After being out of the action for an entire season, Bran is back in a big way. He has spent the past year or so with his mentor the Three-Eyed Raven, honing his warg abilities and learning to become a greenseer. The Raven lately has been taking Bran on little adventures into the past where Bran, with the use of his legs by the way, is able to see scenes from recent history that will hopefully give the viewers clues as to what's to come. Sunday's episode featured perhaps the most exciting flashback yet, a young Ned and Howland Reed fighting the Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy. It's unclear what role Bran is going to play in the coming war, but viewers are beginning to speculate that it's going to be larger than we thought. What are the extent of Bran's warging powers? Could Bran actually rewrite history with his visions?
Fans were extremely excited to see the Tower of Joy this episode, because this spot could be the key to Jon Snow's true parentage. The R+L=J theory has been making the rounds in the blogosphere for quite some time now. The theory supposes that Jon Snow is actually the child of Rhaegar Targaryan and Lyanna Stark. The Targaryans are represented by fire and the Starks by the ice of winter, so if the theory is true, Jon Snow would be a logical, literal manifestation of a Song of Ice and Fire.
Unfortunately, the closest we got to seeing what was inside the Tower of Joy was the sound of Lyanna's screams from inside as young Ned rushed to her aid. As he is running up the steps, Bran calls out to him. And Ned turns around. It's clear he could not see Bran, but might it be possible that he actually heard him? The Three-Eyed Raven insists that he did not. History is already written. "The ink is dry," he tells Bran, but Bran is sure that he did. If the Three-Eyed Raven is lying to Bran, or is mistaken, what could this mean about Bran's role in upcoming episodes? Could Bran somehow reach out to characters in the past and change their fates? Could the travesty of Ned's beheading, the Red Wedding, all of it be somehow undone?
Probably not. From a narrative perspective, Bran having the ability to simply undo all of that tragedy would be completely bizarre, and does not fit at all with the sophisticated, complex storytelling the show is so good at, the thing that got us all so hooked to begin with. Perhaps more likely is that if Bran can indeed communicate with people from the past, they can help him uncover important pieces of information (like Jon's real parentage) or help him to reach out to people in the present.
We'll just have to wait and see.