At first glance, Game of Thrones and Watchmen may seem completely different. One is a medieval fantasy TV series focused on different families fighting for power, and the other is a comic book centered around realistic superheroes. Surprisingly though, the show and the comic book are connected in a peculiar way.
Out of all the characters in Game of Thrones, #BranStark has gone through the most drastic transformation. He went from a sweet little boy who enjoyed jumping across rooftops and bickering with his sister, to an increasingly stoic host of a mystical entity that can see both past, present and future.
Every passing episode has shown the young Stark going deeper into the rabbit hole and it's safe to say that fans (myself included) haven't been quite comfortable with his creepy, emotionless persona. Have you ever wondered what exactly inspired that behavior? Well, now we finally know, and it's thanks to the Watchmen.
You Can Thank Dr. Manhattan For Bran Stark's New Personality
#IsaacHempstead, the actor who plays Bran, recently sat down for an interview with Vulture to discuss Bran's journey and his future in Game of Thrones. There, he revealed an interesting detail. The series' showrunners turned to Dr. Manhattan for inspiration for Bran's isolated personality and all-powerful mind:
"I had a meeting with David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss], our showrunners, before we started filming. We had a chat about how we wanted to play Bran this season, and they suggested Doctor Manhattan from the 'Watchmen' comic. Bran was slightly based on that, existing in all these different times at once, knowing all these various things, being this emotionless rock connecting these different timelines and the history of the universe."
Hmm, I won't lie, I never expected a superhero to play a part in the narrative of #Westeros.
Putting A Twist On The Concept Of Dr. Manhattan
As awesome as #DrManhattan is, someone as monotonous and almost robotic as him runs the risk of boring audiences. Hempstead and the showrunners were aware of that, and they figured out a way to avoid it. They made sure to hint at the fact that there was still a part of the Bran left in his body, floating around somewhere:
"We didn't want a boring, monotonous character who would just go, 'Yeah, I’m the Three-Eyed Raven, blah blah blah'[...] It becomes a bit dull. We [...] wanted to make sure that there was a bit of Bran left, a glimmer of a person still in there. It's like he's the first cyborg. We just connected a supercomputer to a human being’s brain. He's a mainframe, but there's a little bit of his personality. More often than not, though, Bran is a vessel for human knowledge."
Aside from the #DrManhattan comparison, this could be the sign of a huge development for Bran going into Season 8. You see, following their gut-wrenching ordeal with the Night King, Three-eyed Raven Bran told Meera that the Bran we first met in Season 1 was dead. The only entity that seemed to remain was the Raven. However, now we know the door could be wide open for the real Bran to return.
Keep in mind I'm just speculating here, but perhaps Bran will become his chipper, younger self once again after the White Walkers are taken care of. We'll hopefully get an answer for that when Game of Thrones returns for its final season next year.
How do you feel about Bran being based on Dr. Manhattan? Did you figure that was the case when watching the show? Let me know in the comments!