Is Bran Stark the time-watching savior of Westeros or the harbinger of its doom? On today’s Nerdist News we’re diving head first into spoilers, so seriously, turn back now if you haven’t seen this week’s episode, “Oathbreaker.”
We good? OK, so last night on Game of Thrones, we got a big revelation when Bran shouted out “Fatheeeeeeer!” and his past-pops seemed to actually hear him. A major moment in understanding the capabilities of his powers. Does this mean Bran is going to realize he can influence history and possibly become some sort of time-master à la Doctor Who? Or will he step back from the action and watch everything go down, Three-Eyed Raven style? OR! Will he immediately get beheaded, making this another cruel red herring from George R. R. Martin? Let’s jump into some theories.
First, it’s unlikely that Bran is going to start changing timelines this late into the game. It’s just too much continuity to mess with, so we’re guessing Game of Thrones is working with a fixed timeline, meaning anything Bran does that affects history will only have consequences that are part of the story we already know. As the Three-Eyed Raven tells us, “the ink is dry.” In Westerosi history, there are a litany of Brandon Starks who became legends—including Bran the Builder, Bran the Breaker, and a large group of King Brandons with nicknames like “The Shipwright, The Burner, Ice Eyes, and The Bad.” Our question is, what if all of these Brandons are connected?
In the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, Nan got all the Brandon Starks mixed up—they’d eventually became “one person in her head.” Last night, The Raven warned Bran that staying in the past too long could cause him to stay there forever, meaning trying to affect the future may result in a self-fulfilling prophecy regardless. So what if Bran uses his warging abilities to visit the Brandons of the past one by one in a vain attempt to fix the Realm’s tragic state of affairs, effectively becoming all of them and one at once? (This feels especially apt when you consider that the Three-Eyed Raven is purported to be Brynden Rivers, aka the Bloodraven.)
Or—and this theory comes to us via our own Managing Editor Alicia Lutes—what if Bran and his greensight are what got the Realm into this mess in the first place? After seeing Bran whisper through time to his father, we can’t help but ask: What if Bran was the one that tried to stop all of this from the start in a naive attempt to fix everyone’s problems? Could Bran have whispered through time to Aerys the Mad King try to get him to change his ways only to effectively be the whispers that drove him mad?! And if not Bran, what about the Three-Eyed Raven (it would explain why he’s wary of Bran getting too involved in the past, and his ominous discussion of his own ghosts in the books)?
Whatever the case may be, here’s hoping that Bran will figure it out and save the realm instead of, I dunno, accidentally driving a king mad or making his mom fall in love with him. But what about you guys? Do you guys think Bran whispered to King Aerys Targaryen until the King started slaying people left and right? Was it the three-eyed raven that did it? Will Bran become every Bran? Let’s discuss in the comments!