Get ready to exclaim, "Who is that grown-ass man riding on Hodor's back?" when Game of Thrones debuts its sixth season in 2016. According to Kristian Nairn, the actor who plays the oafish Hodor, neither his character nor Bran Stark will be part of the show in Season 5.
"We have a season off and we have a year's hiatus," Nairn said in a recent interview with Australia's Australian Broadcasting Commission. "Solely because I imagine our storyline is up to the end of the books."
While Nairn didn't specifically explain which Game of Thrones characters are included in that "we," he's likely referring to Hodor, Bran, Meera, and direwolf Summer, all of whom have been traveling together in the same storyline. And that suggests it's going to be a while before we get any new details on the fireball-throwing kid and the weirdo in the Weirwood tree we met in the excellent Season 4 finale.
This is a bummer, since I spent most of Season 4 complaining about Bran's story... until the end, when it became one of Game of Thrones' more interesting plots. Do YOU want to have to wait a year to see this again?
Not to mention the fact that, the next time we see Bran, he'll be about 28 years old with an achy hip instead of the tween he should be.
However, a break from one storyline means more space for others as Game of Thrones gets more and more crowded. Remember, there was such a premium on screen time in Season 4 that Bran only appeared in four episodes.
This won't be too much of a surprise for Game of Thrones fans who've read Books 4 and 5 in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novel series, as several major characters from the earlier part of the story are absent from those two installments. In fact, Book 4 introduces a ridiculously high number of new folks, some of whom have already been cast. Could additional storylines from Seasons 1 through 4 be be taking a year off? I don't know.
As for Nairn, don't worry about him. He'll be making the lasers dance as part of his DJ Tour called "Rave of Thrones," a Game of Thrones-themed traveling dance party that he spins records for. Seriously!
Requests for comment and confirmation from HBO were unanswered as of press time.
AIRED ON 6/14/2015
Season 5 : Episode 10