This article contains spoilers from the Song of Ice and Fire books and the HBO series.
Throughout the Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones, the series’ supernatural villains, the White Walkers, have never really gotten the attention they deserve. Despite the fact they have the ability to melt the ice sheets (kind of like global warming), they’ve been relegated to background status, a constant threat that no one really does anything about (kind of like global warming).
However, last season, we saw the true force of their undead army and met the leader of the White Walkers: The Night’s King. While George R.R. Martin has stated the Night’s King is only a legendary figure in the books, he’s very much alive (is that the right choice of the word?) in the show and according to the most recent Game of Thrones trailer, we should be expected to see more of him in the upcoming season.
According to legend, the Night’s King was once the thirteenth Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. After he fell in love with a woman “with skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars” and “skin was cold as ice,” the Lord Commander broke his sacred vow, took the woman as his wife, declared himself the Night’s King, and ruled the from his castle at the Nightfort.
The Night’s King reigned for thirteen years before he was defeated by a coalition of Brandon the Breaker, the King of Winter and Lord of Winterfell, and Joramun, the King-Beyond-the-Wall. In addition to helping defeat the Night’s King, Joramun is believed to have crafted a horn that could wake giants from their sleep. The horn has been called many things including the Horn of Winter, the Horn of Darkness, and the Horn of Joramun, but one thing is known: the horn has the power to destroy The Wall.
Mance Rayder unsuccessfully searched for the Horn of Winter before Jon gave him the Dr. Kevorkian treatment, but even some Wildlings were afraid of its consequences asking, “Once the Wall is fallen, what will stop the Others?” That question may be answered this season. In the most recent trailer, the Night’s King appears to be wearing a giant ice horn on his back. Could this be the Horn of Winter? Could this be the season The Wall finally comes crashing down?
Game of Thrones returns April 24th.