Isaac Hempstead-Wright’s character is now one of the key players in the series and also boasts one of the most extensive transformations, that you’ll be forgiven for being a little hazy on.
Ahead of the second series of episode eight, it’s time for a refresher course on his story so far...
WTF is the Three-Eyed Raven?
Let’s start with a recap of this as it’s pretty important, and we’re going to do our best to keep it reasonably brief.
After seemingly endless visions that included a three-eyed bird, Bran came to the conclusion that he needed to head North, with the loyal Hodor at his side.
Along the way, as his dreams of the animal became more intense and lengthier, Bran met brother and sister Jojen and Meera.
Jojen told Bran all about greensight, the ability to see past events and some future ones, a snazzy skill he also shared.
He then had a dream where the raven told him to “look for me beneath the tree.. North” and they set off on a trip to everyone’s least-favourite destination, beyond the Wall.
When he find the tree, Bran finds out that the raven he’s been picturing is actually himself and some intense training – that comes with vital lessons on stuff like not messing with history – follows.
This is when Bran learns about heaps of events, including how White Walkers were created.
Sounds cool. What happened after that?
Things that were not so cool. During his whistle stop tour of the past, Bran discovered that he could spy on the Night King – and then found this power went both ways.
This allowed the Night King to see where Bran and co. were and soon enough, an army of wights were banging down to the door to their cave, while Bran remained all tranced out and in a vision.
This is when Hodor died isn’t it?
Yes. In one of the saddest scenes in Game Of Thrones history, Hodor died protecting Bran and making sure the wights were held off long enough for him to escape.
The whole thing is more than a bit confusing, but our colleagues at HuffPost US broke it down clearly at the time:
While still in the past, Bran seems to warg into young Hodor, then known as Wylis. In the present, Hodor is being told to “hold the door” to hold back the wight attack. This link between past and present Hodor messes with Wylis’ mind. Hodor in the present is being told to “hold the door,” so Wylis of the past starts repeating that, which turns into “Hodor”.
As well as being devastatingly sad, this episode confirmed that Bran can alter the past, which is y’know, a pretty big deal.
What happened next?
Bran and Meera were the only ones to make it out of the cave alive and via a meeting with Benjen Stark (yet another completely mysterious member of that family), eventually made it back down to the North.
A Stark reunion then saw Bran meet back up with his sisters as he told them about the fact he’s a three-eyed raven now, revealing a bunch of stuff he learnt in visions (but holding back the crucial fact about Jon being the true heir to the Iron Throne).
What else does he know?
Bran is one of only three people who know about Jon Snow’s true ancestry (the others being Samwell Tarly and Jon himself), and this probably isn’t the only secret he is harbouring.
Bran’s powers mean he knows everything to have ever happened as well as everything that currently is – which he demonstrated in the first episode of series eight by telling Daenerys Targaryen that the Night King has zombiefied her dragon.
There are a lot of secrets in the whole series still, from murders that have been wrongly attributed to possible pregnancies. Bran could technically reveal all of them. No biggie.
What’s the Night King theory?
In the run-up to series eight, one of the most-talked about theories centred on whether Bran could actually be the Night King. It’s all incredibly weird (but not entirely dismissible) and centres on an argument that during one of his trips back in time, Bran somehow created the character terrorising the seven kingdoms with his army of the dead.
The two of them are often wearing similar outfits and have similar abilities too, with HuffPost US pointing out that the Night King can see Bran while he’s in visions.
Then in the series finale, the White Walkers could be seen making their way through Westeros, having broken down the wall with the help of their brand-new dragon.
Redditor sannybop points out that it formation of the Army Of the Dead is very similar to the Stark direwolf symbol. Could this mean there’s some sort of link between the Starks and the White Walkers? And could that link be Bran?
We’re not so sure. But there are so many questions about Bran that are currently unanswered.
Let’s briefly go back to the fact the ability to see each other in visions seems to be a thing for both Bran and the Night King.
There’s an argument which claims this could mean the Night King can somehow use Bran’s powers (or similar ones) too, perhaps pre-planning the battle which took down dragon Viserion.
In the series eight premiere, there were also hints at Bran’s manipulativeness. Why didn’t he tell Jon about his true ancestry himself? Instead of lumping the job off on Sam?
And what are his plans for Jaime Lannister? Is revealing everything he knows? Bran’s abilities make him one of the most powerful people in the seven kingdoms, but he also knows a lot of truths that others might prefer to forget.
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