Bran Stark's new title in Game of Thrones finale accused of being 'ableist'

*Spoilers for Game of Thrones season eight finale ahead*

Sabrina Barr
Tuesday 21 May 2019 15:21
comments
Game of Thrones: Bran Stark offered opportunity to rule Iron Throne

*Spoilers for the Game of Thrones season eight finale ahead*

The final ever episode of Game of Thrones saw the fates of several key characters of the fantasy epic sealed.

One of said characters was Bran Stark, who was named King of the six realms of Westeros, excluding the independent kingdom of the North.

When putting Bran forward as a viable option for the throne, Tyrion Lannister provides him with a new title – "Bran the Broken" – in reference to him being in a wheelchair.

The inclusion of the title in the show has been heavily criticised by some Game of Thrones fans, several of whom decried it as a blatant example of ableism.

"As a wheelchair user I gotta say #GameofThrones really punched me right in the heart with this Bran the Broken s**t," one person tweeted.

"Glad to be reminded ableism will always [s]eep into everything, even fantasy. I'd like one day without the world telling me I'm broken."

"I'm disabled... I'm not f***ing broken!" another remarked. "Y'all are so surprised when wheelchair users get treated like s**t, but we do all the time because of this idea we're broken and worthless!

"This #GameOfThronesFinale just emphasises the BS. It will continue to cause real harm to us!"

Another fan expressed their shock over the number of people defending the moniker, tweeting: "Yikes are everyone defending the ableism with Bran's title."

Ableism, as outlined by StopAbleism.org, ​is defined by "the practices and dominant attitudes in society that devalue and limit the potentials of persons with disabilities".

The organisation explains that this can make people with disabilities feel "inferior" to others.

Some Game of Thrones fans suggested other titles Bran could have been granted, inspired by his storyline in the show.

"Why Bran 'the Broken'? Why can't it be Bran 'the Seer', Bran 'the Raven', Bran 'the Wise', ol' Branny Three Eyes, Bran 'the literally-anything-else'?" one person tweeted.

Isaac Hempstead-West, who's played the character for almost a decade, revealed he initially thought the script for the finale was a joke.

“I genuinely thought it was a joke script and that [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] sent to everyone a script with their own character ends up on the Iron Throne. ‘Yeah, good one guys. Oh s**t, it’s actually real?’” he told Entertainment Weekly.

For all the latest on Game of Thrones, click here.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments