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[Book Spoilers All] Bran’s Growing Powers in S6 Based upon the Reread

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6 minutes ago, Tijgy said:

And they are the best.....

amd in the new pics from the cover he looks super responsible, like a Lord or King. http://ew.com/tv/2017/05/25/game-of-thrones-season-7-cover/

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Just now, Tijgy said:

Which he is of course! 

He is indeed! The rightful heir will arrive at his castle....and Lady Meera will have a hot bath for the first time in some seasons :)

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A new article on Bran based on the trailer:

HBO released a new trailer for Game of Thrones’ seventh season yesterday and, while there’s quite a bit to take away from it, one of the best scenes features Bran Stark.

 

[Warning: The following may contain spoilers for Game of Thrones.]

When we were first introduced to Bran, he was one of the more rambunctious Stark children. He loved to climb towers and, as fans will remember, was often being scolded by his mother, Catelyn Stark, for hurling himself up large towers. When the Lannisters come to visit, accompanying Robert Baratheon to visit Ned Stark, Bran catches a moment of incest between Cersei and Jamie Lannister. The following scene, which had Jamie toss Bran from the top of the tower, paralyzing one of the youngest Starks and setting up the Lannisters as Game of Thrones’ number one enemy, came to define much of the series.

For seven seasons, Bran has either sat in bed, on the back of his family’s loyal helper, Hodor, or on a makeshift sled. In the new trailer, however, Bran finally gets a wheelchair, giving him a little more independence than he’s had in previous seasons. This is important for a number of reasons — the most obvious being that it seems to symbolize Bran has returned to Winterfell and his siblings. Fans took a second to stop theorizing about what it could all mean and appreciate just how perfect seeing Bran get his independence was....

https://www.polygon.com/2017/6/22/15852824/game-of-thrones-bran-trailer-season-7

Edited by Meera of Tarth

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Hi @Meera of Tarth, @Tijgy and @Wizz-The-Smith --

I'm curious as to your take on what D&D are doing with Bran's character?  Several people have pointed out the significance of Littlefinger's speech to Sansa juxtaposed with Bran's arrival at Winterfell, in which Littlefinger was basically describing a greenseer's powers:

Quote

Don’t fight in the North or the South. Fight every battle everywhere, always in your mind. Everyone is your enemy, everyone is your friend. Every possible series of events is happening all at once. Live that way and nothing will surprise you. Everything that happens will be something that you’ve seen before.

  • to fight every battle everywhere in the mind; 'don't fight in the north or the south' -- i.e. a virtual rather than geographic battlefield = the 'weirnet' with an omnipresent greenseer!
  • to play out alternative scenarios simultaneously, assuming the perspectives of different people, times and places -- sounds like a time-travelling (astral-projecting) skinchanger.
  • to know everything so you are never surprised; 'everything that happens will be something you've SEEN before...' = an omniscient greenSEER with a privileged perspective of 'deep time' in which history repeats itself.
  • But what about Littlefinger's assertion 'everyone is your enemy; everyone is your friend'?  Is this really true for greenseers?  From the histories, we're led to believe that greenseers were employed to fight on behalf of one side or another during 'greenseer wars' -- i.e. they weren't apathetic; they did take sides.  There is a precedent for this in Celtic mythology, from which GRRM borrows heavily (e.g. he refers to the Others as 'Sidhe made of ice'), as Tijgy and Wizz have been pointing out regarding Amergin the founder of Ireland, a seer who fought on the side of the Milesians, using his powers to part the storm conjured up as a magical defensive barrier by the corresponding druids (also basically greenseers) of the Tuatha de Danann, the original inhabitants of Ireland.  Perhaps LF's statement might be taken to mean that one should be vigilant, not taking things at face value, and instead look behind facades (piercing through beyond the blinding 'curtain of light') to the true nature of things, the way one skinchanger can always recognise another, despite the guise he or she is currently inhabiting, 'to see the truth that lies beneath the world.'  On the other hand, by directing Bran to have a deadpan expression and to be so apparently apathetic, indeed callous to the point of cruelty, to his sister, perhaps D&D would like to suggest that Bran has lost his humanity to a certain degree -- that being a logical consequence of being a greenseer and the cost of acquiring such power (with which @LmL and @Matthew. agree).  If everyone is your enemy and everyone is your friend -- the same thing as saying that no one is your enemy and no one is your friend --  then you have lost your ability to love anything.  At its frightening extreme, perhaps you are no longer invested in humanity, and instead seek to destroy it like the Night's King.  With such a privileged godlike perspective, life loses its value and people are objectified, mere pieces to be moved around on the board.  Perhaps he's been infected by the coldness of the Night's King (when he touched him, leaving his mark) and Bran is turning to ice in more ways than one, including emotionally?  [ETA: perhaps a symbolic correlation is being drawn between infection by greyscale and recruitment by the Cold...Along these lines, @Voice has made the brilliant observation that Gared's 'eloquent' description in the Prologue of how the Cold infiltrates a person, taking him over body, mind and soul, is basically a depiction of the Cold as a malignant sentient force, a 'miasma',  and -- get this -- a skinchanger!]  By Bran's preference to linger at the heart tree in the cold and blowing snow at the end of the scene with Sansa, perhaps we may infer that Bran no longer feels the cold, because he's becoming cold as Winter itself.  Maybe they think if they make Bran so detached, creepy and uncaring towards his family, we won't be upset when Jon has to kill him, as suggested by @TyrionTLannister

 

No sooner had Littlefinger delivered his monologue than Bran the Lord of Winterfell and Master Librarian of the heart tree returns to Winterfell.  By drawing a parallel between Littlefinger and Bran -- with Sansa caught between them -- what are D&D intimating?  

