Game of Thrones famously ended with Arya Stark killing the Night King at Winterfell, and Jon Snow murdering Daenerys Targaryen after she massacred half of King’s Landing from dragonback. The ending was, to put it lightly, controversial, with lots of fans weighing in with their very strong opinions.
Given that so many were disappointed, it was only natural for some to start dreaming up alternate endings. One if very simple: the White Walkers kill everyone. If you ask Richard Brake, the actor who played the Night King in seasons 4 and 5, that’s the one he was pulling for. “I wanted him to wipe everyone out, I was hoping for that,” he recently told NME. “But you can’t always get what you want!”
That said, Brake was a fan of how the Night King finally did go out. “I love the fact that Arya killed him,” he said. “That was to me one of the highlights of that season. And for the whole series, the way they developed her character from this little girl who watches her father get murdered, into this incredible assassin, who saves the world. To me that was the most genius thing of the whole series.”
I loved the Night King’s end too, for the record. I had issues with the back half of the season, and even a few with the big White Walkers-vs-humans episode, but the sequence where Arya shanks the king? That scene can get it.
Brake also addressed the backlash to the series finale, which was more serious. “I felt before this season that there would always be a backlash,” he said. “People are always sad when something comes to an end.”
Especially Game of Thrones, everyone had their ideas on how it was going to end, with all the theories banging about for the couple of years it took to make that final season. I sensed there would be a portion of people who would be disappointed no matter what they did, but I honestly thought it was great.
The Night King has spoken.
Interestingly, NME also says that the reason Brake had to step out of role of the Night King — stuntman Vladimir Furdik played him from season 6 on — was because of a scheduling conflict, which is nice to have confirmed. Furdik is great — he was huge training actors for the fight scenes — but in the end I thought Brake made a better Night King. Those eyes…
If you want to see more of Brake, he’s currently starring as Merlin in the new fantasy epic Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot, and looking pretty perfect in the part:
Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot is available on Digital HD and DVD.