The hottest (err, coolest) theory right now about the Night King on Game of Thrones is that he and Bran Stark are one and the same thanks to some kind of time travel snafu, but not even Isaac Hempstead Wright — the actor who plays Bran on the show — is buying it.
The actor debunked the theory in an interview with Vulture published Wednesday, saying that he’s well aware of the theories: “Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of that.”
Hempstead Wright said, “I think it’s less that they’re the same person and more that they’re two of the ancient beings of Westeros. The Three-Eyed Raven has been around for God knows how long, and White Walkers have been reported since the beginning of time.” Influence across time has been used before, but not for situations like this. “Perhaps we can think of it as these are two characters with a huge amount of power,” Hempstead Wright said, “but one is a Frankenstein’s monster who is driven by nothing but hatred and violence. Then there’s Bran, who uses his powers for good.
The main gist of the “Bran is the Night King” theory is that Bran might one day go back in time and warg into the man who would go on to become the Night King, but in staying too long, he’ll get stuck in the past as the Night King. A lot of fans seem to think that Bran’s loss of a human personality in Season 7 indicated a shift towards that theory.
Much like the Night King, Bran’s focus is on a larger picture that isn’t weighed down by emotional human connections. That might be how the Night King was able to seemingly lay a trap to take a dragon for his own.
But Hempstead Wright explains it away, saying that Bran is “so dead set on what has to happen to next.” Him helping his sisters take care of Littlefinger in the Season 7 finale indicates that Bran still cares about doing what’s right on a more personal level.
“I want to find out why the Night King is so obsessed with destroying mankind,” Hempstead Wright admitted, sounding more like a fan. “We’ll see whether they have any kind of explanations in the next season. Hopefully we’ll find out cool stuff about both of those characters.”