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.

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The Most Popular TV Show to Binge-Watch During Quarantine in Each State

Is this the face of a man watching The Vampire Diaries? If he's in Montana, the answer is probably yes.
Is this the face of a man watching The Vampire Diaries? If he's in Montana, the answer is probably yes.
gpointstudio/iStock via Getty Images

With few places to go and even fewer people to see, many of us are spending our time in quarantine baking bread, taking virtual tours, and sitting in front of the television for hours. To find out what everyone’s choosing to binge-watch, CableTV.com surveyed almost 7000 viewers across the nation, analyzed the search volume for their responses with Google Trends, and used all of that data to create a map that reveals each state’s most-watched show.

While Netflix’s bizarre true crime docuseries Tiger King and reality dating competition Too Hot to Handle did appear in some surveys, neither they—nor any other new short-lived series—landed in first place for any state. Instead, most people appear to be indulging in nostalgic sitcoms or catching up on critically acclaimed dramas from the recent past (or present).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Friends is the clear winner, coming in first in 13 states in just about every corner of the country, including Texas, California, Florida, and New York. Not only can 10 seasons with Rachel, Joey, and the rest of the gang keep you busy for 121 hours, but the upcoming Friends reunion makes this an even better time for a full rewatch. It’s not the only sitcom on the map: Gilmore Girls, The Office, and Rick and Morty all earned a handful of states each.

map of most watched TV shows in quarantine
Apparently, all it took to make Delawareans finally decide to watch Game of Thrones was a months-long quarantine.
CableTV.com

Other people seem to be using quarantine as an opportunity to commit to TV shows that their friends have probably been begging them to watch for ages. For residents of Washington, D.C. and New Mexico, it’s Breaking Bad, while people in Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, and West Virginia are finally pressing play on The Walking Dead. Based on this study, it looks like most states were already all caught up on Game of Thrones before quarantine—and some people probably rewatched the series just last year to prepare for the final season—but it did rank first in Delaware.

The map isn’t without a few surprises. Missourians, for example, are split between bingeing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Ozark; and folks in Washington and Oregon are apparently all in on Star Trek.

You can see the full list and find out more about the study here.