5. The stone is strong, Bran told himself, the roots of the trees go deep, and under the ground the Kings of Winter sit their thrones. So long as those remained, Winterfell remained. It was not dead, just broken. Like me, he thought. I’m not dead either.
This quotation ends the novel. Bran leaves Winterfell with Hodor, Summer, and the Reeds, and as he looks back at the castle, he sees that while it may have taken a beating, it still stands. The quote draws a direct parallel between Bran and his family's home, and it foreshadows that both Winterfell and Bran will ultimately be restored to their former strength. Bran derives this realization from the knowledge of himself he has gained over the course of the novel. He thought his life had more or less ended when he lost the use of his legs, as his disability meant giving up his dream of becoming a knight. But he has gradually come to understand that he can transcend his physical state and that he need not be defined by his injuries. The most influential factor in Bran's realization is the telepathic bond he now shares with his direwolf, Summer, which quite literally allows him to escape the limitations of his body by inhabiting another. Bran has consequently realized that his life still has value, even if it isn't the life he would have chosen for himself. The book's final lines ecapsulate this sense of resilience, and the parallel drawn between Bran and Winterfell implies that perhaps it will be Bran who restores the Stark home to its past glory.