While Game of Thrones fans have been doing a lot of hand-wringing and hair-pulling about the fate of Jon Snow recently, we’ve been waiting a lot longer (if more patiently) to see just what the hell is going on with Bran Stark (Issac Hempstead Wright), who sat out the entirety of Season 5. While the rest of Game of Thrones‘ massive roster of characters were busy with the sex, murder, politics, betrayal, and all-around intrigue that’s par for the course in the cruel, cold world of Westeros and beyond, Bran was up North of the Wall, honing his fledgling psychic abilities. And apparently going through a mean spat of puberty.
HBO has revealed their first look image at the young Stark-ling all grown up, and not only has Bran aged up a bit and opted for a significantly sheared haircut since his last appearance in the Season 4 finale, he’s apparently upped his mobility. The new image finds him atop a horse, with his trusty Hodor nowhere in sight. Check it out in the full image below (via EW).
While details of Season 6 are naturally being kept under lock and key, especially now that the series has finally passed the narrative of the books, it seems likely that Bran will shape up to play a pretty significant part in the new season. The series has taken a decided, step towards the fantastical over the last two seasons with gigantic dragons, white walkers and the wight-infested climax of”Hardhome”. And the future of Bran Stark is deeply tied to the realm of the fantastical now that he’s entered the tutelage of the Three Eyed Raven (now played by Max Von Sydow).
Since we last saw him, Bran has been learning to hone his greenseeing and warging abilities; both of which offer some potent narrative possibilites. One specific example is the oportunity to glimpse the details of the oft-refered-to past — an opportunity that holds the potential to answer some of the series greatest lingering questions (Jon Snow’s parentage, cheif among them).
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