The Battle of Winterfell was one of the most anticipated moments on Game of Thrones, ever. After the episode, some fans couldn't help but notice that Bran didn't do much to help out during the battle. Not only that, but a lot of people were wondering what Bran was thinking when he saw the Night King and came face-to-face with the biggest bad GoT had ever seen. There wasn't much to go off of, and theories of course were born. But now the Three-Eyed Raven has shared his input, and his thoughts on the matter are definitely interesting.
In a new interview with The New York Times, Isaac Hempstead Wright shared what exactly Bran had going through his head in that moment between him and the Night King, and what that meaningful glance meant. First off, it wasn't even scripted.
"[The director Miguel Sapochnik] and I came up with this idea that the look Bran gives the Night King is one of pity," the actor told the Times. "Bran saw the creation of the Night King, or the first White Walker, or whatever. He realizes that he was once just a normal guy who was forcibly strapped to a tree, and had a piece of dragonglass plunged in his heart. He didn’t ask to become this raving, crazy ice killer."
Hempstead Wright is referring to the Season 6 episode where Bran goes back to the early days of Westeros when the Night King was just another human. As a way to create a weapon, the Children of the Forest took this unwilling participant and turned him into what viewers now know as the Night King. You can see how terrified he was and, all things considered, their plan backfired. While killing everything in your path and turning those that you murdered into even more unwilling undead folk isn't the best way to cope, can you really blame him? You'd be in a bad mood for all eternity too.
So it certainly makes sense that Bran, in all his Three-Eyed Raven glory and knowledge, would look upon the Night King with pity. Hempstead Wright even compared it a bit to Frankenstein's monster. "He was forced into this situation, and he was trapped into this Night King’s body, and programmed to kill everyone," he said. "So we tried to get a moment where Bran is feeling sorry for him. Bran is looking at this ancient being who didn’t want to become this murderer, but is. And the reason the Night King takes so long is that he’s been programmed to destroy the Three-Eyed Raven from the moment he was created, so he’s taking a moment to savor it."
And that arrogant pause cost him his life. Or rather, "life." Because, while it took him thousands and thousands of years to finally get here, it took Arya Stark a few seconds to capitalize on his lack of defense and kill him. He was dusted before he could get the chance to fulfill his life's goal.
Hempstead Wright also sets the record straight on what Bran can see, regarding the future. He's not able to actually see anything fully, contrary to what people have thought. So he had an "inkling" that he needed to give Arya the dagger, but didn't actually see her knifing the Night King in the chest with it. So if you thought Bran was sitting there watching Jon and Daenerys get it on on the boat, you'd be happily mistaken.
The actor's revelations are welcome after the chaos of the show's most recent battle. Plus, any insight into Bran's head is welcome because that guy is tough to read, to say the least.