The Night King could have a very strong connection to both Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen — a familial connection. Past and present clues add weight to the theory the Night King could be a Targaryen.
The Night King’s identity remains the ultimate mystery on Game of Thrones. Some fans think the Night King is actually Bran Stark, but one solid theory claims the Night King is actually a member of the Targaryen family. This theory really came into play during the season 8 premiere. When Tormund, Beric, Dolorous Edd, and more discover the boy from House Umber impaled on a wall at Last Hearth, he’s surrounded limbs that create a familiar swirling pattern. When the boy comes back as a wight and is finally killed by Beric’s flaming sword, the Night King’s message is revealed: a flaming spiral.
The flaming spiral looks very similar to the Targaryen sigil, which is a red three-headed dragon that forms a spiral. Fans immediately noticed how the Targaryen sigil and the Night King’s message look alike, with some believing the Night King is a Targaryen, possibly the late Rhaegar Targaryen. While the Night King could be a Targaryen, he could just be sending some type of message to Daenerys and Jon Snow.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this spiral formation. In season 3, Jon finds this swirl made up of mutilated horses north of the Wall. In season 7, the spiral formation is seen carved in the dragonglass caves at Dragonstone. In season 6, Bran travels back to the past and sees the same spiral pattern in the stones around the weirwood tree where the Children of the Forest created the Night King. Remember, the Children of the Forest created the Night King. Game of Thrones showrunner David Benioff confirmed that the White Walkers actually copied this symbol from the Children of the Forest. “One of the things we learn from these cave paintings is that the White Walkers didn’t come up with those images; they derived them from their creators, the Children of the Forest,” he said in a behind-the-scenes special for the fourth episode of season 7. “These are patterns that have mystical significance for the children of the forest, we’re not sure exactly what they signify, but spiral patterns are important in a lot of different cultures in our world, and it makes sense that they would be in this world as well.”
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Another hint that the Night King is a Targaryen comes from Benioff after the season 8 premiere. In the “Inside the Episode” premiere special, David talks about the moment Jon rode Rhaegal for the first time. “No one’s ever ridden a dragon except for Dany,” he says. “Only Targaryens can ride dragons and that should be a sign for Jon.” While we know Daenerys and Jon Snow are Targaryens, this could hint that the Night King is a Targaryen, too. After all, he brought Viserion back to life as an ice dragon and was able to ride the creature with no problem. If he’s not a Targaryen, then why can he ride a dragon? Game of Thrones season 8 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.