[Spoilers for Game of Thrones season eight, episode five below]
Tired: Bran is the Night King. Wired: Bran is a horse.
In the final seconds of the second-to-last episode of Game of Thrones, “The Bells,” Arya wakes up from a concussion (I assume) among the dusty ruins of King’s Landing to discover a white horse. There were many possible explanations for the magical equine — including the right one, which we’ll explain in our Thrones discussion post later this morning — but the most popular theory involved Bran. As in, Bran warg’s himself to King’s Landing in the guise of a horse to save his sister. Is there any truth to this? In a word: no.
For one thing, the horse, which is not a figment of Arya’s imagination, appeared earlier in the episode (it’s the one ridden by Harry Strickland, the leader of the Golden Company, er, former-leader of the Golden Company). Also, co-showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have been increasingly less interested in the more “magical” elements of the Thrones universe, especially now that the Night King has been defeated; Bran’s warging abilities could have come in handy during the battle against the Army of the Dead, but all he did was briefly turn into a crow. Or as Vanity Fair‘s Joanna Robinson put it, “Bran is not: the Night King, the voice in Aerys’s ear, or THAT WHITE HORSE AT THE END. Get a grip, people.” Sometimes, a horse is just a horse, of course.
But that hasn’t stopped the “Bran = horse” truthers.
I know, somehow, Taylor Swift is to blame (thank?) for all this.