The cast list leaked for the first episode of Game of Thrones’ final season premiere and there was a surprising omission: Vladimir Furdik, the actor who plays the Night King, leader of the White Walkers.
For diehard fans attempting to forecast the show’s ultimate outcome, this naturally led to some furious theorizing as to just what the hell is up with the creepy, icy monarch.
As Inverse reports, the leak came from HBO, so it’s probably not a mistake. Inverse also makes some conclusions as to what this could indicate, considering the massive threat the Night King poses to Westeros and humanity in general:
Considering that Season 7 ended with the Night King and his new pet dragon blasting through the Wall that had kept them out of Westeros, it’s surprising to learn that Season 8 won’t pick up immediately where Game of Thrones left off.
This suggests we could be getting the typical season premiere, which mostly reminds us what everyone is up to without moving the plot forward much. That’s fine during a normal Game of Thrones Season, but with only six episodes left it would be a bit of a let down at this point.
This is some hardcore GoT nerd theorizing, to be sure, but that’s what shows with a fan base like Thrones bring out in people. And in their defense, we know we’re at the end, so there’s understandable anxiety in waiting to see just how the showrunners bring such a sprawling drama home.
One thing is for certain—we’re in for perhaps the most epic fictional battle ever brought to the screen, one that took nearly two months to film.
Vladimir Furdik addressed the battle at a fan convention late last year, saying (in Hungarian) that in “the third episode of the last season, there is a battle that the creators intended to be a historic moment in television.”
Furdik’s comment indicates direct knowledge, so it seems like a safe bet to say that the Night King’s coming, sooner or later. Probably by episode 3.
All of fandom’s questions about Game of Thrones Season 8 will be answered—hopefully—once it premieres April 14, 2019.