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Is the Night King truly evil?


When Mance rose to become King above the wall the wildlings were facing a Winter they weren't likely to survive as separate clans North of the Wall and Robert's rule had become a joke and his heir was a sociopath South of it.

As time has went on the Night's King has grown stronger and stronger as the houses of Westeros rip each other apart. And we know that the only way to stop the army of the dead is for the continent to stop its bickering and unite. Just like in the end the only way for the Children of the Forest and the first men did when they put aside their war to fight which in turn lead to peace between them.

So in the end is the Night's King really the bad guy or did the old gods just allow the ultimate weapon of the Children to rise because the people were at a crossroads and basically needed a crisis to make then sort their shit out?

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I'd say that anyone who wants to freeze the Earth solid and make it uninhabitable, and to use the dead as weapons against the living, fills most of the usual definitions of "evil".

I don't think he represents the Old Gods trying to make humanity pull together, I think he represents the natural order going out of balance. The planet has natural extremes of "fire and ice" and while it's naturally hotter or colder there's a natural balance that keeps living things from being destroyed by either heat or cold. Now the cold is threatening to become dominant, IMHO because of interference with the natural order of things. Not just the Children weaponizing the personification of winter, but IMHO because the vile Craster gave them power by sacrificing all those male incest babies. This is just my theory, but maybe that's why the White Walkers are so much stronger than they were last winter, Craster has given them a force of numbers they haven't had in thousands of years. Maybe that's why things are happening *now*.

Something is trying to restore the balance, maybe the Old Gods. Because now elemental Fire magic is gaining strength, the dragons are back and they have a queen with magical fire powers, and the worship of the Red God is rising. I don't know if they will outlast the final battle between fire and ice, fire can't be allowed too much power either.

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If this is the case there is still the question is the Night King himself truly evil?

If he represents the natural order going out of balance what he does isn't exactly diabolical. It is the natural conclusion of what put natural out of whack. It may feel evil if you are on the receiving end but is an avalanche truly evil or the forces that set it motion if the mountain had been treated in a way that lead to the avalanche?

And what you do in the face of that and how that turns out could be described and as truly evil - face it and possibly lose thousands if hiding may work (Jon), downplay it in the face of other matters (Dany) or think you can utilise it (Crastor by paying the Wights off with the babies he didn't want or what Cersai probably will plan to do)

And you are right something rose to balance it - the dragons but as you said the dragons and by extension Dany can't be allowed to have free range either.

I'm not downplaying the threat, instead I am saying the Night King is a symptom of everything else screwing up and the only way to deal with that is for people to work out what really matters.



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The Night's King wants to take over the whole world and exterminate everything that lives, I don't see how that doesn't meet every definition of "evil" going.

But I'm a practical person and not a philosophical one, to me what's important that the Night's King is *destructive* and must be stopped. This is not a case where dickering over the definition of "evil" counts.

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Yeah he is destructive but with the regards to being evil it is a practical question considering this is a land where Dragons were essentially a norm. Evil itself is an abstract concept.

Dany can be described as evil as she didn't need to burn the Tarly's, Cersai can be described as truly evil because well there is a long list, Jon is technically an abomination seeing how he rose from the dead, Arya is a psycho who will kill on a whim and Bran has the ability to stop all the dicking around and just tell everyone where they need to be to end this shit.

So if we stop saying the Night's King is truly evil as really he is looking after his people like everyone else in the game. I think he kind of think that maybe he can be argued as another spoke on the wheel that Dany talks about. He only rises like the houses when the conditions are right for him, when nature is out of whack he's been feed with soldiers and no-one is organised to stop him. For him to be kept down, like the houses of Westeros, the people have to work together to prevent it.

So to truly stop him and prevent him from rising again then the have to view why he rose and address that as well as realising their petty war is not really important.

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"Dany can be described as evil as she didn't need to burn the Tarly's, Cersai can be described as truly evil because well there is a long list, Jon is technically an abomination seeing how he rose from the dead, Arya is a psycho who will kill on a whim and Bran has the ability to stop all the dicking around and just tell everyone where they need to be to end this shit."

All those people are capable of good as well as bad, although not much in Cersei's case. Even her mother-love was toxic.

And again, IMHO the Night's King meets any definition of "evil" that I'd accept, but then for some reason there are a lot of people out there who are reluctant to label anything as truly evil. I don't see things in black-and-white, I see all sides of questions and situations, I understand complex motivations, but I am willing to say that some actions are not understandable they're just plain evil. And wanting to eliminate all living things meets that definition.

