(Note: This post includes spoilers through the Aug. 6 episode of “Game of Thrones.”)
The creepy Three-Eyed Raven kid definitely has something to contribute to “Game of Thrones,” but so far he hasn’t revealed what it is.
It’s getting tough to predict the plans of Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright), the new magically powerful Three-Eyed Raven, as Season 7 of “Game of Thrones” wanes on.
Bran has changed significantly since the key events of Season 6, in which he gained the powers of the Raven north of the Wall. And as Bran demonstrated in the last couple episodes in his interactions with his siblings Arya and Sansa, he’s losing track of his humanity. He “remembers” being Bran Stark, but because he remembers so many other lives and events, he can’t relate to other people — even Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick), who’s been his companion for what feels like forever.
It’s clear Bran has something planned for the mortals he hangs out with, hopefully angled toward helping them defeat the White Walkers and survive the winter. But what exactly that is still isn’t clear. And if Bran can’t relate to other people, even his siblings, will he be inclined to save them, or might he sacrifice them for his larger plan?
We’re still not sure, but we do know a few key things about what’s going on with Bran now. For one thing, we know for sure that he sees the past of just about everyone. Bran demonstrates that definitively when he tells Littlefinger “Chaos is a ladder” in Episode 4, referencing a speech Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) gave to Varys (Conleth Hill) in Season 3 about Littlefinger’s plans to take control of the Iron Throne.
Bran definitely understands everything that Littlefinger has done. The “Chaos is a ladder” speech pretty much laid out all of Littlefinger’s ambitions for power, and that conversation also included Littlefinger telling Varys he’d discovered that Ros (Esmé Bianco) was a spy in his brothel. Littlefinger responded to that revelation by turning Ros over to King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), who killed her.
What’s interesting is that Bran doesn’t give this information to Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Arya (Maisie Williams), both of whom are with him at King’s Landing. He could easily tell Sansa, “Littlefinger betrayed us,” since Bran probably knows that Littlefinger had a hand in the death of their father, Ned Stark (Sean Bean). He chooses not to, though, and also give Arya the Valyrian steel dagger Littlefinger gave to Bran. Both of those moves feel like Bran setting up events that’ll happen later.
We also know that Bran is not, in fact, infallible. He mentioned in Season 6 that he can see the past as well as the future, but apparently Bran can’t see the definite future — nor can he see what’s happening with everyone at all times.
When Bran meets Arya, he tells her he thought she was going to King’s Landing in order to kill Queen Cersei (Lena Headey), since Cersei is on Arya’s kill list. Arya responds by telling Bran that she, too, thought she was going to King’s Landing. It seems that when Bran turned his magic sight on Arya, she was heading to King’s Landing — but that was before she met Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey) at the Inn at the Crossroads, where she learned Jon (Kit Harington) was King in the North. If Bran had checked in again, he might have seen Arya’s new path.
What that means is, while Bran’s Three-Eyed Raven abilities let him see the past, he doesn’t see the future, although he might see several possible futures. He could have seen a possibility where Arya traveled to King’s Landing and thought it was the most likely future, discounting the path in which she went to Winterfell instead. In any event, we know that Bran can make mistakes.
Essentially, Bran is Dr. Manhattan from “Watchmen,” seeing many things at once and able to extrapolate various futures — and always seeming emotionally distant because he’s never in one place at any given moment. Even as he’s talking with Arya and Sansa in episode 4, he’s simultaneously who-knows-where seeing who-knows-what.
With all that information, it seems likely that Bran is working on manipulating people toward enacting a plan only he knows about. He wants Arya to have the Valyrian steel dagger for some future reason, and he’s showing some of his cards to Littlefinger for some other reason. By the same line of thinking, he mentioned Sansa’s wedding night to Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon) — at the time, it was just cruel, but it seems just as possible that Bran wanted to remind Sansa about what Littlefinger did to her by giving her to the Boltons.
Even with all that info, we still don’t quite know where Bran is steering everyone in “Game of Thrones.” And what’s worse, we’re not sure if what Bran has planned is actually good for any of the characters in the show. Since he’s so detached from the rest of humanity, it’s very possible he might be willing to sacrifice the Stark kids, and anybody else, for whatever he thinks is a worthy cause.
Fans have some interesting ideas about Bran’s future. Scroll down to check out our gallery of fan theories through Season 7 of “Game of Thrones” and beyond.