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Bran the Broken: Game of Thrones finale from the perspective of a disabled viewer

Bran the Broken made King: Why was it so important? Pic credit: HBO

Last night Game of Thrones finally came to an end after eight long seasons. The elaborate game of chess for the Iron Throne (which no longer exists) finally found a winner and, for many viewers, the person to be crowned King of the six realms was quite unexpected. The musical tune might have been A Song of Ice and Fire but it was the three-eyed Raven that sang the final note.

That’s right! Bran the Broken was made the ruler of six realms except for the North which was given to Sansa Stark. While this creative decision caused a lot of division among critics and fans alike, the choice is extremely fitting and one that will inspire a key member of its audience.

Bran the Broken: Why was making him King so important?

This article is about to get personal for a variety of reasons. First being that the person writing this right now lives with their own disability day in and day out. For the most part, disabled characters are not exactly the best-represented minority on screen. It’s gotten better through the years but for the most part, having a disabled lead is an infrequent occurrence. Even more so, it’s rare to see the arc of a character in that category last eight seasons, much less have the complexity of a role like Bran.

The only one who comes close is probably RJ Mitte’s role of Walter White Jr. in Breaking Bad — and even his character was sidelined for most of the show.

But the reasons for Bran being crowned King of the six realms go far beyond just disabled representation. It’s not only fitting to the story but it bookends the original sin of the series. That original sin was Jaime Lannister’s cold-hearted move of pushing Bran out the window to avoid anyone knowing he was sleeping with his own sister. This decision would leave Bran paralyzed and vulnerable for almost the entire series.

This one event set in motion his entire journey going from paralyzed and dependent to becoming one of the most powerful characters of the entire show. The message behind this is monumental because it conveys that physical limitations are a frame of mind and that time can reveal one’s purpose with patience.

Just because someone becomes limited in some form does not mean their importance in this world is over. And that’s a powerful message embedded all through this show.

From a disabled perspective, seeing this character get redemption and justice was refreshing. We need more complex roles in Hollywood and seeing one of the most popular shows to ever hit television give its disabled lead such a victorious conclusion is awe inspiring.

All hail Bran the Broken, Lord of the six realms!

All eight seasons of Game of Thrones are streaming on HBOGo and HBO Now.


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