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The thing is we haven't seen anything from the King himself outside the terror in that man's face when he was first created.

He is now simply a force of nature. If you didn't know anything apart from the fact she was coming and had three big dragons and a foreign army she'd be just simply evil.

I just find it too easy to label something evil when we don't know much about the being itself. I just wonder if what was truly evil was that things got so out of whack in Westeros it caused him to rise and the fact that there was so much infighting that no - one cared he was getting stronger. He's kind of the symptom to me rather than the disease.

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I don't think things in Westeros are any more out of whack than usual, politically or culturally. There have always been civil wars and wars between the great houses and disputes over who's the True King and conflicts between religions and invasions and stuff. It's all terribly dramatic, but the fact is it's business as usual for that society.

The Long Night could be part of a natural cycle, although I myself think that it's an imbalance of natural forces. Anyway, if something has upset the balance of nature it's not what we're seeing onscreen, unless I'm right about Craster.

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Agreed
Riding at the vanguard of a massive rotting army of your previous victims seems the very definition of 'evil...'
Im also not a huge fan of labels or 'philosophical' thinking...good for those that are though!
The Night King and his host are coming to eat our bread and ravage our people-so 'evil' enough imo

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When I judge whether something or someone is good or evil, I look at their actions and their effects rather than their intentions. Intentions don't mean squat in the big scheme of things, most people who do horrible things have good intentions.

And yes, trying to wipe out all life on that planet is as "evil" enough for me.

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The Night King is a non-discriminating destructive force of nature. Which means he isn't good or evil. Just like a hurricane isn't good or evil when people die in its wake. And I'm thinking the only way to stop the army is to find a way to singularly take him out. Which probably isn't going to be as easy as using dragonglass since that is how he was made.

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I wonder if Valyrian steel would do it. It seems to me that a Valyrian steel sword easily killed a walker in Hardhome. It might be that the Night King is invulnerable to fire and dragonglass (fire will kill the wights, dragonglass the White Walkers), but maybe he can be killed with Valyrian steel.

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Something that occurred to me by the end of last season is that dragon glass is what was used to save Benjen from becoming a white after he was pierced by an ice spear. Dragon glass was also used by the children to create the original Night King. When the NK makes other WW Generals, he touches them (like the babies in season 4). And he doesn't even need to physically touch to just make wight zombies. He is clearly unique among his species in that he was the only one made with dragon glass. So I'm just speculating but I don't think that the glass itself can kill him. Maybe Valyrian steel or Dragon Breath.

It would be interesting if he turns out to be completely invulnerable and the series ends with them having to make a pact with him, maybe in exchange they could give him Cersei to be his undead Queen.

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Samwell calls the Night King "evil incarnate" in Ep 5 of Season 6. That's more than good enough for me.

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Because Sam is what? The omniscient authority on the subject. Nah, things in this world are more shades of grey than reductive black and white concepts of good and evil.

Also, Sam wasn't in episode 5 of season 6: The Door. Are you maybe referring to this season? I don't recall that line but only saw the episode Eastwatch once.

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Sorry, yes, Season 7.

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And also, yeah, he might well be evil incarnate, but given his origins I can't really blame the guy :)

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Didn't say that I blamed him. It's hard to find anything that is pure. I think that he is Evil Incarnate. There's a kind of beauty in that.

My faith in Sam stems from him being a true scholar. Scholars are anything but omniscient. More than most other people, scholars are keenly aware of their lack of knowledge, and are as honest as the day is long. When a man like Sam is believes something, I believe him.

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No I don't blame the Night King considering his origins either.

However we don't know what his motives truly are - is he following his original purpose to its logical conclusion or is he going overboard because he feels he was betrayed by both his people as they him be taken by the children and he wants revenge on the children himself.

Or does he feel that the only way for real peace is for cold to take over everything.

Without seeing his motives he is simply an analogy of a force of nature and nature itself isn't truly evil especially when the cause of why nature turned on people was caused by the short term motives of the people themselves..

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I find that evil is often judged by those who have morals that benefit them, can't accept hard truths about the nature of something that is necessarily destructive and hurts their feelings considering it being done let alone doing it. Killing five to save a hundred, a million to save a billion, etc and this goes for any life form, not just humans(which is once again something we're just partial to).

