It's Official: Bran and Hodor Won't Be Part of Game of Thrones' Fifth Season, and Here's Why

It's official: Game of Thrones will be down two familiar faces when it returns for Season 5 in 2015. Actor/DJ Kristian Nairn, who plays Hodor on the HBO fantasy series, left many fans confused when he let it slip over the summer that both he and Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark) will be absent for all of the upcoming season. And now, thanks to Entertainment Weekly, not only has that little nugget of information been confirmed, but we know exactly why Bran and Hodor are taking a season-long vacation: Just as many fans of the source novels expected, their characters won't appear because they've gone as far as they can at the moment. The next chapter of their story hasn't even been published yet!

Executive producer and showrunner David Benioff told EW, "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 the most recent book, A Dance with Dragons]. So if we pushed him forward this season, then he's way ahead of where the other characters are."

"It made sense to stop where we did," Benioff continued, noting that Bran's character is now entering a period of training after having found the Three-Eyed Raven at the end of Season 4. "Rather than being stuck in a cave for a year, we figured it would be interesting to leave him out for a little bit."

Of course, that's all well and good for Bran, but none of this tells me what's happening to little Rickon Stark. But no one seems to be asking that question.

Anyway, are you bummed to know that the next time you see Bran on your television screen, he'll appear to be approximately 35 years old? Or are you happy that Game of Thrones' writers aren't shoehorning him in and padding his story the way they did with Theon Greyjoy's (Alfie Allen)? 


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Jan 15, 2015
I m a bit disappointed as Hodor was the only character in GOT who is very loyal trust worthy and do as he speaks thats Hodor Hodor ha ha !!
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Dec 23, 2014
I don't love Bran so Im not disappointed
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Dec 01, 2014
Bran: Didn't like his character anyway. Far to juvenile. I see this as a good thing. What I want to see. Bran the sociopath. Controls the undead and dragons, kills off everyone and turns it into a eugenic's lead finale, if nothing other than to make it the most controversial show ever! I don't agree with this, but hey in Breaking Bad we never saw the users of crack being reformed or empathising with how it destroys people and lives. Bring it on.....
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cvh
Nov 26, 2014
You can wonder about Rickon Stark all you like. Even those of us who have read the books are still wondering.
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Nov 12, 2014
Nothing lost. It'll be more interesting when he comes back from his training sight unseen.
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Nov 11, 2014
Probably, Bran will control the dragons ...
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Nov 08, 2014
Having read the books [ ... pause for tv-addict sneer ...] I can't help but wonder why they pushed & skipped the Bran-story-line as they did.

To be honest, who is playing Bran, isn't an issue at this point in the story any more, as [spoiler alert!] he gets consumed by a tree/roots (totally!). One last gory scene and mister Hempstead-Wright might as well be 35 years when returning to the scene. I reckon he's getting the ultimate Al-Goryfication being synced with mother earth in a rather irreversible tree-hug [uhm ... pun intended].[/end spoiler alert!]

For that matter the Arya story-line has been started quite late and cut short much too much. In the books this is imho one of the more riveting and enticing story lines. And far more gory than the show's. Talking about missed gory opportunities ... where's the band of The Merry Undead, headed by the patched-up "necromanced" Catelyn Stark? Probably a bit to weird for tv? Or too many zombies on the telly already?

And yes, Gendry should've been given way more attention. However, I guess now the Tyrion story-line is up to speed, season 5 will pick-up the Gendry story-line as well.

All in all, although I wish mister Hempstead-Wright all the actor's best, GoT probably isn't affected by his sabbatical or his permanent leave.
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Nov 07, 2014
You might be wondering where Rickon and Osha are but I'm wondering is where Gendry has been.
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Nov 06, 2014
I'm torn. On the one hand I'm not really that interested in seeing Bran in a cave for a year. On the other hand the books are already annoyingly slow in the making, and now that also ripples over and slows down certain storylines of the show. If it's going to lessen the quality and/or way the show creators wanted to tell their version of the saga, maybe he should have waited with selling the tv rights until he was finished writing.
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Nov 09, 2014
that way GOT would never happened, books are not gonna finish
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Nov 06, 2014
This really sucks. I know he reached the end, but to leave an already aged actor out of a complete season, one that they could have slowly used to build the totally unknown back story of why this is ALL happening is a poor choice.

I really don't get it, they have gone beyond the end of certain story line like Sansa, Bran has some stuff still left to do. I really don't get D&D. They seem to make one amazing decision, then 2 stupid ones. A couple of the arcs will go beyond the books this season, no questions asked, but to have this one left in the back burner is totally disappointing. Bran has much to learn, and though it would be cool to skip it and see him as he should be when he is done a lot is left hanging.

