Bran’s vision last night in the new episode of Game of Thrones was jam-packed with imagery, with the history of the world flowing through the boy’s mind thanks to a quick upload from the late Three-Eyed Raven. A lot of the images are of things we’ve seen on the show, but there are new gems buried in the mad crush of info and we’re going to take a look at the more intriguing bits today, and the significance of the staggering vision.
YouTube user Mayes T has helpfully uploaded a slowed-down version of Bran’s visions if you’d like to rewatch at a less frenetic pace.
We’ve screencapped key moments from Bran’s visions to take a deeper look. It was an overwhelming amount of information unloaded onto viewers, as well as Bran. Now that we’ve had a little time to mull it over, what do we have here? To sum it up: the war between ice and fire, the weapons of mass destruction on both sides and the major players Bran needs to keep his eyes on.
The vision shows us the containers of wildfire that we know are kept beneath King’s Landing. Wildfire was used to devastating effect in “Blackwater”:
The visions are heavy on the dragon imagery, showing us the dragon and a shadow over King’s Landing, something we saw in a previous vision:
Woven throughout the visions is the fall of the Mad King Aerys, obsessed with wildfire and slain by Jaime Lannister during Robert’s Rebellion. First we see a shot of David Rintoul as the Mad King, who also happens to be Daenerys’ father. (Worth mentioning since she and her dragon were the big finale last night.)
Since the role of the Mad King was played by Liam Burke in a cut season 1 scene, we can assume this is newly shot and not the show hauling the old cut scene from their trunks:
We get a glimpse of the cold moving over the North, seen in another vision:
Scattered throughout are familiar reused shots of:
-the Night’s King and wight-Karsi at Hardhome
-Bran falling all over again from the tower at Winterfell
-Catelyn dying at the Red Wedding
-the birth of Dany’s dragons
-the White Walker collecting Craster’s baby, and the baby being changed by the Night’s King
-Ned Stark’s execution
The story of Bran’s own family seems to be tied into the vision’s tale of ice and fire, perhaps due to Bran’s role, or perhaps due to someone else’s, like say Jon Snow.
We see the pyromancers’ jars of wildfire once again, and there will be more of this. The emphasis on wildfire is almost threatening.
There is more of the Mad King…
The second flood of images for Bran uses a lot of the same imagery of the dragons and the White Walkers- the focus here is clearly the true war. We see the ravens that Sam and Gilly saw when they encountered the White Walker, and catch another glimpse of the dangerous cache of wildfire being handled by pyromancers.
Aerys is now shouting “Burn them all!” from the Iron Throne.
Next we see the wildfire ignited in the storage where we saw them being kept- however I don’t recall this happening before. If it had, the Red Keep and all of King’s Landing would be a smoking ruin, with that much wildfire. Is this the future?
Then more of the same recurring glimpse of the pyromancers at work, handling the substance:
Young Jaime arrives to stop the Mad King from destroying the city:
While we see young Ned Stark back at the Tower of Joy wanting to see his sister…
With an immediate cut to this bloody hand, hovering over a blood-soaked shape. We can see another hand lying alongside the body, if that’s what it is.
We compared young Ned’s gloves and armwear to what we saw in “Oathbreaker” and it certainly seem very possible that this hand and wrist belongs to Ned, and the blood may be his sister’s. My best guess is that we’re getting a glimpse of the resolution of the Tower of Joy here, with Lyanna in her bed of blood. Book readers understand the enormity of that sequence, what it implies and at this rate, a lot of the show-only fans have worked it out. We know that Robert Aramayo is set to be in the season finale, so hopefully we’ll finally get this resolved in episode 10.
After that intriguing bit, we see a mix of familiar sights- Robb at the Red Wedding, the Children creating the first White Walker, Jon’s White Walker duel at Hardhome, the key recurring images of Dany and the dragons and the White Walkers- while also getting a look at Jaime’s murder of the Mad King, how he earned his nickname Kingslayer.
The ignited wildfire we saw before expands- this is like a bomb going off. It’s what the Mad King was threatening to do, it’s why Jaime killed him- so this never happened. Only it may still.
Essentially, the images of the vision convey a condensed version of the war between ice and fire throughout history, the Three-Eyed Raven’s last attempt to help Bran understand what he was up against and what he needed to do.
My predictions, based on the vision: the mystery of Jon Snow’s parentage will be revealed in the season finale, and there is going to be a wildfire explosion in King’s Landing. The dragons will be, as people have long guessed, a major part in bringing down the White Walkers someday, the main weapon. The reminder of Dany’s father’s madness in an episode finishing with a declaration of her ambitions makes me think that we will see Daenerys take a similar turn in the end, with a wish to “Burn them all.” She’ll probably save Westeros first, though! And Bran will be there to see it all.