Contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 7, episode 3.
In this season of Game of Thrones, Bran Stark has gone a bit… weird. In his reunion with his sister Sansa – with whom he has not shared a scene since the series’ pilot – he acted so cold that he didn’t even return her emotional hug, later choosing to bring up the traumatic subject of her rape at the hands of Ramsay Bolton.
Fans are perplexed: Bran’s always been a serious character, but since he became the Three Eyed Raven, he’s gone into philosophy undergrad overdrive.
— Elliot Brown (@Elliot_M_Brown) July 31, 2017
He’s got the emotional range of a potato:
bran: hello sansa
bran: *stares emotionlessly*
— lauren (@Iadycroft) July 31, 2017
— Merlyn M. (@OrderOfMerlyn) July 31, 2017
He seems to think no one can possibly understand him:
Bran Stark pic.twitter.com/OQStak8CrY
— Katie Notopoulos (@katienotopoulos) July 31, 2017
And with his circuitous explanations of his Three Eyed Raven deal, he’s making It’s Always Sunny‘s Pepe Silvia conspiracy look like Key Stage 3 maths:
— Jon Targaryen (@YourKingJon) July 31, 2017
I feel like Bran could've more articulately explained his deal to Sansa
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) August 1, 2017
bran talking to sansa about his powers pic.twitter.com/Ml40z17kxY
— lauren (@Iadycroft) July 31, 2017
It’s even worse when you consider that he used to be a mischievous, tower-climbing brat:
Bran ain't even Bran no more. Sansa met a stranger. Dude went from Dennis the Menace to Professor Xavier
— Beyonce has an uncle named Larry Beyince. Bruh…. (@DragonflyJonez) July 31, 2017
Is he just high?
Bran has been smoking way too much weirwood tree ? #GameOfThrones
— Jon Snow (@LordSnow) July 31, 2017
Is he, in fact, Jaden Smith now?
bran stark and jaden smith one in the same
— family father (@father) July 31, 2017
Bran Stark is the Jaden Smith of the starks. #GameOfThrones
— Simp Watch Squadron △⃒⃘ (@Unaamorcita) July 31, 2017
Like, seriously though – it works:
I put Jaden Smith tweets on Bran Stark and it checks out pic.twitter.com/8X0I1wmXFP
— Dan Angelucci (@lucciinthesky) July 31, 2017
So hang on – what’s actually happened to Bran?
There are a couple of theories about this. First one: maybe Bran has seen Sansa’s death and can’t deal with seeing her:
The second one is more convincing: it’s that Bran bit off way more than he could chew when he became the Three Eyed Raven in season 6. Reddit user fullforce098 has come up with a pretty good explanation of what’s happened to him…
Bran is in shock from taking on so much information
When Bran’s teacher the Three-Eyed Raven was about to die, he told Bran he wasn’t ready to become the new Three-Eyed Raven. “It is time for you to become me,” he said. Bran asked if he was ready. “No,” came the reply.
Then, the last time we saw Bran acting normally – in season 6, episode 10 – he was taken to the Weirwood just north of the Wall by his undead uncle, Benjen Stark. As he put his hand up to the tree, Meera Reed stopped him and asked: “Are you sure you’re ready for this?” Bran said: “I’m the Three-Eyed Raven now. I have to be ready for this.” This is where we learned that Jon’s mum was Lyanna Stark, and his dad was (almost certainly) Rhaegar Targaryen.
Our Reddit theorist fullforce098 reckons this is the point when Bran’s mind got so overloaded with information – i.e. the whole history of Westeros – that he’s now in a state of shock. Let’s look at the two scenes we’ve seen so far involving Bran.
- In the first episode of season 7, he met Dolorous Edd, Commander of the Night’s Watch. He was asked to prove he was really Bran Stark, but Bran didn’t answer his question – he just said the first thing he knew about Edd from his visions: “You were at the First of the First Men. You were at Hardhome. You’ve seen the army of the dead. You’ve seen the Night King. He’s coming for us. For all of us.” He wasn’t thinking, he just said it.
- The same goes for his reunion with Sansa, where he just said: “Hello Sansa.” Sansa gave him a huge hug; unlike her, Bran seemed unable to process the enormity of the moment. When she said: “I wish Jon were here,” he replied simply: “Yes, I need to speak to him.” When Sansa said that Bran was now Lord of Winterfell, he replied: “I can never be Lord of Winterfell. I can never be lord of anything. I’m the Three-eyed Raven.” Asked to explain himself, he went on: “It’s difficult to explain… It means I can see everything. Everything that’s ever happened, to everyone. Everything that’s happening right now. It’s all pieces now. Fragments. I need to learn to see better. When the Long Night comes again, I need to be ready.” He added: “I’m sorry for all that’s happened to you. And I’m sorry it had to happen here, in our home.” Then, without thinking, he just carried on telling the most recent memory he has of Sansa in the Godswood of Winterfell: her marriage to Ramsay. “It was so beautiful that night,” he said, not thinking of how this story might affect her. “Snow falling. Just like now. And you were so beautiful, in your white wedding dress.” Why would he say that?
According to our Reddit theorist, both these meetings prove that Bran has been completely overloaded with information, and he’s not able to handle it at the moment – so he just blurts out whatever memories come to mind at any one time. “He didn’t mean to hurt Sansa,” says our Redditor: “he just isn’t thinking clearly. He’s vocalizing his internal thoughts, not aware of what he’s doing. Not unlike someone who has been concussed.”
What do you reckon? Is Bran just ‘concussed’ by the weight of all that knowledge? Could he get better? Or is he permanently gonna be acting like he’s dead inside? Let us know what you reckon in the comments.