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**Following article contains speculations and spoilers from books **

Game of Thrones has invested a good amount of time, if not a lot, on Bran Stark. There has been a strong build up to his journey to the three-eyed raven’s cave- whether it’s his warging ability, prophetic dreams, Jojen’s quote about how he is the ‘only one thing that matters‘. He has been portrayed as someone very important to the events that had, have and will happen in the world of ice and fire.

And throughout his journey he had encountered a lot of difficulties and now that he has finally made it to the cave and teamed up with the three eyed raven, it is safe to say that his job in Game of Thrones is more than just seeing these visions from the past.

Redditer NegativeKarmaSniifer has this theory about Bran Stark and Three Eyed Raven after watching episode 3 (Oathbreaker) of season 6:

From S6E3, Bran realizes that others can hear him during the visions from the past, but doesn’t understand that they cannot fully understand him.
He attempts to reason with King Aerys when shown a vision of him.
The King only hears whispers, and is driven mad by it.
Bran tries to fix this, however makes it worse.
Mad King Aerys burns Bran’s grandfather alive while Bran frantically tries to stop him.
All he hears is whispers.
Bran sets the events of the show in motion.

//giphy.com/embed/3o7qDDyXV6xXxN4vmw

via GIPHY

Seems unlikely? Mebbe not! From the part 1 of tower of joy flashback, despite what the three eyed raven says, Bran may possess the power to change the past (as was evident when Ned Stark looked back as if heard Bran). Maybe it is more of a fixed timeline time travel where his actions in the past, while time travelling, have already become the part of history (like Prisoner of Azkaban). Therefore, when the actual Tower of Joy sequence happened in the past, Ned Stark did look back and not just in Bran’s vision. It also is in line with three eyed raven’s recent quote: ‘The past is already written. The ink is dry’. Bran cannot change the past because he already was in the past. Check out this difference between various kinds of time travel.

different types of time travelThe three eyed raven also looked concerned when the boy yelled ‘father’, as if he knew the consequences of Bran’s actions. But the theory obviously drew some mixed reactions. SoapPrice writes:

I really hope not, at least not with Game of Thrones. I watched Predestination last night and played Life Is Strange last month. Love time travel but I really think it would destroy Game of Thrones.

Predestination however focuses on paradox and is more of a dynamic timeline time travel. Also, it didn’t take much time for someone to point out that Bran did set the events of Game of Thrones in motion when he climbed up on that tower in series premiere. higoodbye11223 writes:

It’s funny you say that Bran sets the events in motion. He also technically started the events in the show after walking in on Cersei and Jaime.

roll_that took it a little too far:

I like this theory and would like to add to that: The Three eyed raven is actually an older, wiser, and well trained version of Bran Stark visiting and training his younger self and trying to fix some mistake that he couldn’t the first time around.

Again, fixing the mistakes means changing the past which three eyed raven emphasizes cannot be done. But he hasn’t said anything about the future and which means Bran will probably also learn about the events to come and try to change them with his abilities, in the present. And it is unlikely that three eyed raven (crow in books) is an older self of Bran Stark, as it has been mentioned in the books that he is Brynden Rivers/Lord Bloodraven (born 175 AC, about 125 years ago), a legitimized bastard of Aegon IV Targaryen. You can read about him on ASOIAF wiki here.

But the show has ignored Brynden Rivers until now and has actually hinted that Bran Stark might be the three eyed raven. Check out this scene from season 3 when Jojen tells Bran in a dream that he ‘can’t kill’ the three eyed raven because ‘the raven is’ him. Plus, both cannot walk currently. However, in the last episode, Three eyed raven mentioned that he has been sitting in the cave for 1000 years. Brynden was the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch until 252 AC (nearly 50 years ago) when he disappeared while ranging. So if the three eyed raven is Brynden Rivers, he shouldn’t be in the cave for 1000 years. Therefore, he can’t be Bran Stark either because Bran was born around 10 years ago. So either the book three eyed crow is lying about his real identity or the show’s three eyed raven is hiding something and him revealing himself to be Brynden or future Bran might be the main twist in Bran’s storyline.

three eyed raven 1000 yearsThis makes way for another fan theory which suggests that this similarity between Bran and Three eyed Raven is not be taken in a literal sense but it is more of a connection between all greenseers. It has also been suggested by some fans that the three-eyed raven may not have Bran’s best interests at heart. Brynden was believed to be a sinister sorcerer who was loyal to Targaryen regime until 233 AC when he was sent to Night’s watch by King Aegon V Targaryen (Egg) for betraying and executing Aenys Blackfyre after he had promised him safe conduct to King’s Landing. So, did Brynden intentionally go to the cave of the three eyed raven? What if he was the one who drove Aerys II Targaryen mad and delusional, misusing his greenseeing abilities which eventually led to the end of Targaryen rule?

If this theory is true and whether he is trying to save the world through Bran because he regrets his past actions or is trying to cause even more wreckage, only time will tell. One thing is for sure- Game of Thrones decided to recast the three eyed raven and chose veteran actor and 2 time oscar nominee Max von Sydow for the role. This means the three eyed raven is extremely important to the storyline and the showrunners wanted a perfectionist for the role & they got one!

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