  • that Littlefinger is/will be a greenseer like Bran?!
  • that Bran is a psychopath like Littlefinger? 
  • that Littlefinger and Bran are now the main players facing off against each other on the chess board, with the conflict getting underway at the epicentre of it all, Winterfell?

Here are a few more of my thoughts which I posted at the Hearth, as follows:

 

It's all very 'meta-', sometimes to the point of cheesiness...  They [D&D] are also quite narcissistic in that they can't bear being criticised for anything without responding by rubbing our noses in it with the interjection of something 'cute' and self-referential into the script, somewhere down the line.  For example, of all the things Bran could have reported to Sansa to 'prove his power,' they chose to have Bran taunting his sister with vivid images of the night of her rape (the one they machinated to the censure of a large vocal component of the fans), reminding Sansa and by extension the audience of the beauty of their own cinematography in that scene (I know I know, the dress, the snow, oh oh oh!).

Don't get me wrong; I like and always enjoy the show, and I'm nowhere near a rabid book purist, but ultimately D&D's adaptation falls short because they are confusing GRRM's cynicism with their own nihilism, GRRM's wit with Monty Pythonesque farce.  These are not the same thing, and a crucial misreading of the author.  GRRM's cynicism is born of a deep seam of romanticism, a broken heart left stranded on a darkling plain.  Sometimes I wonder if D&D still have any heart left to break -- the characters are becoming so soulless and monotonic.  Soon there'll be no one left to root for.
 

Quote

Rolling Stone interviewer:  Early on, one critic described the TV series as bleak and embodying a nihilistic worldview, another bemoaned its "lack of moral signposts." Have you ever worried that there's some validity to that criticism? 

GRRM:  No. That particular criticism is completely invalid. Actually, I think it's moronic. My worldview is anything but nihilistic.


Note, that GRRM does not explicitly defend the show, referring instead to 'my worldview'.
 

Quote

 

yesterday at 12:24pm @wolfmaid7 said:

Bran's gone creepy very fast.


To salvage this.Make it where Little finger somehow is the Night's king.I had to save this for last.This made the episode a seven.His statement to Sansa about seeing everything simultaneously etc.

Was almost along the lines of Bran.

 

This is a very important point.  The way I see it, this is 'round three' of the epic transgenerational Brandon Stark - Petyr Baelish duel (what do you think of this breakdown @Unchained?):

Round 1.  Brandon Stark (of the bloody beautiful blade, our Bran's uncle) vs. Petyr Baelish in a war of swords, which Petyr loses.

Round 2.  Brandon Stark vs. Petyr Baelish in a war of words, which Brandon loses.  Although I have no proof of the necessary logistics to back me up, I strongly suspect Petyr of having seized the opportunity of maliciously meddling in the events leading to Brandon's death, perhaps by interfering with the message which prompted Brandon 'the gallant fool' to rush off to King's Landing -- we have speculated about this at length in the thread 'Teen Littlefinger's Uriah Gambit' .

Round 3.  Brandon Stark (our Bran) vs. Petyr Baelish in a war of minds; or rather a war for one mind -- Sansa's (as Cat 2.0, curiously mirroring the war which began it all, for the favour of Catelyn Stark in the duel at the water stair).  I think Baelish will soon come to realize that his modus operandi of perverting the message is not going to put him on top with a greenseer armed with 'weirnet' access, a damning library of knowledge threatening to expose him at any moment, in contrast to which that posed by Luwin's pedantic preservation of 'every raven scroll' will pale in comparison (silly Sansa will no doubt let slip to Littlefinger how freaked out she is by the extent of what Bran revealed to her).  For a psychopath of the highest order, for whom losing the game is not an option, he will not be able to tolerate this unequal arrangement in knowledge for long, without seeking to eliminate his nemesis, fittingly named 'Brandon Stark'.  Also, although Bran may have gone all 'transcendental' on us, denying that he will ever be 'Lord of anything' in the material world; Baelish, ever the pragmatist when it comes to preserving his own more mundane interests, however, will not see it that way.  With Brandon Stark's return to Winterfell, technically being as Sansa correctly points out the legitimate heir and Lord of Winterfell, Baelish will see a direct threat to Sansa's position, and therefore his own aspirations to rule and/or influence the north; and I predict he will be compelled accordingly to remove pesky rival Brandon 2.0 from the board.  Look at how precipitously he acted to eliminate Lysa when he felt cornered by her blabbing.  It's the only time we saw him commit a murder with his own hands, nor will it be the last, as intimated in the trailer for the next episode in which we see his bejewelled fingers clasped around the same unsheathed dagger as the one used by Bran's would-be assassin in Season 1, bringing us full-circle. Thus, we might see a Bran assassination attempt 2.0, in a war of swords which will probably on some level be extremely satisfying for Baelish, given that when it comes to swords and not words he is usually at a disadvantage when pitted against one Stark man or another; mirroring the pivotal duel in which Brandon decimated the physically weaker Petyr, except this time the positions will be reversed, with Baelish having the upper hand physically in relation to the defenseless cripple, and Brandon having to rely on his wits and possibly the intervention of a woman to save him, just as Cat essentially saved Baelish's life by begging Brandon to spare her 'little brother'.  Will someone intervene to save Bran from the dagger that missed the first time?  Perhaps no one will make an appearance...

