There is no hiding from the Night King as long as Bran Stark is around. He’s been marked by the White Walker leader who now always knows where Bran is and how to get to him. And now Jon Snow and the team at Winterfell now plan to lure the Night King into a trap by using Bran as bait. Only time will tell if that can work, but it’s worth mentioning that Bran’s Night King mark on Game of Thrones is much more than just a Bran tracker. It’s likely the beginning of this whole war in the first place.
Bran initially received the mark back in Season 6. It happened in the same episode that Hordor died, so you’d be forgiven for forgetting the Night King marking Bran part. A lot was happening. The mark occurred when Bran, still a Three-Eyed-Raven in training, had a solo vision without assistance from the current Three-Eyed-Raven. Vulnerable in this vision, Bran was touched by the Night King. This frosty handprint on Bran’s forearm broke the protection of the Three-Eyed-Raven’s cave, allowing the wights to attack. Hodor lost his life protecting Bran from the situation Bran got them all in thanks to his midnight vision romp.
But the vision didn’t just serve as a way for the Night King to get Bran alone and mark him for death, basically. It also reflected the end of true peace in Westeros. And yes, there wasn’t really peace before that thanks to people like Joffrey and the Freys, but those were human foibles. Now those humans are facing an almost unwinnable war with the undead. And it’s seemingly because Bran and the Night King locked arms.
You see, as one fan pointed out, the image of the Night King grabbing Bran looks a lot like this drawn image from the "Complete Guide to Westeros" featurette that came with the Season 1 Blu-Ray.
The first image is an illustration of the pact that was made between the humans and the Children of the Forest. The two had to team up to defeat the White Walkers centuries ago, and they pledged to leave each other alone going forward. One of the stipulations of the pact is that men would never again harm a Weirwood tree. But in the vision Bran enters into, there seems to be a fallen tree surrounded by the Night King’s newly adopted spiral symbol.
If the original pact guaranteed peace between the Children of the Forest and men and safety for the Weirwood trees, it seems that Bran’s unintentional pact with the Night King is the original pact’s undoing. And it may take another pledge from the Children of the Forest to aid the men in defeating the White Walkers this time too.
So, yes, Bran’s mark is a sort of tracking device — but it’s also a symbol of the beginning of the much larger war at hand. Bran said in Season 8, Episode 2 that the Night King wants to kill Bran to "erase this world" since Bran holds all of its memories. The mark was the Night King’s promise that he will find Bran and do that. Jon Snow just has to hope their bait and switch plan can outsmart him. Otherwise the world, as they know it, will be as gone for good.
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