Winds of Winter may finally make Bran useful in one epic way
One of Bran's coolest abilities was wasted in the final season of Game of Thrones, but George R.R. Martin can fix that.
Bran Stark began Game of Thrones as a plot device, effectively kick-starting every major storyline by being chucked out a window by Jaime Lannister. It wasn’t until he began having dreams of the mysterious Three-Eyed Raven later on in Season 1 that his journey truly began. By Season 8, Bran was more Three-Eyed Raven than Stark, with the ability to foresee events across time and control the minds of any living being by warging into them.
In Season 4, the Three-Eyed Raven told Bran that he would never walk again, “but you will fly.” This led fans to believe that Bran would eventually warg into one of Daenerys Targaryen’s three dragons before Game of Thrones was over. Many even speculated that when Daenerys burned King’s Landing to the ground in Season 8’s “The Bells,” it was Bran who was controlling Drogon, the last surviving dragon.
However, that wasn’t the case at all and Bran spent most of Season 8 staring creepily at people and talking in riddles before finally being crowned king of Westeros’ remaining six kingdoms. It made little sense, but here we are. But there’s still hope that he’ll finally warg into a dragon in the pages of George R.R. Martin’s The Winds of Winter, the highly-anticipated sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.
It’s safe to say that Game of Thrones did very little with Bran’s most impressive gifts as the Three-Eyed Raven. His knowledge of history and ability to warg were left by the wayside, largely wasted following the death of his loyal caretaker, Hodor (RIP), who died in the midst of Bran warging into his mind.
Bran's unsatisfying arc on the show has a lot to do with the fact that series co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had gotten ahead of Martin’s books. After all, as of A Dance with Dragons, Bran is still in the haunted forest and has only just started his transformation and lessons with the previous Three-Eyed Rave, who's referred to in the books as the Three-Eyed Crow.
It remains unclear whether The Winds of Winter will include the Battle of Winterfell, but it’s possible that Bran could use his warging powers to change the outcome of the fight against the White Walkers, instead of just looking on the action as a gaggle of crows. He would be helping to save Winterfell, his family, and the rest of Westeros in one fell swoop.
If Daenerys is destined to become the Mad Queen and burn King’s Landing to a crisp, then Bran could diffuse the situation and save thousands of lives if he simply warged into Drogon. We already know that he’s able to warg into his Direwolf, Summer, so a dragon is the next logical step. At the very least, it would make Bran more of an active participant in the story.
Martin has released a few chapters from The Winds of Winter, but none of them have been from Bran’s perspective. However, his character has been a key player and focus of the books thus far and it would be pertinent — and incredibly fun — if he were to finally warg into a creature as powerful as a dragon. It remains unclear what Bran will be up to, if anything, in the next book, but it would be pretty amazing if Winds of Winter finally capitalized on his newfound powers and leveled up his warging status.
The Winds of Winter doesn't yet have a scheduled release date.