The Life Tree: Back to the future
While you might not think it, what happened with Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven when they ventured to the past has everything to do with Jon Snow.
We first see Bran and his mentor spying on the past, at the end of Robert Baratheon’s rebellion to overthrow the Mad King. His father, Ned Stark, now with a new face and a horrible accent, find two of the king’s best soldiers, including renowned swordsman Ser Arthur Dayne (no relation to singer Taylor Dayne), guarding the so-called Tower of Joy. Bran says that he heard the story for years about how his father defeated the swordsman, but it turns out Meera’s father, Howland Reed, just stabbed him in the back. Never meet your heroes, kids.
If Ned Stark was prone to white lies, he may have lied about what happened in that tower, too. Let's remember: Rhaegar Targaryen, the son of the Mad King, kidnapped Lyanna Stark, Ned’s sister and Robert’s betrothed, which is what started the rebellion. According to a popular fan theory given the code name "R + L = J," when Ned went to rescue his sister, he found out that she gave birth to a baby boy sired by the Targaryen prince. That would make her son both heir to the north and the rightful king of Westeros. Many posit that that person is Jon Snow, whom Ned then claimed was his bastard.
We didn’t quite get into to the tower yet, but it is only a matter of time. The real shocker is that Bran yelled for his father and he turned around, seeming to hear his son, though he couldn’t see anything. Bran mentions to the Three-Eyed Raven that his father heard him, but he dismisses it, seemingly because he’s worried about what might happen if it is true. If Bran has the power not only to see the past but also to influence it, then what will he make of the present? What wrongs might he correct? Could he save his brother Robb from the Red Wedding or his father from losing his head at King’s Landing? Could all of our favorite characters just come back from the dead like Jon Snow? That seems possible, but also truly awful.
The Three-Eyed Raven also has been waiting a very long time for Bran, which probably means that the teen Stark is extremely powerful. He says something mysterious right before we leave the Life Tree: “You won’t be here forever. You won’t be an old man in a tree. But before you leave. You must learn… everything.” Will Bran get some cool new powers soon? Bran better get some cool new powers soon.