*Warning: Spoilers ahead*
There are a few key details any Game of Thrones fan worth their salt knows about wights, White Walkers and the Night King (Vladimir Furdik). For one, they’re major fun-suckers who won’t be satisfied until everyone is dead like them. Secondly, they can only be killed by fire, Valyrian steel and dragonglass. So why, pray tell, did the Night King remain very much alive when Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) torched him with the help of Drogon in last night’s episode? One GoT expert has a simple theory.
Christopher Williams, English, History and Game of Thrones tutor (yep, that’s a thing) for Varsity Tutors, chatted with PureWow about the Night King’s demise. Spoiler alert: He loved it just as much as we did.
“I was like a kid when I saw that [scene],” Williams admitted, referencing the moment Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) stabbed the Night King and turned him into a million little pieces of ice.
As per why he thinks the Night King wasn’t killed by Drogon’s earlier onslaught of fire, he offered a simple explanation: “It was sort of an ice beats fire kind of thing. They’re [the Night King’s ice power and Dany’s fire] two polar opposites, so they can’t really be killed by each other.” This posit calls to mind Harry Potter and Voldemort’s battles in the film series where their powers basically cancel each other out.
Williams went on to explain that the Night King could only be killed by “one savior, which was Arya. I figured that [Dany, Drogon and the Night King] couldn’t kill each other. His destruction had to be come from someone with self-will to choose for themselves what to do.” Arya is, for all intents and purposes, just that. Drogon, a dragon who takes orders from Dany, is not.
He went on to theorize about Arya’s character arc, saying,“She has the will to continue the fight and to be brave. She’s been broken down to nothing and now she’s something. She’s got a purpose and she’s definitely got a goal. I don’t think the Night King was a part of that agenda. It was kinda like an on the fly decision. But I think tactically she’s been working toward killing Cersei.”