More than a season has passed since Game of Thrones viewers have watched Brandon “Bran” Stark on screen. Last Sunday’s premiere of the show’s sixth season caught fans up on many of the show’s characters, but Ned Stark’s paraplegic second son was missing from the action.
Episode 2 of the HBO opus is titled, “The Home” and one of the foci of the show will be returning to Bran and his training under the Three-Eyed Raven. His supernatural abilities were first witnessed in the form of disturbing dreams, which viewers watched Bran experience in earlier seasons. This gifts lead to Bran’s ability to enter others’ minds. In the GoT universe, these people are called “wargs.” After entering another human or animal’s mind, a Warg can perceive the world through their senses and even control their actions. The act of doing this is referred to as “warging.”
In the current season of GoT, Bran will master his abilities under the guidance of the Three-Eyed Raven, played in the sixth season by 86-year old Swedish veteran actor Max von Sydow, most recently seen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Three-Eyed Raven was featured in the first three seasons of the George R. R. Martin TV adaptation, seen in Bran’s visions. The Raven first appeared in person in the fourth season, with Struan Rodger playing the character in a brief appearance in the show’s season four finale.
Isaac Hempstead-Wright, who plays Bran, told Entertainment Weekly that his scenes with von Sydow in the second episode are some of his favorite scenes he’s filmed to date. “Oh, that’s the best scene I’ve ever done! On that scene is even better!” Hempstead-Wright said and teased that his character will save Westeros from its political sufferings. “Now he’s realized he’s been having his dreams because he’s got to save Westeros. It’s such a cool storyline now,” he added.
Over the last five seasons, the Stark son’s character has evolved from a naive and fragile, injured little boy to a future teller with immense magical powers. To viewers dismay, Bran was famously pushed out of a high-story window in the show’s first season by Jamie Lannister after Bran witnessed the incestuous relations between Jamie and sister Queen Cersai. Since then, Bran has been unable to walk independently, but it seems as though his new magical abilities will allow him to “fly” and more through taking on other’s bodies (we’ve seen him take over the mind of his pet direwolf).
“It started off with these disturbing dreams and finding he could control direwolves. Then he discovered he could warg into humans. Then he started to have these weird visions. Now he’s starting to make use of the visions and starting to discover he can interact with the past — he’s like Doctor Who. It’s Doctor Bran,” Hempstead-Wright explained.
It is expected that Bran’s training under the Raven will be a major plot point of the current season. Bran is the lawful Lord of Winterfell and heir to the King in the North. He is presumed dead so his resurgence will be even more thrilling when it becomes public knowledge.
Refresh your memory and watch the last scenes we saw Bran in. Hit play, then click on the Youtube link. Watch him warg into Hodor!