Game of Thrones showrunner explains why Jon Snow couldn’t kill the Night King


Arya Stark killed the Night King in the final season of Game of Thrones. But other candidates were considered, including the Hound, Brienne and Jon Snow.

It was one of the biggest questions going into the final season of Game of Thrones: who, if anyone, would kill the Night King? And how? The answer turned out to be, of course, Arya Stark, and in pretty badass fashion.

But Arya wasn’t the only candidate under consideration. As revealed in James Hibberd’s Fire Cannot Kill A Dragon: Game of Thrones and the Official Untold Story of the Epic Series, there were a bunch of characters in play.

Of course, given his history with the Night King, Jon Snow was considered to take him down for good. But the showrunners were wary of going back to that particular well. “It had to be somebody with believable access to Valyrian steel,” showrunner David Benioff explained. “We didn’t want it to be Jon because he’s always saving the day.”

This left only a few alternates, including fan favorites like the Hound and Brienne of Tarth, the latter of whom was carrying the Valyrian steel sword Oathkeeper. “We talked about the Hound at one point, but we wanted his big thing to be Clegane Bowl,” Benioff continued. “Ultimately it wouldn’t have felt right if it was Jon or Brienne or the Hound.”

Another option could’ve been Samwell Tarly, since he’d taken Heartsbane, his family’s ancestral Valyrian steel sword. But he’d given Heartsbane to Jorah Mormont, who was using it to defend his queen Daenerys Targaryen from wights.

And in any case, Sam’s weapon was always his intellect. While at the Citadel, he uncovered some information about the Valyrian steel dagger that Arya used to strike the final blow against the Night King, who is essentially the God of Death Arya had been skipping out on since season 1. “It goes back to the whole ‘not today’ thing,” Benioff said.

Arya killing the Night King also paid off her time training to be an instrument of death with the Faceless Men, so ultimately it all worked out.

Next. How Peter Dinklage (Tyrion) was convinced to join Game of Thrones. dark

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h/t Screen Rant