdik. Prior to season 6, the Night King was played Richard Blake. The difference in appearance could be chalked up to the change in actors, and accommodating the makeup to suit the Furdik's facial dimensions. It's also possible that the makeup prosthetics and digital effects were amplified for season 5's "Hardhome" episode, to make everything feel even more ghastly. Since "Hardhome" was our first real look at the Night King, the showrunners probably wanted to make real impression. And they did — that image of the Night King slowly raising his arms to reanimate hundreds of dead corpses will live on in television history forever.
It's also worth entertaining the notion that tweaks to the Night King's face are meant to humanize the character a little more — which could hint at his true identity. We don't yet know much about the Night King. There are so many theories about who he truly is, it's hard to keep track of them all. He may not even necessarily be evil, either. The suspense of this character lies in his lack of clear motives.
One thing is for certain: The creators of Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin do not write characters who are one-dimensional. It would be unprecedented if the Night King turned out to be the manifestation of pure malevolence, like Voldemort or Sauron. His motivations are sure to be as complex as we've come to expect from the show. And while this fan theory posits that the Night King may even turn out to be someone we know, we eagerly await some nuance in this mysterious character.
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