Five Times Bran Stark Died

Aug 14, 2017 01:01

Title: Five Times Bran Stark Died
Fandom: Game of Thrones
Characters: Bran. Mentions of Theon, Meera, Sansa, Arya
Rating: PG
Warnings: Spoilers for all aired episodes
Summary: Five times Bran Stark died.

He’d thought he knew what life had in store for him; as a second son, (if you didn’t count Jon, which officially nobody did), Bran was never going to inherit Winterfell, but he knew he was destined to become a knight of the King’s Guard. Not that he planned to think about that for a long time to come, anyway. Right now he was happy at Winterfell, with his direwolf, with his brothers and his sisters, and he could always have fun climbing the walls, getting to know Winterfell better than any of them.

Until the moment he woke up after Jaime Lannister pushed him from the tower, when he realised that he would never be able to climb again, never would he become a knight of the King’s Guard, that the path he thought was laid out for him was lost to him forever. Instead he was tied to Winterfell, to being cared for for the rest of his life, the pleasures he knew now gone. Bran knew he would never be the same again.

That was the first time Bran Stark died.

He’d never really thought that anything bad would happen. It was Theon, after all, who he’d grown up with as part of the family, who he was used to seeing side by side with Robb and Jon. If Theon said that no harm would come to anyone if Bran just surrendered Winterfell to him, Bran had no reason to doubt that. He trusted him and always had.

Then he watched as Theon proceeded to execute Ser Rodrik Cassel, as he found Maester Luwin dying, and he realised that trusting Theon had been a fatal mistake. Those people who had been so close to him growing up, dead because Bran had believed in this person who had been like his brother. Theon’s hand may have done the deed, but Bran felt like there was blood on his too. That last remaining part of Bran’s innocence was gone, never to return.

That was the second time Bran Stark died.

Theon had never liked to lose, and this was no exception. As long as Bran and Rickon Stark lived, they could be seen as a rallying point for anyone who was unwilling to accept the Greyjoy rule, and would rise up against him. There was only one thing he could do to maintain control of Winterfell.

None doubted his words when they saw the two small figures Theon displayed to the crowds. In the eyes of the North, Bran Stark was dead.

That was the third time Bran Stark died.

He’d been warned that it could happen, when Jojen and Meera had told him he shouldn’t keep watching through Summer’s eyes so much in case he ended up stuck that way. But Bran was more and more finding that he wanted to stay in his visions of the past that the three eyed raven was showing him, watching Ned and Benjen, and even as he understood the reason why Hodor had become unable to say anything other than that word, Bran still wanted to stay.

It was time for him to turn his back on his childhood, to embrace the destiny that had now become his; with the death of the old three eyed raven, that job was now Bran’s, and the old Bran Stark was no more.

That was the fourth time Bran Stark died.

He looks at Sansa and Arya, and knows that they were once his sisters, and Meera his friend, and yet he feels oddly disconnected from them and their shared past. He knows that Sansa is uncomfortable when he brings up her marriage to Ramsay Bolton, and knows that the old Bran would have understood that and felt some compassion for her, yet he feels as though he is on the outside of his family looking in, and cannot feel the same connection with Sansa that once he did.

The name Lord Stark, although technically his by birthright, feels alien to him when Littlefinger uses it to address him, a name that is not and will never be his, and he cannot contradict Meera when she says he died in the cave, unable to give her the responses she wants to hear.

The fifth time Bran Stark died was the time he understood he would stay that way.

game of thrones: bran stark

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