Game of Thrones might be over, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t debates still to be had over it, including why in God’s name the Night King was caught unawares by Arya Stark.
The Night King attacked Winterell with his army of wights in episode 3 of season 8 and just when he was about to attain victory, he was ambushed and killed by the most unlikeliest character– Arya.
I stumbled upon a question on Quora: “The Night King has been presumed to have abilites like a greenseer’s when he took down Viserion. Why did he not foresee the stab of the dagger which ultimately destroyed him?”
A lot of the answers were fascinating and I agree with some of them, but I think the major question is: Was the Night King a Greenseer?
Greenseers, according to the wiki fandom are titles given to people who possess the magical ability to perceive future, past or distant events in dreams known as Green Dreams. According to legend, greenseers were much respected by the Children of the Forest.
Also in it’s list of Greenseers it has Bran, Jojen and the initial Three-eyed-raven.
The Night King was able to kill Viserion with a well placed Spear (Javelin) throw which knocked the Dragon out of the sky and ended up killing it. This along with his ability to see Bran when the latter had a vision of the Night King and his army really popularized the theory that he was a greenseer. He was also able to mark Bran and track him down.
Therefore, it was weird that he couldn’t foresee Arya and his impending death.
The quora question brought forth many answers, the most notable being that he underestimated the humans and therefore didn’t bother to be aware of his surroundings or threats that the humans could pose.
This is a good argument as it was clear that while the Night King steered clear of directly confronting Dany and Jon who were riding dragons (he led them on a wild goose chase which in turn made preoccupied and unable to properly defend Winterfell), he didn’t seem perturbed by any attempts made by humans to kill him and when Arya did come for him, it was too late.
While the above point makes a lot of sense to me, here’s my take on the matter: He wasn’t a greenseer at all.
Westeros is a magical land and therefore, I think it is a bit presumptuous to assume that the Night King’s ability to see Bran while in a vision automatically means he’s a greenseer. He could just as easily have used another brand of magic to perceive Bran.
Game of Thrones employs a loose magic system with no clear rules or defined parameters, this leads me to believe that the Night King, being who he is, just used another type of Magic to sense Bran in the vision.
There is just no concrete evidence to prove that he is a greenseer.
The Night King was an enigmatic character, little was known about him and his origins, it would be interesting to obtain more information about this, but till then, let’s just celebrate what a badass Arya was for defeating him.