Warning: This article is dark and full of Game of Thrones season eight spoilers.
There was plenty that we didn’t see coming on Sunday night’s divisive Game of Thrones series finale. Whether it was who lived and who died or how every character’s fate ultimately shook out, many of us were left stunned by the choices the epic HBO series made before closing credits. But you know who probably saw everything coming? Bran Stark. Ahem, I meant to say: King Bran the Broken. In the wake of Bran’s stunning election as King of the Six Kingdoms, fans are pretty upset and remain convinced that Bran had some evil plot to ensure he’d end up on the throne.
Bran becoming king was definitely… a choice. A legitimately unforeseen, unexpected, totally shocking choice for many GoT fans who were convinced right up until his election that other characters (cough, Sansa, cough) would be a better and more qualified choice to take the throne. Hell, Bran didn’t even want the throne; how did everyone reason his not wanting the job would make him the best guy for the job? Something just doesn’t check out.
The lords and ladies of the Six Kingdoms didn’t really understand who they’d be electing to rule over them when they elected Bran. His powers as the Three-Eyed Raven, which include the ability to see the past, present, and future as well as warg into other beings’ bodies, weren’t really revealed to everyone. The only person who saw him warg during the Battle of Winterfell was Theon Greyjoy, who died shortly thereafter. Bran has always been powerful but he’s also been mostly absent during season eight. He’s been there to provide an ominous word of warning or two, but what has he actually been doing?
In light of Bran’s season eight arc and the knowledge of his full abilities as the Three-Eyed Raven, some fans have speculated whether Bran was able to orchestrate all of the horrific and chaotic events over the course of the season (and quite possibly since he came into his own as the Three-Eyed Raven) to ensure that he would become king. It’s also possible that, given how much time Bran and Tyrion spent alone together during season eight, which wasn’t much but enough to have some serious conversations, the pair might have orchestrated everything to work in their favor. Bran becomes king and magically names Tyrion his hand? Something’s up there for sure.
— Joe (Jopan) (@JoeGuerra1026) May 20, 2019
entire season Game of Thrones in a nutshell. Bran played everyone. pic.twitter.com/56qylmSTja
— Tom (@damnitstomm) May 20, 2019
— Prank Sinatra (@davedisrupts) May 20, 2019
It stands to reason that Bran has always known (because he can see into the past and future from various perspectives) how things would shake out in the fight for the throne. As the only person with the true knowledge of what would come, Bran would likely have been able to subtly manipulate others to either get them out his way or keep them close to avoid suspicion he’d be plotting against him. Did he know Dany would massacre King’s Landing and just let it happen? It’s been easy to underestimate Bran, making him the perfect candidate to play the game of thrones better than anyone else to keep everyone occupied with silly things like battles while he climbs over them to get to the throne, metaphorically speaking.
No matter which way you look at it, something about Bran becoming king just feels… off. But we’ll never really know if the truth of how Bran truly got the throne now that GoT is over for good, which is a shame. We need answers.