The (non) substance of TIME in Game of Thrones
When I watched the very intriguing (and very touching) GOT episode which revealed the reason behind Hodor’s condition, the first thing that came to my mind was Hermione’s Time Turner in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. And easy enough, with some further reading on the internet, I discovered popular theory would believe that both kept to Novikov’s self-consistency principle. Basically, according to this theory, there is zero possibility for the occurrence of an event, while travelling back in time, that would change the present. For argument’s sake, let’s believe this theory is universal across all fantasy epics. Then it would be safe to say that nothing Bran could do would affect the present (seven kingdoms, Khaleesi’s conquests, the great wall, white walkers et al) — if indeed Bran was travelling back in time.
But was he?
Boiling it down to the logistics, Bran was physically in two places at once. Not in the way Hermione, Harry and Ron saw their selves back in time; like their consciousness was borrowed from one time-version by another time-version of their selves. For Bran however, there was a stark singularity to his consciousness that struck me when I watched him negotiate between events happening at two different moments in time — like he were Time itself.
I will admit at this point that I have nothing new to contribute to the already frothing and overflowing pot of time theories, but what I will do is muse about something I find very extraordinary in Bran’s capacity.
And the more I think about it, the more I feel like if he were indeed the embodiment of Time, then it would explain how he exists with a single consciousness throughout all events — hence these events would not be changeable, in the same way that nothing exists independently. Imagine a single thread — sometimes straight and sometimes winding, and literally extended just as far as the eye can see. Think of reality in that sense — what you know being all that exists.
Suppose the thread is cut, you could join the ends together and there, you still have the thread. Suppose it thins or wears out at certain spots, then you couldn’t see it very sharply for those particular spaces. But it would still be there.
Suppose the entire thread disappears. Everything goes.
And how would you make something disappear?
You just Burn Them All.
But then again we have ashes. We have air. We have non-substantial substance.