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Will The Night King Ever Speak? Game Of Thrones Showrunners Weigh In

Game of Thrones just ended its sixth season in epic fashion. The finale was loaded end-to-end with moments fans had been waiting for since the show began, and book fans have been waiting to see since the first of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series was published in 1996. Deadline was able to score a post-finale interview with Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who discussed topics fans have been theorizing since the finale aired—including the silent icy menace of the leader of the White Walkers, the Night King.

"I don't think of the Night King as a villain as much as, Death," said Weiss when asked to describe the challenges of writing for a villain who's remained mute throughout the series. "He is not like Joffrey, or Ramses. He's not really human anymore. To me, evil comes when you have a choice between that and good, and you choose the wrong way. The Night King doesn't have a choice; he was created that way, and that's what he is. In some ways, he's just death, coming for everyone in the story, coming for all of us. In some ways, it's appropriate he doesn't speak. What's death going to say? Anything would diminish him. He's just a force of destruction. I don't think we've ever been tempted to write dialogue for the Night King. Anything he said would be anticlimactic."

"Now that you bring it up, though," mused Benioff, "what would you have him say?"

A large part of the Night King's effectiveness as a villain is simply his being. His icy blue eyes just stare, cutting into characters and viewers alike. As Weiss pointed out, words would tarnish his menace. His eyes and mannerisms say more than any handwringing, mustache-twirling bad guy exposition ever could. He raises his arms at the end of the classic season five episode "Hardhome," and with that one gesture, his malevolent intent punches you in the chest. We all innately understand his motivation, and the lengths he and his followers are willing to go. His evil is beyond words. His evil is in his presence.