No “Game of Thrones” character changed as much from Season 6 to 7 as Isaac Hempstead Wright’s Bran Stark. No longer struggling with the loss of the use of his legs or adjusting to his newfound mystical powers, Bran has embraced being the all-seeing, all-knowing Three-Eyed Raven — a job that leaves him pretty disinterested in what’s going on in his friends’ and family’s personal lives.
Wright spoke with Variety about Bran’s attitude, his revelation regarding Jon Snow’s parents, and the scene that was cut from Sunday’s season 7 finale.
The scene with Bran and Sam was weirdly touching. What was it like filming that?
It was really fun. One of the most annoying things was that it was so hot in that studio. But aside from that, once we mopped up all the sweat, it was a really, really touching, really cool scene. And I think it was cool for both of them because they’re two of these characters in “Game of Thrones” whose weapons really are their wits. And the way they do battle is through knowledge. So I think it was great to see those two together — especially since the last time we saw them together, they were headed in opposite directions. Sam was heading south and Bran was heading north.
What has it been like this season to share scenes with actors who you know well but haven’t acted with in years?
Really cool. It’s weird more than anything to actually see them in the context of a “Game of Thrones” set. I’m used to seeing most of them at events and press stuff. It’s like, “It’s weird seeing you in ‘Game of Thrones’ clothes rather than a pretty dress or a nice suit.” But I love the show as well, and it’s really cool getting to be in scenes with characters I love watching on screen. And obviously getting back with the Starks [Sophie Turner’s Sansa and Maisie Williams’ Arya] is such a big thing. We literally only ever had one scene together, with all three of us together onscreen, so it was almost like this was the first time working together, which is bizarre.
It’s clear after Sansa turns the tables on Littlefinger that she has had some sort of conversation with Bran, but we don’t get to see it. When did it take place?
We actually did a scene that clearly got cut, a short scene with Sansa where she knocks on Bran’s door and says, “I need your help,” or something along those lines. So basically, as far as I know, the story was that it suddenly occurred to Sansa that she had a huge CCTV department at her discretion and it might be a good idea to check with him first before she guts her own sister. So she goes to Bran, and Bran tells her everything she needs to know, and she’s like, “Oh, s—.”
Bran seems happy to see Sam and concerned about Jon. Is he going to start warming to other people again?
I don’t think so, really. I think that what’s happening there is that Bran is in many ways a bit bored at Winterfell. Can you imagine having someone so high-functioning that they have the history of the world in their head? He’s sitting there with all of this really great information, just waiting for the Great War to come about. He probably does really hard crossword puzzles. But when Sam comes with this really important piece of information that is actually going to change the fate of “Game of Thrones,” he’s actually like, “Oh, this is really interesting. This is actually something that it appears I need to do.” It’s a destiny Bran didn’t realize he had. All he’s been concerned about is the Night King and the White Walkers.
Why did he wait until now to tell anyone that Jon is Lyanna and Rhaegar’s son?
To be honest I think until this time Bran has been so focused on the White Walkers that that hasn’t really mattered. Jon was what Bran thought was Rhaegar’s illegitimate child. That doesn’t have that much impact in the face of the swirling chaos that is about to descend on Westeros. Then Sam comes to Bran and it becomes clear that this is actually really important. That is why Bran gets a bit more animated in that scene.
Will Bran be the one to break the news to Jon about his parents?
I don’t know. I don’t know that Bran has quite got the charisma anymore. I think that would be a bit of a disappointing reveal for Bran to go, “Hi, Jon. You’re the heir to the Iron Throne and I’m back in Winterfell and I know everything.” I think it would be a bit better if Sam did it. Bran can do the finding out and Sam can do the talking.
How do you think the other Stark kids will take the news about Jon’s parentage?
In terms of their bond together, I think it will have absolutely no impact. The big question now is how it will go between Jon and Daenerys. I can’t imagine she’ll be pleased.