“Game of Thrones” fans have concocted a massive amount of theories to try to figure out everything on the show, and one of the most popular theories currently circulating makes the case that Bran Stark is actually the Night King.
Reddit user turm0il26 is credited with the spread of this fan theory, thanks to a Reddit post expanding upon and linking to a popular “Game of Theories” YouTube video that initially explained this particular Night King theory.
The Bran Stark/Night King theory suggests that Bran will try to use his powers to go back in time to save the people of Westeros from White Walkers, and in the process will ultimately turn into the Night King.
We already know that Bran has visions, the ability to see and travel into the past and future, and the ability to warg (inhabit) another person’s body and control them.
The idea is that Bran makes three trips into the past, utilising all of his powers in an attempt to eradicate the White Walkers, but ends up inadvertently creating all of the events that cause the present chaos and destruction that he is trying to prevent from happening in the first place.
According to the theory, the first time Bran travels back in time, he visits the Mad King, Aerys Targaryen II, and whispers in his ear “burn them all” to try to warn him about the White Walkers and convince the king to burn them, preventing their return. But instead, the message Bran whispers to the Mad King drives him, well, mad. The Mad King then burns his own people instead of the White Walkers.
The second time Bran travels back in time, according to the theory, he tries to go back to when men were first able to eliminate the White Walkers to learn how they did it. However, Bran miscalculates the time and misses this event, so he instead wargs into the legendary Bran the Builder and helps build The Wall, which is not yet erected. Of course, we now know this is not a permanent solution to separating the White Walkers from Westeros.
The third and last time Bran travels back in time, according to the theory, he goes back to the time of the Children of the Forest and embodies the first man that they turned into a White Walker.
As we now know, the Children of the Forest created White Walkers in the hopes of eliminating men, but the White Walkers eventually ended up becoming a bigger threat. The idea is that Bran wargs into this first White Walker, thinking that he’ll be able to prevent any war from happening between White Walkers, the Children of the Forest, and men.
Unfortunately, Bran becomes trapped in the White Walker, and, armed with all of Bran’s powers, eventually turns into the Night King.
As both Jojen and the Three-Eyed Raven warned Bran, if you stay in the past or in someone’s body for too long you can become trapped in it.
This theory is also used to explain why the Night King let Jon Snow go during the battle of Hardhome, the reasoning being that Bran is seeing the first member of his family in over a millennia. This moment, according to the theory, reveals that there’s still a little bit of Bran left in the Night King.
However, this is just a theory, one of many at this point. While interesting and fun to think about, there’s no “smoking gun” or anything in the series that suggests that this is true at this point in time.
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