Edited by ravenous reader

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@ravenous reader

to add to your comparison of greenseers and LF: 

- "Every possible series of events is happening all at once" - this reminded me of the following quote of Bloodraven in the books: "

"A man must know how to look before he can hope to see," said Lord Brynden. "Those were shadows of days past that you saw, Bran. You were looking through the eyes of the heart tree in your godswood. Time is different for a tree than for a man. Sun and soil and water, these are the things a weirwood understands, not days and years and centuries. For men, time is a river. We are trapped in its flow, hurtling from past to present, always in the same direction. The lives of trees are different. They root and grow and die in one place, and that river does not move them. The oak is the acorn, the acorn is the oak. And the weirwood … a thousand human years are a moment to a weirwood, and through such gates you and I may gaze into the past."

I personally think becoming the 3ER completely destroyed the real Bran.

In their interview D&D says the following: "Bran was turned into the Three-Eyed Raven very prematurely when his cave came under attack. “There was supposed to be more time to learn what he needed to know and they ran out of time,” showrunner David Benioff says. “Now Bran the Broken is broken in more ways than one. He’s got serious challenges dealing with all the stuff happening in his mind and that prevents him becoming this omniscient character.”"

(http://ew.com/tv/2017/07/30/game-of-thrones-bran-stark-reunion/)

My opinion: Bran doesn't exist anymore. He is dead. He is only the 3ER. I am not sure he is really planning to destroy anything? I think he doesn't even care enough, even for that anymore. 

I think it is interesting what you write about Littlefinger and Bran. But personally, while there is indeed a connection between Uncle Brandon and Littlefinger, I think there wouldn't be a lot tension. They never really met in the show. There isn't a 'connection' between them just like there is one between Littlefinger and Sansa.

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The whole article: 

(http://ew.com/tv/2017/07/30/game-of-thrones-bran-stark-reunion/)

Quote

 

There are spoilers in the story below on Game of Thrones season 7, episode 3, “The Queen’s Justice”…

There’s a Stark at the gate! But we bet it wasn’t the Stark you expected. Bran unexpectedly returned home to Winterfell in Sunday night’s Game of Thronesepisode, “The Queen’s Justice,” and reunited with his sister Sansa. Except Sansa quickly realized her brother has changed more than she could have possibly imagined. Now he’s the mystic Three-Eyed Raven, with all of space and time accessible to his mind and rather uninterested in human pursuits like taking command of Winterfell or bonding with his family.

“I think it’s a major shock for Sansa,” Bran actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright tells EW. “She’s lost her brother once before when he fell out of that tower, and now Bran’s back but she loses him all over again. All the Starks have changed so much. Arya is like this ninja assassin. Sansa has been held captive by these tyrannical men and had to become politically cunning herself. But Bran is now this tree-raven-magic thing.”

Sunday’s episode was also the first time fans really began to understand how much Bran’s magical conversion has altered his personality. “It’s like imagining you have all of space and time in your head,” Hempstead-Wright says. “Bran is existing in thousands of planes of existence at any one time. So it’s quite difficult for Bran to have any kind of semblance of personality anymore because he’s really like a giant computer.”

Figuring out how to handle Bran’s massive power-up was one of the tricker aspects of crafting season 7. Introducing a character who might know everythingrisks draining suspense from a story that depends on characters having certain limitations.

Explains showrunner Dan Weiss: “One of the things we loved about Game of Thrones from the very first book is it’s not a world where magic is the primary driver of the story, it’s a world where human psychology and behavior and desire are drivers of the story. We try very hard to make sure it stays that way because that’s a lot more relatable to the vast majority of the audience than magic powers — as much fun as those are. So with Bran, ideally you want to use him in a way that adds to the story and enriches the story and not in a way that’s a magic bullet to conveniently deal with things that you haven’t come up with a better way to deal with. So it was a balancing act to account for who Bran is now without letting that overtake the story.”

The solution, as it turned out, was already written into the drama’s previous season: Bran was turned into the Three-Eyed Raven very prematurely when his cave came under attack. “There was supposed to be more time to learn what he needed to know and they ran out of time,” showrunner David Benioff says. “Now Bran the Broken is broken in more ways than one. He’s got serious challenges dealing with all the stuff happening in his mind and that prevents him becoming this omniscient character.”