I don't think creating a completely homogeneous society as inherently evil and can be seen as virtuous depending on which side your on.

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My issue is that many say that the Night's King is truly evil without us seeing his true motives.

For all we know he is just following the purpose he was created to do to its logical end and even though it still means he needs to be stopped it would make him, himself, as evil as the toaster in your kitchen.

We know he is sentient but we know he doesn't think in the same terms as us - for one thing he is really slow in moving considering Hardhome was ages ago and he still hasn't even gotten to the wall yet even though, Jon has been all round Westeros and the Greyjoys, Varys, Dany and Arya have jumped continents in the same time frame!

I'm just saying that without seeing his motives he is simply an analogy of a force of nature and nature itself isn't truly evil especially when the cause of why nature turned on people was caused by the short term motives of the people themselves..




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Fair enough Fishpan
Maybe 'evil' is a word best left to theologians and other brainy-types...
Semantics aside he seems to be coming (albeit very SLOWLY) to destroy the world of humans so...maybe we can agree that he needs to be cut down.

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Oh I agree he needs to be cut down I just don't think he is evil in the sense we tend to use.

If anything there is more sense of singular purpose and trust in his army because he is in complete control. His army is more 'pure' in its sense of motives as the living and other players could very easily each be the bad guy or teetering to being toppled and replaced with a more violent reign.

Dany and Cersai can be described as more evil than the Night King in the normal sense we use as both have an end game of demanding absolute loyalty and are prepared to destroy those who will not give it to them.

Cersai is cruel and willing to burn all she sees as her enemy and even though Dany's motives can at the moment be described as wanting to put an end to the war but she still is after a throne. She's not against telling people who have no reason to trust her to bend the knee and does kill them when they say she has given them no reason to do so outside fear. In Jon's forces there is underlying treachery and discontent bubbling under the surface with the hint of violence.

With the Nights King there is no betrayal, no treachery, no scheming from any one you are either part of his army or you are breathing and that is it. No shades of grey. you won't see him burning children as a show of force or to scare others into submission, there is no turning on each other among his ranks.

I'm just saying that without his motives being shown we can't say he is truly more evil than those other players if anything the name 'the others' is a better description of him and the Wights as he is just so alien the only thing he is comparable to is nature itself.

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Excellent post and agreed

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Well, we're making a lot of assumptions about a person and a group of people with little to experience witnessing them for long periods of time. If I'm not mistaken, The Others have a language. It's described as having the sound of crackling ice. Given that they have a language and we the audience have not even witnessed them speaking, how could we make assumptions about the simplicity or complexity of their kind?

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I guess a lot of smart folks have very fair and reasonable points to make on this matter and yours is most welcome and appreciated by me.
Having said that and with all respect to the opinons of others the Night King is marching a massive army of fast/runner zombies in the general direction of human civilization so...id say he needs to be stopped and his host killed with fire. Unless any of the great debate masters out there can explain why an ice demon that turns children into other ice demons and raises human corpses to do his violent ravaging for him has some perfectly innocuous reason for his acts i feel he should be set on fire along with his horde.
Afterward you can all hold hands and cry in a drum circle about your feelings.
No offense...but f'ing c'mon man...that thing is a monster

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It's all perspective man. Looking at human beings who've killed off all of their competition on the planet and have factions that are constantly trying to kill, convert, or subjugate the other, I'd say we could be considered evil as well. If the dead army and The Others were just chilling do you think humans would leave them alone if they were aware of their presence. I do not think so

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Lootrock i have never 'net-met' you until tonight and i must say you raise some great points-that is to say im happy to 'meet' a smart and reasonable poster
Also, i may not agree about the nuances you raise...that cold dead beast gives me the creeps and i wanna light a match to chuck on him...i do appreciate your opinion about 'others'
Just this afternoon i read an article about North Korea which opened my eyes about the human reaction towards 'others' ( namely that a lot of our fears are horseshit and we all wanna avoid wars and deal with crappy leadership etc...)
So i get you and thanks :)
But the NK should still be killed

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I agree if the others were just chilling and humans found them I agree there would still be a war.

Now the wildling's raiding was brutal but those wildlings who made it to live south of the wall faced discrimination and violence. The Nights watch sent rangers north of the wall so Tormound's statement to Jorah about how his father sent men out to hunt the Free Folk like animals holds some truth. The Night's watch was prepared to watch Crastor brutalise his daughters and sacrifice his sons.

