Game of Thrones cleared yet more villains off the board in Season 6, presumably to make way for ultimate big bad the Night(’s) King, though Season 7 has a ways to go before the undead army offers a clear and present danger. Following Sunday’s big finale, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss offer their take on the Night King pursing those blue lips to finally say something, as well what it might take to get past that pesky Wall.

Consider yourself warned of full spoilers for the sixth (and potentially seventh) season of Game of Thrones, but at least finale one rumor appears to have been premature, notably that the Night King would somehow bring The Wall crashing down, enabling his army of the dead to finally invade Westeros. That may yet come to pass, but it’s worth wondering what kind of expanded presence to expect from the horned baddie, who never speaks a single word, even in his origin among the Children of the Forest.

On that subject, Deadline spoke to Weiss and Benioff on the unlikelihood of the character ever speaking, lest it diminish him as a force of nature:

WEISS: I don’t think of the Night King as a villain as much as, Death. He is not like Joffrey, or [Ramsay]. He’s not really human anymore. To me, evil comes when you have a choice between that and good, and you choose the wrong way. The Night King doesn’t have a choice; he was created that way, and that’s what he is. In some ways, he’s just death, coming for everyone in the story, coming for all of us. In some ways, it’s appropriate he doesn’t speak. What’s death going to say? Anything would diminish him. He’s just a force of destruction. I don’t think we’ve ever been tempted to write dialogue for the Night King. Anything he said would be anticlimactic.

BENIOFF: Now that you bring it up, though, what would you have him say?

The Night King certainly unleashed his wrath on Bran’s weirwood base this season, though one wonders what he and the other White Walkers otherwise spend their time on, to have avoided breaching The Wall for so long. The undead Benjen Stark certainly gave us a clue with Sunday’s finale, to point out that ancient magics prevent any dead from crossing the icy barrier, something Benioff got notably cagey in teasing for Season 7:

BENIOFF: We don’t want to give away too much. There are the books, and the show, and it would be a disservice to both if we went into too much detail on whether we’re going to use [the books’ Horn of Joramun] or that. What is laid out in this season is, very clearly, that the wall isn’t just a physical structure keeping the army of the dead out. If the Wildlings managed to make it over, which they have, and the Night King has so much more in the way of both power and troops who’ll do literally anything he says … we’ll keep it at that for now.

We still don’t know precisely how Game of Thrones will structure its final seasons (Weiss and Benioff reiterated the likelihood of 13 episodes remaining), but will the Night King end up a major presence next season, or reserved for the very last stretch of episodes? Is a simple shrug all the only personality we’ll ever need?