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The first time I saw the first episode of Season 8 I instantly assumed that Bran's remark to Sam about 'waiting for an old friend' referred to Sam himself as it was said immediately prior to his insistence that the time had come to break the news to Jon about his 'special heritage'.

Yet, after rewatching all 3 episodes yesterday, I am now convinced that he was in fact referring to the imminent arrival of Ser Jaime, due to the fact that Bran could most likely see him travelling north with the inclusion that he appeared to still be in the same place by daybreak when Jaime arrived.

I know it is only a minor concern but with the attempts to unpick every second of these last important episodes, who is the 'old friend' that Bran was referring to - was it:

  • Sam, in order to send him to Jon
  • Ser Jaime, Bran reuniting with his attempted killer since the first time since S1E1 or;
  • If playing a slightly longer game was it the first reference to the Night King specifically seeking out the Three Eyed Raven?

Or was it someone else entirely?

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Bran refers to Jaime as 'his old friend' because Jaime's actions directly lead to Bran becoming the Three-Eyed Raven.

One might think that Bran would still harbor some resentment to Jaime for pushing him out of the tower, causing him to lose his ability to walk, but we've seen that as Bran has spent hours of on-screen time lost in the past and seeing 'everything, everywhere', Bran does not really associate with himself or his old life anymore.

Bran never once had a vision until he lost his ability to walk. If Bran could walk, he would likely have ended up going with Rickon, which would have lead to him likely being caught by Ramsey Bolton too. Instead, Bran was dependent on Hodor and ended up beyond the Wall and finding the Three-Eyed Raven.

Bran's revelations there, including the confirmation of the Night King coming and Jon's lineage will likely have a very big resonance in the story.

The Three Eyed Raven now considers Jaime an old friend because without him, he would never have come to be.

This article on Time proposes that it could have been either Theon or Ser Jaime. I can see the argument that it could have been referring to Theon, who was raised as Ned Stark's ward for a good portion of his youth, and considered as something of a brother to the Stark Children.

However, given that Jaime was the center of attention for the first ten minutes of the episode, and was the person for whom Bran was literally waiting in the courtyard, I think the evidence suggests it was indeed Jaime .

  • @FoxThanks to both you and a few other users whose comments have been subsequently tidied up I have had the most satisfactory of answers and as a result both you and Milan deserve a point each for taking the time. As you both appear to be new to this particular stack at least,you know that as good as your answers are they are even better backed up with source. A particularly helpful senior member provided thishttp://time.com/5570716/game-of-thrones-bran-stark-old-friend/as part of the original discussion. As both your answers deserve 'accepting',might as well be the one that gets edited – Stephen Francis May 2 at 18:00
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Jaime Lannister

He was seen entering through Winterfell at the end of Episode, and as Bran gives him that creepy look, waiting for him - he was certainly talking about Ser Jaime.

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    @MilanThanks to both you and a few other users whose comments have been subsequently tidied up I have had the most satisfactory of answers and as a result both you and FoxDeploy deserve a point each for taking the time. As you both appear to be new to this particular stack at least,you know that as good as your answers are they are even better backed up with source. A particularly helpful senior member provided thishttp://time.com/5570716/game-of-thrones-bran-stark-old-friend/as part of the original discussion. As both your answers deserve 'accepting',might as well be the one that gets edited – Stephen Francis May 2 at 18:00

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