Game of Thrones: Jon, not Bran, had the best “story”

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Photo Credit: HBO

If the best ruler has the best “story,” was Bran really the right choice for King on Game of Thrones?

Bran the Broken is on the Iron Throne, and he can thank Tyrion Lannister for this Game of Thrones outcome. Here was Tyrion’s sales pitch:

“What unites people? Armies? Gold? Flags? Stories.

There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story.

Nothing can stop it.

No enemy can defeat it.

And who has a better story than Bran the Broken? The boy who fell from a high tower and lived.

He knew he’d never walk again, so he learned to fly.

He crossed beyond the Wall, a crippled boy, and became the Three-Eyed Raven.

He is our memory, the keeper of all our stories.

The wars, weddings, births, massacres, famines.

Our triumphs, mm, our defeats, our past.

Who better to lead us into the future?”

This argument was clearly effective, as Bran was named King of the “Six” Kingdoms only a few minutes after. The pitch was basically comprised of two main points:

1. “Who has a better story” than Bran?

2. “He is our memory.”

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Regarding #1, Bran definitely had an incredible story. He got pushed out of a tower and lost his ability to walk. He traveled North of the wall and gradually discovered he had powers. He met and ultimately became the Three Eyed Raven, the world’s “memory.” The Night King targeted him but ultimately failed, and now….he’s King.

But it’s not clear that anyone in Westeros really knows Bran’s story. Even the people on the “King-Naming Council” didn’t seem to have much of an idea of what was going on with him. The Three Eyed Raven seems to have an incredibly important role in the world, but are there any existing legends about this entity that the common people would be familiar with? Of course, the story of Bran the Broken would surely spread quickly and have a level of effectiveness. But again, it’s not clear that he has a story that the people of the “Six Kingdoms” would easily embrace.

If Bran consistently demonstrated his powers, this would serve to only enhance his ”story,” but how often does he actually do this? He wargs into birds and seems to know what will happen, but he’s not one to really “show off” his powers. There were a few moments, for example when he gave Arya the dagger she used to kill the Night King, that he took minor steps, but he largely has been on the sidelines.

Overall, Bran does have a  great “story” and his role as “the memory” certainly reflects the important role he has. But we never received enough details regarding his story or his powers to make these appealing reasons for him to be King. For the record, I think Bran ending up on the throne is a conceivable ending for his character. However, I think the show didn’t do a great job of setting it up, and in particular, think Tyrion’s argument in his favor was lacking.