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This Game of Thrones Theory Could Explain Bran’s Mysterious Behavior During the Battle of Winterfell

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Warning: This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8.

Before Arya swooped in to save the day by stabbing the Night King with her Valyrian steel dagger in “The Long Night” episode of Game of Thrones, Bran Stark spent some time immersed in one of his greensight visions.

“I’m going to go now,” he told Theon before warging into a flock of crows to keep an eye on the battle. However, some fans are speculating that Bran may have been up to more than just spying on the Night King.

A theory laid out by Reddit user DontMicrowaveCats suggests that just as the Night King seemed to be the physical embodiment of the Great Other, the god of darkness and evil in the faith of R’hllor, Three-Eyed Raven Bran is the physical embodiment of the Lord of Light.

Here are the Facts:

  1. Bran is a powerful warg. We know he gets visions of the past, present and future…and can manipulate the past to help save his future self. We don’t yet know the extent of this power.

  2. We knew the Night King can reanimate the dead into evil still-dead soldiers. But this episode we learned he can also manipulate snow and ice at will, sending a full blown blizzard. (This is key.)

  3. Followers of the Lord of Light believe that their Lord is always at war with his evil opposite deity. There’s always a dichotomy. Light vs Dark. Good vs Bad. Fire vs Ice. Everything in this world has an antithesis.

  4. The [Three-Eyed Raven] seems to be [the Night King’s] eternal adversary. He intentionally killed the OG [Three-Eyed Raven] and ever since he’s been after Bran.

  5. The Lord of Light supposedly has a “purpose” for everyone. Consequently, everyone supposedly brought back by the Lord of Light helped Arya defeat the Night King.

  6. Bran gave Arya the dagger, and offered himself as bait. So, like the Lord of Light, everything Bran has done recently also ultimately leads to Arya defeating the Night King.

The Redditor goes on to explain how a comment that George R. R. Martin made about Beric Dondarrion’s resurrections in a 2017 interview with TIME may foreshadow this reveal. “[Beric’s] not a living human being anymore,” Martin said. “His heart isn’t beating, his blood isn’t flowing in his veins, he’s a wight, but a wight animated by fire instead of by ice, now we’re getting back to the whole fire and ice thing.”

If those who are brought back by the power of the Lord of Light are still considered wights, then it would make sense for the Night King’s diametric opposite to be the one resurrecting them just as the Night King channeled the power of the Great Other to reanimate his own wights.

“The Night King is a physical entity, his opposite should be too. The Lord of Light likely has a physical presence. So who is it? they don’t ever explicitly show any other being with [the Night King’s] level of power (or do they?)” DontMicrowaveCats writes. “If the Night King can reanimate the dead, his ‘light’ opposite should have an equal level of power to bring life. And if [the Night King’s] reanimated dead fight for evil, then his opposite’s reanimated dead would fight for good/the living.”

Our Reddit user also explains how Arya’s Valyrian steel dagger could play into this. Basically, the theory banks on the idea that, similar to how Bran’s meddling in the past ended up being the cause of Hodor’s condition, it will be revealed that Three-Eyed Raven Bran is the reason the dagger was the weapon used by the assassin who tried to kill him as a young boy. Don’t forget that it was Bran who gave Arya the dagger in season 7.

It’s all but obvious at this point, Bran has been manipulating the plotline the entire time. He knew exactly how the battle was going to end. He knew exactly how to kill the Night King, because he set the trap himself. While warging during the battle, he was likely manipulating events to lead to the final conclusion. Everything he has done has revolved around getting the dagger to Arya and getting her safely to the [Night King]. That plan was set in motion all the way back in season 1. Future Bran made sure that dagger was sent to kill his childhood self. He put the key piece in play…All of the ‘magical Lord of Light moments’ that are supposedly the God’s work are actually Bran manipulating the past, resurrecting people and making sure Arya got the knife and made it to kill [the Night King].

Essentially, everything in the show that seems like it was done by the Lord of Light — resurrecting Jon, giving Melisandre the power to light the trenches, etc. — has actually been brought about by Bran. This would ostensibly make Bran the show’s most impactful character. But if true, it also begs the question of whether the same rules apply to Bran’s powers that applied to the Night King’s — i.e., if Bran was the one who reanimated Jon then would Jon die if Bran did?

After the events of Sunday, we know that the popular Bran is the Night King theory is bogus. But that doesn’t mean Game of Thrones doesn’t still have a major Bran twist up its sleeve.

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Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com