Or as Hempstead-Wright puts it: “Bran really at this stage is not the Three-Eyed Raven. He’s got the title but hasn’t had thousands of years of sitting in a cave looking through time. Somebody put in front of him a massive encyclopedia of all of time and he’s only opened page one. He can look stuff up but doesn’t have this all-knowing all-seeing capability just yet.”

Bran Stark isn’t a name that comes up very often when fans talk about who should end up on the Iron Throne. But now that we have a better sense of Bran’s newfound abilities, we wondered: Does this make Bran a better candidate to rule the Seven Kingdoms? Or worse?

“I think Bran would make a great Hand of the King,” Hempstead-Wright says. “You can’t do much better as a Hand than somebody who’s all knowing. The people who tend to stay alive in those positions are people who are ruthless and politically conniving and I don’t think Bran has the ability to do that. But the Iron Throne might suit him — he does have to sit down!”

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Tijgy said:

@ravenous reader

to add to your comparison of greenseers and LF: 

- "Every possible series of events is happening all at once" - this reminded me of the following quote of Bloodraven in the books: "

"A man must know how to look before he can hope to see," said Lord Brynden. "Those were shadows of days past that you saw, Bran. You were looking through the eyes of the heart tree in your godswood. Time is different for a tree than for a man. Sun and soil and water, these are the things a weirwood understands, not days and years and centuries. For men, time is a river. We are trapped in its flow, hurtling from past to present, always in the same direction. The lives of trees are different. They root and grow and die in one place, and that river does not move them. The oak is the acorn, the acorn is the oak. And the weirwood … a thousand human years are a moment to a weirwood, and through such gates you and I may gaze into the past."

I personally think becoming the 3ER completely destroyed the real Bran.

Do you think it'll be the same in the books?

11 minutes ago, Tijgy said:

In their interview D&D says the following: "Bran was turned into the Three-Eyed Raven very prematurely when his cave came under attack. “There was supposed to be more time to learn what he needed to know and they ran out of time,” showrunner David Benioff says. “Now Bran the Broken is broken in more ways than one. He’s got serious challenges dealing with all the stuff happening in his mind and that prevents him becoming this omniscient character.”"

(http://ew.com/tv/2017/07/30/game-of-thrones-bran-stark-reunion/)

My opinion: Bran doesn't exist anymore. He is dead. He is only the 3ER. I am not sure he is really planning to destroy anything? I think he doesn't even care enough, even for that anymore. 

I agree; it seems his mind broke as a consequence of the rushed information overload download he received from the previous 3ER, as well as what happened with Hodor.  Now he refers to his mind being fragmented in that he can only see fragments but not really piece them together coherently.

Bran's demeanor is reminiscent of Jojen's.  Perhaps, like Jojen, Bran has seen his death; and now just has to resign himself to facing it?

11 minutes ago, Tijgy said:

I think it is interesting what you write about Littlefinger and Bran. But personally, while there is indeed a connection between Uncle Brandon and Littlefinger, I think there wouldn't be a lot tension. They never really met in the show. There isn't a 'connection' between them just like there is one between Littlefinger and Sansa.

There may not be a connection between them from Bran's point of view; however, from Littlefinger's point of view, anyone who comes between him and Sansa (i.e. his own ambition) automatically forges a connection (of enmity) with him.  Symbolically, there seems to be a parallel between the 'love triangle' of Brandon Stark - Catelyn Tully - Petyr Baelish and Bran Stark - Sansa - Petyr Baelish in terms of testing Sansa's allegiance and determining who of the rivals for her mind ultimately lives and dies.

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@ravenous reader I don't think there is a connection between LF and Bran. LF is talking about how "he used to" be a Smart villain and the showrunners are trying to express how good he was with that speech, that, imho, is not very clever. Their idea is to show that LF is teaching Sansa that to be the master of everything, she has to anticipate everything, nothing more than this.

 

As for Bran, it's clear that the immense amount of information is damaging his emotional health, as it would damage anyone's. That is what Isaac says in the interview. There is also all the frustration he has gone through. The posible outcomes of this are:

a)) Bran learns more but never recovers, possibly dies --> Tragedy

b)) Bran learns more and also learns how to cope alone with these alone --> unlikely

c)) Bran learns more but someone helps him to get recovered from this at the end -->possible

I completely discard the idea that he'll turn evil or that Jon will kill him.

I hope for some version of c)) to come true.

Spoiler

alleged scripts for next episode suggest that Meera might not be able to help Bran, but there is still this part of season 6:

And he could talk and
fight and-- and then--What's wrong?
  The Three-Eyed Raven
says there's a war coming.
  And we're going to fight it in there?
  Brandon Stark needs you.
  For what?
I sit in there
  and I watch him have his visions
and nothing ever happens.
  He isn't going to stay here forever.
  And out there he needs you

 

and also

a)what BR told him.

b)Bran feeling emotionally attached to his dreams of his home

 

Considering the show is written in a simplistic way (about 90% of times), I'd not discard him recovering.

