Disclaimer: This post contains major spoilers from season 8 of Game of Thrones. 

There is no easy way, to sum up, the ending of a series that lasted for eight years, seventy-three episodes, and showed the death of over ten major characters, easily. 

Source: YouTube

But if I absolutely had to, I'd say it was eight years of fighting for the Iron Throne, only to watch it all burn - or rather, melt - to the ground. Literally. 

Because, after all the scheming and struggles, the person who manages to become the ruler of six (not seven) kingdoms, protector of the realm, and all that jazz, is Bran aka the Three-Eyed-Raven. 

And that was unexpected, to say the least. 

I mean, he is the same person who spent a majority of the show having visions even he didn't completely understand, breaking Meera's heart (who should not have been so easily forgotten), and never saying anything directly. 

*The Night King has arrived, perhaps make it clear who has to do what!*

But then I got thinking. Or rather Bran's easy admission of the Crown got me thinking. 

Was this his plan all along? Was Bran the true mastermind of the complete Game of Thrones, and the other characters merely pawns in his fight for the (now just symbolic) throne?  

Hear me out here. As well all know, as the Three-Eyed-Raven, Bran has the ability to warg into animals, and even people at times. Though the latter is no easy feat, we're sure. 

Source: TIME

But the death of Hodor in season 6 proved that Bran also has the ability to visit various characters in their past. 

Source: TIME

I mean, it was literally, 'Hold The Door' that became 'Hodor'. (crying again, cuz it'll always be too soon). 

Source: asoiaf-theories.com

However, this very ability hints at another theory - that perhaps it was Bran and his whispers that truly turned Aerys Targaryen II into the Mad King. Remember when he whispers to a young Ned?

Source: Business Insider

Also, when Bran has to absorb all knowledge - of past and future - that the Three-Eyed-Raven has, he has a flashback to the Mad King shouting, 'burn them all'.

Source: thrillist

 What if Bran was the one who put certain thoughts in the Mad King's mind?

Source: bustle

Bran also has glimpses of the future. Not complete visions, but small prophecies, that could hint at what the future entails. 

And yet, he couldn't predict the state of King's Landing after Daenerys took over? 

Source: cheatsheet

While we're willing to admit that he may not have complete control over what future visions he sees, we do know that he was the one to give the Valyrian steel-made catspaw's dagger to Arya. The same person, who, incidentally, ended up killing the Night King and saving the realm and Bran.

So he is not entirely without his hunches, gut instincts, or intuition - whatever you want to call it. 

Source: Popsugar

Again, why did Bran not help warg into Drogon and control him earlier? Because he clearly hints at doing exactly that when the season ends. 

Is this because he could only warg in Drogon after Daenerys' death, or because he wanted Daenerys to rise as the Mad Queen and lose all favor of both, the public at large, and her advisors and partner?

This also takes us back to the whole purpose of revealing Jon's true lineage. Really, at the end of it all, what purpose did it serve than pushing Daenerys to the edge and turning her trusted advisors against her?

Source: NYT

Now, one could argue that Jon was the one who shared the information with Sansa and Arya. In fact, Bran even states that it's his choice. 

But, knowing Jon, knowing the value he placed on honesty, loyalty, and all things fair and right, wasn't it a given that he'd share the information with Daenerys?

Source: YouTube

Though we'll have Samwell Tarly share the blame for this one too. 

Source: YouTube

Perhaps, Bran's future for the realm wasn't to find an 'able' ruler. Perhaps it was to ensure the very thing that happened - that a Three-Eyed-Raven, without the ability to father children, sits at the Iron Throne. Because this way, an equal and fair contender for the Iron Throne also becomes the next Three-Eyed-Raven.

Source: Vanity Fair

After all, Bran wasn't always the Three-Eyed-Raven. At one time, he was just a kid, who disobeyed his mother and became a victim of the 'things people do for love'. 

Source: Medium

Now, at what point of the journey did Bran turn into the mastermind can't really be determined. But it's hard to not think down that line at all. After all, since when have things on Game of Thrones been as simple as they appear!

All images from Hotstar, unless specified otherwise.