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Cowboy Dan

Bran is a Weirwood Child

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Bran is the youngest POV we have in the books, beginning the series at the age of seven. He is repeatedly referenced as both a baby and a child. Compared to everyone else who exerts agency on the narrative he is still only a child. Bran likes to state that he is almost a man grown but this is only his wishful fancy early on. He becomes disillusioned by the realities he is forced to confront, most directly evidenced by how he thinks he will get his legs back upon reaching the Three-Eyed Crow. But, as he states himself, this was only a child's dream.

Bran is heavily ensconced in dreams as well, both through learning from Jojen's green dreams and his time spent in Summer during his wolf dreams. His retreat into dreams is understandable, as a child who wanted to be a knight and becomes a cripple. Bran feels most alive not in his own skin but when dreaming as Summer or slipping into Hodor's skin. But this is ultimately an escape from his current reality and he spends far too much time dreaming as both Jojen, and later he himself, points out. His dreams are powerful but his reliance on them is a sign of why Bran is a child, despite his initial disagreements on the matter.

Due to his reliance on magical dreams, Bran is a child of the weirwood. He may be a child but will become an extremely strong greenseer through these same weirwood powers he handles as a child.

Quote

The great seat made him feel half a baby.

-Bran IV, AGOT

The first mention involving Bran, he is seated in Robb's place as the lord of Winterfell. Bran is told several times how he would make a good lord and mentions how he knows secrets of Winterfell's layout that makes him feel like the lord of the castle. Although Bran is not becoming a traditional lord but the lord of the weirwood.

Quote

...this did not shame Bran the way it did when Hodor carried him in his arms like a baby.

-Bran VI, AGOT

The weirwood in Winterfell is described as a "monstrous stone tree". The roots are described "as thick around as a giant's legs" and Bloodraven's weirwood throne is even larger. Hodor as a giant is symbolic of the weirwood here and in turn the weirwood is symbolically carrying Bran as its baby.

Quote

Bran realized he was crying. Stupid baby, he thought at himself.

-Bran I, ASOS

After the sea comes to Winterfell and Bran faces the harsh realities of war and running for his life, he admonishes himself for his own behavior as a child. But the kid's only eight at the time. He is still a child. That doesn't mean he won't have big responsibilities in the future, as a child of the weirwood would.

Quote

So go to sleep, my little Brandon, my baby boy, and dream sweet dreams.

-Bran I, ADWD

Here we have Bran recalling Catelyn babying Bran quite literally, solidifying the connection between Bran's status as a dreamer and a baby. The phrase is so important this is a repetition of almost the same words Bran recalls in Bran IV, ASOS. Moving on to Bran as a child:

Quote

Must I come myself to fetch you, as if you were a little child?

-Bran II, ACOK

Bran is called a child fifteen times during his stay at Winterfell so I won't provide all those quotes. I'm sure you get the idea by now.

When he does make it to Bloodraven's cave all this child/baby symbolism pays off by coming full circle. The first mention of Bran as a baby is when Robb sets him in the great seat of Winterfell. Bran encounters Bloodraven in a great seat of his own. A seat not of polished stone but of white wood.

Quote

Before them a pale lord in ebon finery sat dreaming in a tangled nest of roots, a woven weirwood throne that embraced his withered limbs as a mother does a child.

-Bran II, ADWD

Here we get the overt link to Bran as a child of the weirwood. From my experience analyzing these books, this seems typical for Martin's style. He will harp on a specific thematic or symbolic connection over and over then use that already established connection to tie into a new concept. But a single connection, while promising, is not definitive. In the next chapter, Martin drives home the connection between Bran as a child of the weirwood by giving Bran his own weirwood cradle similar to Bloodraven's.

Quote

The singers made Bran a throne of his own, like the one Lord Brynden sat, white weirwood flecked with red, dead branches woven through living roots.

-Bran III, ADWD

...he was back in the cavern, the pale thick roots of his weirwood throne cradling his limbs as a mother does a child.

-Bran III, ADWD

 

The repetition of phrasing is a telltale sign Martin is leaving a clue for us to inspect. 

This throne makes Bran both a child and a lord of the weirwood.

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