We’ve known for a while now that Game of Thrones would reunite the various Stark family members scattered around Westeros this season, but we forgot just how weird the reunion would be.
[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Game of Thrones’ seventh season.]
In the most recent episode, the youngest living Stark, Bran, finally returned to Winterfell and was greeted with open arms by his older sister, Sansa. While the two sat outside, catching each other up on what’s happened since the last time they saw each other, Bran explains his newfound identity as the Three-Eyed Raven to Sansa. Sansa, reacting as any person would to the news that their sibling is a quasi-bird with psychic abilities, simply nods before leaving Bran to contemplate life.
The scene has already become the subject of a series of memes, but with Arya on her way home, it’s gotten people thinking about what her character’s story and what Sansa will have to listen to.
A lot has happened since the Stark children were first separated. Arya began her quest to get revenge on those who hurt her and her family. Bran learned the truth behind Jon Snow’s parentage and, as noted above, Jon died before returning from the dead.
All of which is not to say that Sansa has had an easy time, of course. She’s been subjected to the most despicable, vile treatment from various men. But when her brother returned home, it’s understandable that she was hoping for a little more excitement and a little less identity confusion.
Even the actors are aware of how weird the reunion is going to be. Isaac Hempstead-Wright, the actor who plays Bran, told Entertainment Weekly that even though Bran has returned to Winterfell, it’s like Sansa has lost her brother once again. The boy she used to know doesn’t exist anymore and Sansa will have to cope with that realization.
“I think it’s a major shock for Sansa,” Hempstead-Wright told the magazine. “She’s lost her brother once before when he fell out of that tower, and now Bran’s back but she loses him all over again. All the Starks have changed so much. Arya is like this ninja assassin. Sansa has been held captive by these tyrannical men and had to become politically cunning herself. But Bran is now this tree-raven-magic thing.”
The new question Sansa will have to ask herself is how much she can trust her family, the very people she thought she could rely on, now knowing who these new versions of her siblings are. We’ve already seen Sansa spar with her older brother Jon about how to rule Winterfell, with actress Sophie Turner admitting that the two will battle it out for the top spot. It’s only a matter of time before Bran tells his older brother — along with Arya and Sansa — what he saw in his Tower of Joy vision last season.
Until then, we’ll have to deal with a few more weird reunions and concerned glances from Sansa as she wonders whether her entire family has gone mad. Like this one, seen below.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.