Game Of Thrones Finale: Bran Stark Actor Names His Surprising Choice For King

Game of Thrones Bran Stark HBO

Spoilers ahead from the Game of Thrones series finale.

Like most of the Game of Thrones stars, Bran Stark actor Isaac Hempstead Wright was surprised by how his character's story ended. Unlike some characters, though, (coughDanycough) Bran got to have something of a happy ending. I guess?

Tyrion Lannister made a big speech advocating for Bran to be the king of Westeros. Bran initially didn't want the gig, much like Jon Snow before him. Bran didn't do any speaking for himself, he was pretty passive through most of it. The convening council of lords and ladies from the great houses of Westeros decided Bran should be king anyway. Bran wanted Tyrion to be his Hand but Tyrion argued that he had terrible judgment -- which was funny since his judgment just convinced them to make Bran king.

Anyway, Bran became king. That's not who Isaac Hempstead Wright would've chosen to rule, though:

Hodor. Yeah. [Yes, he's already dead.] But he could still deserve it.

Yeah, why not Hodor? Sure, he's dead, but Bran isn't even really Bran anymore, he's the Three-Eyed Raven, so you could argue Bran Stark is dead too. (I recognize that's a stretch.) Hodor is sweet and gentle and would be a kindly king. It might be tough to interpret his commands, but Tyrion could figure it out as Hand. They'd be an interesting team to watch.

Isaac Hempstead Wright was surprised to read the script and learn Bran would be king. He told EW he thinks Bran will do a good job, though:

I think he’ll be a really good king, actually. Perhaps there will be something missing in having real emotive leader, which is a useful quality in a king or queen as well. At the same time, you can’t really argue with Bran. He’s like, ‘No, I know everything.’

Sure, that sounds great.

Isaac Hempstead Wright told ET he kind of thought Bran's fate would be tied in some way to the Night King (despite previously saying those theories were "too Hollywood"). He did face the Night King in the godswood in Season 8, Episode 3, but Arya Stark killed the blue-eyed devil before he could kill the young Stark.

Game of Thrones series finale Season 8 Episode 6 Jon kneels to King Bran

Isaac Hempstead Wright shared his pre-season expectations, and his reaction to Bran's ending:

I thought I was going down the Night King route. ... I remember when I read the final episode, I got up and actually genuinely had to pace around my flat for a bit. ... I told my mum. I didn't want to do it over the phone, because I was too afraid of like, wire-tapping. I've never written down anything about it.

Well, he has now. After the Game of Thrones finale aired, THR posted a guest column from Isaac Hempstead Wright said he was "thrilled" by how the show ends.

I find it an extraordinary character arc to see him go from a vulnerable character totally dependent on others to the one person who holds all the keys to understanding the world. Bran becoming king is a victory for the still and considered people of this world, who too often get side-lined by the commotion of those who are louder and more reactionary. He doesn't shout to make himself heard, but instead waits and chooses his words and actions very carefully. In that, I think Bran presents a valuable reminder to us all in this day and age where sensationalism is rife and anybody can voice an opinion to millions, to sit and consider things a little more carefully.

Perhaps continuing on that note, Isaac Hempstead Wright took a shot at the viral fan petition as "absurd" and "ridiculous" in a separate interview with THR.

If people really, really hate this season? Then so be it. But it's been seven or eight years of absolutely brilliant television that captivated the world, that's encouraged debate, that's launched multiple water-cooler conversations on Monday mornings at work. It's been a pivotal, important part of history. It's been a key moment in television history. I think people will remember it as such. I think people will remember it as a fabulous journey to have been a part of, no matter their opinion on the ending.

The ending didn't just give Bran Stark a crown. Sansa Stark used the power of nepotism to turn to Bran and ask if The North could be the exception and become its own kingdom. No one said boo to that, so Sansa Stark is The Queen in the North, with Bran Stark as the King of the Six Other Kingdoms. The Starks rule Westeros. Not much of a wheel being broken, with highborns in charge, and nepotism in the kingdom, but there you go. Sansa earned her crown, though, so I can't say I'm mad about that ending.

Game of Thrones fans all have opinions about how the series ended, and you can check out CinemaBlend staff members' own grades over here.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.