** Spoilers for Game of Thrones season 6 episode 5 **
We’re now half way through season six of Game of Thrones and things are getting very interesting. Throughout the season so far we’ve had numerous twists and turns, with more revelations in five episodes than in an entire season (looking at you, season five).
In ‘The Door’, some pretty huge reveals were made beyond The Wall; we learnt how Hodor got his name (“Hold the door”), the origin of the White Walkers and that somehow Bran can interact with his visions.
That last one - that Bran can somehow interact with the past and present - has left some theorists floored: surely, when Bran learns to control his visions, he may be able to influence absolutely everything that has come before?
You could very well be right. The young Stark seemingly has the power to revisit almost any moment in the past - from those surrounding his family to the White Walker origins - so what’s to stop him influencing any moment in time, perhaps stopping the Game of Thrones altogether.
Episode five may already have the answers we are looking for. Let’s look at the Hodor situation: Bran manages to transport/warg the young Hodor’s mind into the older Hodor, thus - when he died - the young Hodor’s mind was wiped clean and only able to say the shortened “hold the door”.
From that point on, the young Hodor was destined to help Bran. Somehow, the events that led to Hodor becoming Hodor had already happened - Bran warging into Hodor at that point was bound to happen; Hodor was destined to go to that cave with Bran.
While we may need more evidence to prove Bran can’t mess with the past, this time-paradox seemingly shows Bran can’t affect the past in any way that will affect the present day. What he does in the past will lead to the inevitable events of the present. (By this logic, Bran going back and affecting Hodor led to the half giant's inevitable death and past dumbness but could never be stopped.)
Still here? Good, this isn’t exactly easy to explain. What this theoretically means is that everything currently happening will inevitably happen no matter what Bran does. If he attempts to go back and save the world, he will always end up getting touched by The Night’s King and getting Hodor, Summer, and the Three-Eyed Raven killed.
Following on from this, there are a tonne of theories that could prove true. We’re not talking one or two, we’re talking hundreds. Let’s quickly look at some of the interesting ones.
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Bran could be the one to drive the Mad King mad
Some theorists believe that Bran, at some stage, will feel the need to talk to the Mad King. Perhaps he’ll just want to admire the Targaryen, or maybe even try and stop him going mad. However, no matter what, the Mad King will always become the Mad King, slain by Jaime Lannister.
How does Bran play into this? Well, speculators believe the Mad King will hear Bran’s whispers, which will eventually drive Aerys mad. Evidence for this lies in Jaime’s description of the King’s last moments - according to the Kingslayer, the Targaryen kept saying “Burn them all” until his dying breath.
Could this be because Bran - or someone on that end - has whispered to him that phrase and he cannot stop saying it (much like “Hold the door”?).
There's also an image from the season six trailer that many fans believe shows the Mad King being stabbed by Jaime (below). The only time we've seen flashbacks is thanks to Bran, so could Bran be revisiting this moment when he affects the past?
Bran is the same Bran who built The Wall
Fans also believe Bran, knowing the threat of the White Walkers, will go back in time to build The Wall in the North. The main evidence for this lies in the fact the person who built The Wall, Brandon Stark, shares the same name as our young Bran. The current Bran also knows the threat of the White Walkers, and would likely want to protect the North from the undead, thus going back 8000 years to build The Wall.
Ironically, Bran is named after Bran the Builder, so if this is true, he would be named after himself and would have started the Stark name. Builder also erected Winterfell, a castle noted for being different to all other castles in Westeros (perhaps because it was built to defend against White Walkers?).
Bran trained Bloodraven, the Three-Eyed Raven
“The time has come, for you to become me,” the Three-Eyed Raven tells Bran as the White Walkers break into their cave. Some theorists think the Three-Eyed Raven may be Bran, but what makes more sense is if Bran somehow went back in time to train Bloodraven - the man believed to be the Three-Eyed Raven - who would then in turn train Bran.
Like Hodor, this is another time paradox, with no beginning or end, Bran has always been trained by the Three-Eyed Raven, who in turn was trained by Bran.
Bran is the architect of all that we have seen
Yep, the reason the Game of Thrones happens, the reason any of these events in Westeros happen, is because of Bran. He goes back in time to whisper to certain people - be it Varys via the flames or the Red Woman - so that this all happens. The Three-Eyed Raven recognised this when he saw Bran talk to Ned at the Tower of Joy, that he must learn to control his powers so the present/future can happen. This one’s the most extreme example but still makes some sense.
So there we have it; forget Jon Snow, Bran could be the most important character in Game of Thrones and he was gone for an entire season.
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