Why the Hodor twist meant more than we realized

Some heavy revelations and very noteworthy deaths occurred during the Game of Thrones season six episode, "The Door" (spoilers ahead). We finally found out how the Stark family's young stable boy Wylis became the simple-minded Hodor. It turns out that Bran inadvertently crippled his friend's mind by warging into young Hodor's mind in the past…moments before Hodor wound up sacrificing his life in the present. While the White Walkers' forces also killed the Three Eyed Raven, Summer, and the last Children of the Forest, there's still a lot more to be learned from Bran doing the time warp again, and Hodor's selfless sacrifice.

Changing the past? Think again.

The Three-Eyed Raven's words to Bran Stark, "The past is already written, the ink is dry" resonates throughout "The Door." While Bran may have unknowingly caused this tremendous change in Wylis, he's not exactly changing history itself. Something in Wylis' life crippled his brain, and we simply found out what it was. Bran didn't necessarily change the past, but merely went through the motions of history—the greenseeing and warging are just a part of what happened. Don't expect Bran to start Marty McFlying himself through the past to save his brother and father or anything like that.

Sending messages without a raven

The loss of the Three-Eyed Raven means that Bran will need to start honing his greenseer skills on his own. The deaths of the last Children of the Forest and Raven means that there's presumably no one left to teach Bran about the ways of nature's magic. Bran and Meera are pretty much alone in the north, with all kinds of undead threats on their tails. Bran attempting to use his greenseer powers on his own is what led to the Night King marking him and dispelling the protective barrier to the Raven's cave. And this isn't the first time Bran's disregard for warnings led to things getting worse for him—remember the series' first episode? Yeah…hopefully he'll be more careful now that his impetuous actions have had disastrous consequences once more.

Not so mad after all?

A big question that arises from the Three-Eyed Raven and Bran's ability to revisit the past is what other events in the show's history could have actually been a result of their actions. What if King Aerys Targaryen (that's "the Mad King" for everyone losing track of all the names in Westeros) was sane, and that the Raven or Bran are who caused him to go crazier than a dodo? Prior to the events of the series, King Aerys ordered his men to start igniting the caches of Wildfire stashed under the city, believing that the inferno would change him into a dragon. Before Kingsguard Jaime Lannister betrayed and stabbed Aerys, the Mad King kept repeatedly saying "Burn them all!" He even had to slit the guy's throat to get him to stop saying it. What if at one point Bran looks into the past, and has a similar incident with King Aerys as he did with Hodor?

Where does Bran go now?

Without Hodor there to carry Bran on his back, it's going to be tough for him and Meera to escape the White Walker forces spread throughout the north. Their next logical destination would be to head south for Castle Black, but Jon Snow is no longer Lord Commander, having reclaimed Winterfell from Ramsay Bolton. The duo traveled for a while with the long-disappeared Benjen Stark, who had to leave after they got close to the Wall. Would Castle Black provide Meera and Bran shelter, knowing they came from the north? More importantly, will Castle Black even survive the inevitable attack of the White Walkers?

Hodor?

Hodor. Rest in peace big guy.