If you didn't get the chance to watch last night's episode of Game of Thrones yet, there will be some big SPOILERS below, so read on at your own risk. Heading into this season, one of the story points many fans were hoping to see happen was a reunion of the surviving Stark siblings, Sansa (Sophie Turner), Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), since they are all finally back in Westeros. Last night, fans got to see part of that reunion, which series creator/showrunner D.B. Weiss discussed in a new interview. This is your last chance to avoid any SPOILERS, so read on at your own risk.
We saw in the Season 7 premiere that Bran Stark and Meera (Ellie Kendrick) had made it to the wall, with Dolorous Edd (Ben Crompton) eventually letting them both pass, although he didn't believe that they were who they said they were at first. We didn't see Bran or Meera at all in the second episode, Stormborn, but in last night's episode The Queen's Justice, Sansa was alerted to something at the front gate, with a crowd gathered around as Sansa reunited with her long-lost brother Bran Stark, with the trailer for next week's episode The Spoils of War hinting that Arya may arrive in Winterfell soon as well. Entertainment Weekly caught up with Isaac Hempstead-Wright, who revealed how this reunion was a major shock for his sister Sansa.
"I think it's a major shock for Sansa. She's lost her brother once before when he fell out of that tower, and now Bran's back but she loses him all over again. All the Starks have changed so much. Arya is like this ninja assassin. Sansa has been held captive by these tyrannical men and had to become politically cunning herself. But Bran is now this tree-raven-magic thing."
The "tree-raven-magic thing" he's referring to is the Three-Eyed Raven, an all-seeing character who, as Sansa Stark learned in their reunion scene, is much different than the brother she grew up with in Winterfell. While he had a hard time describing what the Three-Eyed Raven actually is, he did give her a taste of how his all-seeing greensight abilities work, sharing some details from Sansa's wedding night, which he didn't attend in person. Here's what Isaac Hempstead-Wright had to say about describing the powers he has, adding that he may have the Three-Eyed Raven title now, but he doesn't know how to use his full abilities quite yet.
"It's like imagining you have all of space and time in your head. Bran is existing in thousands of planes of existence at any one time. So it's quite difficult for Bran to have any kind of semblance of personality anymore because he's really like a giant computer. Bran really at this stage is not the Three-Eyed Raven. He's got the title but hasn't had thousands of years of sitting in a cave looking through time. Somebody put in front of him a massive encyclopedia of all of time and he's only opened page one. He can look stuff up but doesn't have this all-knowing all-seeing capability just yet."
If Arya Stark does in fact return to Winterfell in next week's episode, the Stark reunion will almost be complete, except for one big piece of the puzzle, Jon Snow (Kit Harington), who is likely the reason that Bran came to Winterfell, with Bran even telling Sansa that he needs to talk to him. Of course, Jon Snow is at Dragonstone, with Daenerys giving Jon permission to mine the dragon glass that rests beneath Dragonstone, to fight off the White Walkers, since dragon glass can be used to kill White Walkers. We learned in the Season 6 finale that Jon Snow is in fact the son of Ned Stark's (Sean Bean) sister Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, giving him perhaps the strongest claim to the Iron Throne of anyone else in Westeros, although at this point, only Bran Stark knows this right now. When asked about how they wanted to portray Bran Stark's abilities without letting it take over the show, creator/showrunner D.B. Weiss had this to say.
"One of the things we loved about Game of Thrones from the very first book is it's not a world where magic is the primary driver of the story, it's a world where human psychology and behavior and desire are drivers of the story. We try very hard to make sure it stays that way because that's a lot more relatable to the vast majority of the audience than magic powers, as much fun as those are. So with Bran, ideally you want to use him in a way that adds to the story and enriches the story and not in a way that's a magic bullet to conveniently deal with things that you haven't come up with a better way to deal with. So it was a balancing act to account for who Bran is now without letting that overtake the story. There was supposed to be more time to learn what he needed to know and they ran out of time. Now Bran the Broken is broken in more ways than one. He's got serious challenges dealing with all the stuff happening in his mind and that prevents him becoming this omniscient character."
Since Bran has all of this knowledge at his disposal, Isaac Hempstead-Wright added that he thinks Bran would make, "a great Hand of the King," since "you can't do much better as a Hand than somebody who is all knowing." While that may be true, the only person he would or could serve as Hand for would be Jon Snow, if in fact he does decide to use the knowledge he'll eventually learn from Bran Stark to wage a campaign for the Iron Throne, perhaps in the eighth and final season. With just four episodes left of this shortened Game of Thrones season, hopefully we'll get to see all of the Stark's back together again at Winterfell before the end of this season.