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GAME OF THRONES Re-Throned: “Blood of My Blood” (S6, E6)

Winter is coming, but not soon enough. So to help pass the time until season seven of Game of Thrones, we’re doing a weekly re-watch of the series, episode-by-episode, with the knowledge of what’s to come and—therefore—more information about the unrevealed rich history of events that took place long before the story began. Be warned, though: that means this series is full of spoilers for every season, even beyond the episode itself. So if you haven’t watched all of the show yet immediately get on that and then come back and join us for Game of Thrones Re-Throned.

Because the next best thing to watching new episodes is re-watching old ones.


Season 6, Episode 6: “Blood of My Blood”

Original Air Date: May 29th, 2016
Director: Jack Bender
Written by: Bryan Cogman

Game of Thrones‘ showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said in the post-episode featurette that the reason Bran didn’t immediately flee in the last episode after being marked by the Night King was that the Three-Eyed Raven was “uploading” visions into his mind. Even on a re-watch it’s not clear that’s what the show was trying to convey with Bran’s montage of visions that start the episode, but that explanation does give us some context to evaluate what he was experiencing and what it all might mean.

Here’s what flashes through his mind, a vast collection made up of events from years ago, recent history, and things yet to come:

  • The Alchemist’s Guild storing wildfire under King’s Landing, which later explodes
  • A black dragon flying over a smoking King’s Landing
  • The Mad King screaming “burn them all” before being stabbed in the back by Jaime Lannister, who then sits on the Iron Throne


  • The Night King and various moments from his attack at Hardhome
  • Bran’s own fall from the tower at Winterfell
  • Landscape shots north of the Wall
  • Catelyn Stark being killed at the Red Wedding
  • Daenerys after she hatched her dragons
  • The Night King turning Craster’s son into a White Walker
  • His father Ned being executed


  • The massive collection of crows Sam saw north of the Wall when a White Walker attacked
  • Ned at the Tower of Joy, followed by a bloody hand
  • Roose Bolton stabbing Robb at the Red Wedding
  • The Children of the Forest creating the first White Walker
  • The Three-Eyed Raven in actual raven form
  • Jon Snow fighting a White Walker at Hardhome

“Coldhands” Uncle Benjen, who returns half-dead/half-alive after going missing in season one, rescues Bran and Meera from wights, and tells Bran the Three-Eyed Raven “lives again” as Bran. But the old, tree Three-Eyed Raven had very little time to share his 1,000 years of wisdom with Bran, and these are the moments he chose. We call that “kind of a big deal.” We can bundle these visions to try and understand why they are important.


The murders of Bran’s family: Starks are under attack, a fact Bran has to face, no matter how difficult, because the remaining members must be protected. Not only is Jon potentially the Prince That Was Promised, but Benjen tells Bran, “One way or another, [the Night King] will find his way to the world of men. When he does, you will be there waiting for him. And you will be ready.” Bran says he can’t control his powers yet, and that could be why he was too late to save his parents and brother, but he might be able to save Jon or himself once he can harness them, and that could be the difference in the Great War if they are as important as they seem to be.

The power of the Night King: Bran knows about the White Walker threat, but now he truly understands it, the way Jon did after Hardhome. But his visions also includes how they can turn humans into one of them. That’s something no one knows, and it’s much more terrifying than raising the dead into mindless zombies. That knowledge might be horrifying, but the more they know about the enemy the better.


The Mad King’s final moments: The killing of Aerys II by Jaime ended Robert’s Rebellion, but why would that be relevant to defeating the White Walkers now? Because it might have been Bran whispering into the Mad King’s ear, to put in motion the events that will lead to the Prince That Was Promised saving mankind. We know from “hold the door” that Bran can influence events in the past in a time loop, so is he seeing one of his own when he sees the Mad King here? Is that also why he sees himself fall at Winterfell? Because he made that happen so he would go down this path to being the Three-Eyed Raven? We don’t know yet, but what happened that day in the throne room, and Jaime’s role in it, matters for far greater reasons than anyone realizes.

Cersei blowing up the Sept of Baelor: Besides past events, he also sees Cersei using the Mad King’s wildfire (though he doesn’t know it yet). Considering he witnesses Daenerys emerging from the fire with dragons, and later sees a black dragon that looks like Drogon flying over a smoking King’s Landing (we guess it could be a past dragon, but it seems unlikely), is Cersei destined to use the rest of the wildfire when the Mother of Dragons invades? And if so, how many will die? How many potential soldiers in the Great War will perish because Cersei takes her enemies with her? The Lannisters, specifically the Mad Queen, pose a major threat to dragons, which might be the greatest weapon the living have against the White Walkers. Can Bran stop that from happening? Or could it be Jaime stopping that like he did so many years earlier?


Whatever the connection, the important thing is they are connected. Bran’s ultimate lesson is to learn how to harness his powers so he can be ready to fight the Night King. The Three-Eyed Raven wouldn’t have taken his final moments to share visions with Bran that weren’t pertinent to that goal.

Somehow the Mad King, Daenerys, dragons, the Starks and the Lannisters, and even wildfire are all tied into defeating the White Walkers. That and what happened at the Tower of Joy.

The day a child, the son of a Stark and a Targaryen, was born.


That could be the biggest “big deal” thing the Three-Eyed Raven really wanted Bran to know.

What do you think of Bran’s visions? How are they connected? What do they all mean? Tell us in the comments below.

Images: HBO

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