Changes are afoot for Game of Thrones Season 5. Though longtime fans of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series were surely happy to see the stories find widespread appreciation thanks to HBO’s massive hit series adaptation, that elation quickly turned to nervousness as showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss began to steamroll through the books while Martin takes his sweet time in writing the final two books of the series. Martin has been adamant that his books would take years to adapt into television form, but Benioff and Weiss started covering a fair amount of material from the most recent book, A Dance with Dragons, in Season 4 and recently revealed plans to complete the show after seven seasons whether Martin is finished or not.
As a result of the fact that Benioff and Weiss are heading towards the conclusion of their TV series adaptation, a major storyline from the books will be sidelined for the entire fifth season: that of Bran Stark, Hodor, and their mysterious friends. More after the jump.
Speaking with the Australian Broadcasting Commission (via Vulture), actor Kristian Nairn—who plays Hodor on the show—revealed that he and Isaac Hempstead-Wright—who plays Bran Stark—have this season off entirely:
“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.”
Indeed, once book fans saw where Bran and Hodor’s storyline ended up at the end of Season 4, many began wondering just how the series was going to move forward. An easy fix on the end of Weiss and Benioff is to simply put that story on “pause” for a season. Though it’s a bit frustrating given that Bran’s story left on a pretty major cliffhanger at the end of Season 4, it’s an understandable work-around.
Game of Thrones has a tendency to feel crowded at times as Weiss and Benioff try their hardest to service all of the many storylines and characters, so I could actually see the absence of the Bran storyline working in the show’s favor in the upcoming season.
Whether George R.R. Martin finishes his book series or not, the end is nigh for Game of Thrones on HBO, so here’s hoping Weiss and Benioff have carve out a satisfying conclusion to this epic fantasy saga. Game of Thrones Season 5 will premiere on HBO next spring.