The last time Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) saw Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright), he pushed him out of the top of the highest tower in Winterfell.
As of the season 7 finale, Jaime and Bran are in wildly different positions than they were in season 1 of Game of Thrones. Bran is the three-eyed raven; omniscient and lacking in human concerns. Jaime has broken with the ruthless Lannister tradition and left his sister in King's Landing. The episode ends with Jaime and Bran locking eyes. Oh, shit. What's next?
Depends on who you ask. After the fall, Bran Stark couldn't remember what happened to him. He's the three-eyed raven now, though. He knows what Jaime did. But will he care? Now that Bran's the Three-Eyed Raven, he often seems estranged from his earlier, more human self. He connects with other people through limp stares and blank expressions, no longer able to play along with human socialisation. And that's because he's not an emotional human anymore – he's the Three-Eyed Raven rendered omniscient via greensight, he dreams the future.
Though there might still be a little Bran in there, yearning to break free.
“There’s still a bit of Bran Stark in Bran and when he’s at his home surrounded by people he knows that will obviously be brought out a bit more," Hempstead Wright told Vanity Fair. "He hasn’t completely forgotten who he is, it’s just not as important to him anymore."
Clearly, Bran had been waiting for Jaime. Just before a hooded Jaime arrives to Winterfell, Sam asks what Bran's doing sitting out in the cold cold. "I'm waiting for a friend," Bran replies. Chances are, that "friend" is Jaime.
Scenario one: Bran could be deploying the word "friend" sarcastically, and is waiting for revenge. Bran's not above a revenge plot. Twitter likes this reading of the sentence.
Equally likely, though, is that Bran has moved beyond his anger for Jaime. George R. R. Martin, the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, urges people to consider Jaime's abhorrent action through the character's own desperate lens.
"Remember, Jaime isn’t just trying to kill Bran because he’s an annoying little kid. Bran has seen something that is basically a death sentence for Jaime, for Cersei, and their children – their three actual children," Martin told Rolling Stone. "So I’ve asked people who do have children, 'Well, what would you do in Jaime’s situation?' They say, 'Well, I’m not a bad guy – I wouldn’t kill.' Are you sure? Never? If Bran tells King Robert he’s going to kill you and your sister-lover, and your three children...then many of them hesitate."
Perhaps Bran, with his heightened understanding of the universe, is able to see — and even understand — why Jaime made that decision. He may view the incident as the first step in his transformation into the Three-Eyed Ravens. But will the other Starks be so unemotional when confronted with Jaime? Jaime isn't on Arya's (Maisie Williams) kill list. Finding out that Jaime was responsible for paralyzing her brother could well earn him a spot.
Ultimately, it's doubtful that Bran is waiting out in the cold just to intimidate his "friend." Bran is now the deliverer of truths (see: Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen). Chances are, he has something to tell Jaime. Maybe he's warning Jaime that Cersei has equipped Bronn (Jerome Flynn) with a cross-bow and the promise that if he kills Jaime and Tyrion, he'll become very rich. Maybe he's here to exonerate Jaime for killing the Mad King — Bran had seen Aerys saying "Burn them all!" in a vision, and knows the threat he had posed.
Jaime and Bran are now on the same side. Both understand the enormous threat the White Walkers pose. While they may acknowledge their shared history — the stare in last night's episode was a good start! — it probably won't end in a show-down. Bran's presence is already enough to make Jaime (and all his newly grown morals) very uncomfortable.
Game Of Thrones season 8 airs in the UK on Sky Atlantic and is available to stream on Now TV