WARNING: Spoilers below for “Game of Thrones” Season 7!
A lone wolf died ― er, metaphorically ― so let’s hope the pack can survive.
Gee, how times have changed since they said their last farewell. Time is a tricky thing on “Game of Thrones,” but consensus is that a few years have transpired between Seasons 1 and 7.
When Sansa left for King’s Landing with her father, Ned Stark (Sean Bean), Bran had recently fallen from the walls of the family home ― or rather, been pushed from the window after stumbling across an incestuous relationship between Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). The young Stark was still unconscious, so he and his sisters, Sansa and Arya (Maisie Williams), never said the goodbye they deserved.
Of course, Bran soon woke up, and, over the course of six seasons, he ceded Winterfell to Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), escaped, met the Reeds, parted with his brother Rickon (Art Parkinson), ventured beyond the Wall, met the Three-Eyed Raven (Max Von Sydow), became a Three-Eyed Raven, lost a couple of dear friends, encountered his undead uncle, learned the truth about Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and ... that’s the gist of it.
Sansa, meanwhile, rode on down to King’s Landing with her father and sister, where she encountered horrors of her own. After witnessing her father’s beheading and losing track of her sister, Sansa was kept as a prisoner of the Lannister-helmed capitol, married to Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and convinced to join Littlefinger’s (Aiden Gillen) escape plot. One stopover in the Vale later, Sansa was married again to Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon), whom she famously allowed to be eaten by a pack of dogs after retaking Winterfell with the help of Jon.
Although she once thought Bran to be dead ― killed by Theon in his coup attempt ― Sansa learned that was not the case in Season 5, informed of her brother’s escape by Theon himself.
Finally, in Season 7, Episode 3, the eldest daughter of House Stark laid eyes on her younger brother, who is technically the rightful Lord of Winterfell, after answering an urgent call to the gate. The pair later retreated to the godswood, where Bran wasted no time thoroughly creeping out his sister with information he shouldn’t know: details of her wedding night to Ramsay. In his mind, Bran is not fit to serve as the head of the northern holdfast ― which isn’t terrible, since his sister was just previously seen demonstrating her aptitude for managing the castle.
Cryptically, Bran also told Sansa he needed to speak with Jon, setting up a parentage revelation that will likely rock Westeros. Last season, fans learned through Bran’s storyline that Jon wasn’t the product of Ned Stark and a mysterious lowborn woman, but Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, Ned’s sister.
Way back in Episode 2 of Season 1, Ned promised to have a chat with Jon about his mother when he returned from King’s Landing. That never happened. Now, Bran will get to fill his father’s shoes.
When that will happen we can only guess, but with four more episodes left in the penultimate season, the clock is ticking.
“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.