One of the most awkward moments and tense scenes during the final minutes of the premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones happened when Jaime Lannister and Bran Stark locking eyes.
The scene began with a hooded man, dressed in black, who rode into Winterfell, revealing his golden hair in the final frames.
As Jaime Lannister dismounted his steed, revealed his face and took in Winterfell, a place he knows well, there was a special one person greeting committee — Bran Stark.
But why was this so awkward and loaded with subtext?
Fans who have been with the series since day one know all too well that Lannister meant to kill Bran when the boy ambled up the stones of a tower in Winterfell after the King’s Landing party arrived to greet Nedd Stark back in Season 1.
Upon the boy’s ascent, he looked into a window to see Jaime Lannister and his sister Cersei caught in a sexual embrace.
Looking down to see the coast was clear, save for the dire wolf puppy Summer nervously pacing, Jaime said to Cersei, “…the things I do for love.” Then he shoved the young Bran Stark from the open window to what he had hoped would be his death.
Bran Stark lived but lost the use of his legs in a long protracted recovery where his memory of the event was clouded.
Now an adult, Bran Stark sits quietly in the cold, his “legs” being his faithful servant Hodor, who is no longer with him (Hodor died in Season 6). He sees everything and tells only the unvarnished truths of who people are in Westeros and what their crimes, purposes and futures hold.
Who is Bran Stark?
Brandon Stark, aka Bran, is a character from the Song of Fire and Ice literary canon of author George R. R. Martin and is featured throughout the HBO television adaptation Game of Thrones.
He is the baby of the Stark household. Bran is the second son and fourth child of “Nedd” Eddard Stark, the deceased lord of Winterfell, an ancient fortress in the North where all the armies who answered the call from Jon Snow are amassing to fight the Night King and his army of Wights, Whites, giant trolls and mega mastodons who are descending down into the kingdom of Westeros.
Bran’s story took a pause in the published 2005’s A Feast for Crows but he returned to the fold in the next tome, A Dance with Dragons, which was published in 2011.
The injustice that befell Bran and his attempted murder set the stage for the entire series and pivoted fans to root for the Stark clan from the earliest of days, each child bestowed a dire wolf for protection from Nedd Stark. Summer was Bran’s dire wolf and Hodor was the Northern stable boy who became his legs for mobility.
Bran later had a spiritual vision quest where his purpose in life was revealed to him, as his otherworldly great prophetic powers of seeing the future and the past were also honed and sharpened.
Bran is played by English actor Isaac Hempstead Wright.
Who is Jaime Lannister?
Jaime is a prominent knight of the Kingsguard and one of two sons of House Lannister.
A complicated man, Jaime Lannister is a brother, lover and warrior for his sister/lover Cersei. With his sister, he had three children (all deceased) and has likely impregnated his sister once again.
During the course of the story, it appears Jaime has a change of heart about his Kingslayer ways. He befriends his brother Tyrion more and is less enchanted by his sister Cersei.
Jaime Lannister is part of one of the wealthiest and most powerful families of all Westeros. His complexity as a character is deftly portrayed both in the pages of Martin’s books and the performance given by Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on the HBO series Game of Thrones.
From the look of the previews of the next episode, Bran not only has a bone to pick with Lannister as Dany gets her licks in too.
Will Tyrion step in to save his brother? Snow knows all hands are needed, especially the skilled killing hands of Jaime Lannister.
There will likely be a truce as “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” adage is writ large in this final season of Martin’s epic story of the Westeros.
The final season of Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.