6.2.12. Who are the people Bran sees through the weirwood?
Bran’s visions appear to be going backwards in chronology, from more recent images to older ones, as the tree grows smaller and younger with each successive vision that Bran sees. In order:
- Eddard Stark, a good deal younger than the 35 years of age when Bran last saw him, praying before the weirwood: This must be on Eddard’s return from Robert’s rebellion. His wife and infant, legitimate son Robb are installed in the castle… but so, too, is his apparent bastard, Jon Snow, a source of concern for him as he prays and hopes that Catelyn will understand and that Robb and Jon will grow “as close” as brothers. Many take this as proof positive of Jon’s parentage not lying with Eddard, but it’s worth noting that bastards in the setting generally don’t grow up closely with their siblings.
- A girl and a boy, about the age of Arya and himself, fighting with sticks in the godswood, and the girl beating the boy: This must surely be the young Lyanna Stark playing at swords with her younger brother, Benjen. Her similarity to Arya is something noted repeatedly in the novels, and this seems to confirm it further.
- A pregnant woman swimming out of the pool to kneel and pray to the old gods for a son to bring her vengeance: This is an unknown story, but it seems to fall somewhere between the years 215 and 290, very roughly. Could this be Bran’s grandmother, or great-grandmother? We’ve no idea, other than her surely being a Stark.
- A slim young woman kissing a knight as tall as Hodor: This is certainly Ser Duncan the Tall, and we’ll almost certainly see this scene in Martin’s novella for the Dangerous Women anthology, which he has said deals with the “She-wolves of Winterfell”, a number of Stark women who held power and influence in his time.
- An angry, pale youth cutting weirwood branches to make three arrows: Another mystery, but speculatively this could be a son or grandson of Torrhen, the King who Knelt, making arrows with which to try and kill the three great Targaryen dragons. Certainly, that number of arrows must have some meaning.
- Tall, stern, hard men in fur and mail, and an old woman taking the life of a prisoner: Proof of something hinted at in Davos’s fourth chapter, namely that the early First Men who followed the old gods practiced blood sacrifice.