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Here’s Why GAME OF THRONES is Sidelining Bran and Hodor for All of Season Five

Earlier in the year, Hodor — also known as DJ/actor Kristian Nairn — pulled a bit of a Hodor and Hodor’d up some apparently top secret information. Um, woopsies! In a bit of a super spoiler-y reveal, he revealed that neither he nor Bran Stark (Isaac Hempsted-Wright) were set to appear in the upcoming fifth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. People were, naturally, shocked. But Bran finally reached the Three-Eyed Raven! The fate of poor Jojen Reed was unknown but admittedly grim! How and why would they do that to us?

Well, we finally have some answers thanks to one of the series’ co-creators, David Benioff, who spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the matter. Turns out? he and D.B. Weiss were none too pleased that the information was made known: “Ideally that wouldn’t have gotten out,” Benioff explained “and it’s unfortunate it did.” But, but, but! What were they going to do? Just leave us hanging? Spring it on us before the premiere?

Though he didn’t explain what their plan of action was going to be to reveal such news, Benioff did elaborate a bit on the why factor. And it actually makes a lot of sense — and will certainly satisfy those worried book reader fans who’ve been quite open about their fear of the show surpassing the books (in a detriment to their reading experience).

“The fact is, even though we’re making changes to the books and adapting as necessary, we’re trying to keep the various storylines the same as the books and trying to keep them roughly [chronologically] parallel. And last year we caught up to the end of Bran’s storyline [in A Dance with Dragons]. So if we pushed him forward this season, then he’s way ahead of where the other characters are.”

But don’t think that season six will necessarily pick up where we left off with Bran and Hodor. Oh no, no, nodor! Though cagey on the specifics — because that would naturally put them into a pretty serious The Winds of Winter spoiler territory — he did offer a nugget of information to appease the curious folk among us.

“[Bran]’s now entering a training period which is going to take quite some time,” Benioff explained. And not only is that going beyond what’s out there in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novel series, on a very basic, visual storytelling level, “much of [it] isn’t particularly cinematic.”

So instead we’re left with a temporary respite from Bran’s antics north of The Wall, which will mean a big, exciting reveal in (hopefully) season six. “Rather than being stuck in a cave for a year, we figured it would be interesting to leave him out for a little bit, so when you see him again…” Benioff said before trailing off because, duh, spoilers.

So, what do you think of the decision to completely forgo Bran and Hodor’s trajectory in season five? Do you have any theories as to what state we’ll find Bran when he does return? Leave your thoughts and theories in the comments!

Image: HBO

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  1. Clara says:

    The actor playing Hodor must have faced much difficulty in so impressively simulating the neurological condition of expressive aphasia.

  2. Margie says:

    AS long as it’s as good as ever I don’t care. We will see them again !  

  3. Hodor says:


  4. But Coldhands will be in season 6, right? 😉

  5. elSpanielo says:

    Season 6… we’re gunna need a montage… a Bran training montage!

  6. Oren says:

    More time for Arya and Ramsay’s wedding

  7. ryan says:

    Just more screen time for Arya, I hope. She has a lot to do in braavos

  8. ninafriel says:

    Oh no! So now we won’t get to see the Peter-Pan-reject-esque Children of the Forest and the “thousand eyes and one (or two)” Bloodraven for a whole year!