Warning: This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones star Isaac Hempstead-Wright thought that he was reading a joke ending from a fake script when he learned that Bran ends up sitting in the Iron Throne. Based on George R.R. Martin's novel series titled A Song of Ice and Fire, the HBO fantastical show created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss ended over the weekend with a final 80-minute episode. It provided resolution to the eight-season long mystery on who ultimately gets to rule Westeros with the show taking on an unconventional path to crown Bran the Broken.
With Daenerys' (Emilia Clarke) death and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) being held accountable for it, the country was left without a ruler which was why all powers across Westeros gathered to find a resolution. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) suggested that they pick a new leader, with his personal preference to be Bran. He didn't get much push back, aside from Sansa (Sophie Turner) who maintained that she still wants the North to be independent - something that his brother happily gave into. After the Stark kids headed their separate ways - Jon to the Wall; Arya (Maisie Williams) to find out what's West of Westeros; and Sansa being crowned Queen of the North, Bran's council, led by Tyrion discuss how to rebuild the city. It was a crazy turn of events that even Hempstead-Wright couldn't believe it at first.
Speaking with EW in light of Game of Thrones ending, the actor who's been in the show since episode 1 candidly revealed what his initial thoughts were when he found out that he, apparently, ends up as King. Since the show is notorious for handing out fake scripts to ensure that no plot leaks happen, Hempstead-Wright laughed at it, thinking it was a great joke. But once it was confirmed, he was totally floored by the narrative turn since he personally, was hoping for his character to die a cool death.
“When I got to the [Dragonpit scene] in the last episode and they’re like, ‘What about Bran?’ I had to get up and pace around the room. I genuinely thought it was a joke script and that [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] sent to everyone a script with their own character ends up on the Iron Throne. ‘Yeah, good one guys. Oh s—, it’s actually real?’
That said, I’m happy. Though I kind of did want to die and get in one good death scene with an exploding head or something.”
Season 8 of Game of Thrones was met with varying reactions from its massive fandom - from the Night King's relatively easy kill to Dany's descent to become the Mad Queen. But Bran on the throne arguably takes the cake when it comes to controversial narrative turns in the fantastical series. That being said, Hempstead-Wright defended his character, saying he thinks Bran can actually be a great king.
“I think he’ll be a really good king actually. Perhaps there will be something missing in having real emotive leader, which is a useful quality in a king or queen as well. At the same time, you can’t really argue with Bran. He’s like, ‘No, I know everything.’”
No one's arguing about Bran's ability to be king especially considering the vast knowledge he has being the Three-eyed Raven. The problem with it is that it felt like it undermined the journeys of other characters like Dany who worked really hard to end up in the Iron Throne, and even Sansa who seems to have the general sense of what good governance means. In the last couple of Game of Thrones seasons, Bran was mainly disconnected with his humanity, and more in-touch with his new persona. The fact that he barely did anything to get Westeros at this point felt like his ascend to the throne was unearned. At least, he has a decent group of council that could actually help him do his job properly.