Who will win the iron throne in ‘Game of Thrones’? The case for Bran Stark

Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran in a scene from Season 8 of "Game of Thrones."
(Helen Sloan / HBO)

As things stand now in the complicated and violent struggle to win the Iron Throne in “Game of Thrones,” Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) looks like a long shot. Many of his rivals have weapons, cunning and ambitions that far outdistance him.

Which is why he will surprise everyone at the end of the saga and triumph. His rivals for the Iron Throne will come to realize that Bran, the second son of Lord Ned Stark and Lady Catelyn, is the true and rightful ruler.

One distinct quality that Bran possess that gives him an edge are his mystical abilities. With his “greensight,” he is able to have visions that extend not only to the future, but to the past extending thousands of years. Those visions were made possible initially by his psychic connection to the Three-Eyed Raven. But as events are reaching their culmination, Bran has become the Three-Eyed Raven, and those powers give him a clear edge over all others. He basically has all the intellect and knowledge in the world.


Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) in the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven during a scene from Season 4 of "Game of Thrones."

Of course, knowledge can also be dangerous. He is one of the few to know the truth about the birth of Jon Snow, which could have devastating consequences.

But although he is armed with all this knowledge, Bran has never been one to use it to his personal advantage or to inflict harm on others. He is not a warrior — his demeanor is calm and his stature is one of reason.

Bran’s destiny to be the winner of the Iron Throne could have been foreshadowed from the first episode of “Game of Thrones,” when he was a young boy fond of adventure and of climbing trees and walls. His curiosity almost cost him his life when he was pushed out of a tower window by Ser Jaime Lannister after he spied Jamie and his twin sister, Cersei Lannister, having sex.

That fall put him in a coma and eventually paralyzed him but also led to gaining his psychic powers.

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Even George R.R. Martin, the author of the series of books that gave birth to the “Game of Thrones” series, seemed to signal that Bran would be the saga’s central character. He said in a 2004 Rolling Stone interview that Bran is the epic’s “first viewpoint character. In the back of their heads, [readers] are thinking Bran is the hero of the story. He’s young King Arthur. We’re going to follow this young boy — and then, boom: You don’t expect something like that to happen to him.”

But when “Game of Thrones” ends, those who felt that Bran would become king will be rewarded. It’s his destiny.

Before the fall — and rise: Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), center, in training during Season 1 of "Game of Thrones," with Jon Snow (Kit Harington), left, and Robb Stark (Richard Madden).
Before the fall — and rise: Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), center, in training during Season 1 of “Game of Thrones,” with Jon Snow (Kit Harington), left, and Robb Stark (Richard Madden).
(Helen Sloan / HBO)