“Game of Thrones” is a show that’s continually expanding in order to keep up with the books written by George R.R. Martin, and the cast has gotten larger every year as new characters are introduced and we see more and more of Westeros and beyond. Everyone has their favorite character, whether it be Daenerys Targaryen, Arya Stark, Tyrion Lannister, or any of the dozens of others, but if your favorite character is Hodor – the lumbering, soulful character who only speaks his name – then we have some bad news for you regarding the upcoming season of the show.
Kristian Nairn, the actor who plays Hodor, spoke with Yahoo News recently and revealed that he and Isaac Hempstead-Wright (who plays Bran Stark on the show) won’t be around when the show returns for its fifth season next year.
We’re not actually in Season Five, by the way. We have a season off. We have a year’s hiatus. Solely because, I imagine, our storyline is up to the end of the books. So I get a year off now to do Rave of Thrones and gallivant all over the world.
Rave of Thrones is the tour Nairn is on as a DJ, which you can read more about here.
The fact that Hodor and Bran won’t be around next year is unfortunate because they finally reached their destination at the end of last season (I’m being careful of spoilers here) and their storyline was finally starting to get interesting again. Plus, Nairn provided a nice dose of levity to the show with his often-comical line readings. But it makes sense that they won’t be back because, as he said, they’ve caught up to the storyline that Martin crafted in the books.
This is going to start happening with more frequency as the show continues to overtake Martin’s progress on the novels, but it’s good to hear that Martin is taking this year off from writing an episode of the show to focus on writing “The Winds of Winter” instead. Hopefully that will buy the producers of the show a little more time to figure out a game plan for how to move forward when they inevitably pass Martin with some major characters’ storylines instead of minor ones like Hodor and Bran.
One thing, though: Hempstead-Wright is growing at a rapid pace these days, which could be problematic considering not as much time is supposed to have passed in the world of the show as has actually passed in real life. “Game of Thrones” has a history of recasting actors, but they’ve never had to recast a major character before, so we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out. Hopefully it’s not another “Walt from LOST” situation where the showrunners have to essentially write the character out of the story because he grew up too fast.
I assume most “GOT” fans won’t mind Bran and Hodor’s season-long absence, but if word came out that Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys or Maisie Williams’ Arya wasn’t going to show up for a full season, fans might riot. We’ll be extremely interested to see how David Benioff and D.B. Weiss handle that situation when they come to it.
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