Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones final season.
The final season of Game of Thrones has been met with mixed reviews to say the least. Fans have accused writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss of going rogue with plot twists that seemed unplanned and unearned.
We expect a show like Game of Thrones to be one with forethought. The creators planned for Arya Stark to kill the Night King long in advance and therefore her character built up to that moment. Depending on who you ask, Daenerys’ descent into madness has been built up to throughout the series.
But not many people saw Bran Stark becoming king of the six kingdoms coming. Except, of course, for the incredible Gwendoline Christie, who predicted it in 2017.
— Gwendoline Christie (@lovegwendoline) May 22, 2019
One piece of evidence that’s being platformed as proof that the Game of Thrones creators had a plan all along, is the original poster released for season one. Back in 2011, Game of thrones shared this image of Ned Stark on the Iron Throne. Barely noticeable is the raven sitting beside him.
Bran Stark becomes the three-eyed raven and ends up sitting on the throne, just as this poster indicates. Why else would the poster include a raven on the throne if not as a tiny easter egg? The raven is not particularly relevant to Ned Stark or the Iron Throne in any way at that time, so looking forward seems like a reasonable explanation.
If the creators did have this plan all along, they definitely didn’t let it slip to the cast. Sophie Turner, AKA Sansa Stark, Queen of the North, literally only just found out about this easter egg when her X-Men: Dark Phoenix co-star Jessica Chastain mentioned it in an interview with Metro.
Unless David Benioff and D.B. Weiss explicitly own up to what’s fact and what’s fiction, we’ll never know how much they planned ahead from the very beginning. Either way, telling cast-members like Emilia Clarke where their characters were headed would have helped with character development and creating better arcs.
It’s definitely believable that the close cooperation of Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin would have led the show creators to plan ahead, so I’m going to choose to believe that Bran’s fate was written all along.