The mystery of the White Walkers and the Night King has been around since the first scene of the pilot episode. We’ve had scant details about their motivations until now ― we’ve just seen them turn babies into White Walkers and leave strange symbols all over Westeros. But “Game of Thrones” just gave fans the info dump they’ve been waiting for.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly ahead of Season 8, the Night King himself, Vladimir Furdik, revealed that his character has a “target he wants to kill.” And in Episode 2, Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) admits that target is him.
During a war council to talk about strategy as the army of the dead closes in, Bran says the Night King is after him because he’s the Three-Eyed Raven. And White Walkers have come for the other Three-Eyed Ravens before him.
Here’s what the Night King’s been after: “An endless night. He wants to erase this world, and I am its memory,” Bran says.
As the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran is basically the “Game of Thrones” Google search. He holds all the memories of the past, present and future, and the Night King wants to clear all cookies.
Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) chimes in: “That’s what death is, isn’t it? Forgetting. Being forgotten. If we forget where we’ve been and what we’ve done, we’re not men anymore. We’re just animals.”
You might remember that Archmaester Ebrose (Jim Broadbent) said a similar thing to Sam in Season 7, telling him:
In the Citadel, we lead different lives for different reasons. We are this world’s memory, Samwell Tarly. Without us, men would be little better than dogs. Don’t remember any meal but the last, can’t see forward to any but the next. And every time you leave the house and shut the door, they howl like you’re gone forever.
Now, even without Bran, Westeros has history books. Sure, having Bran is like having all the episodes of “Game of Thrones” on demand whenever you want, but if the Night King and the White Walkers want to destroy the memories of the world, shouldn’t they go after those history books as well? After all, one of the most popular fan theories is that Sam will write the whole story in the end.
Sam also kind of explains this, saying to Bran: “Your memories don’t come from books. Your stories aren’t just stories. If I wanted to erase the world of men, I’d start with you.”
So, that’s where we’re at. After all this time, it turns out the Night King is after the death of humankind and all of its memories, simple as that.
Aside from revealing the White Walkers’ endgame, Bran also explains that when the Night King marked him back in Season 6, he basically put a tracking device on him. Now he knows where Bran is at all times. And the Three-Eyed Raven can’t get into his settings and turn that GPS signal off.
With the reveal in Season 7 that if the Night King falls, the entire army of the dead falls, the plan heading into the Battle of Winterfell is to use Bran as bait in the Godswood and draw the Night King out into the open. There, Theon (Alfie Allen) and the Ironborn will be providing him with some protection.
So it’s basically R.I.P. to Theon. But if Bran dies, Westeros will go offline for good.