With the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones less than two months away, it seems everyone is wagering to guess who will end up ruling Westeros. But there are some that are wagering money on who will end up ruling Westeros.
Vegas has released odds on who will end up seated on the Iron Throne—or metaphorical Iron Throne if it ends up being devoured by wildfire or dragonfire—and the odds on the favorite may surprise you. It’s not Jon Snow. It’s not Daenerys Targaryen. It’s not Tyrion Lannister, Cersei Lannister or Jaime Lannister.
It’s the Three-Eyed Raven: Bran Stark.
And Bran isn’t just the favorite. He’s a heavy favorite according to Las Vegas. To put this into a little perspective, the second most likely ruler according to Vegas is Jon Snow. If you bet $100 on Jon, you’d end up winning $600. If you bet $100 on Bran, you’d only end up winning $66.
According to Vegas odds, there’s a 66 percent chance Bran will end up ruling Westeros, and assuming they don’t have inside information (because if they knew the answer definitively you’d think they’d just take Bran off the board completely), there’s only one reason they might consider the odds so heavily stacked in Bran’s favor: If you place a wager on Bran, you’re getting two characters for the price of one…because Bran is the Night King.
This theory has existed for a long time, but I never paid much attention to it because it involves so much explaining, but with Vegas’s oddsmakers backing it so strongly, it’s hard to ignore it much longer.
In an early vision of Bran’s, we saw the Night King being created by the Children of the Forest. They plunged a dragonglass dagger into the heart of a man bound to a heart tree, and as the Children say to Bran, they created the White Walkers to protect themselves from mankind.
Now, the theory isn’t that the man who had the dragonglass dagger plunged into his heart is grown-up Bran, the theory is that sometime in the past Bran attempted to warg into the Night King (presumably to try and stop him from doing something horrible). We’ve seen him do this before. When Bran did this to his trusty companion it caused irreparable damage, but Bran was able to escape and come back to the present.
But if he hadn’t come back and if he “stayed underwater and drowned” like the old Three-Eyed Raven warned him was possible, perhaps it would have been the opposite that occurred with Bran taking control of a fully functional Hodor in the past, leaving his present-day body rendered a shell of its former self.
And remember last season, that’s essentially what Bran became. He no longer responded to his old name, he no longer considered himself a Stark, and he no longer considered he had any identity at all. He was a shell, basically, an encyclopedia come to life. So maybe the deed is already done. Maybe Brandon Stark of Winterfell isn’t dead but already living inside the body of someone else on a different timeline: The Night King.