As Game of Thrones nears its conclusion, we see the real bad guys are the White Walkers. They have a near-perfect corollary to the Borg of Star Trek.
For a show about hope for all of mankind, Star Trek has its fair share of villainous aliens. Occasionally the Klingons and Romulans pop up as bad guys. The Jem Hadar and shapeshifting Founders of the Dominion gave some of us nightmares as kids, but nobody struck genuine fear into both viewers and Starfleet personnel like the Borg.
The Borg are the ultimate user, as Q said when they were first introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation’s episode “Q Who”. Not only are they a foe that can end your life, but their stated objective is to use your body as a cybernetically enhanced shell while taking all that you know and are and absorbing it to benefit the collective.
There are few things more horrible than having your individuality and knowledge stripped from you and being used against you and your friends and crew while what’s left of you must watch from the sidelines.
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That’s what happened when the Borg assimilated Captain Jean-Luc Picard, transforming him into Locutus. His knowledge allowed the Borg to repel an attack from the Enterprise, and then to destroy the entire defense fleet at Wolf 359. While his knowledge was being used to decimate huge numbers of Starfleet personnel, he was forced to watch, unable to stop or change a thing.
Led by the Night King, whose remarkable powers we’re only just getting a handle on, the White Walkers are Game of Thrones’ end bosses (or should be). While the Borg didn’t have a true figurehead leader until Star Trek: First Contact, they have a direct comparison in the form of the Borg Queen.
She speaks for the Borg, she is the embodiment of the thoughts and drives of the whole. Much like the Night King, she’s the force behind the mindless throngs of drones and wights. Also similar to the Borg, when you fall to the Night King’s army, you don’t simply die, erased from the field of battle. The Night King can re-animate you, meaning your compatriots on the battle field aren’t just down one man, the enemy side is now up one. Two-man swings every time one of you die in battle is an impossible obstacle to overcome.
The Borg have been mostly mothballed from the Star Trek universe for nearly two decades, but the White Walkers are on the rise. We’ll soon see (in the next year or more, at least) just how Game of Thrones’ heroes fair against their ultimate enemies.