If you haven’t seen any of season 8’s episode, be warned, there are major spoilers in this text. He is now one of the greatest villains in TV history, but who is the real face behind the dreaded (and recently deceased) Night King in Game of Thrones?
The Night King is none other than Vladimír Furdík, a Slovak actor, who has played this role since the series’ sixth season when he took over for Richard Brake.
However, his origins in both the HBO hit show and prior films aren’t acting roles, but rather stunt roles.
According to The Guardian, Furdík, 48, has a long history of being a stuntman in films. He has appeared in movies such as Sherlock Holmes, Skyfall, Spartacus, and Thor: The Dark World strictly as a stunt double, at times not even being credited for his role.
In 2015, he transitioned to the small screen when he landed his first Game of Thrones gig.
The actor started off as a stunt double and a stunt supervisor, specifically in season 5’s epic “Hardhome” episode, as he explained in an interview with Entertainment Weekly in March.
“When we did season 5, I was the White Walker who fought Jon Snow — the first time Jon Snow killed a White Walker, that was me,” he explained to EW. “After that, [showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss] asked if I’d play the Night King for seasons 6 through 8. I never asked why. Maybe they were happy with what I did in season 5.”
Furdík, upon taking up this role, was involved in the series much more frequently, especially the show’s most recent episode, which saw the end of the Night King’s reign of terror at the hands of Arya Stark (Maisie Williams).
However, much of the character’s backstory still remains a mystery, and with just three episodes left in the series, it’s unclear how much fans will learn about him. Either way, he has done a terrifyingly-good job so far in Game of Thrones.
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