Behind those piercing blue eyes is a hunky Slovakian stuntman. The leader of the white walkers, a.k.a. the Night King, sent chills down our spines every time he appeared on the hit HBO series Game of Thrones, especially during the action-packed April 28 episode. So, who played the sadistic character with icy horns? We’re unveiling the man behind the mask: Vladimír Furdík.

You may recognize this stuntman-turned-actor, 48, from the other high-grossing flicks that he starred in like Skyfall and Thor: The Dark World, as well as The Three Musketeers. Vladimír is actually the second actor to play the infamous Night King, having portrayed the villainous character in seasons six through eight. The part was played by Richard Brake in seasons four and five.

Game of Thrones Night King Unmasked
HBO; Courtesy Vladimir Furdik/Instagram

On his Instagram page, fans get to see a completely different side of Vladimír. He’s shared several behind-the-scenes photos, showing him getting prosthetics and hanging out with some of our fan-favorite stars. Of course, he looks nothing like his famous character in real life, sporting a head full of blonde hair and a major lack of wrinkles unlike the evil leader of the Army of the Dead.

Back in March, Vladimír posted a video to his page showing the long and tedious process of becoming the Night King, with his neck fully covered in prosthetics and his face in makeup. TV magic!

As fans know, the Night King finally met his demise during the Battle of Winterfell, at the hands of our beloved Arya Stark, played by Maisie Williams. Vladimír previously discussed the Night King’s intentions during an interview with Entertainment Weekly back in March 2019. “He never wanted to be the Night King,” Vladimír explained. “I think he wants revenge. Everybody in this story has two sides — a bad side and a good side. The Night King only has one side, a bad side.”

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