Oh well this is where the TV show will finally ruin the books for me, the least they could do ( if they have a Cersei flashback) is to use Bran to fill the non existent story that lead to the series. The rebellion? The mad king? Rhaegar? etc etc. We have no emotional attachment or care to ANY of this because they've left it out even from the dialogues. People LOVED Oberyn, but did they know what really happened to make him this against the Lannister? Not really.
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Nov 06, 2014
"People LOVED Oberyn, but did they know what really happened to make him this against the Lannister? Not really." - well, unless they're deaf and don't have subtitles, yeah .. they all kinda should know why he hated them. He repeated it multiple times in the show.
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Nov 07, 2014
Sure I totally understand that, but there is not weight at all for Elia Martell. It's just a name most fans of Oberyn took to heart because they loved HIS character, but other than those small tidbits there is no actual weight to ANY of the history of Westeros in this show.

Repetition of that name does not add any credence to the actual person only to Oberyn's ploy/mission and that is ultimately my point. So much exploration and made up things done by D&D, but no actual work to improve what really is one of the most developed world builds around. The world of A game of Thrones has so much lore, history and detaisl that it bums me out that the show runner choose to make up stuff to make it their own and forget that there is a lot of stuff they could use to make bigger fans out of us or even develop the actual story more. To me it is not a valid excuse, and it is an excuse.

I know I am a book reader at heart, even if I experience some of the show first. Yet I feel that they are doing a diservice to their story. If I as a book reader got really hooked because of h ow rich the back story to all this mess that is Game of Thrones really is, imagine what show viewers would get out of it?

A totally missed oportunity and a weak excuse to not use Bran at all.
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Nov 10, 2014
Dude, you just explained every single movie/tv show adaptation of any book ever made. It's not an easy job to translate what's in a book to screen. They have to pick what to show. Yeah, it would have been nice to give Dorne and what happened to the Martells more background, or to give Bran some interesting new stories ... but at the expense of what? There is so much to cover this season (Arya, John and Stannis, the Greyjoys, Tyrion, Danaerys, the whole religion thing in KL, Oldtown (Is that getting included at all??), the sand snakes plot, others that I've forgotten from the book ...). I'm fine if they put Bran's story on hold for a while, if they cover the rest of the stories well. I would also have been fine with MORE episodes .... like an extra 20 of them :-D
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Nov 10, 2014
Yeah or a spinoff based on Robert's Rebellion.

I know that it is hard to translate written work to the screen and I have to give my props to D&D when they do good, or change something that works( Tywin+Arya, Brienne vs Hound). But for all those great decision they seem to make some terrible ones just for the sake of making the story more of their own.

I know there is a lot of ground to cover, but there are storylines that are already going beyond what has happened in the book, I really don't get why they have to leave Bran completely out of it. They could have used him to explain some backstory of the whole plot. They are doing it with Cerseis flashbacks, so why not here too?

Remember the show is only going to run for about 7 seasons so to leave him out means(IMO) that we will get almost no White Walker plot once again. And that is one of the most important things of the story. Let's see how the season goes before jumping to conclusions, I just feel this is one of those bad decision that they should have dealt with in a better manner.
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Nov 06, 2014
Not really a loss. Way too many story lines to begin with, and if the show focuses on less story lines perhaps the remaining story lines will become stronger.
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Nov 06, 2014
I'm glad to see they are trying to wait on the books and I'm pretty sure I've already said there is probably a contractual obligation for GRRM to write quicker before the show is forced to deviate from the books. I'm just hoping that when we do go back to Bran and Hodor, we'll see Ned Stark again in a certain flashback / dream sequence (readers of the book, you know what I'm talking about) vital to understanding the warg / greeneyes talent.
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Nov 06, 2014
HODOR!,HODOR!
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Nov 06, 2014
There's so many storylines going on in GoT that those characters really aren't going to be missed.
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Nov 06, 2014
Hodor.
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Nov 06, 2014
Such a shame they didn't have this line of thought with Theon and with Asha/Yara...
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Nov 06, 2014
I'm confused, where did him returning at 35 years old come from? Is game of thrones going to do a flash forward or do a "10 years later"??
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Nov 06, 2014
It was merely a joke about how fast Isaac Hempstead-Wright is growing up.
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Nov 06, 2014
Rickon does pretty much disappear for a while. And Bran's age isn't an issue. But there is more to Bran's story in the books which hasn't been covered yet, the other characters just have to get to the right places...
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Nov 06, 2014
Grrrr... Hodor, Hodor, HODOR!!! Grrrr!
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Nov 06, 2014
How is Rickon suppose to win the Game of Thrones and get one of the dragons if they don't even show him?
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Nov 06, 2014
Bitch, is you crazy? Did you just happen to spoil something for us?
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Nov 06, 2014
Book reader here, he/she didn't spoil anything
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Nov 06, 2014
Aw lard have mercy! Amen!




