Shut Hold the front door: You’re telling me that of all the possible winners of the long fight for Westeros, Brandon Stark was the best possible choice?
First, let me say: I understand that anyone who yearns to rule over Game of Thrones‘ fictional realm probably shouldn’t, given how ably the show has depicted power’s corruption of even the most noble intentions. And Bran’s position as the mystical Three-Eyed Raven, aka the keeper of all of humanity’s stories who can call up any historical moment at will, does lend him the ability to unite people, as Tyrion pointed out in Sunday’s series finale. (Read our full recap.) Plus, he just isn’t affected by piddling little things like emotion, so he’s able to respond to situations with clear vision and an untroubled mind.
Thing is, I can’t do the same. I just can’t get past how aloof and plain unhelpful Ned Stark’s youngest living child has been over the past couple of seasons. He’s met emotional dilemmas with dead-eyed stares and existential crises with hypothetical questions. Meera Reed lost a brother and probably gained a lot of back problems, dragging Bran’s sled across the frozen North as he drew ever closer to his destiny. But when she announced that she had to leave him to return to what remained of her family, he couldn’t be bothered to muster up much more than a tepid thank-you.
Even if he doesn’t put much stock in fleeting concepts like thoughts and feelings, shouldn’t a good leader know that his people do? Shouldn’t he care?
More recently, as everyone at Winterfell prepared to die in the battle against the Night King’s army of the dead, Bran handed out rhetorical questions (“How do you know there is an afterwards?” he asked Jaime in the godswood) and subpar military strategy (explain to me again how wheeling the repository of all knowledge onto the battlefield and having assorted Greyjoys protect him was a good idea?). Don’t even get me started on how he warged into a bird during the big fight… but didn’t think it would be helpful to use that power to figure out the Night King’s location and report back to Jon.
I know I’m not alone in my ire at Bran the Broken: More than half of you have indicated you agree.
So who would have been a better choice as Westeros’ next ruler, you ask? Funny you should mention it: I happen to have a little list on hand — and no, a certain swarthy former bastard didn’t make the cut. (And if you want to talk about more questions coming out of Sunday’s finale, check this out.)
Click on the gallery above to peruse seven characters who would’ve been a better choice to put on the Iron Throne… or rather, what’s left of it. And when you’re done, make sure to hit the comments to tell me where I’m wrong, where I’m right and who you’d choose as leader.