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A Shocking GAME OF THRONES Casting Update Has Hit the Web and We’ve Got Questions

Apparently there are a few fan favorite characters that will not be seeing any screen time when the Realm returns to HBO for Game of Thrones‘ fifth season. And, in a twist surprising to no one, many are not very pleased. Not very pleased at all.

While out in Australia promoting his Rave of Thrones tour, DJ Kristian Nairn casually dropped the bomb that he and Bran (played by Isaac Hempstead Wright) would NOT be seen at all in the fifth season of the series, currently in production across Europe. No Hodor? OH NODOR!

“We have a season off and we have a year’s hiatus,” the actor explained the Australian outpost of Yahoo! News before speculating, “Solely because, I imagine, our storyline is up to the end of the books…. So, I get my year off now to do Rave of Thrones and gallivant all over the world.”

Which is all well and great for Nairn — everyone deserves a break every so often — but the news does come as a bit of a shock considering where the series ended at the bow of season four.

(It should go without saying but spoilers — major ones! From the book! — ahead, my friends. Your last chance to turn around and live a life that’s spoil-free is RIGHT NOW. You’ve been warned!)

With Hodor and Bran having reached the home of the Three-Eyed Raven — the being he has been searching for since joining up with Jojen and Meera Reed — most fans assumed we’d finally see more of Bran and his journey as he’s been so regularly relegated to tertiary character status these past two or so seasons. Naturally, the news that he would be in a position quite opposite to our expectations has raised more than a few questions and concerns about just how the series will proceed as the world of Westeros and beyond grows increasingly complex, magical, and wide.

Of course the biggest one being: what does it all mean? And if we’re not going to get ANY Bran and Hodor this season, just how are they splitting up the stories this go-around? Are there any other storylines we won’t see picked up again in season five?

Fans of the books know that we’re heading into much stranger, and more spread-out territory, as far as A Song of Ice and Fire is concerned, with several main viewpoint characters missing completely from book five (where, no doubt, many of this season’s story lines have been culled). And with the increasing presence of magic in the world of the books, Bran’s point of view was pivotal to introducing that and highlighting the mysteries of the North now that he’s met up with the Three-Eyed Raven.

There are, naturally, alternatives to work with here. And it’s worth giving series showrunners D.B. Weiss and Dave Benioff the benefit of a doubt considering their adept work at consolidating and streamlining the insanely layered source material. Perhaps we’ll see more of the spread of magic in places like Braavos with Arya Stark and her Faceless Men, or even with Tyrion Lannister. And with most of Daenerys’ storyline thus far keeping her out of the picture for most of what would be included in this upcoming season, there’s a real opportunity to flesh that out a bit more, too. After all, the show has had no problem featuring things that have yet to be written about in the books, so why not? Lest you fear the wrath of angry book readers who fear getting clued into book six spoilers before its release.

Still, the news is quite big — what do you think about this shocking development? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Image: HBO

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  1. English Bob says:


  2. Kevin Loury says:

    Bran would have been the perfect catalyst for Sean Bean to make a cameo appearance with any number of other dead characters. Imagine if season 5’s cold opening scene was Bran wasting the werewood paste and starting to see things. Then for the remainder of the season Bran wouldn’t have to actually appear, but his long range influence is seen throughout the rest of the season. Like Theon in Winterfell (the only story strand Bran directly effects) but also more subtitle little moments like Mormont’s raven saying “Jon Snow” instead of just “Snow” …or I guess for the show, the raven could speak a little in the first place. Maybe the Godswood in Deepwood Motte could drop leaves on Asha or Milesandra hears a wolf howl in her fire, or Jon sees Ghost acting odd. Just little moments sprinkled throughout like Easter eggs for fans to find.

  3. Patrick says:

    So the next time we see Bran he’ll be taller than Hodor, right?

  4. Niki says:

    I bet they go back and bring in Lady Stoneheart and most of the season will be how she plays into the story. (At least I friggen hope so, that was my massive disappointment of last season.)

  5. Paola says:

    Where the fuck is Victarion 

  6. Rachel says:

    Anyone who has read the series knows books 4 and 5 are happening simultaneously, but since there are so many characters, they broke it up. Instead of having half the “story” for all the characters, he wrote the whole “story” for half the characters in each book. There’s a disclaimer of that in the beginning of books 4 and 5.

  7. Rusty says:

    I have to admit, I do not like seeing so much from the books, getting culled and so little being added. Arianne is one of my faves, but she won’t ever exhist in the TV Series and neither will Balon’s brothers too. I kind of find the lack of these POV characters to be really poor writing and planning for the TV series, but I guess we have to wait for the series to end before we can make any real compare and contrasts to the books. I was hoping for more details about Bran and his training with the three eyed raven. Ah well.

  8. Zach says:

    Nice, glad they’re trying not to get ahead of the books too much. Bran has like one scene left as written, although I’m excited to see him.

  9. David Kostus says:

    I’m shocked because I assumed the reason they sped up that storyline was so that they could use Bran to show flashbacks, etc. through the Weirwoods…  especially with the casting of a young Cersei…  They need to flashback to Robert’s Rebellion at some point…

  10. Bob says:

    maybe, just maybe the braintrust is trying to spread the storyline over more than one season? After all, no new books out…

    • normalice says:

      that’s what I was thinking, but they are planning cercei’s walk of shame, and that’s at the end of book 5, so..

      • Bob says:

        meh, I guess we shall see…after they all thaw out from the ice buckets 🙂 As to the stretch-format idea, it isn’t beyond reason that the creative folks will follow one (or several) thread(s) to the present point, then pick up another set for the following season. The story has grown to such proportion that we could definitely lose track or lose interest in parallel story-lines if they were spread too thin and presented too fast.

  11. normalice says:

    I was kind-of hoping they would do what anime does when it gets ahead of a manga – just make stuff up. But for bran’s character that would be awkward since his movements are limited and he’s in a ‘safe’ place. Though, I am slightly glad they aren’t going to. It would become formulaic to invent characters that do not contribute to the plot just to evoke an emotional reaction when they kill them off in episode 9.

  12. normalice says:

    i thought the series was only through book three for most of the characters? Sansa and Bran are through book five, though if they are planning Cerceis walk of shame… hmm.

    • Kevin Loury says:

      Daenarys has moved into her early book 5 content but not by much. Roughly half of Theon’s book 5 story has been covered, but his story line, and his sister’s, end up being one of the bigger plot lines so there’s plenty to go yet. Tyrion, Davos, Brianne, Arya, Jamie, Cersei are right on track through to the start of book 4/5. Jon Snow and Sam are actually behind a bit on theirs.

  13. normalice says:

    it makes sense. I mean, what else were they going to do? Have Bran and Hodor hanging out under a tree for a season?

  14. Jim says:

    Alicia, you mentioned four-eyed raven then three-eyed raven.   Edit?