Warning: This article contains spoilers from the season finale of Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones has finally come to an end and provided an answer to the 73-episode long question: Who will sit on the Iron Throne?
Well, that became more of a figurative question once Drogon melted the fabled chair down, but still, the person in power at the end turned out to be... Bran.
Yep, a pretty odd choice considering the seven years of build-up over Jon Snow’s birthright as the lost Targeryen heir but that was how it went and to be honest, it shouldn’t be that surprising.
The fantasy series was filled to the brim with characters scheming their way to securing more power; Cersei, Littlefinger and Varys are a few of the most famous examples but have all died for it but Bran has proven to be the ultimate scammer by winning the “game of thrones.”
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When Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) made his speech in favour of Bran the Broken (Isaac Hempstead Wright) becoming the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms he said: “Have you considered the best ruler might be someone who doesn't want to rule?”
Of course, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) has been saying he doesn’t want to rule since forever, and even more so in the last few episodes because once people knew about his Targeryen heritage they became adamant he would be a better ruler than Daenerys (Emilia Clarke).
Tyrion himself tries to convince Jon of this, again, but his words about Dany coming after Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Arya (Maisie Williams) gives the former bastard a nudge towards murdering the Mother of Dragons.
It would be a bit off to make Jon the Queenslayer the King, and Dany’s allies would riot if that happened, but as Bran had once said to Tyrion he doesn’t “want” anything anymore it’s no wonder he became the Imp’s second choice.
However, what if that was the plan all along?
Bran might not have the ability to walk, after being chucked out of a window by Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), but his powerful, innate Greensight ability means he’s been able to access the entire history of the Seven Kingdoms - past, present and future.
Through dreams, he knew about his father’s death before it happened and even saw the explosion of the Sept of Baelor before Cersei’s murderous plan is set into motion.
Following his training with Three-Eyed Raven (Max von Sydow), and subsequent inheritance of the title, Bran’s powers have improved and he may well have seen what would come to pass but for some reason refuses to tell anyone about it.
He saw the arrival of Jaime Lannister into Winterfell and made sure to be outside at the exact moment. He knew the Night King would come looking for him, and how he would be killed, and may well have let Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) die in the process.
Bran may have known where the Iron Fleet would be waiting, that Rhaegal would be shot out of the sky and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) kidnapped by Euron (Pilou Asbæk) and murdered by Cersei (Lena Headey) but chose not to warn Dany about.
These two deaths were the most triggering for Dany’s mental breakdown but the young Stark may well have just sat back and watched the Mother of Dragon become the Queen of Ashes.
You know what else he seemed to know? That eventually he would be offered the role of King because he made the journey down to King’s Landing to accept it.
“Why do you think I came all this way?" he tells Tyrion.
Everyone’s been calling Dany a tyrant since she flamed King’s Landing, but what do you call someone who may have known about this genocidal attack but does nothing to prevent it?
We don’t know the rules of time travel in Game of Thrones or whether everything that occurs is predestined, we only that the past can not be changed.
The previous Three-Eyed Raven was explicit about that to Bran when he said, "the past is already written. The ink is dry,” but when it comes to the future that might be a whole different game.
Maybe Bran’s “I don’t want anything any more” act was just that, an act, to secure the Stark’s rule of the Seven Kingdom by making sure he was picked as King so he in turn could give Sansa the North to lead as a sovereign nation.
So all hail Bran the Scammer, First of his Name, who played the ultimate game of thrones and won.