Game of Thrones’ Isaac Hempstead Wright Talks Bran Stark Night King Theory

Throughout the last seven seasons of Game of Thrones, we’ve watched beloved characters turn from evil to good, from good to bad, from alive to dead, and dead to alive. They’ve fallen in love, they’ve betrayed loved ones, they’ve traveled and trained. But no character has changed more than Brandon Stark. In just the first episodes he went from a kid who loved to climb to a paraplegic, unable to walk.

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Now, at the end of Season Seven, he’s fully made the most baffling change of all: from Bran Stark to the Three-Eyed Raven. He now has the entire history of Westeros at his disposal, which he can access through visions. But with these powers, his actions remain mysterious.

Why does he tell people important information when he does? Why does he act different? What does he know and when? And, the most popular theory among fans, is he secretly the Night King? After the Season Seven finale, Esquire.com talked with actor Isaac Hempstead Wright about Bran Stark’s motives, his powers, and if he could really be the Night King.

Bran acts weird to his friends and family because he’s rightfully distracted.

Our showrunners [David Benioff and D.B Weiss] got me in to talk about how Bran would be now that he has the entire human history downloaded into his brain. And they basically thought that he was going to be like Doctor Manhattan from the Watchmen comics. We created this idea of Bran existing in all of these different times at once and accessing every different possible moment at any given time. But we also wanted to make sure it didn’t become this boring monotonous performance; we wanted it to still have a bit of mystery and have some glimmer of Bran still there within the character. The coolest thing was, because I got to read the whole script, I played it as if Bran knew exactly what was going to happen by the end. So when Bran is looking at the knife, he’s thinking, “Ah, I see this is going to be the knife that kills Littlefinger.” It was tricky to get that because there are times when it can become really dull, and [it was important] not let it become dry.

There’s a reason he seemed a bit like his old self when meeting Samwell Tarly in the finale.

For that scene, it was Bran discovering something, and it’s not that he can’t become excited about things anymore. He can think, “Ah, this is an interesting discovery in the history of Westeros—this is cool.” In the same way that when he gets to Winterfell, things seem pretty boring…

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