 

 

Edited by Meera of Tarth

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31 minutes ago, ravenous reader said:

Do you think it'll be the same in the books?

Quote

I don't think so. It would never be the same. The books are written from POV. So we will hear Bran's thoughts. Of course, GRRM can decide not write any longer from Bran's thoughts. 

It is also very weird d&d said in their interview Bran is broken in more ways than once. It is so sad what happened to him.

One of my favourite quotes in the books is the following: 

At the edge of the wolfswood, Bran turned in his basket for one last glimpse of the castle that had been his life. Wisps of smoke still rose into the grey sky, but no more than might have risen from Winterfell's chimneys on a cold autumn afternoon. Soot stains marked some of the arrow loops, and here and there a crack or a missing merlon could be seen in the curtain wall, but it seemed little enough from this distance. Beyond, the tops of the keeps and towers still stood as they had for hundreds of years, and it was hard to tell that the castle had been sacked and burned at all. The stone is strong, Bran told himself, the roots of the trees go deep, and under the ground the Kings of Winter sit their thrones. So long as those remained, Winterfell remained. It was not dead, just broken. Like me, he thought. I'm not dead either.

Bran and Winterfell are interlinked. The roots of Winterfell are still there. That should mean the roots of Bran still exist, no? 

I am hoping we will see the real Bran return. 

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32 minutes ago, Tijgy said:

I don't think so. It would never be the same. The books are written from POV. So we will hear Bran's thoughts. Of course, GRRM can decide not write any longer from Bran's thoughts. 

It is also very weird d&d said in their interview Bran is broken in more ways than once. It is so sad what happened to him.

One of my favourite quotes in the books is the following: 

At the edge of the wolfswood, Bran turned in his basket for one last glimpse of the castle that had been his life. Wisps of smoke still rose into the grey sky, but no more than might have risen from Winterfell's chimneys on a cold autumn afternoon. Soot stains marked some of the arrow loops, and here and there a crack or a missing merlon could be seen in the curtain wall, but it seemed little enough from this distance. Beyond, the tops of the keeps and towers still stood as they had for hundreds of years, and it was hard to tell that the castle had been sacked and burned at all. The stone is strong, Bran told himself, the roots of the trees go deep, and under the ground the Kings of Winter sit their thrones. So long as those remained, Winterfell remained. It was not dead, just broken. Like me, he thought. I'm not dead either.

Bran and Winterfell are interlinked. The roots of Winterfell are still there. That should mean the roots of Bran still exist, no? 

I am hoping we will see the real Bran return. 

Indeed, there is still hope in the books, and I'd like to think than in the show as well. That they're doing this so as to shock us and then créate a twist.

Edited by Meera of Tarth

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30 minutes ago, Tijgy said:

I don't think so. It would never be the same. The books are written from POV. So we will hear Bran's thoughts. Of course, GRRM can decide not write any longer from Bran's thoughts. 

It is also very weird d&d said in their interview Bran is broken in more ways than once. It is so sad what happened to him.

One of my favourite quotes in the books is the following: 

At the edge of the wolfswood, Bran turned in his basket for one last glimpse of the castle that had been his life. Wisps of smoke still rose into the grey sky, but no more than might have risen from Winterfell's chimneys on a cold autumn afternoon. Soot stains marked some of the arrow loops, and here and there a crack or a missing merlon could be seen in the curtain wall, but it seemed little enough from this distance. Beyond, the tops of the keeps and towers still stood as they had for hundreds of years, and it was hard to tell that the castle had been sacked and burned at all. The stone is strong, Bran told himself, the roots of the trees go deep, and under the ground the Kings of Winter sit their thrones. So long as those remained, Winterfell remained. It was not dead, just broken. Like me, he thought. I'm not dead either.

Bran and Winterfell are interlinked. The roots of Winterfell are still there. That should mean the roots of Bran still exist, no? 

I am hoping we will see the real Bran return. 

 

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

 

The trees remember.  They provide the opposite to Dany's wilful blindness, 'if I look back I'm lost,' savaging everything in her fiery wake -- Bran needs to look back and remember, in order to find himself and save his family and likely humanity.  And, as I mentioned to you, he still needs to fulfil the following prophecy, implying the preservation of some kind of moral integrity:

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Bran I

"He does," his father admitted. "As did the Targaryen kings before him. Yet our way is the older way. The blood of the First Men still flows in the veins of the Starks, and we hold to the belief that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.

"One day, Bran, you will be Robb's bannerman, holding a keep of your own for your brother and your king, and justice will fall to you. When that day comes, you must take no pleasure in the task, but neither must you look away. A ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon forgets what death is."

 

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13 minutes ago, ravenous reader said:

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

LOL. I actually referenced to this poem in our book thread during our talk about Bran as a sword (first by you and later by me)

Personally I wrote on this subject:

(after some very interesting talk on the phallic symbolism of Ice as Ned's big sword from Cat's POV - " Anyway, you might also be able to compare Ice to Bran. Both have been cleansed by Ned in the godswood. Ice is here being cleansed in the black pool. The metal is also described as a "dark glow." There is a "rippling deep within the steel" which reminds me of the dancing and shimmer reflections of the weirwood. Both are magical and both are connected to the Starks and the Kings in the North. Both even bear names from the time of the age of heroes: Brandon and Ice."

