With the trailer of Game of Thrones dropping, the theories about different characters are sure to increase even more. However, as mind-boggling it may sound, Bran Stark being the Night King is one of the theories that will put all other theories to shame. The first question that comes in mind is that how can Bran be both the Three-Eyed Raven and the Night King at once!
It could be that he becomes the Night King because of the powers of the Three-Eyed-Raven. The theory revolves around the fact that Bran Stark remained in the Night King’s body during one of his warging sessions. We all know that Bran has powers other than warging, like the greensight and has the ability to have an effect on a past event or even change it. This is evident in the scene where he changes the life of Hodor forever. Warging is a power that quite a few Northerners have but Bran’s ability to warg into humans and not just animals is what makes him special. Greensight is the power to go back and forth in past, present and future from time to time.
Now that we have established the powers of Bran Stark, the third-eyed-raven, let’s get into the meat of the theory. We have all seen how Bran goes back in time to witness different moments that turn out to be a crucial plotpoint. Since Bran can time travel into the future as well, it is likely that he has seen how the Great War ends and hence tries to go back in time and change things as is.
So, what happened?
We can say that Bran went back in time three times to try to make an impact to alter the future in some way. First, he goes back in time and asks Aerys Targaryen, the last Targaryen King of Westeros and father of Rhaegar, Viserys and Danaerys, to burn them all. Sounds too familiar? Yes, it was Bran talking to Aerys in his head to burn all the white walkers before they start doing something. However, this attempt of Bran fails as Aerys goes mad due to the voices in his head and instead tries to burn all the people of the Realm. Aerys got the nickname of ‘The Mad King’ and eventually meets his death at the hands of his Kingsguard, Jamie Lannister. Again, Bran did manage to change the series of events due to his intervention but not for any good, as it led to more carnage in the end.
Bran’s second attempt is when he goes further back when the white walkers first meet the commoners of Westeros in the North. He makes this journey in order to learn how humanity stopped the White Walkers in the first place. However, it turns out that Bran is too late to arrive due to his inexperience with the use of Greensight and time travel. Bran decides to stay in the body of Brand The Builder and help build ‘The Wall’. This may also suggest whom Brandon Stark is named after and why he is lovingly called Bran.
Upon the third failed attempt, Bran makes sure that he goes way back in time when the Children of the Forest first created a white walker or the Night King, to stop them from this action and end the story of the Night King forever, right at its inception. Nevertheless, this is where possibly everything went wrong. He stayed in the past for too long and thus stayed in the body of the Night King since then. This gave the Night King the powers of Bran as well. The strange connection between the two explains how the Night King is able to sense Bran whenever he is around.
Now let us give you some proof to back this insane theory.
In the scene when Leaf turns a man into the Night King, the next scene switches to Bran lying on the ground in the exact same position. You might say that it is just a way to make the fans read too much into the scene. Well, it’s a given that you cannot forget the scene when it is revealed that Lyanna Stark gave birth to healthy baby, asking Ned to raise the child and then the scene switches to Jon Snow immediately. You all know how it turned out in the end. Therefore, this immediate switch in the scenes is a way to show the world what lies in the upcoming season.
In one of the most thrilling episodes of the show, Hard Home, one can see that the Night King lets Jon Snow go without harming him. It might be because it was the first time in more than a thousand years that Bran saw someone from his family and got emotional. It is also possible that Bran already knows that Jon Snow is the one to kill him in the end to set things straight. George R.R Martin has already said that the ending of the saga will be a bittersweet one. What could be more bittersweet than Jon killing his own brother to win the Great War?
Furthermore, in the recently released teaser, ‘Crypts of Winterfell’, only Jon, Sansa and Arya can be seen in the crypts looking at their own statues. Why is Bran not in there with them, being a Stark himself? It may be suggesting that Bran is now no longer a part of them and is ready to sacrifice himself for the greater good of the Realm.
If this happens then this could mean that the story surely will end on a bittersweet note. However, as always, you never know with Game of Thrones.