Bran Stark Week: Day 1: Favorite Quotes
Among all the Starks, Bran is the one who has the strongest links to Winterfell. He spends two books in Winterfell when the rest of point of view Starks leave their home place at the beginning or in Catelyn’s case in the middle of the first book. The reader is able to have a perspective on Winterfell and learn more about it mostly thanks to Bran’s chapters. Bran, even when he is forced to leave Winterfell constantly thinks about it and even compares its damaged state to his own disability.
Personally, I love Bran’s quotes about Winterfell so I gathered my favourite ones here (followed by a small commentary on each of them).
When he got out from under it and scrambled up near the sky, Bran could see all of Winterfell in a glance. He liked the way it looked, spread out beneath him, only birds wheeling over his head while all the life of the castle went on below. Bran could perch for hours among the shapeless, rain-worn gargoyles that brooded over the First Keep, watching it all: the men drilling with wood and steel in the yard, the cooks tending their vegetables in the glass garden, restless dogs running back and forth in the kennels, the silence of the godswood, the girls gossiping beside the washing well. It made him feel like he was lord of the castle, in a way even Robb would never know.
This quote features in one of the first Bran chapters- before his tragic fall. We all know that Bran’s hobby is climbing at the walls of Winterfell so it’s not surprising that he’s gazing Winterfell from above. But I like how this paragraph is ending with indicating that Bran knows the castle better than anyone because thanks to his climbing he is able to explore ever its darkest places and he can see everything. Once again, Bran’s link to Winterfell is shown to be stronger than the rest.
Also, I believe that the last line foreshadows what will happen in the future. Robb has already died so it’s not far fetched to think that Bran, his heir, will one day become the lord of the castle.
“Your notion about the bastard may have merit, Bran,” Maester Luwin said after. “One day you will be a good lord for Winterfell, I think.”
“No I won’t.” Bran knew he would never be a lord, no more than he could be a knight. “Robb’s to marry some Frey girl, you told me so yourself, and the Walders say the same. He’ll have sons, and they’ll be the lords of Winterfell after him, not me."
This isn’t a very important quote, but I like it because someone older who is a respectable figure acknowledges Bran’s leadership skills. Also, I consider this quote another foreshadowing for Bran’s endgame. Because while Bran protests that Robb and his children after his will rule in Winterfell, we know that this is impossible to happen anymore.
Tell me who you are.”
“Bran,” he said sullenly. Bran the Broken. “Brandon Stark.” The cripple boy. “The Prince of Winterfell.” Of Winterfell burned and tumbled, its people scattered and slain. The glass gardens were smashed, and hot water gushed from the cracked walls to steam beneath the sun. How can you be the prince of someplace you might never see again?
What was he now? Only Bran the broken boy, Brandon of House Stark, prince of a lost kingdom, lord of a burned castle, heir to ruins.
I put these two quotes together because of their similarities. Bran is desperate and sad about Winterfell’s state. However, even when he is not sure if he’s even going to see his home again there is one thing he never doubts: his place as the heir to Winterfell. Bran is calling himself a prince, a term that his other siblings never associate themselves with. Bran is the one who is called the prince of Winterfell, just like it’s Bran the one who is the rightful heir.
[…]The stone is strong, Bran told himself, the roots of the trees go deep, and under the ground the Kings of Winter sit their thrones. So long as those remained, Winterfell remained. It was not dead, just broken. Like me, he thought. I’m not dead either.
Bran directly compares Winterfell’s state to his own life. Bran constantly thinks himself as broken, he even nicknames himself as “Bran the broken”. However, this specific comparison is optimistic because Bran doesn’t consider Winterfell a lost case just like he hasn’t given up on himself.
Just like the roots of the trees go deep and the Kings of Winter still sit on their thrones, Bran is gaining more knowledge under the tutorship of the three eyed crow (whose roots also go deep) while he is sitting on a weirwood throne (a King of Winter imagery).
One day, Bran will be strong enough to return to Winterfell and reclaim it and the boy who is so strongly tied to that castle will become its ruler.