What Does the Night King Want with Bran Stark on 'Game of Thrones'?

During the second episode of the final season of Game of Thrones, the characters assembled in Winterfell discussed strategy for the upcoming battle between the living and the dead. Bran Stark (aka The Three-Eyed Raven) volunteers himself as bait, explaining once and for all why the Night King is so obsessed with killing him.

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(Image credit: HBO)

Why does Bran suggest using himself as bait to lure the Night King out of hiding?Why does the Night King want Bran so much, anyway?

This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones, Season 8, Episode 2, "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms."

Game of Thrones is back and the countdown to the battle between the living and the dead is on. The second episode of the show's final season found the cadre of characters in Winterfell strategizing for that showdown and admitting that they just can't beat the Army of the Dead. So, what's the plan? To take out the Night King and hope that his death equals the deaths of all his minions.

As soon as Jon Snow announces this plan, Jaime Lannister (the only character on the show with experience slaying a king), immediately points out that, if that's the case, the Night King can just not show himself and let his army of zombies wipe them out. Enter Bran Stark aka The Three-Eyed Raven, with a plan—to use himself as bait to lure the Night King out into the open.

As Bran points out, the Night King has been trying to get him for ages now and, if he sees an opportunity to take him out, he's going to go for it. Bran declares his plan to go wait, alone, in the Godswood until the Night King comes for him.

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(Image credit: HBO)

The Night King doesn't really care about Bran Stark, but he cares very much about The Three-Eyed Raven, which is the magical being Bran Stark has become.

According to Bran, who is all-knowing at this point, the Night King's real goal isn't just to rule Westeros, but to erase it. And, as Bran explains, "I am its memory." The "its" in question is the world.

Samwell Tarly backs this up, explaining that Bran's "memories don’t come from books. And your stories aren’t just stories. If I wanted to erase the world, I’d start with you."

There have been a number of larger theories about the Night King's enduring obsession with Bran/The Three-Eyed Raven over the years, but Bran settled the mystery directly tonight. The Three-Eyed Raven is the keeper of the memories of man and the Night King wants to destroy all trace of mankind. As a result, he needs to take out The Three-Eyed Raven to complete his big picture plan.

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Weekend Editor at Cosmopolitan

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with over 10 years of professional experience covering entertainment of all genres, from new movie and TV releases to nostalgia, and celebrity news. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.