Bran Stark is nevermore quoth the Three-Eyed Raven. Game of Thrones has effectively killed off the character played by Isaac Hempstead-Wright.
Meera (Ellie Kendrick) realizes Bran is no more in “The Spoils of War.” She reluctantly tells him that her mission to get him home is complete and now she must leave to be with her family. He agrees that he no longer needs her and gives a simple “thank you.” Meera is outraged by the apparent lack of compassion for those who sacrificed themselves for him including his direwolf Summer, his best friend Hodor and her own brother Jojen. She tries to reach him by calling out his name.
“I’m not really. Not anymore,” he replies. “I’m remember what it felt like to be Brandon Stark. But I remember so much else now.”
“You died in that cave,” she says in reference to the moment he became the Three-Eyed Raven.
He’s “no longer Bran Stark” Hempstead-Wright told TV & Satellite.
“He’s now got this huge responsibility of being the Three-eyed Raven,” he delved into the role. “He remembers what it was like to be Bran, but then he remembers everything that’s ever happened in the universe. So he’s got all this knowledge about Jon Snow and the origin of the White Walkers – which may come in handy for defeating them. It all means that Bran is a really valuable asset for Westeros right now. And he needs to make sure that this information gets to the right people in time and saves the day.”
Bran has a lukewarm family reunion in “The Queen’s Justice.” Sansa (Sophie Turner) tells him that as the last true son of Ned Stark, he is lord of Winterfell.
“I can never be lord of Winterfell,” he dispassionately replies. “I can never be lord of anything. I’m the Three-eyed Raven.”
That means he can see everything that has ever happened and that is currently happening but it’s all fragments. Apparently his visions aren’t the only thing he needs to learn to control. Their conversation is cut short when he callously recounts how beautiful her white wedding dress was on the night Ramsay raped Sansa (“Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”).
“He’s now the arch enemy of the Night King,’ adds Hempstead-Wright. ‘The Threeeyed Raven and the Night King are sworn enemies from the first day of time. Bran knows better than anyone the terror and fear that they should all be feeling with this threat looming over them.”
It’s not just his demeanor that’s changed. Hempstead-Wright suggested Bran might not tell Jon Snow (Kit Harington) that he is indeed a true Stark as revealed in his vision in “The Winds of Winter.”
“But will he even bother mentioning it to Jon if he meets him?” he pondered. “Because Bran recognises that all these kind of petty squabbles between Daenerys, Jon, Sansa and whoever, are totally irrelevant in the face of the threat that will actually destroy civilisation. So it will be interesting to see the difference between what Bran knows and what he tells others.”
Bottom of the ladder
Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen) attempts to gain favor with Bran whom he assumes will be the new lord. He gives him the Valyrian steel dagger wielded by the assassin who attempted to take his life. Littlefinger says he can only imagine what it’s like to have fought so hard to get home only to find such chaos.
Bran replies, “Chaos is a ladder.”
The remark is reference to a conversation from the “The Climb.” Lord Varys says that without the lies that comprise the realm they would be swallowed by a pit of chaos. Littlefinger gives a monologue explaining that chaos is a ladder of opportunity to climb to the top.
The implication is that Bran is onto Littlefinger’s scheming and that’s certainly the way he takes it. However, given the detached manner and the aforementioned lack of control over his visions, it may have been simply been reflex triggered by the conversation. Even if was intentional, Littlefinger won’t let falling off the ladder break him.
Bran immediately gives Arya (Maisie Williams) the dagger, which he says is “wasted on a cripple.” His reunion with Arya is nearly as cold as it was with Sansa. He is indifferent to her vendetta list and what surely would have been a suicidal mission into Kings Landing to kill Cersei (Lena Headey).
Hempstead-Wright has his own flashback to get into the mindset of the now Three-Eyed Raven.
“It was tricky to work out how exactly we would play him because it was clear that he needed to have this kind of emotionless, soulless, slightly mysterious aura to him,” says Hempstead-Wright. “But we didn’t want it to be really dull. When I was playing him, I’d be trying to rush through millions of things that had happened in past scenes and thinking of a moment, say, in an episode in season two – because that’s exactly what is going through Bran’s head. He’s got this whirlwind of information spinning around the whole time.”
Game of Thrones airs Sunday 9PM on HBO.