"And this connection made the following quote of ravenous reader interesting: 

 
Quote

 

  On 24-8-2016 at 10:56 PM, ravenous reader said:

 The reference to Bran being a squirrel rather than a human, and 'not Ned's son,' is a pointed one, foreshadowing the Starks subsequently 'losing' him to Bloodraven, his substitute father, and the Children of the Forest who were called 'the squirrel people':

 

 

Going further on this. The squirrel reference does indicate indeed the fact the Starks are losing him to Bloodraven and the greenseers. But this does contrast then the fact of Bran being compared to Ice, a symbol of the Starks. IMO this duality (or paradox?) is actually one of the biggest storylines or questions of identity in Bran's storyline. Who is Bran? Is he the heir and part of the legacy of the Starks who were Kings in the North? Or is he a greenseer and an old god? 

I think this question of this two contrasting(?) identities is most clearly present in his SL of ACOK. In these books you have at one hand his training as the Stark in Winterfell and on the other hand his training as greenseer. From the moment he leaves WF, the focus gets on him being trained as a greenseer. And this is sort of symbolized in the death the two people who trained him as the Stark in Winterfell (Maester Luwin and Ser Rodrik). 

However his connection to Winterfell is not completely dead: "The stone is strong, Bran told himself, the roots of the trees go deep, and under the ground the Kings of Winter sit their thrones. So long as those remained, Winterfell remained. It was not dead, just broken. Like me, he thought. I'm not dead either"

And never forget the fact he is still called as their prince and as the true heir by the Reeds. 

Several people do tend ignore the fact Bran has also a deep connection to Winterfell. And when people want to argue the theory Bran will never be KitN or the Lord of Winterfell, they do tend also sometimes to use the argument Bran is too busy with playing greenseer. IMO the one identity does not really exclude the other identity. Bran can be a greenseer and the Lord of Winterfell at the same time. It is not for nothing Winterfell does represent a tree and Bran as warg can skinchange the symbol of his house. :D So personally I do see those actually not as two things in contrast. 

Another sad  interesting similarity between the fact Bran is said to be "broken" and the fact Ice is reforged into two swords. (and the Lannisters are responsible for both actions). Firstly, it is possible to say the two swords take also up two contrasting role. While one part gets into the hands of Joffrey and later Tommen, the other part Oathkeeper is placed into the hands of Brienne so she will be able to find and protect the daughters of Ned Stark (aka the lineage of House Stark). One of the dual roles of the "broken" boy and the "broken" sword are both related to the (protection of) the lineage of the Starks. 

Secondly, several elements that refer to the legacy of the Starks are broken. You have first Bran calls himself Bran the Broken, who apparently will have never any children and who is presumed to be dead (just like the other male heir Rickon). Further you have Winterfell, the castle of the Starks. In ACOK this castle is turned into a ruin and, it might be called broken, just like Bran the castle is not really dead. Another broken element is Ice. The Lannisters took the sword and reforged it into two swords. They tried to destroy the Starkness of it, but they failed ("Your father had asked for the crimson of your House, and that was that color I set out to infuse into the metal. But Valyrian steel is stubborn. These old swords remember (LOL), it is said, and they do not change easily. I worked half a hundred spells and brightened the red time and time again, but always the color would darken, as if the blade was drinking the sun from it.). The family of Ned Stark is also broken and not longer together. They (the Boltons, the Lannisters) also tried to destroy them, but they also still remain.

All those elements do have the same characteristics. They are part of the Starks'/Ned's line or legacy. The Lannisters, the Boltons and other enemies tried to destroy them. But while they are broken, they are still not destroyed and they still remain. (And they will hopefully be restored  )

I did search some symbolism behind broken swords and I found this:

Quote

Because the sword symbolizes spiritual aggression or a hero's courage, the broken sword is a symbol of these qualities being in a state of destruction. Nevertheless, like a 'buried sword', it is more likely to appear in medieval legends as an inheritance which has to be reconquered by personal valour.  

 https://books.google.be/books?id=_p7DAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA325&lpg=PA325&dq=symbolism+broken+sword&source=bl&ots=7zevqJlyNw&sig=R764khUz-SsQl6de2YLr85D4GNc&hl=nl&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj5wdqs9_DOAhXDORoKHUEyD_8Q6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=symbolism broken sword&f=false

An example of one of those medieval legends is the one of Sigurd. His father's sword was broken during the fight between his father and a dragon. After Sigurd had reforged his father's sword, he revenges the death of his father and names himself as king. This legend was probably used as one of the inspiration for the story of Aragorn, who also reforged his ancestral sword, revenges his father and becomes king... 

(and then I mentioned the poem)

---

Something interesting during the conversation between Olenna and Jaime was the mentioning of Widow's maker/wail or however Joffrey named his sword.

