Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones/HBO/2011-2018 (Crippled/Spinal Cord Damage)

Prince Brandon “Bran” Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), disabled fourth child and second son of Lady Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) and Lord Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) who reside in the castle of Winterfell in the North, the largest constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms.


Brandon is named for Eddard’s elder brother, who was killed (strangled) by the Mad King. Eight thousand years earlier, one Bran the Builder, the founder of House Stark, established the Kingdom of the North, as well as a wall designed to keep out the Whitewalkers, an ancient race of humanoid ice creatures.

Bran is also known as the “Little Lord” and the “Three-eyed Raven.” The name Bran means “raven” in Irish Gaeltic. When Bran does something wrong, his mother uses his full name of Brandon.

As a youth, Bran dreams of becoming a knight in the Kingsguard. In his spare moments, he enjoys climbing the walls of his castle home, exploring the rooftops and passageways of Winterfell. Unfortunately, one day, he falls from a tower and is crippled, injuring his spinal cord. He was actually pushed out of a window when Bran accidentally came upon Queen Cersie, the wife of a visiting king having sex with her twin brother, Jaime.


Bran survives the fall, but is comatose. While recovering, an assassin is sent to silence the boy, but the attempt is thwarted by Summer, a direwolf pup who then stands guard over Bran’s bed. When Bran awakes, he has no memory of the reason why he was pushed but learns he will never walk again.


Bran carried by Hodor, a hulking, simple-minded, but loyal Winterfell servant.

When Bran was recovering from his fall, a three-eyed raven appeared in his dreams. This was the animal projection of a mystic (Struan Rodger/Max Von Sydow) who lived in a cave. He encouraged Bran to visit him and has since been his mentor who guides his vision-quests. The mystic was later slain with a blade by the Night King. Thereafter, Bran takes up his mantle as the Three-eyed-Raven.

“You will never walk again, but you will fly.”  – Three-eyed raven to Bran Stark

Although disabled, Bran has a number of magical powers, including Greensight (“Sight”), the ability to receive prophetic visions. When Bran uses his Greensight to merge with the Heart Tree, he sees visions of past, present and future events. While in vision, he can walk.

Bran can also Warg, the ability to transfer his thoughts into animals, to see through the creatures eyes and control its movements. Bran has done this with Summer, his direwolf companion.

Note:  In the fourth episode (May 8, 2011)  Hodor carries Bran Stark to meet with Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), a dwarf from a rival kingdom who presents Bran with a gift: an accessible horse-riding saddle. When informed that Bran has lost the use of his legs, Tyrion replies, “What of it? With the right horse and saddle, even a cripple can ride.” When asked why Tyrion wants to help Bran, since the Starks and the Lannisters are rivals. he responds, “I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things.”

See alsoGame of Thrones (2)

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