New Game of Thrones Teaser Has Fans Debating: Where Is Bran Stark?

HBO
HBO

On Sunday, January 13—just ahead of the premiere of True Detective season three—Game of Thrones fans were delighted to finally find out when the epic series' eighth season will premiere, and to be treated to a full 90-second teaser that hinted at what is to come in the highly anticipated final season (albeit cryptically).

Since season seven came to an end in August 2017, viewers have spent countless hours speculating about how the series might conclude, and have managed to come up with some truly wild fan theories. But the most recent teaser seems to have ignited an even bigger question about the final season: Where is Bran Stark?

The epic new teaser shows Jon Snow and Sansa and Arya Stark walking separately through the Crypts of Winterfell with the late Lyanna, Catelyn, and Ned Stark speaking in voiceover as the living characters pass by their statues. As Jon, Sansa, and Arya come together, they see what appear to be statues of themselves, before being distracted by a swell of icy winds coming toward them. But where was Bran?

Many viewers have taken to social media to share their thought about why Bran wasn't seen in the latest teaser, with one of the most popular beliefs being one of the oldest (and still-possible) theories for the show: Bran Stark is the Night King.

While TIME acknowledged the popularity of this ongoing theory, it also pointed out how Bran's absence could actually be proof of him being the Three-Eyed Raven instead—yet another popular fan theory that initially gained traction in season three, when Jojen Reed (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) appeared to Bran in a dream to tell him that the Three-Eyed Raven “is you.” In season six, the Three-Eyed Raven told Bran that "The time has come ... for you to become me." But when Sansa asked Bran point blank whether he was the Three-Eyed Raven, he replied: "It’s difficult to explain."

And confusing! As with most things related to Game of Thrones, nothing is ever quite as it seems.

While the series' stars are sworn to secrecy regarding any spoilers regarding their characters or plot lines, Isaac Hempstead Wright—who plays Bran—isn't buying the whole Night King thing. "It just doesn’t feel like Game of Thrones,” Hempstead Wright told Nerdist in 2017. "It feels a little bit too Hollywood." Which may be one more hint that he indeed is the Three-Eyed Raven.

Whether Hempstead Wright was legitimately trying to shut the theory down, or engaging in a little misdirection, we'll finally start getting answers when Game of Thrones returns for its final season on April 14, 2019.

George R.R. Martin Doesn't Think Game of Thrones Was 'Very Good' For His Writing Process

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

No one seems to have escaped the fan fury over the finals season of Game of Thrones. While likely no one got it quite as bad as showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, even author George R.R. Martin—who wrote A Song of Ice and Fire, the book series upon which the show is based, faced backlash surrounding the HBO hit. The volatile reaction from fans has apparently taken a toll on both Martin's writing and personal life.

In an interview with The Guardian, the acclaimed author said he's sticking with his original plan for the last two books, explaining that the show will not impact them. “You can’t please everybody, so you’ve got to please yourself,” he stated.

He went on to explain how even his personal life has taken a negative turn because of the show. “I can’t go into a bookstore any more, and that used to be my favorite thing to do in the world,” Martin said. “To go in and wander from stack to stack, take down some books, read a little, leave with a big stack of things I’d never heard of when I came in. Now when I go to a bookstore, I get recognized within 10 minutes and there’s a crowd around me. So you gain a lot but you also lose things.”

While fans of the book series are fully aware of the author's struggle to finish the final two installments, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, Martin admitted that part of the delay has been a result of the HBO series, and fans' reaction to it.

“I don’t think [the series] was very good for me,” Martin said. “The very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down. Every day I sat down to write and even if I had a good day … I’d feel terrible because I’d be thinking: ‘My God, I have to finish the book. I’ve only written four pages when I should have written 40.'"

Still, Martin has sworn that the books will get finished ... he just won't promise when.

[h/t The Guardian]

Attention Movie Geeks: Cinephile Is the Card Game You Need Right Now

Cinephile/Amazon
Cinephile/Amazon

If you’ve got decades worth of movie trivia up in your head but nowhere to show it off, Cinephile: A Card Game just may be your perfect outlet. Created by writer, art director, and movie expert Cory Everett, with illustrations by Steve Isaacs, this game aims to test the mettle of any film aficionado with five different play types that are designed for different skill and difficulty levels.

For players looking for a more casual experience, Cinephile offers a game variety called Filmography, where you simply have to name more movies that a given actor has appeared in than your opponent. For those who really want to test their knowledge of the silver screen, there’s the most challenging game type, Six Degrees, which plays like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, with the player who finds the fewest number of degrees between two actors getting the win.

When you choose actors for Six Degrees, you’ll do so using the beautifully illustrated cards that come with the game, featuring Hollywood A-listers past and present in some of their most memorable roles. You’ve got no-brainers like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill (2003) and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall (1990) alongside cult favorites like Bill Murray from 2004's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Jeff Goldblum in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984). Of course, being a game designed for the true film buff, you’ll also get some deeper cuts like Helen Mirren from 1990’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover and Sean Connery in 1974's Zardoz. There are 150 cards in all, with expansion packs on the way.

Cinephile is a labor of love for Everett and Isaacs, who originally got this project off the ground via Kickstarter, where they raised more than $20,000. Now it’s being published on a wider scale by Clarkson Potter, a Penguin Random House group. You can pre-order your copy from Amazon now for $20 before its August 27 release date.

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