There have been multiple theories about who the Night King really is. The fact that Game of Thrones ended without a plausible explanation of the his motives or his origins, has been a source of frustration for many fans. Although we do not know much about why the most dangerous villain in GoT was hell bent on killing all living beings, we do know the man who portrayed that inhuman being to perfection.
The latest documentary on the making of Game of Thrones, called The Last Watch, touches upon various aspects of the making of this HBO production. One of the most interesting bits is that of Czech actor Vladimír Furdík's transformation from being a stunt choreographer to one of the major villains on the show.
Up until season 5, Furdík's job was to teach characters like Jon Snow and The Mountain, some of the fiercest fighters on the show, to lock swords in perfect coordination. For a show which has a considerable number of man-to-man combat scenes, Furdík's behind-the-scenes role was extremely important.
It is that behind-the-scenes job that brought him in front of the camera. Well, in a way. Furdík's real face is never seen on the show, it is heavily covered with makeup and prosthetics. Part of the reason why the dialogue-less role has generated a huge amount of curiosity among GoT fans.
"As a stuntman, many times directors asked me if I wanted to play small roles, until season 5, nobody knew how big this role was. It became bigger step by step, people started to talk about the Night King from season 6. Nobody knew how this character would grow up. Now we do," Furdík told Variety.
How did he bag the role? It was easy, Furdík says. "I picked up the phone, somebody said, 'Hey Vlad, do you want to be the Night King,' and I said, 'Yes!' They asked me if I wanted to be the Night King because they liked my performance in season 5 when I was fighting with Jon Snow and he killed me in the cottage. After that episode they asked me if I wanted to play the role for season 6 and I said, yes, why not."
The Night King was previously played by Welsh actor Richard Brake in seasons four and five.
Furdík also talked about how Miguel Sapochnik, who directed the battle scenes in GoT, helped him with his acting job. "Because I wasn't an actor, he gave me a lesson on how to play. Afterwards my homework was to go to the hotel and cry in front of the mirror."
Shooting the Night King's death scene was the hardest day in Furdík's life. "This moment with Arya when I grab her, and the emotions from Maisie were so strong, I felt like I spent all my energy that day," he said.
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