Now that Bran Stark is unencumbered by the Three-Eyed-Raven’s stifling Greensight restrictions it’s time to dream of what events Bran may explore in the episodes to come. While some of the following events are wishful thinking, others are more or less a matter of time as Bran’s exploration of these moments will eventually shape the story of Game of Thrones as it moves toward its conclusion. Here are six visions we hope Bran has next, ranging from the inevitable to the farfetched.
1. Tower of Joy Part Two
Game of Thrones fans let out a collective groan when the Three-Eyed-Raven stopped Bran Stark in his tracks before we all discovered what was in the Tower of Joy earlier this season. But unless showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss are truly evil there is an expectation that we will return to the Tower of Joy before the season’s end — especially now that Bran is free of the Three-Eyed-Raven’s rules. When audiences finally travel with Bran into the tower as Ned Stark goes to his sister Lyanna, it will likely be the most important moment in the entire series. Not only will the theory of R + L = J finally be confirmed or denied, but whatever transpires inside the tower will likely reverberate in events past and present as the show approaches what is sure to be an epic conclusion.
2. Doom of Valyria
Chalk this one up to a pipe dream as it probably isn’t all that relevant to our current story in Game of Thrones, but a chance to see the Doom of Valyria along with what Valyria was like just before the event would be a sight to behold. Sometimes referred to as The Doom, The Doom of Valyria was a catastrophic event that occurred approximately 400 years before The War of the Five Kings in which the Kingdom of Valyria — which had ruled most of Essos for thousands of years — was destroyed in a single day by a series of massive eruptions. When it was done, only House Targaryen stood along with three dragons it would later use to conquer Westeros.
3. The Mad King Aerys and the Sack of King’s Landing
You can file this one in “likely” as the Game of Thrones Season 6 trailer seemed to show the murder of the Mad King Aerys by Jaime Lannister in the form of shadows against a wall. But what could have been just a nice moment for fans of Game of Thrones has taken on some fascinating possibilities after the Season 6 episode “Hold the Door.” Now that we know for a fact that Bran can impact the past, is it possible that he will somehow use that ability to try to manipulate past events? And when it comes to the Mad King Aerys, is Bran’s stamp already impacting current events? It sounds crazy, but the internet is abuzz with theories that espouse just such a theory. The Wrap goes into several of these including the theory that the voices the Mad King Aerys heard were in fact Bran. Other theories are even more out there, but all feel within the realm of possibility now.
[Update, 5/31/16: Bran had a chaotic series of visions in in episode six, “Blood of my Blood,” that included some flashbacks of Jaime Lannister killing the mad king, but nothing much more detailed than what can be seen above.]
4. Battle of the Trident
The Battle of the Trident is another event that probably has little relevance to Game of Thrones‘ present, but it would be a treat to witness it — maybe someday in the prequel series. The Battle of the Trident was the last major battle of Robert’s Rebellion and where the Targaryen dynasty would ultimately meet its end. As Robert Baratheon’s forces marched south toward King’s Landing, Rhaegar Targaryen gathered what soldiers were left at the capital and traveled north to meet them. The two forces would meet at the River Trident where Robert and Rhaegar personally engaged in battle, with the former killing the latter with his warhammer. The site of Rhaegar’s death would later come to be known as the Ruby Ford, named after the rubies dislodged from Rhaegar’s armor after the killing blow.
5. The Long Night
The Long Night occurred over 8,000 years before the War of the Five Kings and is the source of many of Game of Thrones‘ legends: the original appearance of the White Walkers in Westeros; the rise of legendary warrior Azor Ahai; and the creation of The Wall. The Long Night coincided with a winter that lasted a generation as the First Men, led by Azor Ahai, and the Children of the Forest pushed back the White Walkers north and ultimately behind The Wall. Similar to The Doom of Valyria, catching glimpses of The Long Night probably isn’t in the cards for Game of Thrones just because it isn’t entirely relevant to what’s happening now. Additionally, the argument can be made that because these events live on through stories and are never truly seen they are imbued with a mythical status that aligns with the ideas of the series and books. But it would be awesome to see that’s for sure.
6. The Execution of Rickard and Brandon Stark
This vision lands somewhere between inevitable and farfetched. In fact we were nearly shown this moment in Season 1 of Game of Thrones in the form of a flashback, which io9 explains made it to a storyboard but was never shot. One of the key events that led to Robert’s Rebellion, the execution of Rickard and Brandon Stark, began when the latter, Lyanna’s brother and Rickard’s son, rode to King’s Landing to demand that Rhaegar release his sister. The Mad King instead arrested him and demanded that his father, Rickard, come to the capital to ransom him before arresting him as well. What then transpired is proof of how mad the king had become. Suspending Rickard over a fire in the throne room, he had a rope tied to Brandon’s neck with a sword just out of reach. Brandon then proceeded to strangle himself to death trying to reach the sword and save his father who burned alive in his armor.
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