Before the True Detective premiere, HBO released a new teaser for Game of Thrones season eight, showing the surviving Stark kids — Jon (sort of), Sansa, and Arya — wandering the tombs at the Winterfell before they’re interrupted by a blast of chilly air, signaling the arrival of the Night King. One member of the family was missing, though. Actually, many members of the family were missing, including Ned, Catelyn, and Rickon, but the absence of one still-alive Stark was alarming. Where is Bran? The most obvious explanation is that he’s more Three-Eyed Raven than Stark now (and pushing a wheelchair through the tombs seems cumbersome), but Game of Thrones fans have another theory.
Certain members of the Thrones brother- and sisterhood have long suspected that Bran is the Night King (or the Night King is Bran? Or maybe there’s a little Night King in all of us?). “The theory states that Bran was, accidentally or otherwise, warged inside the body of the First Man while the Children of the Forest converted their victim into the Night King,” we previously explained. “The idea is that Bran stayed too long in the past and left part of his consciousness in the Night King. Then, over the centuries the version of Bran trapped in the Night King’s body bided his time to make sure events play out they way they’re supposed to.” But we also laid out why the theory is probably bunk. Isaac Hempstead Wright (the actor who plays the Bran King) also shut down the speculation, noting, “I think it’s less that they’re the same person and more that they’re two of the ancient beings of Westeros,” while others have pointed out that Bran can only “observe” past and present events. And yet: