Warning: Major Game Of Thrones finale spoilers follow.
UPDATE: This story was originally published on May 17, 2019.
The time to theorize about Game of Thrones is almost over, and fans are throwing out a doozy right before the show ends. There was theory that Bran gets the Iron Throne on Game of Thrones, and it was hugely popular. USA Today Sports reported that Bran was the number one Iron Throne choice for Vegas oddsmakers. If that sounds wild, well, get used to it. Because that's exactly how Game of Thrones ended.
After Daenerys’ death at the hands of Jon Snow, the seven kingdoms were in need of a new leader. All of Westeros’ lords and ladies of the main houses were brought together to decide Tyrion’s fate, and, in doing so, elected Bran to be the king.
Tyrion made the strongest claim for Bran to take the throne (or whatever has replaced the melted heap of iron that was left by Drogon). Tyrion asked what united people, and concluded that a good story could do just that. He said that Bran, who was unable to walk but who learned to fly as the Three-Eyed-raven had the best of stories, and the best ability to lead the kingdoms with his wisdom of the ages.
Tyrion explained to Grey Worm that the wheel Dany wanted to break was that of power being inherited by evil family member after evil family member. Bran broke that tradition and his inability to father children means that the next leader after him will be a breaker of the wheel as well, because they won’t just be born into power.
Everyone voted in agreement for Bran, except Sansa who said she supported her brother becoming king — just not her king. She wanted the north to remain its own kingdom, which Bran allowed.
In the end it didn’t matter who was blood related to the crown or who defeated the enemy. Bran and his historic knowledge with his epic survival story was seen as the most neutral choice to unite the kingdoms once and for all.
Of course, for one shining moment, the lords and ladies of Westeros had the chance to truly break the wheel. Sam suggested that, in trying to find a leader for the people, perhaps the people should choose. He was laughed into silence for having what was truly the best idea of the day. Next to letting Westeros be an actual tyrant-free democracy, it would have meant a lot to see a woman on the throne who wasn’t mad or evil. Say, you know, the most deserving Sansa Stark. But, no, Bran who doesn’t care at all about the throne and didn’t care much about any of the things that lead up to his appointment now is sitting in the most powerful seat in Westeros.
Tyrion’s reasoning may have made sense to the group, but, to fans, it just wasn’t that deserved and it just isn’t necessarily the most satisfying of choices. And perhaps that’s a fitting end for this season after all.
Original article continues:
You may have noticed that Bran and Tyrion had an important conversation about wants in season 8, episode 4. That was the same episode in which Varys later said to Tyrion, "Have you considered the best ruler might be someone who doesn't want to rule?" Varys was speaking about Jon Snow, but Tyrion knows another who doesn't want at all: Bran.
Earlier in episode 4, Tyrion told Bran that his ability to know the whole history of Westeros would come in handy for Bran as Lord of Winterfell. "I'm not Lord of Winterfell," Bran quickly answered. Tyrion replied, "You're the only surviving trueborn son of Ned Stark." But then Tyrion paused and realized, "You don't want it." Bran said, "I don't really want anymore."
Jon Snow made it clear as recently as episode 5 that he doesn't want the throne, but Bran doesn't want anything. Since becoming the Three-Eyed-Raven, he's too busy wrestling with the history of Westeros in his head that he isn't focused on minor, personal struggles or titles or circumstances. If Varys is right that the best ruler is someone who doesn't want, someone who can't get caught up in the thirst for power or be overcome by anger, Bran is a pretty good choice. Isaac Hempstead Wright described this new version of Bran to Making Game of Thrones as "agenda-less." What better ruler to have than someone who doesn't have their own agenda?
It's notable that Tyrion had the wants conversation with Bran and then later, Varys told Tyrion that the best ruler could be someone who doesn't want it. Now that Varys is dead, Tyrion is the only one who still has this idea in his mind, and he could be the one who suggests Bran should rule. Let's be real, Dany is probably going to get killed by Arya (or someone), and Jon doesn't want to be king. Even though Bran has no claim, maybe he will be chosen by a group of leaders throughout Westeros or even the nation's own people.
He can rule with all of history to reflect on. He wouldn't repeat the mistakes of the past, because he's seen how they have turned out. Or… would he? In an interview with the New York Times, Hempstead Wright made several comments that suggested Bran may not be a good leader after all. While Bran doesn't have an agenda, he's equally unable to entertain anger or selfishness as he is sympathy or empathy.
"The Three-Eyed Raven doesn’t see things in terms of personal sadness. He just sees things in terms of the way things must unfold, or the way time goes," the actor said. "If you look back in time, Bran isn’t bothered by the death of Hodor, because that’s what had to happen to allow him to get away from the White Walkers. Bran views them as a necessity for the greater good, not for himself, but for the world, for time, for history."
The actor added that the Three-Eyed-Raven "doesn’t sit there judging. He doesn’t sit there advising. He just sits there keeping an eye on history and time."
He would, in that case, be a pretty absentee leader without the ability to understand any suffering his people might endure. And, his ability to see negative actions (like Hodor's death) as part of the "greater good" could quickly go badly for the people of Westeros.
Then again, at this point is anyone up for the task of running Westeros correctly and justly? There's Jon Snow, but he doesn't want it. There's Sansa Stark, but she's in the north. There's so Bran, but he'd actually probably be terrible. Good thing there's only one episode left until we find out for sure if those Vegas betters knew what they were talking about.