HBO’s “Game of Thrones” Season 6 Episode 5 had a heartbreaking ending in which we learned the reason why Hodor was a “simpleton.” Long story short: Bran warged into present-day Hodor while using his Greensight ability to visit the past (in the presence of past-day Hodor). Somehow the psychological link connected past- and present-Hodor, causing a mental breakdown and the repetition of the phrase “hold the door,” which ultimately morphed into “Hodor.”
It’s a sad tale (and one that had been correctly theorized by several fans), but it has far-reaching consequences: The reveal means that Bran Stark can indeed influence the past via his Greensight abilities.
In the A Song of Ice and Fire books — and in Season 6 Episode 3 at the Tower of Joy — it’s hinted that Bran can sort of influence the past; he can scream names at the people in the memories he is visiting, and those people hear him, but he only sounds like wind.
However, the Hodor reveal means that Bran can do far more than make words in the wind.
Bran Stark theory: Bran is the reason why the entire war started in the first place
Reddit user NegativeKarmaSniifer presented this theory several weeks ago, and Episode 5’s reveal makes it even more possible. You can click here to read the full theory on reddit, but here’s the original post:
“[Bran] attempts to reason with King Aerys when shown a vision of him. The King only hears whispers, and is driven mad by it. Bran tries to fix this, however makes it worse. Mad King Aerys burns Bran’s grandfather alive while Bran frantically tries to stop him. All he hears is whispers.
Bran sets the events of the show in motion.”
There is a bit of a paradox associated with this theory (as there are with any time-traveling theories), and that is that Bran couldn’t have influenced the Mad King because those events occurred before Bran even existed in the first place. But then again, so did Hodor, so based on the mythology HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is putting together, this theory is entire possible.
Another Bran Stark theory: Bran built the Wall and has been influencing Winterfell for its entire existence
This theory comes from reddit user SecretTargaryens (read original post here):
“Okay, a fair stretch on this one, but what if all the legendary Bran Starks of the past (Bran the Builder, Bran the Shipwright, Bran the Breaker, etc.) are all the Bran the Treenboy skinchanging his ancestral heroes?”
This theory has (some) textual evidence in the form of this quote regarding Old Nan (Bran’s wet nurse):