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The story behind everyone’s favorite moment from the Game of Thrones premiere

Isaac Hempstead Wright explained Bran’s creepy stare on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

The Game of Thrones premiere had its share of thrilling moments, but the best ones may have been every time Bran greeted a new visitor to Winterfell with his thousand-mile, Three-Eyed Raven stare. Since getting pushed out of a window in the show’s very first episode, Bran’s been on a harrowing journey, so it’s nice for him to get a little levity.

Bran’s creepy stare has since become a breakout meme, prompting actor Isaac Hempstead Wright to explain its origins on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday night. As it turns out, the story behind the stare is a little more down to earth than you might think.

“I’m getting good at this intense stare,” Hempstead Wright said, “but it’s actually aided by the fact that I’m completely blind when I’m on set. I don’t have my glasses and I don’t have contact lenses.” Even Sophie Turner, who plays Bran’s sister Sansa, was fooled by the soul-piercing force of his stare.

As for how Bran’s eyes roll back in his head when he wargs, Hempstead Wright revealed that, though he’s capable of rolling his eyes back on his own, it’s a visual effects trick — which is an effect I’m hoping and praying we’ll next see if/when Bran finally wargs into a dragon.