Warning: This post will contain spoilers for the Game of Thrones season six finale.
The Game of Thrones season six finale did basically everything that you could have imagined. Normally, just one of the episode’s many world-changing events would have been enough for an episode, which not only made it one of the best episodes of the series so far, but also one of the most captivating. Out of the many, many revelations and shocks though, perhaps the most highly-anticipated and relieving came via Bran Stark, who gave fans the rest of the Tower of Joy sequence we’d seen earlier in the season and confirmed the most popular Thrones fan theory in one fell swoop.
I’m of course, referring to the confirmation of R+L=J, as a young Ned Stark entered the Tower of Joy to find his sister, Lyanna Stark, dying in a pool of blood. After making Ned promise to protect someone from Robert Baratheon as well, just like in the books, it was confirmed that Lyanna had died of childbirth, born out of the deadly affair between herself and Rhaegar Targaryen, Daenarys’ brother and the original heir to the Iron Throne before the Mad King was overthrown and Rhaegar was killed by Robert at the Battle of the Trident.
The child was confirmed to be none other than Jon Snow too, Ned Stark’s bastard, who in all actuality was his nephew, and is half-Stark and half-Targaryen… To say that there were celebrations made in honor of that confirmation, would probably be an understatement.
While recently speaking with THR as well, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, who plays Bran Stark, talked about how the revelation might affect Bran’s arc moving forwards, including whether or not Bran even fully comprehends what he’s seeing in the vision yet:
“That’s a good question. I think he can probably work it out. You can see that crushed look on Ned’s face. We don’t hear a lot about what Lyanna says. Something along the lines of, “If Robert finds out, he’ll kill him.” Something to that effect. When Bran sees his father’s reaction and understands that this is a surrogate child his father has brought up, he thinks to himself, “Well, wait, what surrogate children has my father brought up? Oh! Jon Snow! So Jon Snow isn’t my half-brother.” But we still are pretty clueless as to the father, I think.”
When asked about why Hempstead-Wright thinks the Three-Eyed Raven wanted Bran to specifically see this moment in the past as well, the actor responded with the following:
“Well, if the fan theories prove to be correct, then it’s pretty self-evident what’s important about this. It’s telling us that maybe Jon Snow is actually not who we think and could actually be a very valuable asset and ally in these times. For Bran right now, the fact that he’s seen it and has now learned that it’s not his father’s son, I think that makes Bran go, “Well, then the father is clearly an important figure that has something to do with the history and future of Westeros.”
Does he think Bran will be the one to tell Jon though?
“To me, I think what will happen now is that it appears Bran will head south to Winterfell. That’s the thread that I would follow, at least. And then, hooray! He runs into Jon and Sansa. But I don’t know how Bran’s going to break it to Jon. He hasn’t seen him in years. “Hey, yeah, by the way, I’m a tree wizard now, and dad’s not your father.” (Laughs) I think Jon will go, “You’ve been spending way too much time in the cave, mate.”
With Dany now on her way to Westeros, Cersei the new Queen in King’s Landing, and Jon the newly crowned King in the North, it certainly feels like the show is reaching its final chapter now. Here’s how the actor feels about the new stage in the series:
“It’s all coming together, isn’t it? It’s all reaching this crescendo of all these different forces coming together to a focal point and getting ready to implode. It feels like we’re getting very close to the final conclusion. God knows how we’re going to make a conclusion out of this massive thriving mess of murders and death and ice zombies and all sorts, but it’s going to be pretty spectacular.”
It’s interesting that he points out Bran still doesn’t know for sure who the father is, and may need to do some more research into the past to find out once and for all if Rhaegar is the father or not (let’s face it, he totally is). If that means that we may finally get to see some of Rhaegar Targaryen (one of the most interesting characters in all of the Thrones lore) onscreen though, then I’ll be more than happy with them possibly dragging out the full revelation a little bit.
As for Bran’s story moving forward, he’s now back at the Wall for all intents and purposes, and it seems like he’s going to be heading towards Winterfell next, something Arya may be doing as well, which means that we might finally get to see the Stark siblings reunited for the first time since they parted ways. That is, if Littlefinger and Sansa can manage not to muddle it all up before their other two siblings arrive.
Game of Thrones season seven will premiere in a little less than a year, which is going to feel much, much longer for all of us in the meantime.
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