“Actually…” Santa is the Night King

Join Adam as he takes what you thought you knew about pop culture and entertainment, but actually

Santa is a White Walker

Just about everyone looks forward for their yearly visit from Santa Claus, but you’d be reluctant to leave your chimney open if you knew who he really was. Your beloved icon of Christmas is of the same ilk of George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones creations, the White Walkers. More specifically, ol’ St. Nick is actually the leader of the White Walkers, aka the Night King.

Tosh, you say? Maybe. But let’s look at some startling connections.

Happy Holi– holy shit, RUN!!

LOCALES: In a nutshell, White Walkers are something akin to frost zombies but cooler… and scarier. They reside north of an immense barrier known as the Wall. The Wall itself is in an incredibly cold region, comparable to northern Canada. The White Walkers reside even further north of that in a land known simply as “The Land of Always Winter”. As you can imagine, this region is bitterly freezing to the point that regular humans would find it entirely inhospitable and impossible to survive in due to the cold temperatures. Due to the lack of human exploration there, many rumors and legend surround the environment giving it a fabled magical mystique.

Now, just where does Santa get his junk mail delivered? As north as it gets, the North Pole, which would ostensibly be our world’s version of the Land of Always Winter. It doesn’t get much colder on the planet than its poles and the North Pole is as inhospitable as it can get with few beings other than Santa and his underlings being able to sustain its temperatures.

 

HARD TO FIND GOOD HELP: As everyone knows, Santa can’t do it alone. He has minions slaving away to meet his Yule tide commitments. Enter his merry band of elves and the toyland sweat shops OSHA would surely have  a field day at. These magical beings that are part humanoid and part, well, something else, are slavish devoted to the big Red Belly’s bidding. Residing within his domain and always at his side, they are complicit to his vision and incapable of surviving on their own. Some could even argue they are magically compelled slaves to his commands. I mean, it’s not like we’ve seen any W2 forms.

The Night King has his own retinue of magically imbued underlings in the form of White Walkers. They may be taller and more imposing than Herbie the Elf but they are just as devoted to the commands of their icy leader and both versions of magical underlings are helpless to do anything but their masters’ biddings

Elves in training?

TIMELESS ORIGINS: In a time before the contemporary  men and women of Westeros lived there was a man of ancient that was transformed through magic into the being known as the Night King. His true identity reaminst o be discovered, but the salient point is that despite the current incarnations otherworldly visage and powers he was once an ordinary man.

Similarly, the mythic Santa we know was originally St. Nicholas, a young devout worshipper that is said to have lived in 4th century Turkey. While both beings are now as mythic as they are magical, actually, they were first ordinary men from times long removed that were transformed by either hubris or fate. It’s also of no small note that both men/monsters appear to be equally immortal or at least ageless thanks to whatever magic originally transformed them.

Kinky

BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE: There is a chicken and the egg situation in Game of Thrones in that the people therein often dispute whether the White Walkers and their Night King leader come with the cold, or if in fact they are the very harbingers that usher in the brutal winters that the crux of Game of Thrones pivots on. Similarly, Santa only operates at the height of winter. While most consider him following the cold weather south, actually, he could just as easily be responsible for bringing the frosts with him as he travels the world under the cover of darkness in his sleigh. Speaking of darkness…

 

THE DARK: An alternative way of saying the “Night King” could be “he who reigns in darkness”. Hmm… who else reigns exclusively during the night? Well, beside Batman. Santa travels the world delivering presents to all the boys and girls only under the veil of darkness. Additionally, the North Pole can see extended periods of darkness due to its relation to the position of the sun. With Santa parking his ample posterior upon his candy cane throne fixed in the heart of the North Pole, he actually “reigns in darkness”. In other words, he is literally, by definition, the Night King.

 

MONSTROUS: Many consider Santa a gift-giving jolly fat man, but if you look back in history to other regional interpretations you find a much more sinister character more in line with the visage and sour attitude of the Night King. The Krampus, to be specific, is a monster of European folklore from which Santa’s naughty and nice list derive. Instead of depriving the naughty children of gifts as we typically envision, the Krampus is said to have abducted the misbehaved and commissioned them to punishment and forms of servitude to his cause. (Perhaps this is where he stocks his slave labor elves?)

A herd of Krampus, or is it Krampuses? Krampi?

In direct parallel, the Night King grows his legion by turning humans from their original forms to that of his undead army, which similarly follow their master’s beck and call. While it does provide good job security in an otherwise unstable economy, you’d be forgiven if you shudder the next time you hear the line, “he’s making a list, he’s checking it twice…”

Never trust a man who wears fur.

Far be it from me to spoil anyone’s excuse to enjoy a nice fruitcake and an ugly sweater, but if even half of the damning comparisons to George R. R. Martin’s Night King ring true to the identity and nature of Santa Claus, then consider trading in that lump of coal in your stocking for a blade of dragon glass.

Yikes! Is it New Year’s yet?!

 

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  • Adam Dodd

    Content Strategist, novelist and prolific roustabout who drinks entirely too much coffee. You can find him on Twitter @therealadamdodd

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