Warning: spoilers follow!
One of the best moments in the history of Game of Thrones happens during "The Door," when we see how Hodor comes to be known as Hodor. The moment immediately following, when Hodor is killed by an army of White Walkers, left us loving that friendly giant of a man but also left Bran without his protector, means of transport, and safe haven.
That all in itself would be worrisome, but let's combine the situation with the fact that the Night's King now has a magic mark on Bran that allowed the White Walkers to find him and break the magic of the cave to enter. We are left with some questions and theories. One of these theories is that Bran could be the one who leads the White Walkers south of the Wall.
Why Would Bran Go South Again?
- The Three-Eyed Raven is gone. Bran worked so hard to get north of The Wall to find the Three Eyed Raven, and that goal has ended along with the life of the insanely old man.
- He has nowhere else to go. For all we know, all living men have fled south of The Wall or been turned into undead followers of the White Walkers.
- He has a destiny in the war to come. The Three-Eyed Raven tells Bran that he wouldn't stay in the cave forever and that he would have a part to play. While this could, in theory, mean he hides somewhere and influences events with his strange time-influencing powers, the next reason shows why he can't do that here.
- He's being hunted by the Night's King. If Bran hopes to survive, he really has no choice but to head to the Night's Watch and hope they can defeat the Night's King.
What Are the Ramifications?
- The war could be Bran's fault. If he heads south of The Wall and the Night's King's magic mark on him allows the White Walkers and their army of undead to follow, he could be responsible for a lot of deaths.
- Everything could be Bran's fault. There are actually theories out there that Bran will time-travel as he does and cause the Mad King to "go mad" and therefore start off the chain reaction that basically kicks off the story as we know it on Game of Thrones.
- More Stark reunions. It was amazing to see Jon Snow and Sansa Stark reunited, so bringing the other siblings back would be great. However, judging by current events in the show and how prevalent near misses often are, he could very likely arrive and just miss Sansa at The Wall.
Questions We're Excited to Have Answers To
- Do the White Walkers want to go south, or is it more about driving men from their lands? Now that we know why they were created, there's a possibility that White Walkers might not even have continental ambitions. Then again, the Children of the Forest certainly have lost control over them, so there's no telling what the White Walkers want now or what they're capable of.
- Is there magic in The Wall that has been holding the White Walkers back, and will it be broken by Bran's crossing? Legend says magic was used to help build The Wall, though so far we haven't seen evidence one way or the other of how it affects White Walkers – they haven't attacked for a reason, but whether that was because they were still gathering forces, magic kept them out, or going south isn't in their list of goals, we're not certain.
- Does Bran really have to go back? The show loves to surprise us, so maybe there's some twist that will actually keep Bran going back south anytime soon. We have no idea what that could possibly be, considering his situation, but that's the best time to be surprised.
As you can see, Bran's next move could be the most significant play in the Game of Thrones yet, one that certainly makes said game seem like child's play.