Isaac Hempstead Wright discusses last night’s Stark reunion


We got another Stark family reunion last night, this time between long-sundered true-born siblings Sansa and Bran. But it was a muted kind of reunion, weighed down by Bran’s new big picture perspective on life. Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran) talked ?>to Entertainment Weekly about the difficulty Bran has coming home again after all he’s been through.

“I think it’s a major shock for Sansa,” Wright said. “She’s lost her brother once before when he fell out of that tower, and now Bran’s back but she loses him all over again. All the Starks have changed so much. Arya is like this ninja assassin. Sansa has been held captive by these tyrannical men and had to become politically cunning herself. But Bran is now this tree-raven-magic thing.”

"It’s like imagining you have all of space and time in your head. Bran is existing in thousands of planes of existence at any one time. So it’s quite difficult for Bran to have any kind of semblance of personality anymore because he’s really like a giant computer."

And it’s hard, one expects, to reconnect with your sister when half your mind is off exploring the moons of Jupiter or whatever. Still, Sansa at least looked like she believed that Bran actually had these powers, as evidenced by her long walk out of the godswood after he talked about her wedding night with Ramsay. But it’s a cruel twist of the knife for her — she gets her brother back, and the first thing he does is dredge up one of the worst memories of her life.

Maybe Bran will learn to be a mite bit more tactful with his powers once he masters them, which Wright admits he hasn’t “Bran really at this stage is not the Three-Eyed Raven,” he said. “He’s got the title but hasn’t had thousands of years of sitting in a cave looking through time. Somebody put in front of him a massive encyclopedia of all of time and he’s only opened page one. He can look stuff up but doesn’t have this all-knowing all-seeing capability just yet.”

It sounds like Bran has a tough race to run ahead of him, and showrunner David Benioff is counting on him not finishing too fast. After all, if Game of Thrones had all-seeing, all-knowing main character in the mix, what problem couldn’t he solve? Luckily, because Bran had to learn to become the Three-Eyed Raven very quickly, there’s no danger of that happening. “There was supposed to be more time to learn what he needed to know and they ran out of time,” Benioff said. “Now Bran the Broken is broken in more ways than one. He’s got serious challenges dealing with all the stuff happening in his mind and that prevents him becoming this omniscient character.”

Showrunner Dan Weiss offered his thoughts, as well.

"One of the things we loved about Game of Thrones from the very first book is it’s not a world where magic is the primary driver of the story, it’s a world where human psychology and behavior and desire are drivers of the story. We try very hard to make sure it stays that way because that’s a lot more relatable to the vast majority of the audience than magic powers — as much fun as those are. So with Bran, ideally you want to use him in a way that adds to the story and enriches the story and not in a way that’s a magic bullet to conveniently deal with things that you haven’t come up with a better way to deal with. So it was a balancing act to account for who Bran is now without letting that overtake the story."

We’ll see where Bran’s story picks up next Sunday with “The Spoils of War.”

Next: How do you kill a dragon? Dragonslaying in Game of Thrones and Myth

One more thing: although Bran didn’t seem interested in ruling Winterfell, does Wright think there’s a chance he could sit the Iron Throne? “I think Bran would make a great Hand of the King,” Wright said. “You can’t do much better as a Hand than somebody who’s all knowing. The people who tend to stay alive in those positions are people who are ruthless and politically conniving and I don’t think Bran has the ability to do that. But the Iron Throne might suit him — he does have to sit down!”

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