‘Game of Thrones’ Season 5 Will Sideline Two Major Characters

Published 8 months ago by

Bran Stark Hodor Issac Hempstead Wright Kristian Nairn Game of Thrones Season 5 Will Sideline Two Major Characters

[SPOILERS for Game of Thrones season 4 ahead.]


Over the course of four seasons, HBO’s Game of Thrones has always worked with a large ensemble cast spanning the continent of Westeros and even across the Narrow Sea. The series has achieved success — and record-breaking viewership — by following multiple concurrent storylines revolving around a handful of characters including Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Jon Snow (Kit Harrington), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), as well as Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and his companion, Hodor (Kristian Nairn).

At the end of season 4, many of these characters embarked on new storylines that will lead into season 5. However, seeing as the showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, are pulling from both book 4 and 5 of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, some characters won’t appear in season 5 of Game of Thrones.

In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Commission, Nairn revealed his character, Hodor, and Wright’s character, Bran, won’t appear in the fifth season of Game of Thrones. However, Nairn did acknowledge that the characters’ storyline is an integral throughline of the A Song of Ice and Fire series and gave no inclination that his and Wright’s absence will last longer than a single season of the show.

Read Nairn’s full quote:

“We have a season off and we have a year’s hiatus, solely because I imagine our storyline is up to the end of the books.”

During season 4, Bran and Hodor — along with Jojen (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) — travelled beyond The Wall, were captured by men who had deserted The Night’s Watch, and (after making their escape) finally found the Weirwood tree for which they had been searching. Bran and Hodor’s storyline in the finale episode, ‘The Children’, included revelations about the existence of magic and the non-human race known as the Children of the Forest.

Isaac Hempstead Wright in Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 10 Game of Thrones Season 5 Will Sideline Two Major Characters

With Wright and Nairn sidelined for season 5, viewers won’t learn more about these revelations until season 6 at the earliest. But, as fans of the books will point out, this departure from Bran and Hodor makes sense. Game of Thrones closely followed Martin’s book series up until the third season.

In the fourth season, however, the show pulled from both book 4 and 5 of A Song of Ice and Fire. In fact, the scene of Bran and Hodor at the Weirwood tree in the season 4 finale is from A Dance With Dragons, the fifth book. Bran and Hodor are completely absent from the fourth book, A Feast for Crows, so in that respect it seems reasonable enough that the show will focus on the other characters’ storylines during the corresponding season.

Game of Thrones Books George R R Martin 570x294 Game of Thrones Season 5 Will Sideline Two Major Characters

A possible downside of this choice is that Game of Thrones fans who aren’t familiar with Martin’s source novels will have forgotten where they last left Bran and Hodor’s storyline after season 5 – or, if not that, will no longer find their plotline compelling after the break. It may prove to be a bigger challenge to make sure viewers re-invest themselves in that particular storyline come season 6, compared to the other characters’ storylines that will appear in season 5.

However, given that Game of Thrones has been largely successful in both adapting the A Song of Ice and Fire series and making the most of each episode in every season, it’s almost certain Benioff and Weiss have a plan for the next two seasons (at least) of Game of Thrones that will satisfy fans.

Game of Thrones returns for season 5 in 2015.

Source: Australian Broadcasting Commission

Follow Molly Freeman on Twitter @mollyrockit
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. NOT HODOR!!!!!!

    • Hodoooor!

  2. Methinks they’ll recast Bran… he’s getting too old for the part.

    • And taking a year off will only make his appearance more startling when we finally see him again two years from now.

      • Replace the actor. He was a cute kid in the beginning. Now he’s turned into an ugly duckling…

  3. Hodor.

    • I am Groot.

  4. Except there is still one Bran chapter from book 5 that they haven`t done yet. A VERY interesting one, in fact.It could easily fit into one episode alone for season 5, but i guess they`re more worried about giving us more gratuitous sex scenes, conversations that don`t affect the story and cliche moments resulting from unnecessary cuts to the source material. GoT has lost a little quality this season regarding some certain storylines (if not all of them) and i just hope it doesn`t go downhill from where we are now.