Jaime and Brienne have the both parts of Ice. What if they get together, meet a certain blacksmith (aka Gendry) and they reforge Ice? (Note: from practical point of view, this is actually kind of idiotic. Two swords are more useful than one big sword which cannot be used in fights) Would it not be symbolic if during the same episode Bran is also "reforged"/unbroken and gets out of his emotionless state? 

Let's hope for this!

 

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25 minutes ago, Tijgy said:

--

Something interesting during the conversation between Olenna and Jaime was the mentioning of Widow's maker/wail or however Joffrey named his sword.

Jaime and Brienne have the both parts of Ice. What if they get together, meet a certain blacksmith (aka Gendry) and they reforge Ice? (Note: from practical point of view, this is actually kind of idiotic. Two swords are more useful than one big sword which cannot be used in fights) Would it not be symbolic if during the same episode Bran is also "reforged"/unbroken and gets out of his emotionless state? 

Let's hope for this!

 

Good analogy, I'd love to see this. And given that Brienne has already achieved her oath, and Widow's wail is associeated to death and Cersei+Joffrey (evil) it would be nice if they reforged Ice, and they did it together (which also would have a deeper meaning on their relationship together and also with the STarks), to leave the past aside, for the new future, this time with a new Bran, recovered. Wow, it would be amazing.

Jaime would help in the salvation of Bran, which would be a nice touch.

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5 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

Hi @Meera of Tarth, @Tijgy and @Wizz-The-Smith --

I'm curious as to your take on what D&D are doing with Bran's character?  Several people have pointed out the significance of Littlefinger's speech to Sansa juxtaposed with Bran's arrival at Winterfell, in which Littlefinger was basically describing a greenseer's powers:

  • to fight every battle everywhere in the mind; 'don't fight in the north or the south' -- i.e. a virtual rather than geographic battlefield = the 'weirnet' with an omnipresent greenseer!
  • to play out alternative scenarios simultaneously, assuming the perspectives of different people, times and places -- sounds like a time-travelling (astral-projecting) skinchanger.
  • to know everything so you are never surprised; 'everything that happens will be something you've SEEN before...' = an omniscient greenSEER with a privileged perspective of 'deep time' in which history repeats itself.
  • But what about Littlefinger's assertion 'everyone is your enemy; everyone is your friend'?  Is this really true for greenseers?  From the histories, we're led to believe that greenseers were employed to fight on behalf of one side or another during 'greenseer wars' -- i.e. they weren't apathetic; they did take sides.  There is a precedent for this in Celtic mythology, from which GRRM borrows heavily (e.g. he refers to the Others as 'Sidhe made of ice'), as Tijgy and Wizz have been pointing out regarding Amergin the founder of Ireland, a seer who fought on the side of the Milesians, using his powers to part the storm conjured up as a magical defensive barrier by the corresponding druids (also basically greenseers) of the Tuatha de Danann, the original inhabitants of Ireland.  Perhaps LF's statement might be taken to mean that one should be vigilant, not taking things at face value, and instead look behind facades (piercing through beyond the blinding 'curtain of light') to the true nature of things, the way one skinchanger can always recognise another, despite the guise he or she is currently inhabiting, 'to see the truth that lies beneath the world.'  On the other hand, by directing Bran to have a deadpan expression and to be so apparently apathetic, indeed callous to the point of cruelty, to his sister, perhaps D&D would like to suggest that Bran has lost his humanity to a certain degree -- that being a logical consequence of being a greenseer and the cost of acquiring such power (with which @LmL and @Matthew. agree).  If everyone is your enemy and everyone is your friend -- the same thing as saying that no one is your enemy and no one is your friend --  then you have lost your ability to love anything.  At its frightening extreme, perhaps you are no longer invested in humanity, and instead seek to destroy it like the Night's King.  With such a privileged godlike perspective, life loses its value and people are objectified, mere pieces to be moved around on the board.  Perhaps he's been infected by the coldness of the Night's King (when he touched him, leaving his mark) and Bran is turning to ice in more ways than one, including emotionally?  [ETA: perhaps a symbolic correlation is being drawn between infection by greyscale and recruitment by the Cold...Along these lines, @Voice has made the brilliant observation that Gared's 'eloquent' description in the Prologue of how the Cold infiltrates a person, taking him over body, mind and soul, is basically a depiction of the Cold as a malignant sentient force, a 'miasma',  and -- get this -- a skinchanger!]  By Bran's preference to linger at the heart tree in the cold and blowing snow at the end of the scene with Sansa, perhaps we may infer that Bran no longer feels the cold, because he's becoming cold as Winter itself.  Maybe they think if they make Bran so detached, creepy and uncaring towards his family, we won't be upset when Jon has to kill him, as suggested by @TyrionTLannister

 

No sooner had Littlefinger delivered his monologue than Bran the Lord of Winterfell and Master Librarian of the heart tree returns to Winterfell.  By drawing a parallel between Littlefinger and Bran -- with Sansa caught between them -- what are D&D intimating?  

  • that Littlefinger is/will be a greenseer like Bran?!
  • that Bran is a psychopath like Littlefinger? 
  • that Littlefinger and Bran are now the main players facing off against each other on the chess board, with the conflict getting underway at the epicentre of it all, Winterfell?

