The last season of Game of Thrones was written poorly and rushed and interestingly boring and full of nonsense. There were so many things people complained about.
Daenarys was made evil all of a sudden without a believable, proper transition. People weren’t convinced she could kill thousands of innocent people and the writers failed to set that up well. But this could have been done way better if they simply gave more time for that instead of squeezing everything in six episodes that were also full of slow-paced scenes (and I know this show liked to do that a lot but I feel like they wasted so much time that they needed to use more efficiently).
People were so pissed off that there was a petition to remake the last season. Yet, won’t take the time to understand why others found Bran’s new given name problematic as well.
I found that #DisabledTwitter was also a bit in disagreement over his name.
Bran the Broken.
So… who gets to decide if Bran’s name is problematic? Is it the writers? Is it every fan? Hmm… who would you ask if a disabled character’s name is problematic?
If your answer is not disabled people then you are just wrong. Simple as that.
Don’t make decisions for things that won’t affect you without considering who it harms potentially. You don’t get to decide if something is harmful if you are not part of that identity. You can support and be an ally.
It is up to disabled people to decide if his name is problematic. Even if we disagree with each other on this.
Abled people often label disabled people with terrible euphemisms like differently abled, specially abled, handicapable, etc. (and I will eventually do a full post on these given names that no disabled person came up with).
Bran had his moments I suppose? He became the Third-Eyed Raven and is all-knowing and then suddenly became very emotionless without having any kind of character development towards not being able to connect his feelings or to others as much anymore.
His story quickly was finished and he was just around giving vague remarks and making “IDGAF” faces to everyone (and to be honest I was HERE for that because he gives no shits anymore).
And to be fair, Winterfell isn’t accessible so I would also probably just wander around and eavesdrop on people. Because what else is there to do? Also, WHY DIDN’T THEY MAKE IT ACCESSIBLE? I hope they King’s Landing accessible now that they need to rebuild it.
That moment when Jaime Lannister arrived in Winterfell and they locked eyes was brilliant. Bran gave that face and it’s a face that I would love to use to people who annoy me.
At the end of the last episode, Tyrion gave this fancy speech about who will be king. Everyone agreed that it would be Bran because he knows the kingdom’s past and could potentially use this information to learn from past mistakes and be a good king.
When he uttered the words, “Bran the Broken,” I was just like… Um…
Bran just accepted the name but I’m not surprised. Abled actor. Abled writers. No shock here.
Apparently, he takes the name in the books. But the difference there is that I believe he names HIMSELF broken and NOT by another person. Even if that person has dwarfism.
I could understand this as a way of reclaimation and feeling empowered to do this but this could ONLY be done if you are the one who takes the word back and use it to empower yourself. I feel like this isn’t what happened.
I know some people like the term, differently abled, and I wouldn’t tell anyone how to identify themselves if you let me know your preference. It’s the same thing with Bran. He was told how to identify himself but never considered the alternatives.
The problem with the disabled community is that we are so ableist as well. Internally. Externally. So, a lot of times some do latch on to the euphemisms because of internal ableism or because everyone around them is ableist.
So, it can feel like you don’t know who to listen to within the disabled community because ableism is everywhere.
Bran in the beginning of the series talked about how he hates his life now after losing his mobility. I can relate to the disdain and self-loathing and internal ableism. Especially when everyone around you is ableist and so you grab on to those ideas as well without question.
It is heartbreaking to see this on TV and notice that Bran never learned how to deal with his internal ableism. I ask what does this teach disabled kids? Especially those who use a wheelchair?
They don’t let Bran grow into self-acceptance. I don’t think he ever gave any signal that he is doesn’t view himself as a burden.
At least he wasn’t “cured” somehow. Damn! That would have been terrible.
It’s not surprising to me that he accepted being called, “Bran the Broken.” He views himself as broken because he doesn’t learn any other way of thinking.
But that’s because the writers don’t know any other way of thinking as well.
Let me explain why the term “broken” is disliked by many disabled people.
Too often are we viewed as something that need to be “fixed” and “cured.” A lot of us don’t want cures. Some of us do want cures.
If you don’t want to be “fixed,” you are shamed by everyone. Abled people believe that nobody wants to be disabled. But that is NOT true.
Some people can have a choice and some people don’t have a choice.
Only a disabled person can decide for themselves (and ONLY themselves and not other disabled people or anyone else) to be referred as broken.
What would they have named Bran instead? Let’s see…
- Bran the All-Knowing
- Bran the Shifter
- Bran the Wise
- Bran the Sage
- Bran the Scholar
- Be not creative and just say, Bran the Third-Eyed Raven
There are plenty of names they could have given him.
This name also puts him only to be defined of his disability. Not his abilities like warging, seeing the past, and whatever else he defines as.
What’s that abled people ALWAYS say to not be only defined as? Oh? Our disabilities? Don’t let disability define us? Yet, they go back and define us as ONLY that?
Disabled people are aware that we are not just our disability. Of course, we are more. But you have to accept that we are disabled too. It’s part of our identity, BUT ALSO accept that we have other identities as well. Like parent, teacher, engineer, pianist, artist, and in this case, an all-knowing being that can control animals.
Another problem is that just like Bran, the writers, every other character in Game of Thrones, the AUDIENCE is not aware that calling a disabled person, broken, is harmful. Everyone believes it’s fine because society is very anti-disability.
People liked to make the excuse that it is set in medieval times so that’s why it’s okay for Bran to have this name.
But these people don’t realize society’s awareness of this issue.
Everyone should know that mistreating women is bad. That sexism is bad. So, when the show portrays sexual abuse, inequality, and other forms of mistreatment, everyone is informed that this equal BAD.
But because nobody seems to know that calling a disabled person broken is problematic, it only fuels ableism.
This only promotes to use the word towards disabled people. I remember reading a tweet by a disabled person that they were very upset because they are being called, “broken,” now.
This is why it’s more than just a “word.” It’s more than just language. It actually affects real people. It’s used to shame us and represents users’ point of views.
Also, a show depicted in medieval times doesn’t mean it has to be ableist. It’s also a FANTASY show. You can do WHATEVER you want. Meaning, it would have been awesome to portray and bring awareness to ableism. And it did do that a bit with Tyrion. But why not with Bran, too?
I sometimes wonder if there was a disabled writer on the show and how different Bran’s story could have been. A lot of people said he did nothing and maybe a lot of his story is lacking because the writers, including George R.R. Martin, (I have heard the book is a bit better but I have my doubts) have no clue what to do with a disabled character besides have them hate their disability.
Can we get a disabled character that accepts themselves? Or have a character who we follow to self-acceptance and points out internal ableism?
I am still waiting.
But hey! A disabled king is a thing now. At least we got that.