Last night’s huge Battle of Winterfell in Game Of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 “The Long Night” was intense, so it was puzzling to some viewers when Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) casually said “I’m going to go now” and white-eyed the fuck outta there, just as the wights were descending on him and Theon (Alfie Allen).
Of course, Bran was severely injured in Season 1 Episode 1 of the series when Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) pushed him out the window, and the character has used a wheelchair ever since. But Bran is able to travel through warging and skin-changing, and chose this moment to inhabit the bodies of some ravens and fly over Winterfell.
While the episode did have the satisfying conclusion of Bran’s sister Arya (Maisie Williams) stabbing the Night King (Vladimír Furdík) and exploding him into lots of icy pieces, a lot of viewers were like… what the hell, Bran. Thousands of memes flooded Twitter timelines across the globe dedicated to him just nope-ing the hell outta that battle to do, well, nothing (we think).
Surely Bran’s little That’s So Raven mission has a purpose, which will be explained in the next three episodes. But impatient theorists have taken to Reddit to pre-empt it with their own hot takes. Here’s what they’ve come up with:
Bran was making sure he caught everything as part of his “special job”
One poster named Singdownthetrail said: “I read in another thread that he is cataloguing history. It’s what he does as the three eyed raven. This is a very important moment in history so it makes sense that he’s doing his “job”.” But another Redditor, Posadnik, shot down that theory with: “Makes no sense to me. There hasn’t been anything to show that the three eyes Raven needs to actively record history as it’s happening. The 3ER just knows the past as part of his ability as best we can tell. Nothing hints that a previous 3ER was watching little Aegon bring born in that tower. I think we will get some kind of explanation of what he was doing this episode.”
Bran was just trying to catch the Night King
Another Reddit user, enlightenedcalamity, believes that Bran was simply skin-changing as a way to lure the Night King down to him so he’d meet his eventual demise. “I think Bran was baiting the NK or just making sure the NK had a good location on him. Once the crows flew past the NK, he reaches out the same hand that previously burnt and connected with Bran. I think it was Bran’s ways of saying “come at me bro”. But honestly, who tf knows.” User TheTruthTheory seconds that, weighing in with: “I like this explanation. He stops warging just as the NK approaches which validates this and then Theon’s death makes the NK a little complacent.”
He was protecting key players
So Bran can only see things happening in the present and past, but we’ve seen through his actions — like giving Arya the dagger that she ultimately used last night — that he’s potentially setting up the way things play out. So some Reddit theorists believe we warged into wights to protect characters who are needed for the future. BulletFoss claims: “There were clearly a number of wights that dropped dead in front of Jon Snow, for no apparent reason, after the NK raised the dead. This must have been Bran warging and “shutting them down”.” Another user posted about this general theory: “Interesting. That could be an explanation for Sam somehow surviving when I was almost sure he was about to die, and him and Bran have interacted a fair bit.” While I personally love this comment from Puhelinkayttaja, who said: “Warged into Ghost to make sure he survives.” And it worked!
Bran was checking on Cersei Lannister down south
He was up to his pervy ways again
If we recall how Bran got pushed out of the window in the first place, it’s because he was watching Cersei and her brother Jaime copulating, with great interest. So maybe Redditor tony1grendel was on the money with: “Probably watching Cersei and Euron bang.”
Yikes. Careful, Bran.