I am still pretty salty at Game of Thrones‘ resident greenseer, Bran, for his monumental transgressions against Hodor. Basically, at this point, the only thing that Bran could really do to win me back would be to travel back in time and bring Robb Stark back. Yes, Bran, that is a challenge.
As angry as I am, it’s become painfully obvious that Bran is pretty important in this whole thing. Last week, fans were treated to another one of his visions, but this time, Bran’s vision was displayed like we had set our televisions to warp speed. Clearly, these visions are pretty pivotal to unraveling some long-debated mysteries surrounding key Westerosi players.
Well, I’m here to slow Bran’s roll a bit and break down his complex vision from last week. These scenes were incredibly important but the meanings were also incredibly veiled, so hang tight.
Here’s my take on what these scenes could have meant.
Nothing in Game of Thrones is done unintentionally. The showrunners wouldn’t just toss these scenes together without having a rhyme or reason for them. There is a quick cut of Catelyn Stark being killed at the Red Wedding and then a shot of Daenerys being reborn from the flames. After these two seemingly unconnected moments, the vision cuts to scenes of the Night King turning a baby into a wight and ends with Ned Stark’s beheading. It points to the possible arrival of a book character that fans have been praying to the gods old and new to bring to the show: Lady Stoneheart, who is basically the rebirth of Catelyn Stark as a really angry zombie seeking revenge for the deaths of Robb and Ned.
Fans have heard about Mad King Aerys forever, but we were never given a visual until now. You may remember Jaime and Brienne’s sassy bath together back in Season 3. Jaime told her about the Mad King, why he became known as the kingslayer and how he was obsessed with wildfire (we saw that used to defeat Stannis in the Battle of Blackwater in Season 2). Aerys kept barrels of it hidden under King’s Landing. In Bran’s vision, we hear Aerys screaming, “Burn them all!” There are scenes of pyromancers pouring wildfire into containers and then an underground stockpile of it exploding. I’m assuming the pyromancers were in the past, but the explosion is likely in the future because we definitely haven’t seen or heard of it before.
R + L = J
We may have another subtle confirmation of the most popular fan theory out there. If you didn’t know, R + L = J basically says that Jon Snow is actually the son of Lyanna Stark (Ned’s sister) and Rhaegar Targaryen and that the promise Ned made Lyanna when she died was to claim her child (Jon Snow) as his own. In Bran’s vision, there is a scene of Aerys Targaryen, then a shot of young Ned Stark asking where Lyanna is, then a scene of a bloody hand over a bloody abdomen. I’ve done the legwork for you and confirmed that the sleeve cuff in the vision does match young Ned’s sleeve cuffs from the vision Bran previously had of the Tower of Joy. This seems to be a subtle nod to the fact that Lyanna died after childbirth (the blood) and made Ned promise to claim Jon Targaryen/Snow as his own.
“Burn them all!”
The shot of Bran falling from the tower in the first episode is shown a few times in the vision, and there are also multiple shots of Aerys yelling, “Burn them all!” I have a feeling that this is intended to convey that Bran was the cause of King Aerys’ descent into madness. I believe that Bran may have told the king that the only way to kill the impending White Walkers was to burn them all. The king may have just heard whispers or voices and gone mad. We saw that this is possible because Bran did the same thing to Hodor. Basically, Bran ruined everything.
Death of kings
There is a quick cut of King Aerys being slain by Jaime, Robb Stark (the King in the North) being killed by Roose Bolton and then a crow. Could the crow represent Jon Snow? The Night’s Watch are called crows, and if Jon is actually Rhaegar Targaryen’s son, he would have a rightful claim to the throne. Does this spell doom for Jon? The other side of this could mean that Jon is truly the next king. After all, there are two shots of kings being betrayed in death. Jon was also betrayed in death.