Bran Stark‘s visions have been keeping us glued to our screens this season, none more so than the shocking truths revealed last week. First, we see that the White Walkers were actually weapons, created by the Children of the Forest in the war against the First Men. This in itself is huge in that even book readers didn’t see it coming.
Next, we get to see Bran take a solo trip. He touches a bone on the cave floor after making sure that everyone is asleep, and it takes him somewhere. More on that in a minute. Here we see the army of the dead and the White Walkers. The big news here is that the Night’s King is able to both see and touch Bran in the vision. This results in disaster, with the Night’s King and his army now able to find the cave and enter it.
Now that time is short, Three-Eyed Raven takes Bran on one more vision to complete his training. The cave is attacked by the Walkers and their army, and Bran, either unable or unwilling to return to his body, somehow manages to warg Hodor from his vision. That’s when things go wrong. Maybe because Bran is already focusing so hard on Hodor, controlling him across space and time, he wargs Hodor’s younger self in his vision. This creates an echo that both breaks young Hodor’s mind and creates a causal loop, or a destiny for Hodor.
This is probably one of the most ingenious uses of time travel that I have seen. It’s good because of its basic simplicity. Hodor’s mind was damaged long before Bran was even born. This severely limits the use of Bran’s time travel to affect anything has already happened. Instead, Bran may find out in his future travels that he had a hand in other events in Westeros history. There are already a few cool theories out there. One of them says that the Mad King might have been driven crazy by “hearing” Bran speaking to him from the vision. My favorite one, even though I don’t think it’s true, is that Bran, seeing a future where he never fell from the tower and the White Walkers had destroyed humanity, warged into Jaime Lannister and pushed himself out the window, effectively creating his own destiny in the same way he created Hodor’s.
What if Bran actually caused the return of the White Walkers? After the Night’s King touches Bran, Three-Eyed Raven tells him that he is no longer safe, they know his location. But we don’t know what time period Bran was in when the Night’s King touched him. If it was in the past, The Night’s King knew where to find Bran in the future, so maybe everything the Walkers have done since that point in time has been geared toward reaching Bran at the only moment in time that they knew they could find him.
I almost hope it isn’t true, because that would be a huge burden for Bran. I think he’s already going to be crushed at the loss of Summer, and he will feel a lot of guilt over Hodor, so I do think that he will be more careful in how he interacts with his visions in the future. I think we will also see his warging ability grow stronger, with him controlling multiple animals or people at once, in the same way that we see the White Walkers controlling multiple corpses.
So what do you guys think will happen to Bran? Let me know in the comments!