Spoilers for “Winterfell” can be found all over this article. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.
Game of Thrones’ big Season 8 premiere episode “Winterfell” was only 54-minutes in length, and yet it provided enough epic moments that the Internet is collectively still talking about it several days later. Now, this morning, a new theory has emerged stating it’s very well possible that Bran wasn’t just sitting outside to creepily await Jaime Lannister.
You probably remember the whole sequence of events, but let’s recap just in case you missed something. After Dany and Jon Snow appeared on the scene and Bran interrupted a catfight between Sansa and Dany, he ultimately decided to continue sitting outside, by himself.
Later in the episode, it’s dark and he’s still sitting outside when Samwell approaches him and asks him flatly why he is sitting outside, to which Bran replies he is “waiting for an old friend.’ OK, Bran, ya creepy. We get it. Anyway, the comment at the time could have been taken as Bran was waiting for Sam, as he then warns Sam it’s time to tell Jon Snow about his true lineage.
Regardless, Bran continues to sit outside in the courtyard at Winterfell and wait, until the closing moment when Jaime Lannister shows up, removes his hood and ends up staring directly into the eyes of a character he pushed from a tower and left for dead.
OK, you’re all caught up.
There’s a part of me, a really hopeful part of me, that believes Bran’s comment really had to do with waiting on Jaime, because the look they exchange is epic, given Bran very well remembers the Kingslayer pushing him out of the window way back at the very end of Episode 1.
However, if that’s the case, there’s never been a truer tweet than this one:
There’s another option, however. In the trailer for Season 8, Bran speaks to someone not in the shot about coming home, noting as other footage from the new episodes is shown:
Everything you did brought you where you are now. Where you belong. Home.
Catch it below.
Months ago, various outlets speculated that Bran might be talking to Theon Greyjoy in the early trailer for the season, and now given what we learned in “Winterfell,” it seems like it could be likely the “old friend” Bran is referring to could be Theon as well.
After quickly and surprisingly saving Yara from the clutches of Euron Greyjoy (while he’s being distracted by Cersei), Yara and Theon have a nice little heart-to-heart where she tells him to return to the North.
Theon has had one of the longest journeys in the Game of Thrones universe, and he once even killed people at Winterfell in front of Bran. Isaac Hempstead Wright has previously discussed the scene in which Theon killed Ser Rodrick Cassel in front of Bran was incredibly difficult to shoot. Those two characters clearly have history together and there needs to be some sort of resolution between them at some point. Like with Jaime, I would assume Bran has some thoughts about Theon, and his homecoming to Winterfell would have implications of a different sort than bringing in the Lannister with the missing hand.
So, perhaps the “old friend” line works on multiple levels and isn’t about or just about Jaime Lannister after all?
Ultimately, we’ve seen the first look at next week and Jaime Lannister is definitely going to have to reckon with Dany if not Bran. Although, we've also seen first look images from Season 8 that seem to have Jaime smiling in a location that looks as if it could be Winterfell, so maybe things aren't as dire as they looked at the end of the episode. There are bigger fish to fry -- or in this case White Walkers to kill off for good -- after all.
We know for a fact that Bran will finally be inside during the scene between Dany and Jaime because the preview for next week revealed it. We also know Theon is nowhere to be seen at least in that scene, so again “the old friend” could still be meant for Bran's incestuous "pal" who pushed him off a tower years ago. Either way, what I do know is that although Bran claims to be thinking “bigger picture” as the Three-Eyed Raven these days, he can still be awfully petty at times.
Find out more when Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2 airs on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, complete with its brand new introduction sequence.