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Young Brandon Stark was a major character in the early seasons of Game of Thrones, but he was cut out of Season 5 entirely. Bran came back with a vengeance in Season 6 to change to rules of what is and is not possible in the world of Westeros, and he’s responsible for one of the greatest tragedies of the sixth season so far. When he combined his warging skills with his greenseer abilities, Bran was able to save his and Meera’s lives while condemning faithful Hodor to death to hold a door against a horde of wights. Bran warped the young Hodor’s mind during his trip to the Winterfell of years past, and he raised a big question: if Bran could meddle in the events of days gone by, could his future on Game of Thrones actually be in the past?
According to a whole slew of theories gathered by Paste Magazine, Bran Stark could actually be the lynchpin to the past, present, and future of Game of Thrones. We’ve seen Bran visit the past to observe and we’ve seen Bran forced by circumstance to meddle; the next logical step for Bran may well be to visit the past and deliberately change events to try to preserve a civilization for the future.
Now, if Game of Thrones were any other show, the idea of one boy suddenly emerging out of nowhere to change the entire timeline of the series would feel farfetched. Given that the key players of Game of Thrones range from a queen who literally can’t catch on fire to a recently resurrected bastard who is preparing to fight an army of ice zombies, however, Bran becoming a player in the game of thrones via timeline shenanigans really doesn’t feel all that unlikely. Is it really a coincidence that a Stark known as “Bran the Builder” is the man responsible for the construction of the Wall? Couldn’t Aerys’ “burn them all” mantra have been born of a similar mental trauma as Hodor’s “hodor” as Bran messed with his mind? Isn’t it possible that future Bran has had a hand in all that has happened so far?
It’s still far too early for us to start betting on whether or not Bran is the puppetmaster of the past, present, and future of Game of Thrones. So far, all we’ve seen of Bran messing with time is that he may have sort of almost contacted his father, and he turned Hodor into a man whose sole purpose in life was to eventually die holding a door. Bran Stark as Brandon the Builder and the source of the madness that consumed Aerys are big conclusions to jump to without plenty more evidence. Hopefully, Game of Thrones will show more about what Bran can do as a warg and greenseer before Season 6 comes to a close.
Game of Thrones airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. To see what you’ll be able to watch once Season 6 comes to an end, check out our schedule of summer TV premiere dates.