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 in HBO's "Game of Thrones"
HBO’s “Game of Thrones”

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):

Thousands and thousands of years ago, Brandon the Builder had raised Winterfell, and some said the Wall. Bran knew the story, but it had never been his favorite. Maybe one of the other Brandons had liked that story. Sometimes Nan would talk to him as if he were her Brandon, the baby she had nursed all those years ago, and sometimes she confused him with his uncle Brandon, who was killed by the Mad King before Bran was even born. She had lived so long, Mother had told him once, that all the Brandon Starks had become one person in her head.

– A Game of Thrones, Bran IV

2 thoughts on “Bran Stark Theory: ‘Hodor’ Reveal Means Bran Could Have Been Influencing Westeros All Along

  1. If we move forward on this path:
    1. Bran has seen, how the White Walkers were created. And identifies the problem, that the Children couldn’t stop them with their magic. So he starts to modify the timeline such way, that some time (Game of Thrones time, 8000 years after the first White Walker was created) may be a chance to defeat them. He connected the leader of the First Men at time of the Long night, so they made the Pact with the Children. Peace between the Children and the First Men, weirwood trees as common gods, etc, AND the Children share their magical power with the First Men. Especially the Leader of the First Men ( the later Brandon the Builder) and his bloodline (Stark bloodline) is granted a very powerful magical gift from the Children (warging, sometimes greenseeing, etc).
    2. After the Pact Brandon the Builder has built the Wall, founded the Nightswatch, built Winterfell and the Citadell in Oldtown fo a suggestion of a boy (our Brandon Stark). These structures are protected with the Children’s magic against the wights, as we have seen by the ancient weirwood tree. So, if the Wall fall (magically by the Nights King’s mark or phisically be Joramun’s horn?), there will be two safe places in Westeros: Winterfell and the Citadel.
    3. After the Pact Brandon the Builder founded the Stark Dynasty in Winterfell. And the Starks had ruled as Kings of Winter for centuries of years until the Andals came to Westeros. Coincidence? Unlightly. Only the Starks had the magical power granted by the Children to throw back the Night King back to the land of Always Winter and protect the Realm of Men. But their power wasn’t enough to defeat the Night King once and for all. So, our Brandon Stark had modify the timeline again: he needed an another kind of magic too. And Rhaenys Targaryen had a vision of the Doom of Valyria and they fled to Dragonstone with the later King Aegon the Conquerer and their sister.
    4. After that our Brandon Stark had to wait. Torrhen Stark has knelt before the Targaryens and for thousands of years nothing happened. So it seemed. But the Starks were there, every generation buried in the crypts of Winterfell with a stone statue for each one of them. Magic has faded away, the dragons became as little as chickens until the last one died too. And everybody has forgotten the threat, which was awaiting north of the Wall, and southerners began to laugh only about the children stories of the White Walkers. Probably Bran tried to do something, warn the Targaryen Kings (Aerys got mad from the warning), but the communication to the Targaryens through time seemed not so easy. They had a different kind of magic in their blood, as the Starks, and we have seen by Hodor, how it works if Bran tries to communicate with somebody in the past, whose mind isn’t ready or capable for that kind of communication.
    5. And finally, we are at the Tournament of Harrenhall. The mean squires who were mocking Howland Reed, Lyanna Stark defeating the mean squires. The mysterious Knight with the laughing weiwood tree (Lyanna Stark), who gave justice to Howland Reed. King Aerys, who sent Rhaegar to find out, who was the mysterious knight and founded Lyanna, heard the story and fell in love in her courage, loyalty etc. Rhaegar won the tournament, and gave the ring of blue roses to Lyanna. Lyanna fell in love too, she fled from Winterfell, from the marriage with Robert Baratheon to be with Rhaegar. I hope, they made a vow in a godswood, so Jon isn’t truely a bastard, not according to the old gods, at least. Rebellion, Rhaegar died, Tower of Joy, Lyanna died in childbirth, Ned promised to protect Jon. Yes, I believe R+L=J.
    6. And that is, what our Brandon Stark has waiting for. A combination of the two most powerful magical bloodline in the history: the Stark blood of the Kings of Winter with the Children’s magic and the Dragonblood of the Targaryens. That is, what is capable to defeat the Night King once and for all. But: our Jon doesn’t seem to be a real Targaryen. No dragons, not like Danaerys, no resistance against fire. Well, Old Nan had told, there is a dragon egg in Winterfell, but even if it will be hatched, it takes years to grow a baby dragon to a huge one capable to fight on. Unless…
    7. Unless it will be a different kind of dragon, which grows to full size within a day. There are prophecies about Azor Ahai waking the stone dragon. What could be a stone dragon? Well…we have a large crypt in Winterfell, full of dead Starks with Children’s magic and stone statues… That stone dragon will be a Stark dragon, forming from the stone statues of Starks of 8000 years and with the accumulated Children’s magic of the whole Stark bloodline of 8000 years back to Brandon the Builder. And THAT will be Jon’s dragon.
    8. Waking the stone dragon: well. Brandon will be probably necessary for that. Jon has to go into the fire with the dragon egg. Who will be the dead kin, the sacrifice? Rickon if he will be murdered or Bran himself (I don’t like the idea that Bran doesn’t survive, he could be very useful and he is the mind of the old gods)? Jon will survive the fire, but his body will become like his burned hand: stiff and clumsy, like made of stone…
    9. At some time, Danaerys comes, with the three dragons and the two other dragon riders (Tyrion and Aegon?) Aegon had dreamed about it, marrying Danaerys and ruling the Seven Kingdoms happily ever after together, but if Aegon will ride one of Danaerys dragons, that is… well. It isn’t so interesting for Danaerys. For Danaerys, who didn’t find a man, who is equal to her own in strength, in magic, in everything. Who didn’t find a man, who is worthy for her respect, admiration and love sind Khal Drogo died. And then she meets Jon, stone warrior on the huge stone dragon, figthing against the army of the dead, trying to protect the living, well, that will be a huge ‘WHOOAAA’ for Danaerys. And for Jon, she will be the girl, kissed by fire, the new, maybe last chance for love, etc.
    10. So, love, kisses. How will the others react? Tyrion will support the marriage, a formal alliance between Starks and Targaryens. Will be Aegon jealous or will he admit Jon as his king?
    11. The flaming sword. I would like to see, that Beric Dondarrion brings it to Winterfell, give it to Jon, and after Jon and the Targaryens defeated the Night King, Jon and Danaerys rule together and rebuild Westeros and founding a new dynasty of Starks and Targaryens. But I’m very afraid, that Jon has to kill Danaerys to make his flaming Lightbringer. The question is: ok, he beats the Night King, sits on the Iron Throne, starts to rebuild and then what? There is no woman for him to match. Who will be his successor, if he will be unable to find love again and make heirs? Wouldn’t mean it a possibilty of a new war after Jon’s death?
    12. Yes, I’m romantic, so I would like to see Bran alive working as a god or something from a weirwood tree, married with Meera Reed, making children, so Reeds don’t die out after all. And I would like to see after the whole thing Danaerys and Jon together, ALIVE. Maybe Sansa and Tyrion? I would like to see Arya negotiating with the Iron Bank about the Iron throne’s debt, don’t send FM-s to my brother Jon, please, Jaqen, give us time, to rebuild and after we will pay.

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