What Is the Three-Eyed Raven? Bran May Be Key in 'Game of Thrones' Season 8

Bran Stark has become the Three-Eyed Raven on Game of Thrones, but what does that mean and how will his abilities come into play in Season 8? Bran might just be the most powerful person in all of Westeros, but what will he do with that power?

Here’s a refresher course on the Three-Eyed Raven, how Bran came to claim that title, and what it means for Game of Thrones Season 8.

It’s been two long years since Game of Thrones was last on the air so you might have forgotten a few important details since then. Who is Jon Snow’s actual father? What’s the Golden Company? And what did Cersei’s prophecy mean? Let Inverse be your guide to some of the biggest questions as we head into Game of Thrones Season 8.

Light spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8 below.

What Is the Three-Eyed Raven?

Before Bran becomes the Three-Eyed Raven, the previous one appears to the Stark boy as a literal three-eyed bird to guide him. The first time it happens, in Season 1, Bran sees the mystical animal in a dream.

Then, inSeason 3, while heading north, Bran’s dream of the three-eyed raven leads him to Jojen and Meera. Jojen informs Bran about greensight, the ability to perceive past or future events.

In Season 4, Bran sees the actual Three-Eyed Raven in a vision that includes a voice telling him, “Look for me … beneath the tree … North.” He and his group eventually do find the Three-Eyed Raven, an old man attached to the roots of a weirwood tree.

“You’ll never walk again,” he tells Bran. “But you will fly.”

game of thrones three eyed raven bran stark
Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark and Max von Sydow as the Three-Eyed Raven on 'Game of Thrones.'

In Season 6, the Three-Eyed Raven trains Bran, showing him how to access the past before warning him to never interfere with what’s already happened. During these lessons, Bran visits some key moments from Game of Thrones history, learning how the first White Walker was created and the truth behind Jon Snow’s birth.

Unfortunately, Bran ends up revealing his location to the Night King in another vision. When the Undead show up at the weirwood tree they kill the elderly Three-Eyed Raven and Bran becomes the new one after just managing to escape.

In Season 7, Bran is reunited with his siblings. He quickly tells them that he’s become the Three-Eyed Raven, revealing information from their lives that he normally couldn’t have known. Then, Bran

during which times he shares news of what he has become. (He proves it by telling them of events he could not otherwise know.) 

It’s in the Season 7 finale that perhaps the biggest moment involving Bran’s position as the Three-Eyed Raven occurs. He is able to confirm what Sam has discovered with his abilities: Jon’s true identity. He sees that Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark were married. Jon wasn’t a bastard, but their legitimate son — and therefore, the true heir to the Iron Throne.

Why This Matters for Game of Thrones Season 8

Going into Game of Thrones Season 8, everyone’s wondering when and how Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen will find out they’re related because Jon is actually a Targaryen too.

Right now, Bran is the only one who can tell them. (Well, Sam can, too, but Bran’s the clear choice to spill the beans.) Presumably he’ll tell Jon right after revealing that he’s become the Third-Eye Raven, perhaps while they sit by the weirwood tree in Winterfell.

Jon’s true identity should also play a huge role in the show’s final season when it comes to who ends up on the Iron Throne. After all, as a Targaryen, Jon’s claim to the throne actually supersedes Dany’s. In that case, does it matter than Jon already bent the knee to Daenerys in Season 7?

Beyond Jon an Dany’s relationship, Bran’s powers as the Three-Eyed Raven could come into play in a bunch of big ways. As a warg, he could use his ability to control animals to take command of the Night King’s dragon (or one of Dany’s remaining two), which lines up nicely with the previous Raven’s claim that Bran will fly.

There’s also some more far-out Season 8 theories that suggest Bran’s ability to visit the past could mean he’s actually the cause of some important historical GoT events from before his time by helping to build the the Wall or driving the Mad King insane. He might even turn out to be the Night King through some time travel shenanigans, though that particular theory feels like too big of a stretch.

One thing is clear, though. As the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran is set to play a huge role in Game of Thrones Season 8, but if we want to know what that means we’ll just have to wait and see.

Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres Sunday, April 14 at 9 p.m. on HBO.


Related video: Game of Thrones Season 8 Footage Side-by-Side Comparison

Will history repeat itself for the Stark family before 'Game of Thrones' ends?
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