Note: This article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7.
Game of Thrones has experienced so many twists and turns throughout its seven seasons that it was hard to remember how the entire conflict between the Starks and the Lannisters started. Season 7 has done a commendable job of bringing every central character under one roof, allowing us to recall the various aspects that initiated the War of the Five Kings; with the fall of Bran Stark playing a pivotal role.
Although it's uncertain whether it was circumstance or destiny that made Bran the Three-Eyed Raven, his powers can be advantageous for his allies. However, apart from providing some helpful exposition, Bran wasn't able to forewarn the Starks about Cersei's false oath or the Night King's murder of Viserion.
While this seemed like convenient storytelling, Season 7's finale explained why this made sense during Bran's reunion with Samwell Tarly.
Bran Can Only Access The Past If He Knows What He's Looking For
While the previous Three-Eyed Raven had years of practice, Bran is an amateur when it comes to greenseeing. He has shown that he needs a person's physical presence or an actual object to glimpse into the past by describing Sansa's wedding dress and Baelish's "Chaos is a ladder" line, respectively. However, despite knowing the truth about Jon's heritage, Bran's inability to know about his legitimacy revealed a new aspect of his powers.
Bran: "Jon isn't really my father's son. He's the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and my aunt, Lyanna Stark. He was born in a tower in Dorne. His last name isn't really Snow, it's Sand."
Samwell: "It's not. At the Citadel, I transcribed a High Septon's diary. He annulled Rhaegar's marriage to Elia [Martell]. He wed Rhaegar and Lyanna in a secret ceremony."
Bran: "Are you certain?"
Samwell: "It's what the High Septon wrote in his private diary. I don't know why he'd lie. Is this something you can see?"
In order for Bran to see the Targaryen wedding, he had to have gained knowledge about it. This implies that although he has the ability to comprehend the history of Westeros, Bran still has to earn this knowledge by trying to find it.
Bran Hasn't Yet Mastered The Art Of Looking Into The Future
After his fatal fall, Bran was able to have visions of the future. He predicted the death of Ned Stark when he kept seeing him in the crypts of the castle and also envisioned the flooding of Winterfell, which was an indication to the eventual sacking of their home by the Greyjoys. He was able to envision how the Night King converted babies into White Walkers and a dragon flying over King's Landing by touching a Weirwood; something that would happen in Season 7.
However, throughout the passing seasons, Bran's ability to look into the future has steadily declined. This was evident when he intentionally chose to talk only about his ability to see the past and everything that's happening in real-time.
Samwell: "What happened to you beyond the Wall?"
Bran: "I became the Three-Eyed Raven."
Samwell: "Oh!... I don't know what that means."
Bran: "I can see things that happened in the past. I can see things happening now, all over the world."
Bran confirmed this for a second time during the scene's comic relief. After telling Sam about Jon's travels to Winterfell (which Sam presumed was Bran's prediction of the future), Bran reveals that he simply read it on a scroll.
Game of Thrones has been known to hide integral hints in unlikely places, and this revelation regarding Bran's powers is another example of the showrunners' favorite technique. So, as Bran has efficiently brought an end to the politics in Winterfell by looking into the past, we can expect him to safeguard Westeros's future by mastering his Greenseeing skills, before the Night King or Cersei makes their next move.
What other powers do you think Bran will have in Season 8 of Game of Thrones? Let me know in the comments.