The Game of Thrones series finale probably won’t please everyone, especially when it comes to the choice of new ruler of Westeros. But a new theory may reveal how the show has been building towards that final Game of Thrones plot twist all along.
Major Game of Thrones spoilers ahead.
The decision to crown Bran Stark (aka the Three-Eyed Raven) as King of Westeros, may have proven those leaks were true, but it didn’t make a ton of sense. After all, as recently as Season 8, Episode 4, Bran told Tyrion he didn’t “want much of anything anymore.”
Two episodes later, Bran looked quite happy about the outcome in the Game of Thrones finale and, after a quasi-democratic vote crowned him king, Bran asks, “Why do you think I came all this way?” This line may prove that being King of Westeros was the Three-Eyed Raven’s endgame all along.
For someone who’s all-knowing, Bran wasn’t very helpful throughout Season 8. He seemed content with sitting idly by while everyone else planned and worried and killed and died. The only things Bran actively did was confirm that Jon is a Targaryen and give Arya the Valyrian steel dagger that eventually killed the Night King.
Those two actions also happened to eliminate the two biggest threats to his rule (the Night King and Daenerys Targaryen). Then, all Bran had to do was sit back and watch the rest of the characters do the hard work for him.
Fans have previously speculated that Bran warged into Drogon during the massacre of King’s Landing (a ridiculous notion at the time). There was even a theory that he warged into Daenerys and that’s why we never saw her face while she burned the city. While these theories were never proven true, the series finale provided plenty of evidence (as this theory suggests) that Bran may have planned to be king all along.
For one, Bran got pretty excited when Tyrion brought up finding Drogon. Why? It could be that Bran knows exactly where the the dragon is but doesn’t actually want to find him. Bran might have even warged into Drogon after Jon killed Daenerys and ordered him to burn the Iron Throne. With the symbol of power gone, a new chapter begins. It’s also a moment worth noting because Bran had barely shown his feelings since becoming the Three-Eyed Raven. Being crowned king seemed to change that.
Though it’s unclear how long Three-Eyed Ravens can live, it’s safe to say that the former Three-Eyed Raven lived for generations. There’s no doubt Bran will also live an extra long life. Not being able to have heirs doesn’t matter because he could rule for years and outlive everyone on his council. Before he does die, however, he could train and pass on his gifts to someone else, effectively ending human ascension to the throne.
Bran coming into power may have been teased all the way back in Season 4. In Season 4, Episode 2, Bran had a vision of the throne room covered in ash. In the same vision, a dragon’s shadow is seen flying over King’s Landing. It’s similar to Daenerys’ vision in the House of the Undying in Season 2 and may have been foreshadowing the Mother of Dragons’ massacre and death all along. Additionally, Bran tells Jon that being in the throne room with Daenerys was exactly where he was supposed to be. So if there’s any doubt that Bran knew what would happen the entire time, the Game of Thrones finale squashed it.
In an interview with the New York Times, actor Isaac Hempstead Wright claims he isn’t sure Bran could see that far into the future. However, the “very purpose of the Three-Eyed Raven is to be the one who is wise, and still, and careful enough to handle this information and not just go blabbering it about, because that would affect the outcome.”
Perhaps he’s known all along he would become king and didn’t say anything for fear of altering the course of history. If that’s the case, then Bran played everyone like a chess master, moving all of the pieces into position so that he could win. With Game of Thrones now concluded, we can choose to believe Bran knew he’d be king all along or admit the writers chose the lesser evil to rule Westeros. Either way, it’s definitely not an end anyone saw coming — except for the Three-Eyed Raven himself.