As we approach the Game of Thrones series finale, some fans have given up making sense of the plot, but others seem determined to right the wrongs they perceived in Season 8, specifically when it comes to Daenerys Targaryen’s turn towards Mad Queen in Season 8, Episode 5. One such theory, which seems to be gaining some legitimate momentum online, is so ridiculous, it’s giving us flashbacks to another equally weird moment of collective foolishness.
It wasn’t long ago when stir-crazy Marvel fans were debating whether Captain Marvel told Thor that she had telepathy, via telepathy, in a clip from Avengers: Endgame. The fact that Carol Danvers has never had telepathy as a superpower and there being zero context for telepathy to occur in the scene didn’t stop fans on Reddit from tirelessly speculating.
I bring this up because, now, ahead of the Game of Thrones series finale, fans on Reddit are speculating that Bran may have warged into Drogon, or maybe even Arya’s horse, in the penultimate episode, “The Bells.”
Look, the horse is possible. I wouldn’t put it past David Benioff and D.B. Weiss if they revealed on Sunday Bran casually telling Arya, “Hey, I warged into your horse.” That could happen.
But Bran warging into a dragon did not happen, and here’s why: As bad as Benioff and Weiss (or “D&D”) have become as storytellers, their particular brand is to explicitly tell viewers what the heck is going on at all times. Of all the things they lack, subtlety is one of them. And there were no hints, subtle or otherwise, that Bran was in control of Drogon at any point.
But let’s dive into the theory. As several Redditors point out, the prevailing idea is that Bran is evil because he is the Three-Eyed Raven, whose full motivations are still unknown. And so fans are letting that empty space be filled in with rampant ideas. This is why they think Bran warged into Drogon and set fire to King’s Landing, all the while leaving Daenerys helpless to stop it and essentially framing her for war crimes.
While it is suspicious we didn’t get a glimpse of Dany the entire time she was barbecuing King’s Landing, the lengthy shots of Dany’s face when the balls rang say it all: Dany was in total control and nobody else.
This theory is even more flimsy when you consider that we don’t know the Three-Eyed Raven at all. Is he actually the reincarnation of the Lord of Light? Did he want the Night King dead for a reason we don’t yet know? What does the Raven even want? Because the rules of Bran’s story have been played fast and loose, the Three-Eyed Raven has become an inkblot for fans to read into and “confirm” any theory they want.
If D&D wanted Bran’s warging to matter in this late stage of the game, they would have included a visual clue. A close-up shot of the eyes. A hard cut from Bran to the animal’s face. Even just a glimpse of Drogon’s eyes glazed over and white like Hodor’s when Bran warged into the gentle giant.
No one has to say out loud, “Bran has warged into a dragon or a horse.” This is a visual medium; you can say as much with one edit in Adobe Premiere. And that’s not what happened on Sunday.
There will undoubtedly be a lot of questions come the finale of Game of Thrones on Sunday. I would bet my entire student loan debt that the series will not end in a fulfilling way that satisfies all 8 million expectations. We’re totally in for another Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Dexter, or How I Met Your Mother, and I’ve made peace with that. I’m going to have a lot of “Huh?” “What? “Who?” at 10:27 p.m. Eastern, and that’s fine. I’ve got unwatched episodes of Veep left to finish.
But if you’re wondering whether Bran linked up to a dragon to burn millions of innocent people for absolutely no reason or context, or even a single hint that that happened: no way. And hey, if Sunday’s episode confirms that it actually happened, I’ll go back to watching The Walking Dead.
The Game of Thrones series finale airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.