You know what? I’m happy Bran has a wheelchair now. I know there were probably bigger and more important things to take away from “The Spoils of War,” the fourth episode of Game of Thrones seventh season, like, for example, the 10-minute aerial dragon assault that left the vast majority of the Lannister army screaming and/or ablaze. I can understand if that’s what you want to talk about today. I want to talk about it, too. Just not right now. Right now I want to talk wheelchairs.
Can you believe it took almost seven full seasons of this show for someone to get Bran a dang wheelchair? Seriously. He was paralyzed in the very first episode of the show for being in the wrong window at the wrong incestuous moment and, in the years between then and now he’s basically been dragged or carried everywhere like a sack of grain. I know there was a lot going on in that period — Bran fleeing so as not to get murdered, Bran screwing up and inviting the Night King in, Bran screwing up and getting Hodor killed, etc. — but still, that’s a long time. And it’s not like wheelchairs didn’t exist; Doran Martell had one a few seasons ago. And it sure sounds like Maester Wolken figured out how to build one pretty quickly once Bran got back to Winterfell. Although it does seem like Meera was pretty surprised by it, a development she took pretty well for someone who just carried him around the woods long enough for him to start and finish puberty, apparently.
My point is: The technology was there. He should have had one all along. Let my man live, geez!
Admittedly I’m a little sensitive about all of this. It’s just… I worry about Bran. I always have. I’m in a wheelchair, too, and the idea of getting dragged around the snowy woods in a sled or a wheelbarrow for a couple years does not seem like a lot of fun to me. I just know too much about too many things, so I’d see them hauling him through the woods and my brain would start shouting things like “YOU NEED TO ROLL HIM SIDE-TO-SIDE TO HELP RELIEVE THE PRESSURE ON HIS SKIN! HE COULD DEVELOP A SORE! AND HOW DO YOU PLAN TO TREAT THAT, MEERA! YOU PROBABLY DON’T EVEN HAVE ANY NEOSPORIN!” And so on. Again, just a matter of knowing too much. It’s funny that this is the issue I demand laser-point realism on, when this week’s episode literally featured a fireproof blond woman riding a dragon into battle.
Also, please note: None of my concerns are in any way a shot at Meera Reed, who is the best and went above and beyond what most reasonable people would expect, to the point that she’s kind of a quiet MVP of this entire show. If she doesn’t take it upon herself to haul Bran all over creation even after multiple people died protecting him, then he never gets to Winterfell and the knowledge that Jon Snow may or may not be (but probably is) a secret Targaryen never gets within spitting distance of anyone who can use it to create some sort of alliance, or whatever is going to happen once Jon and Dany find out their tense walks around Dragonstone have actually been a family reunion. That’s a big deal. So shoutout to Meera. I’ll say it if Bran won’t, now that he’s all Three-Eyed Raven’d the gratitude out of his brain.
(I will say this, though: if a wheelchair is not an option, and there’s no way around it, I too would settle for getting carried everywhere by a fiercely loyal and sweet but mostly nonverbal giant. I’m not sure how exactly that gets billed through insurance, but put me down for that as, like, a backup.)
And let’s discuss the chair itself. Look at that thing. Not too bad, all things considered. High back for comfort, comfortable looking seat. It’s not quite as fancy and ornate as, say, Doran Martell’s wheelchair, but Doran Martell was the prince of Dorne. He could afford the high-end model. Bran’s was made in a week or two by Maester Wolkan, with whatever wood and supplies could be spared from an already depleted Winterfell. He still has to get pushed around most places, I assume, because medieval castles and paths through the forest are not typically ADA complaint, but under those conditions, I don’t see how anyone could really ask for more. Sure as heck beats the wheelbarrow.
Now all that’s left is to get this sucker self-propelled somehow. I know there’s no electricity yet, but there’s all sorts of ways around that. We can get Sam on it in the Citadel. My man just cured Greyscale, I’m sure he can find a motor diagrammed in one of those secret books in the back. Or maybe we just kidnap Qyburn and make him magic-up a solution. I don’t know. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. The important thing is that we finally got Bran that wheelchair. It was about time.