“Game of Thrones” is filming Season 5, and while the acclaimed HBO fantasy series will be introducing a bunch of new characters -- some old ones will be noticeably absent. Writer and executive producer David Benioff has confirmed that Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark) won't appear in the new season, according to Entertainment Weekly. Benioff also hinted that when Bran does return to the show, it will be pretty exciting.
Kristian Nairn, who plays Hodor, said in September that his character, Bran and Ellie Kendrick's Meera Reed had the upcoming season off since the show has caught up to the characters’ storyline in George R.R. Martin's novels. Confirming the news, Benioff told EW: “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 parallel. And last year we caught up to the end of Bran’s storyline [in George R.R. Martin’s ‘A Dance with Dragons’]. So if we pushed him forward this season, then he’s way ahead of where the other characters are.”
When fans last saw Bran, he had finally arrived at the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven (Struan Rodger), where the old man said that he would help Bran learn to fly. Benioff hinted at what fans can expect when they next see Bran: “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 …”
Benioff left fans to wonder exactly what will happen when the character returns (presumably in Season 6). However, fans of the novels know that the Three-Eyed Raven will help Bran hone his skills of skinchanging (entering other animals and people’s minds) and greensight (having prophetic dreams about the future). The Raven also promised Bran would learn to fly. While fans will be spared a “Rocky”-type training montage, they will likely be seeing a much more powerful character when Bran returns to the show. Will he be flying in Season 6?
Meanwhile, “Game of Thrones” -- which is set to return to HBO in April -- has no shortage of other storylines to keep fans busy in Season 5 as some characters travel to the oft-mentioned kingdom of Dorne.
Will you miss Bran in Season 5? Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.