During Sunday’s episode, we viewers saw a chunk of the memories that Bran was receiving, and like Bran – who got a “window into his purpose,” according to showrunner David Benioff in the post-show interview – we saw a lot of stuff that could be highly significant going forward. But it was all presented in dreamlike visions, so it requires a bit of explication. Here’s what Bran saw, and what it all might mean. On last week’s Game of Thrones, the immobile and doomed Three-Eyed Raven (Max von Sydow) began transferring all his knowledge to Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) as the White Walkers closed in.
Daenerys in flight: Bran is aware of the Targaryen challenger to the Iron Throne (Emilia Clarke) in the East, as we see from recycled footage of the birth of the dragons and the shadow of a dragon as it soars over King’s Landing. Bran has actually seen the image of Drogon over King’s Landing before, in a vision in Season 4, but it’s still unclear if he knows exactly what it means/that it’s most likely an oracular vision of the future.
The Mad King Aerys Targaryen: This was an exciting moment, as it was the first we’ve seen of Daenerys’ father, the Mad King Aerys Targaryen (David Rintoul). In the vision, we see the moment that earned Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) the nickname “Kingslayer.” Aerys shouts “burn them all!” and Jaime Lannister stabs him in the back, then sits down on the Iron Throne to collect himself. Aerys had instructed his pyromancer to burn down King’s Landing as the Lannister army closed in, and Jaime’s betrayal saved everyone from burning alive (he explained all this to Brienne of Tarth [Gwendoline Christie] back in Season 3). This vision shows Bran that the version of events he was told by his father Ned (Sean Bean) about how Jaime killed Aerys to self-interestedly ensure a Lannister-Baratheon victory wasn’t exactly true.
Wildfire: Aerys Targaryen loved wildfire, the magical green fire that burns everything with which it comes in contact. He intended to burn down the city with it. We see his pyromancer preparing it, which definitely happened, but we also see it ripping through the cellar, which didn’t happen, as far as we know. This is probably a vision of the future, since we know Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) also has a fondness for wildfire and has been stockpiling it. This could mean that Cersei is eventually going to invoke the Westerosi equivalent of the nuclear option to deal with the Faith.
Starkicide: Bran saw the deaths of his family members Ned, who was beheaded; Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) and Robb (Richard Madden), who were murdered during the Red Wedding; and in new footage, what is probably the death of his aunt Lyanna Stark. There’s a flashback to young Ned shouting “where is my sister?” at the Tower of Joy, and then a shot of a bloody hand. That hand probably belongs to Ned, and the blood is probably Lyanna’s. Bran might now know that Lyanna Stark died in childbirth while giving birth to Jon Snow (Kit Harington), if in fact that is what really happened.
White Walkers: Bran got a “previously on Game of Thrones” by seeing the battle of Hardhome from Season 5. He saw Jon Snow kill a White Walker with the Valyrian steel sword and watched the Night’s King resurrect the dead as wights. He also saw how the White Walkers can make new White Walkers from human infants. No new ground is really broken here, but maybe Bran now has a better understanding of his opponent.
Falling: Bran saw himself falling from the tower in the first episode of the show when Jaime Lannister pushed him out of the window after the boy witnessed Jaime and Cersei’s incest. Bran might finally know the truth about how he lost his ability to walk.