One of the first things out of Isaac Hempstead Wright's mouth during the Game of Thrones Comic-Con panel on Friday in San Diego was a joke about how Westeros is now a "surveillance state." That's due to the fact that Bran the Broken became King of the Seven, er, Six Kingdoms in the HBO show's series finale and he can see in to the past, present, and a little bit of the future as the Three-Eyed Raven. So yeah, he knows what's going on just about everywhere.
But did Bran know that he was going to end up on the Iron Throne and just let the chips fall where they may in order to make it happen? It can be argued that since Bran had some foresight into the future, he knew that if he just let Dany destroy all of King's Landing everyone would turn on her, then Jon Snow would have to kill his aunt and lover in response, and voila! Bran is king. So is that exactly fair? Is it telling that Bran was actually manipulating things by not manipulating things to end up victorious? Are we dealing with an Evil Bran overlord in Westeros?
"I don't think Bran knows, per se, what's going to happen in the future, he's got the entirety of the past at his fingertips, his vision of the future is cloudier," Hempstead Wright told the crowd. "I think it's cool that it's ambiguous and you can read into it and think, 'wow, has Bran just sat back and let the Starks win?' That was kind of one of the cleverest things about the ending, it doesn't conclude everything very neatly... the kingdom's in total disarray, Sansa's now Queen [in the North], Bran is king and they're storylines that could warrant their own spinoff, but they're not finished, there's no period. It's almost like the world of Game of Thrones exists somewhere in the ether — it's not finished conclusively and lets you read into it."
Bran taking over the Iron Throne was one of the many divisive choices made during the final season of Game of Thrones and even Hempstead Wright thought it was a joke when he first heard how the series would play out.
"When I got to the end in the last episode and they're like, 'What about Bran?' I had to get up and pace around the room," he told Entertainment Weekly. "I genuinely thought it was a joke script and that [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] sent to everyone a script with their own character ends up on the Iron Throne. 'Yeah, good one guys. Oh sh--, it's actually real?'"
Not only was Bran's ascension real, it was ripped directly from the mind of Thrones author George R.R. Martin. The A Song of Ice and Fire writer told show creators Benioff and Weiss what was in store for Bran, one of three plot points he revealed about his still-unfinished novel series.
"David and Dan told me there were two things George R.R. Martin had planned for Bran, and that was the Hodor revelation, and that he would be king. So that's pretty special to be directly involved in something that is part of George's vision. It was a really nice way to wrap it up," Hempstead Wright said previously.
On Friday at Comic-Con, Hempstead Wright joked that he's still hearing the theory that Bran's actually the Night King in disguise, and one day he'll pop back up again. It might even be the Night King who takes over for Bran in the far off future, because Three-Eyed Ravens live for a very long time, so whoever's inheriting the throne hasn't even been born yet.
But, that's a story for another day. Or maybe a prequel.