David Benioff Explains Why Bran is Sitting Out GAME OF THRONES Season 5

     November 5, 2014


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.  Personally, I’ve got a tough time keeping track of and caring about the abundance of characters, but considering where season 4 leaves Bran Stark, I was especially looking forward to more from him.  But of course, that’s a bit of a problem if the show wants to keep in line with 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.  Hit the jump to check it out.

game-of-thrones-oathkeeper-isaac-hempstead-wrightHere’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, but as someone with no attachment to the books, I’m still 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 Bran go (for now), 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.  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?