After eight groundbreaking seasons, Game Of Thrones has aired its final episode.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
The series finale saw the North become an independent Kingdom under the rule of Sansa Stark, Arya Stark sailing away to explore the unknown lands west of Westeros, and Jon Snow banished back to the Night’s Watch after being forced to kill the now mad Queen Daenerys.
For fans, one of the most surprising developments was seeing Bran Stark elected as King of the remaining Six Kingdoms. However, there have been a few hints through the series that this may happen.
Let’s take a look back.
In the Name of the King
In the very first episode of Game Of Thrones, Ned Stark takes his sons Robb, Bran, and the supposed bastard Jon Snow on a trip outside Winterfell. The reason for this trip is for Ned to carry out one of his duties as Warden of the North: executing a deserter from the Night’s Watch.
As Ned declares his intent to execute the man in the name of the ‘King of The Andals, The Rhoynar, and The First Men, the camera pans over to where Ned’s sons are standing. Many fans believed this shot focused on Jon, hinting at his identity as true heir to the Seven Kingdoms. But who was standing right next to Jon in this shot? Bran, the man who ultimately becomes King.
Getting in Early
There is a second hint at Bran’s fate in the show’s first episode.
One of the first things we learn about Jaime Lannister is his unfortunate nickname, ‘The King-slayer’. This was a title he earned through betraying and murdering King Aerys Targaryen, later revealed to be a noble act as he did it to stop Aerys from burning the people of King’s Landing.
In the closing moments of episode one, Jaime lives up to his name by making a valiant attempt to kill the future King, Bran, years before there was any talk of him taking the crown. Nice foresight, Jaime!
Spreading The News
With Daenerys Targaryen missing, Tyrion Lannister runs the city of Meereen for most of season 6. In her absence, Tyrion’s first goal is to gain extra support for his Queen.
He aims to do this by spreading Daenerys’ story to the people, reminding them of her status as the Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.
This section of the series takes on extra significance in light of events in the Game Of Thrones finale. While it demonstrates his belief in Danerys as the next ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, it also foreshadows Tyrion’s belief in the importance of a good story.
Why is this is so important, you might ask. Let us highlight some of the events of season 8.
“You must have a good story.”
The second episode of Game Of Thrones‘ final season was a time of quiet reflection and discussions between characters. One of these discussions occurred between Tyrion Lannister and Bran Stark.
Tyrion asks Bran to tell him his story. Bran remarks that the story is long, but Tyrion doesn’t mind. The rest of the talk happens off-screen, so we do not know exactly what Bran said to Tyrion at this point. However, after his discussion with Bran, Tyrion seems a lot more positive about the upcoming battle against the Night King.
“I cannot be Lord of anything”
A second discussion between Bran and Tyrion occurs in episode four of season 8, after the Battle Of Winterfell has been won.
Tyrion believes that Bran must be happy now, as he will be the Lord of Winterfell. Bran replies that he cannot be Lord of anything. At the time, we are led to believe that this is because he is the Three-Eyed Raven.
However, it is possible that Bran could not be a Lord because he already knew he was destined to become King. It would not be the first time Bran has shown possible knowledge of the future. Back in season 7, he gave Arya the Valyrian steel dagger that she eventually used to kill the Night King.
Bran The Broken
When the surviving Lords of Westeros gather to choose a new King, Tyrion almost immediately suggests Bran. Not just because of Bran’s own impressive story, but because Bran, as the Three-Eyed Raven, is the keeper of all the great stories in Westeros.
Bran is the right person to guide the Kingdoms into the future, because he can look back and see exactly what went wrong in the past. With this knowledge, he can keep the same mistakes from happening again.
All hail Bran The Broken, First of His Name, King of the Six Kingdoms! And all hail Game Of Thrones, which will go down in history as one of the greatest television series of all time.