No-one is truly a good guy and it is all about perspective and even though the Night King and the Wights creep everyone out without actually showing their end game and the fact there is no manipulation is used on his part I have a hard time in saying he just evil or anymore evil than anyone else.

The only difference between him and the other players is that there is no way to come out alive when you go up against him.

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I believe that Jon and Sam and Gilly and Sansa are all 'good guys'
Even Jorah (who committed a crappy crime in his past and was a bit of a fool) is a very good guy
Lets not leave out Davos who is worth his weight in gold...lots of good guys on GOT imo

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Sam and Gilly are good guys. Jon tries to be a good guy but is a bit overwhelmed by it all and if Sansa sits down with Davos and Tyrion could forge the seven kingdoms into a functioning democracy if she would just get rid of little finger and Tyrion could talk Varys into believing in the people enough to have them rule themselves.

Though Jorah, I could be happy with him, Brienne, the Hound and Tormound go off at the end as the Seven Kingdom's version of the A Team looking for redemption and honour. You know surviving as somewhat 'as soldiers of 'kinda' fortune and if the people had a problem with no one else can help, and if they could find them...'

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Nice ATeam referance!
Yeah i forgot about Brienne...she is a hard-headed one but certainly a good 'guy'
As for Jon i feel hes (as you stated)
a bit wishy-washy in the leadership department but id pick him first for my team
Guts all day from Jonny-boy...he is the best of them all if we subtract his poor self esteem and loner qualities...

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Jon I'd pick as a good soldier with a lot to learn and who could grow into a decent leader. But not right now. He was in the right place at the right time to become the Lord Commander and the King of the North is a plot contrivance to get him in the same room as Dany without her burning him alive.

As for the Azhora Ahai thing - it is a chosen one prophecy. It is never the best thing.

Tormound and Sansa have a better grounding in the day to day ruling of people. Just one is a wildling and the other is a girl.

And Brienne yeah she is a good person but no real leader of large groups - her hanging onto her oaths in the manner she does kind of shows that. If anything she is kind of an assassin you send out.

Just with Dany, I can see her at some point sitting Jon down when he goes on about how they may be overwhelmed and have her scream

''I am not in danger, Jon. I am the danger! A guy opens his door and gets burnt to death and you think that of me? No. I am the one who burns it all!'

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Thanks for recognising the A Team ref!!

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Lol ATeamreference followed by Walter White quote...well playd Fishpan:)))
And yeah ill never forget the ATeam
My best friend in 3rd grade almost beat my ass when i said i liked Happy Days more than ATeam lol...i probably deserved that beating but im a fast runner!

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But until he jumped the shark what was not to love about the Fonz???

Though Chuck Cunningham - he went up the stairs and was never ever seen again...... it wasn't like he got in a boat and started rowing like Gendry.

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Ha
Getting hard to reply via phone...thread is all squeezed up and stupid looking lol

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Yeah hate that when that happens!!!

Stupid nesting thread

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It's all about perspective. There are, in the world, very few people who can be classified as truly evil (thank God). But there are also very few people who are truly, perfectly good. Most people land somewhere on the spectrum, and lean mostly toward one end or the other. I think this is true of a lot of the characters in GOT, also. We may not always agree with everything Dany or Tyrion or Brienne or Arya do, or even their motives behind them. But, in general, they tend to lean toward the good end.

Of the ones that are still alive, in addition to those you've mentioned, I'd also include Missandei, Meera Reed, Podrick, and Gendry on the list of "good guys." Honorable mentions -- due to the smallness of their roles -- also go to Edd and Hotpie.

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No person is perfectly good. We are imperfect, period. Our beauty is in our flaws. Our strength is in loving ourselves even with our flaws; but this topic puts too fine a point on it: the Night King is bad news for humanity, whether he/it is good, evil, naturalistic, contrived, Republican or batshit crazy. Once you get to the “bad news” designation, nothing else matters, and is a waste of time. Your choice is not debate. It’s fight or flight.

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Nah, he's a real swell guy ;-)

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Necessary evil?

The world needs bad men. We keep the other bad men from the door. -Rust Cohle

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Nice!
And yup...Rust would scare any fucker away from the door!

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He's about as evil as Skynet would be. I don't get the feeling he is moral or immoral. Just doing what he was programmed to do. He is to Skynet as the forest children would be to Cyberdyne. It was a total freak accident. No ill will intended.

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That Skynet analogy is on point and I applaud you for that 👏

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