Here are a few more of my thoughts which I posted at the Hearth, as follows:

 

It's all very 'meta-', sometimes to the point of cheesiness...  They [D&D] are also quite narcissistic in that they can't bear being criticised for anything without responding by rubbing our noses in it with the interjection of something 'cute' and self-referential into the script, somewhere down the line.  For example, of all the things Bran could have reported to Sansa to 'prove his power,' they chose to have Bran taunting his sister with vivid images of the night of her rape (the one they machinated to the censure of a large vocal component of the fans), reminding Sansa and by extension the audience of the beauty of their own cinematography in that scene (I know I know, the dress, the snow, oh oh oh!).

Don't get me wrong; I like and always enjoy the show, and I'm nowhere near a rabid book purist, but ultimately D&D's adaptation falls short because they are confusing GRRM's cynicism with their own nihilism, GRRM's wit with Monty Pythonesque farce.  These are not the same thing, and a crucial misreading of the author.  GRRM's cynicism is born of a deep seam of romanticism, a broken heart left stranded on a darkling plain.  Sometimes I wonder if D&D still have any heart left to break -- the characters are becoming so soulless and monotonic.  Soon there'll be no one left to root for.
 


Note, that GRRM does not explicitly defend the show, referring instead to 'my worldview'.
 

This is a very important point.  The way I see it, this is 'round three' of the epic transgenerational Brandon Stark - Petyr Baelish duel (what do you think of this breakdown @Unchained?):

Round 1.  Brandon Stark (of the bloody beautiful blade, our Bran's uncle) vs. Petyr Baelish in a war of swords, which Petyr loses.

Round 2.  Brandon Stark vs. Petyr Baelish in a war of words, which Brandon loses.  Although I have no proof of the necessary logistics to back me up, I strongly suspect Petyr of having seized the opportunity of maliciously meddling in the events leading to Brandon's death, perhaps by interfering with the message which prompted Brandon 'the gallant fool' to rush off to King's Landing -- we have speculated about this at length in the thread 'Teen Littlefinger's Uriah Gambit' .

Round 3.  Brandon Stark (our Bran) vs. Petyr Baelish in a war of minds; or rather a war for one mind -- Sansa's (as Cat 2.0, curiously mirroring the war which began it all, for the favour of Catelyn Stark in the duel at the water stair).  I think Baelish will soon come to realize that his modus operandi of perverting the message is not going to put him on top with a greenseer armed with 'weirnet' access, a damning library of knowledge threatening to expose him at any moment, in contrast to which that posed by Luwin's pedantic preservation of 'every raven scroll' will pale in comparison (silly Sansa will no doubt let slip to Littlefinger how freaked out she is by the extent of what Bran revealed to her).  For a psychopath of the highest order, for whom losing the game is not an option, he will not be able to tolerate this unequal arrangement in knowledge for long, without seeking to eliminate his nemesis, fittingly named 'Brandon Stark'.  Also, although Bran may have gone all 'transcendental' on us, denying that he will ever be 'Lord of anything' in the material world; Baelish, ever the pragmatist when it comes to preserving his own more mundane interests, however, will not see it that way.  With Brandon Stark's return to Winterfell, technically being as Sansa correctly points out the legitimate heir and Lord of Winterfell, Baelish will see a direct threat to Sansa's position, and therefore his own aspirations to rule and/or influence the north; and I predict he will be compelled accordingly to remove pesky rival Brandon 2.0 from the board.  Look at how precipitously he acted to eliminate Lysa when he felt cornered by her blabbing.  It's the only time we saw him commit a murder with his own hands, nor will it be the last, as intimated in the trailer for the next episode in which we see his bejewelled fingers clasped around the same unsheathed dagger as the one used by Bran's would-be assassin in Season 1, bringing us full-circle. Thus, we might see a Bran assassination attempt 2.0, in a war of swords which will probably on some level be extremely satisfying for Baelish, given that when it comes to swords and not words he is usually at a disadvantage when pitted against one Stark man or another; mirroring the pivotal duel in which Brandon decimated the physically weaker Petyr, except this time the positions will be reversed, with Baelish having the upper hand physically in relation to the defenseless cripple, and Brandon having to rely on his wits and possibly the intervention of a woman to save him, just as Cat essentially saved Baelish's life by begging Brandon to spare her 'little brother'.  Will someone intervene to save Bran from the dagger that missed the first time?  Perhaps no one will make an appearance...

 

The short and hopefully understandable version is that yes I agree with that.  The third round you are talking about is where the child puppet king rebels against his little brother puppet master like the king of Rohan does to Grima and Saruman. Rohan is in a vale after all.  It seems to be headed toward Sweetrobin in the books, but he not being important enough was replaced by Bran who is like the literal version of everything Robin is metaphorically.  I think all three rounds are decided by a woman.  Cat gives her favor to Brandon.  

 

It comes full full circle in the sence that the little brother starts out sympathetic and winds up a tyrant like his big brother was.  That allows the author to connect and overlap the stories in different ways.  

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