Game of Thrones: Did Tyrion LIE? Sinister truth about Bran revealed in the books?

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It was the big twist nobody saw coming. Well, one frustratingly enigmatic and possibly slightly smug character obviously did. When asked by Tyrion if he would accept the crown, Bran Stark replied, “Why do you think I came all this way?” He might as well have done a finger snap and hair toss. Tyrion sells the idea to everyone else – well, the tiny portion of (mainly Starks and their supporters) lords actually present – by promising it would be a new kind of elected monarchy, rather than hereditary. 

Bran is also the Three-Eyed Raven (known in the books at the Three Eyed Crow). 

This has two major implications. Firstly, he can see the past, present and future. This would certainly be very useful were someone to decide, say, that they actually rather liked being on the throne and didn’t want to give it up. In everybody’s best interests, of course.

How is this a problem since Bran will be king until he dies? Well, do you know how long the previous Three Eyed Raven/Crow lived?

In the books, we are told he was originally Ser Bryden Rivers, also somewhat prophetically called Lord Bloodraven. He was the bastard son of King Aegon IV Targaryen by his sixth mistress, Lady Melissa Blackwood, born in 175 AC.

After years of intrigue, he was banished to the Wall and elected Lord Commander in 239 AC before he disappeared years later while ranging in 252 AC, at the impressively hale age of 77.

He was feared much of his life and suspected of sorcery. In the short story The Mystery Knight, Duncan The Talls thinks: “‘How many eyes does Lord Bloodraven have?’ the riddle ran. ‘A thousand eyes, and one.’ Some claimed the King’s Hand was a student of the dark arts who could change his face, put on the likeness of a one-eyed dog, even turn into a mist. Packs of gaunt grey wolves hunted down his foes, men said, and carrion crows spied for him and whispered secrets in his ear.”

This sounds like the early manifestations of his greenseer powers, ones he shares with Bran who is presumably even more powerful.

Bran is born in AC 290, meaning Brendan, now the Three Eyed Crow, is already 115 years old. 

The Stark boy is at least ten years old by the time he meets the last greenseer in his cave. Leaf, one of the Children of the Forest, tells Bran, “He has lived beyond his mortal span,” being at least 125 years old.

Brynden only truly tapped into his powers when he was already very old. If Bran can access the life force of the land in the same way, could he live far longer? How long would he be on that throne? Everyone alive when he ascended would be long gone and he would potentially have a century to establish his rule using his powers to head off any opposition. And what about when the time eventually came to elect another king? How much would Bran seek to influence that?

The other main selling point of Tyrion’s new elective monarchy was that Bran is impotent. How does anybody know?

Evidence is taken from Ned’s thoughts in the books about his crippled son: “He will never run beside his wolf again, he thought with a sadness too deep for words, or lie with a woman, or hold his own son in his arms.”

Is Ned a skilled doctor? Perhaps his maester told him, but Bran was a very young boy at the time of the accident and it would have been impossible to know what would happen. Where is the evidence since then on page or screen?

Perhaps Bran’s thoughts will now be on loftier things, with no interest in such human experiences? Perhaps not. And if he did have a child, everything would surely change, especially with so many years to set things in motion.

Most worrying of all is his new mission to track down Drogon. Is this just to keep an eye on the dragon and make sure he never returns, or does Bran have more secret plans that just might benefit him above all others?

Did Tyrion know or suspect any of this? Based on his spectacular lack of foresight throughout Season 8, it is unlikely. 

Will any of this come to pass? We’d like to believe Bran will be the perfect altruistic ruler. Then again, this is Game of Thrones and Bran just created his own throne and a new set of rules…

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