Game of Thrones is a unique show in many ways, and perhaps one of the things that sets it apart from many other shows is how its fans spawn theory after theory with each new piece of information they are given. One of the most popular character in Game of Thrones, when it comes to creating theories, is Bran Stark. The youngest Stark child has always intrigued fans with this abilities to warg. Now that he is officially the Three Eyed Raven, the theories have gotten wilder. With the end of season 7, many fans stipulated that Bran Stark and the Night King are the same people. If we are to believe this theory, then it neatly ties in all over Bran theories into a master one. So, let’s first take a look at the older theories fans have been supporting:
Bran Stark is Bran the Builder
Many fans have speculated that Bran Stark is also Bran the Builder, especially when Bran’s ability to travel back in time was revealed. According to legend, Bran the Builder was not only responsible for raising the wall, but also for raising the stronghold of Winterfell. It has also been hinted by several sources that he was crippled, like Bran, and was pulled on a sled-like contraption. However, apart from physical similarities, there is something that is quite intriguing – the wall is not just a giant block of ice. It is protected by ancient spells too. Bran’s magic may have come in handy, along with this knowledge of how the wall should be built.
Bran Stark is the reason why Mad King Aerys (MKA) Went Mad
When Bran’s time travelling abilities were revealed, fans also speculated that it is Bran’s whispers that made Aerys Targaryen go mad. However, there are many reasons to refute this theory. The first is that the World of Ice and Fire points towards the death of his son as the reason for him losing it. The second is that we know that MKA was obsessed with Wild Fyre even before the Targaryen’s moved to Kings Landing. When Rhaegar Targeryen was born at Summerhall, the Mad King tried performing magic with wild fyre, which is what led to the castle burning down. Madness also seems to run in the Targaryen clan, thanks to all that incest.
Bran Stark will kill the Night King
Many people believe Bran to be the hero responsible for killing the Night King and ending the war. However, that action sounds a bit like one that would be undertaken by Azor Ahai, no? Though Bran undoubtedly has a connection with the Night King, he may just be instrumental in pointing Jon in the right direction, rather than wielding the sword himself.
Bran Stark is the Night King
This is the latest theory to emerge and to be fair, it has its moments of hopeful insanity as well as irrefutable logic. Many fans believe that Bran Stark is the Night King and this theory combines every other Bran theory into a neat little package.
Knowing that the world must be saved, Bran travels back to the Mad King’s rule to tell him to stockpile wild fyre to protect the realm. This, of course, drives MKA mad and also fuels his obsession with the flame. But, to be fair, apart from this neat little detail of Bran influencing the realm in many ways, it doesn’t make too much sense for him to visit MKA. After all, we know that wild fyre has already been significantly used up by Cersei Lannister. It also played a part in the Battle of Blackwater, so unless Bran’s end goal is to somehow keep Cersei alive (because she has a pivotal role later), it doesn’t make sense for him to rely on the Mad King so much.
When this fails, Bran travels back further to the Age of Heroes to find out how the Walkers and Whites were defeated in the first place. During this time, to prepare the realm for the return of the walkers, he either wargs into Bran the Builder (or is somehow able to stay in the past and supervise the building) and facilitates the construction of the wall and Winterfell.
Finally, Bran travels back to the time when Leaf created the Night King. He wargs into the man but gets stuck and thus becomes the Night King himself, doomed to live in the Land of Always Winter for a thousand years.
While this theory is compelling, it raises more questions than it answers. For instance, even if Bran is the Night King, what is his ultimate motivation behind killing everyone? Is he just a mindless drone controlled by the children of the forest? Why wouldn’t Leaf know that their victim has been warged into, considering that the children of the forest are almost as powerful as the three eye raven? Why would he not recognize himself in the future?
Of course, there’s another detail to consider- when the Night King touches Crastor’s sons, they become white walkers too. However, when he touches Bran, all that happens is that he leaves a mark on him. Many fans thought that this will mean that the Night King will be able to move beyond the wall once Bran is there too. However, with Viserion destroying the wall in one fiery breathe, that theory doesn’t feel that strong anymore.
Perhaps Bran’s powers stopped him from turning into a White Walker when he was touched by the Night King. But if that is true, his powers should also protect him when Leaf turns him in the past, shouldn’t they? Like we said, the theory sounds great, but it only raises more questions.
As the three eyed raven told Bran “the past is already written, the ink is dry”. Bran cannot influence past actions and time is a closed loop. Would it really take him so long to understand that? It doesn’t make sense for him to keep travelling in the past to stop the war. Especially when you consider how his character has become robotic and unemotional. His ties to the world are mostly severed. Bran has a different role to play.