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Nov 06, 2014
I don't care. Their storyline was one of the most least interesting.
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Nov 06, 2014
Most least interesting? You get my +1 for creative English.
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Nov 07, 2014
LOL! I think 4/6 ppl that liked my comment agreed with yours.
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Nov 06, 2014
Nodor?
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Nov 06, 2014
Hodor Hodor Hodor.

P.S-Hodor doesn't say "says":)
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Nov 06, 2014
This is a really solid decision and probably necessary. There are already a lot of characters on the show and this season will probably add more than any other, it will be stretched wafer thin, they need all the free space they can get. Now I'm thinking they might actually get through Season 5 without getting ahead of the books. The character to keep an eye on might be Sansa. They'll have to be pretty creative to give her something to do.
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Nov 06, 2014
I'm glad we'll have more time for more interesting story lines. I see Bran being important in the final conflict, whatever that is, but his journey is one of the less interesting ones.
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Nov 06, 2014
Yes, yes the Bran story is a bit arduous. Which is why I still have to question why they left out the majority of his travels up to the cave. The problem with leaving him out entirely is that his story picks right up after the entry to the cave and he is going to age a year. He physically as a teenage boy has changed the most out of all of the characters except for perhaps the unseen Rickon. I can see leaving him out of the majority of the season but tossing him in there once or twice instead of more episodes of certain characters unecesarily meandering with charcters that should have been dead already would be prudent so it isn't and obvious difference between when we saw him last.

Also so eventually there going to have to hit on his characters plot, it being essential to the end of the story. Which I am concerned about because none of it has any of the water cooler moments that they have been utilizing more and more instead of you know the freaking story.

this is going to be a key season in order to gauge how they are going to run the rest of the show.
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Nov 06, 2014
Who will be this season's Arya, wandering around doing nothing, straying from the books, wasting valuable air time.
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Nov 06, 2014
Well if they go by the books it will be Sam. I am interested to see how they go about presenting that story. And speaking of Arya, I am interested into how they present her next story. I found it very interesting in the books but it doesn't lend to the new normal of watercooler moments save for maybe a couple key instances. I kind of expect them to go full on Bruce Wayne at the League of Shadows from Batman Begins.

I am not sure though. Eventually they are going to have to get into the more "tedious" aspects of the story or they are going to irrevocably alter the story in such a way that the books will mean nothing other than the foundation for the story. I am not sure if that would be better or not. I actually have plenty pf complaints about parts of the book. That is why I think this season is key, or more pivotal in regards to how they proceed forward.
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Nov 06, 2014
Bran's storyline was really tiresome (IMHO!), so I'm glad he'll be awol for a while.

My main concern is with Stannis, Brienne, Arya, and Grey Worm
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Nov 06, 2014
Bran's storyline has always been too removed from everyone else's to be interesting.
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Nov 06, 2014
Overall I'm fine with it because I understand why he won't be around, but it also sucks because frankly I enjoy the fantasy aspects of the show more than the political one, and Bran's storyline is the most fantasy filled so I was excited to see it come into play.. but he's came to his current end so I'll just have to wait for the rest in the coming years. it's not like his storyline was featured that much anyway.
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Nov 06, 2014
Hodor? Hodor.
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Nov 06, 2014
I'm actually very ok with this I wasn't interested in his story line at all and never fully loved his character so if he's was going to be in it I would deal with it but I'm happy he's not.
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Nov 06, 2014
I'm fine with this. The Bran storyline isn't all that interesting to me so I'm fine with them pausing it for now while we wait for all the other characters and their plot-lines to catch up.
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Nov 06, 2014

Will they still receive a wage? This is very worrying...
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Nov 06, 2014
They probably could have done this even sooner, since Bran was pretty much a no show for the last half of Storm of Swords, the book most of season 4 was based on. But since there could be a bit of time slippage in the book narrative, in regards to the individual character arcs, it's perhaps understandable. They shouldn't get too far ahead of the books though. Since he'd achieved a major milestone at the close of season 4, the producers may have thought this was a convenient place to park his story while the others caught up.
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Nov 06, 2014
It'll be weird not seeing Bran at all, but it's good that there will be more time with the other characters. The time will be divided between less people now which is good
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Nov 06, 2014
Don't get your hopes up on that.
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Nov 06, 2014
Yeah, except it appears they'll be introducing a TON of new characters, too.
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Nov 06, 2014
Of course. Need new people to kill!
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