    • Or perhaps being more concerned with not having a brief scene with a small group of characters when they could fit it into the next season somehow instead when they have more to do, which seems the likeliest option.

    • Why watch the show then?

      You’ve read the book, so everything has happened the way you wanted it to.

      Quit whining

    • Thats funny, me and my bro and my parents all think season 4 was arguably the best season yet of Game of Thrones.

      • And it was…i guess i just get very frustrated everytime i see they`ve changed something i absolutely love about the books. But yeah, Got is definetely a MASSIVE undertaking, and season 4 really did amaze me for the most..a lot of big episodes and twists,i just gotta keep cool and enjoy the great television content we`re being offered.

        • Thing is, it’s like me with the Harry Potter books. I’m not the biggest fan of them but every time I walked out of a new film during the credits, I could pick out a long list of flaws and things they needlessly changed or left out. Thing is, with books, you can get into more detail descriptively but you can also write unnecessary fluff or add a few extra pages to explain something that could easily be done in a paragraph.

          This is also why I refuse to read the ASOIAF books until GOT as a show has finished completely. I like not knowing what’s going to happen and if changes are made for the better on the show then it means I can enjoy the TV show more than I would if I’d known about certain changes or things being dropped completely.

    • hate detected

  5. I don’t think too many people are gonna forget where they left bran off because it was an interesting scene and a lot of people are like. I always rewatch every episode b4 the next season starts. I know a lot of people that do the same.

  6. Good. Season 4 was amazing, but it would have been absolutely perfect if it weren’t for Bran’s storyline, which dragged the season down a bit.

  7. So I have read the books (no, I will NOT give any spoilers in my comment), and even though the third and fourth season strayed from the book more so than the other two, I still thought they were great. But honestly, as far as the books are concerned, while the first three were some of the best books I’v ever read, the last two felt like a chore to read. I hope that the show continues to stray. But that is my opinion.

  8. Everyone who forgets brans last scene doesn’t count as viewership anyway. But yeah, they are pretty much at the limit of his story (well, almost) so it makes sense for the season.

    • Or maybe they don’t have a photographic memory or have a bunch of other things going on in their lives between Bran’s last scene and his next appearance in the show. Plus TV and movies overwhelm the senses in a way that makes it easy to forget certain things almost immediately (for example, I loved the hell out of The Dark Knight but I walked out of the cinema completely forgetting some of what happened because other scenes stuck out more prominently for me, likewise, I’ve loved GOT from the very beginning but I actually forgot what happened to Bran until I read the news he might not appear next season and then remembered the tree guy).

  9. The fans “will no longer find their plotline compelling”, eh? You know where I’m going with this.

  10. WoW! That Bran and Rickon out of the way then.


    I do like the scene in the book when Brans gives Theon a haunting in the woods of Winterfell, I hope they do not cut that scene (if it should be in season 5, it might be in season 6, now I think upon it).

  11. So sad :(

  12. No, this is a really bad news. Bran Stark is my favorite character from the show, I wish Martin invested some more time with the character in the books because there as well he does not get enough time. I really hope that the show does justice to his story and audiences remember his arc when it resumes. I guess this means I’ve to read the fourth and the fifth books before watching the seasons.

    • I also hope Isaac Hempstead-Wright plays Bran, when the characters return. It was because of his climbs and fall that I became GoT fan.

  13. “It may prove to be a bigger challenge to make sure viewers re-invest themselves”… Assuming we have invested ourselves in the first place. The boy has been seeing crows for four years. Enough already.

  14. I guess Season 5 will be the best season (or maybe not)!. Can’t wait ’till April 2015. Yeah, I also scanned through GOT book but I prefer to watch the movies. It’s more realistic and exciting. Here’s why–> http://goo.gl/fXsg3G

    • That link doesn’t work, but that’s exactly the dilemma I’m facing…read book 5 first, or watch season four and five first.

  15. Goods news for me Bran character and story is one of the worst things in the show and no more Hodor saying HODOR HODOR.

  16. Season 5 looks like a disaster so far. The drop in quality of dialogue is palpable.