The Ninjabot

David Benioff Explains Bran and Hodor’s Absence from Season 5 of GAME OF THRONES

Posted on November 5, 2014 at 1:57 pm by David "Snackbar" Edmundson


A couple of months ago, Hodor had a little more to say than “Hodor” and actor Kristian Nairn let it slip that he and Isaac Hempstead-Wright are sitting out season 5 of Game of Thrones. As a vocal “hater” of pretty much every remaining Stark, this news made me more than happy. But considering where season 4 leaves Bran Stark, I was almost looking forward to seeing how it played out.  But of course, that’s a bit of a problem if the show wants to keep in line with amateur tugboat captain George R.R. Martin’s source material.

Game of Thrones writer, executive producer and co-showrunner David Benioff didn’t intend for news of Bran and Hodor’s season 5 absence to get out, but now that it has, he’s revealed the reason why they chose to go that route.

game-of-thrones-oathkeeper-isaac-hempstead-wright-600x399Here’s what Benioff told EW:

“Ideally that wouldn’t have gotten out and it’s unfortunate it did.  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 George R.R. Martin’s most recent A Song of Ice and Fire novel, A Dance with Dragons].  So if we pushed him forward this season, then he’s way ahead of where the other characters are.”

That makes sense to those of us that have read the novels, but for someone with no attachment to the books, they’ll be left wondering, if I lose Bran for all of season 5 and then he returns in season 6, will I still care to know what’s going on with him?  It is a concern, but based on what Benioff said next, it seems like it might be for the best:

“It made sense to stop where we did.  He’s now entering a training period which is going to take quite some time, much of which isn’t particularly cinematic.  So 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 …”

I’m sad to see Hodor go though, but I’d be even sadder to see the folks behind the show force-feed us dull snippets of training in the cave just for the sake of keeping Bran around, and especially when there’s so much else going on. Unless they did a badass 80’s training montage, As EW points out, we’ve still got the situations in Meereen, King’s Landing, at The Wall, at the Dreadfort, The Eyrie, Arya in Essos and wherever Brienne is at the moment plus the addition of the country Dorne as well.  With all of that, do we really need Bran? When asked for comment Martin, a famed corncob pipe aficionado, responded “Cheese, wine, and naked ladies!”


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