Jessica Ellis
Updated May 30, 2016 @ 9:52 am
Credit: HBO

If you’re a Game of Thrones fanatic, like we are, you’ll know that an episode doesn’t end when it cuts to black. It ends after all the credits, when HBO does a little extra bit called “Inside the Episode,” giving us a few more details from the writers and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Last night’s “Inside the Episode” had something particularly intriguing to say about Westeros’s newest encyclopedia, Bran Stark.

Credit: HBO

“They talk about the Three-Eyed Raven, and it’s not just a title you just get, there’s a part of him that’s no longer Brandon Stark but is the Three-Eyed Raven, and the Three-Eyed Raven is not, you know, entirely human,” David Benioff explains.

Well, that’s pretty interesting. What if the fate of mankind largely rests on someone who is no longer a man? We know that Bran has just downloaded what D.B. Weiss calls “the entire history of the world in imagery” into his brain, even if can can’t fully explain or understand what he’s seen. There definitely seem to have been some highlights, including Jaime’s murder of the Mad King, the proliferation of wildfire in King’s Landing (though whether that’s in the past or not, we don’t know), Daenerys’ rise to power, and even a shot of Ned Stark approaching the Tower of Joy.

All of these images are clearly important (yes, R+L=J believers, we see you doing your happy dance) but what will it mean to someone who is no longer totally a Stark or even a human? The late Three-Eyed Raven, who lived for centuries if not eons, seemed rather detached from human existence (being that he was mostly a tree and all.) Will Bran similarly manifest a long-term viewpoint that discards the current crop of humans — including his siblings — in favor of saving humanity overall?

Of course, Game of Thrones has thoughtfully dropped in a new mentor for Bran, one who shares the condition of being not-quite-human: Benjen Stark. The brother of Ned Stark was last seen in season one; he showed up, was awesome for a bit, then disappeared for five years, presumably dying north of The Wall. However we now know that Benjen was stabbed by a White Walker and saved by the Children of the Forest, so while he’s not a White, he’s also not quite alive and not quite a man.

Credit: HBO

The good news about Benjen, though, is that he still seems dedicated to helping humanity, and perhaps can help keep Bran on the same path. After all, Game of Thrones is starting to get littered with extraordinary not-all humans. Daenarys, with her fire-rebirths, and Jon with his resurrection, might also qualify as no longer quite ordinary people.