"Game of Thrones" fans have concocted a massive number of theories to try to figure out everything on the show, and one of the most popular ones circulating makes the case that Bran Stark is actually the Night King.
The Reddit user turm0il26 is credited with the spread of this fan theory, thanks to a post expanding upon and linking to a popular "Game of Theories" YouTube video that explained the theory.
The Bran Stark/Night King theory suggests that Bran tries to use his powers to go back in time to save the people of Westeros from White Walkers, and in the process turns into the Night King.
We already know Bran has visions, can see and travel into the past and future, and can warg -- or inhabit -- another person's body and control them.
The idea is that Bran makes three trips to the past, using all his powers in an attempt to eradicate the White Walkers, but inadvertently creates all the events that cause the present chaos and destruction he was trying to prevent in the first place.
According to the theory, the first time Bran travels back in time, he visits the Mad King, Aerys Targaryen II. Bran whispers in his ear "Burn them all" to try to warn him about the White Walkers and persuade him to burn them, which would prevent their return. But instead, the message drives the Mad King well, mad, and he then burns his people instead of the White Walkers.
The second time Bran travels back in time, according to the theory, he tries to go back to when men were first able to eliminate the White Walkers to learn how they did it. However, Bran miscalculates and misses this event, so he instead wargs into the legendary Bran the Builder and helps build the Wall, which we now know is not a permanent solution to separate the White Walkers from Westeros.
The third and last time Bran travels back in time, according to the theory, he goes back to the era of the Children of the Forest and embodies the first man they turned into a White Walker. The Children of the Forest created White Walkers in the hope of eliminating men, but the White Walkers eventually became a bigger threat.
The idea is that Bran wargs into this first White Walker, thinking he'll be able to prevent any war among White Walkers, the Children of the Forest, and men. But he becomes trapped in the White Walker and, armed with his powers, eventually turns into the Night King. Both Jojen and the Three-Eyed Raven warned Bran that if he stayed in the past or in someone's body for too long, he could be trapped.
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This theory is also used to explain why the Night King let Jon Snow go during the battle of Hardhome -- because Bran was seeing the first member of his family in over a millennium. This moment, according to the theory, reveals there's still a little bit of Bran left in the Night King.
However, this is just a theory -- one of many at this point. While it's interesting and fun to think about, there's no "smoking gun" in the series that proves this.
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