Thrones Producer Talks Bran Stark’s Absence

At the end of the fourth season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” the on screen action of one of the subplots – that of Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), Meera (Ellie Kendrick) and Hodor (Kristian Nairn) – had essentially caught up to where the characters were in George R.R. Martin’s book series.

In fact the trio are decidedly ahead of the curve amongst the other subplots which still have at least one full book’s worth of material to exploit. Thus it didn’t come as a huge surprise when the other month Nairn let slip that their characters would not be appearing in the fifth season of the show.

Co-star Hempstead-Wright wasn’t so sure in an interview a few days later, but now series co-creator David Benioff confirmed the characters are not appearing. He tells 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.

Last year we caught up to the end of Bran’s storyline. 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. 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…”

‘Dance’ does include some training scenes including one moment ripe for a major cameo. It’s expected those scenes won’t go to air until sometime during the show’s sixth season.