Beyond-the-Wall: Bran, Meera, Hodor and the Three-Eyed Raven
I love how the show drops us into these Bran & Raven flashbacks. It isn’t for a few seconds before we see their backs and realize we’re in the past. Bran sees his father Ned, young and played by Sebastian Croft instead of Sean Bean, accompanied by Northern knights including Howland Reed, his wayward companion Meera’s father. They confront Kingsguard knights in Targaryen armor. In the background is a Dornish castle – the Tower of Joy. Ned is looking for his sister Lyanna post-Battle of the Trident where Robert killed Rhaegar after Jaime betrayed the Mad King, ending the war.
Badass action ensues, with the Arthur “Sword of the Morning” Dayne and his partner carving through the seven knights until its only Dayne and Ned. I love how even though we know the end result the ensuing battle, it has suspense and tension. It even has Bran questioning the ending of this legendary duel. Surely Ned will win. Though we know he does, the show still has a trick up its sleeve, as its revealed a mortally-wounded Reed stabbed Dayne in the back, allowing “honorable” Ned to kill him. Bran sees his father’s pedestal broken and his angst echoes through time, seeming to draw young Ned’s attention as he climbs the castle steps to investigate his sister’s screams at the top.
But, frustratingly, the Three-Eyed Raven steps in again, jettisoning him back to the dark root cave. Bran is as pissed as we are, and we get another Raven spiel suspiciously similar to the first, better Raven spiel. Digressing, looking at the upcoming episode synopses, it is likely this flashback thread won’t resolve until episode 5 “The Door,” where, I quote, “Bran learns a great deal” (thanks for the detail, HBO).