Take a good look at the photo above. Does anything — aside from the fact that Isaac Hempstead-Wright has grown considerably since he last appeared in Game of Thrones — leap out at you?
If you’re a faithful follower of the HBO series, you’ll notice that Bran is standing in the image from Thrones‘ upcoming sixth season; no mean feat, considering a nasty fall paralyzed the character in the drama’s very first episode.
“Odds are, it’s a vision,” Hempstead-Wright tells TVLine in the weeks leading up to the series’ April 24 return (9/8c). “When they released the still of that, I think they wrote underneath, ‘This is Bran in a vision.’ And everybody just looked at the picture and said, ‘Oh, he’s standing!'”
The actor adds that the upcoming episodes contain “some really cool visions” that will give fans a closer look at the true extent of the warg’s capabilities.
“In the previous seasons, there have been vague little glimpses of some of the powers Bran might possess,” he says. “But this season, we see them come into their own.”
While Season 5 found the other Stark children fleeing sadistic spouses, apprenticing assassins and dying at the hands of mutinous traitors, Bran hasn’t appeared on screen since arriving at the Three-Eyed Raven’s cave in the Season 4 finale. Hempstead-Wright previews that Bran’s trajectory mirrors his siblings’ journeys — right down to the kidnappings and zombies.
“In that way that all of the Stark kids have had to grow up and shoulder that much more responsibility, he’s got to do it this season, as well,” the actor says, adding that Bran must “use his powers to do what he has to do.”
But what are those powers, exactly? The character has had prophetic dreams since Season 1, and he’s demonstrated the ability to meld minds with not only his direwolf but also his faithful servant/mode of transportation Hodor. Hempstead-Wright previews that we’ll find that Ned Stark’s son has developed “a zen, all-knowing sense about him. He’s kind of separated from himself. He’s on a higher level of consciousness.”
And any absence will more than be made up for: He adds that Bran is around “a lot more than [in] previous seasons. This is his biggest season.” — With reporting by Michael Ausiello
Do you have theories about what Bran will bring to Season 6? Sound off in the comments!