The character of the Night King will go down in history as one of the most gruesome villains in TV history and Vladimir Furdik gave life to the role, beginning from the 6th season. He took over the role from Welsh actor, Richard Brake as the latter’s busy filming schedule at the time meant that he could no longer find time for the role. Furdik, before his part in Game of Thrones, was better known for working as a stuntman in films, however, with the thumping success of Game of Thrones, the spotlight settled on him as many became more interested in his affairs.
Here is a look at the actor and stuntman’s career, including his latter projects after the curtains came down on Game of Thrones.
Vladimir Furdik Before Game of Thrones
The Slovakian actor has been active in the entertainment scene since the 1970s, starting from his birthplace, Bratislava. Also called Furdo by friends, the actor was part of the Borseus group led by Gustáv Kyselica who was an influential stunt performer with credits including the Kingdom of Heaven and Pearl Harbor. Vladimir Furdik did not get his big break until the early 90s when he was hired as the stuntman on the set of the 1990 horror movie, Tremors. Three years later, he was brought on to the hit film, The Three Musketeers where he appeared in many fight scenes, performing stunts. His part in the film got him to share the set with stars like Kiefer Sutherland.
Vlad got his acting debut as Prince Sigismondo in 1994’s Dragon Ring. However, his primary focus has always been as a stuntman. As a stuntman, he soon became highly sought after, appearing in some major blockbusters. In 2010, he played the role of Hassansin Grenade Man in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and the following year, he portrayed Andrzej in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011). Some other big movies where Vlad has appeared as a stuntman include Robin Hood, War Horse, Snow White, and the Huntsman, Skyfall, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, among many others.
Game of Thrones Stint
Vladimir Furdik first got on Game of Thrones as a stunt performer. Long before his role as the Night King. In one of Bran Stark’s visions of the past events that happened in Westeros, Vlad serves as the stunt double for Ser Arthur Dayne who per Bran’s dream is fighting a young Ned Stark.
Before getting the role of the Night King, Vlad acted as a White Walker in season 5 in a scene where he fought Jon Snow in Hardhome. The combat would end with Snow killing him, making it Jon’s first White Walker kill. It was after this that the creators of the show David Benioff and D.B. Weiss considered him for the role of the Night King.
He made his debut as the Night King in Season 5 Episode 6 titled “The Door.” Also in this same episode, Vladimir Furdik, unknown to viewers, is also shown without his Night King make-up on; Bran has a vision about how the white walkers were created by the Children of the Forest and in it, a mortal man (Furdik) tied to a tree is stabbed with a Dragon glass spear by the leader of the Children of the Forest called Leaf and the mortal man becomes the first white walker.
Furdik played as the Night King for the remainder of the show which ended in Season 9 Episode finale titled “The Long Night.”
What Is Vladimir Furdik Doing After Playing Night King in GOT?
After playing the Night King in Game of Thrones, Vladimir Furdik has returned to his primary job of working as a stuntman. As of the time of this writing, he is yet to receive another starring role. However, he keeps himself busy as a sword and fights master (he is skilled in sword-fighting) in episodes of the TV series, The Witcher. The web TV series created by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich for Netflix is based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s book of the same name. The fantasy drama series stars a good number of English stars, among them Henry Cavill, Anya Chalotra, and Jodhi May.