Spoiler kinda....a few months ago we got season plot leak:

A dragon gets turned by the nights king.

We also have the prophecy that the dragon has three heads, which to some are Dany, Jon and Tyrion..... So wouldn't that change to Dany Jon and NIGHTS KING. But if the NK controls the dragon wouldn't that make him of the Targaryen family line and not of the Stark line, like we think? And if the Nk is the third head of the dragon how does that change the prophecy/story? Kinda just wondering if other people thought about this and what other people's thoughts are.

  • 3
    – Aegon
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 10:32

3 Answers 3


Official Stance

As already mentioned, the official and canon answer to this is, "We do not know yet". However, it can be speculated that the NK is not a Targaryen.

Flawed Premsie: Targaryen identity

Controlling a dragon doesn't make you a Targaryen. There are non-Targaryen dragonriders historically such as:

  1. Emperor Aurion
  2. Jaenara Belaerys
  3. Nettles
  4. Addam, Jacaerys, Lucerys, Joffrey1, Laena, Laenor2 Velaryons.

You don't need Targaryen blood to ride a dragon. It doesn't help much anyways.

The prophecy

The prophecy speaks of three heads of the dragon. It doesn't mention anything that the dragons have to be patrilineally descended from House Targaryen or have to be dragonriders.

The woman asks him if he will make a song for the child, and he replies that he has a song and that "He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire.". He appears to look at Dany then, as if seeing her, and then he adds that "There must be one more," and "The dragon has three heads.".

However, since the Targaryens were last prominent Dragonlords (Others being the Velaryons and the Celtigars), things got kind of mixed up and more centered on legacy of Targaryens.

Also note that Rhaegar who said that is known to have mistaken before about the meaning of the prophecy twice. At first he thought it was himself. Then he thought it must have been his son Aegon. He was wrong.

Chronological inaccuracies

Night's King actually predates the foundation of Valyria, as per the books. So he can't possibly be a lost Targaryen. He existed during the Age of Heroes (ca.-8,000 or -6,000 BC) while Valyrians established themselves 5000 years before Aegon's conquest. I don't know why you'd think he was a Stark either, his true name is lost. Sure there is implication that he may have been a Stark but that's not confirmed.

Suggested readings

  1. Books' NK vs Show's NK
  2. Difference between Others and Wights - Note how Others can reanimate the dead and control them. Can they do the same with living dragons?
  3. Can Wargs control dragons? - Since we are on subject of controlling dragons by means other than bloodmagic.
  4. Westerosi Dragons and their riders - Notice the non-Targaryen riders

1. Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffrey were half Targaryens; sons of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen

2. Laena and Laenor were half Targaryens; children of Princess Rhaenys Targaryen

  • the only reason in my comment I mention that he's rumored to be a Stark is b/c Old Nan's story about the Night's King ended with the statement that he was a Stark, and possibly a Brandon. Granted, she may have been saying that to frighten Bran but I feel like it at least fits into "rumor" territory.
    – Paul
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 11:57
  • @Paul Oh I wasn't referring to your comment (I assumed it was addressing the OP's statement wouldn't that make him of the Targaryen family line and not of the Stark line).
    – Aegon
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 11:59

No on both counts. In the show, they show how he was made and he was of the First Men, pre-dating the Targaryens by thousands of years.

In the books, he's rumored (by Old Nan) to be a Stark.

Sorry, I don't have quotes handy, I'll try and add them later except I imagine @Aegon will be along shortly to provide a full and complete answer. :P

  • No that helped and you got what I was questioning or where my thoughts were fixing to run with
    – amy lewis
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 23:14

I actually think Pauls answer is most likely, but the correct answer has to be we don't know and Martin isn't telling

Martin hints the Night's King died long ago (but he doesn't say that, just that it's likely)

It's possible the character we see in the TV show will never be named in the series, and someone on set just called him that so they can stop calling him the White Walker leader.

I'm sure there's a fan theory out there where Rhaegars corpse is taken north and reanimated to become the embodiment of ice cold vengeance on the Usurpers. (Or did I just make that up)...

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