Bran Stark Bran and Hodor will not be featured in "Game of Thrones" Season 5. Photo: HBO

UPDATE: Ode is reporting that Bran Stark will return for Season 5 of "Game of Thrones." Actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright told the site that the next season of "Game of Thrones" will be his next project after the film "The Boxtrolls," contradicting Nairn's statements. 

Fans of “Game of Thrones” are, by now, used to having to say goodbye to many of their favorite characters. The HBO show is notorious for killing off major players without warning. However, fans will have to say goodbye, for now, to two characters they might not have expected to lose. Kristian Nairn, the actor who plays Hodor in the series, revealed in an interview with Yahoo! that both his and Isaac Hempstead-Wright’s character, Bran Stark, will be absent from Season 5.

Fans will remember that Season 4 left Bran and Hodor well north of the wall, where Bran had finally reached the Raven after a supernatural confrontation with some wights left Jojen dead. Bran, Meera, and Hodor made it to the Raven where Bran asked if he would be able to walk again. The Raven replied that Bran would not be able to walk again ... but he would be able to fly!

So, with a cliffhanger like that, why will Bran, and along with him Hodor (and one would assume Meera) be suddenly absent from the series? It appears that Bran’s storyline is the first to catch up with George R.R. Martin's books. There is simply no more story left for the characters right now. The actors have the year off, but anticipate returning for the following sixth season, which has already been confirmed by HBO.

Nairn spoke about the break saying, "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. So, I get my year off now to do Rave of Thrones and gallivant all over the world" (Nairn is referring to the "Thrones"-themed DJ parties he tours the country throwing for fans). 

This may continue to be a problem for “Game of Thrones” as the series is now well into “A Dance with Dragons” territory, the last “Song of Ice and Fire” novel (the book series from which “Game of Thrones” is based) that author George R.R. Martin has released. If the author does not get a move on with the next installment, “The Winds of Winter,” more storylines in the show will inevitably catch up to the books.

Martin spoke about the pressure to get the next book out saying, "I have days where I make lots of progress, I have days where I make next to no progress, I have days where I think I'm going backwards because I don't like what I wrote yesterday. So, I've given up making any predictions on that. I'm just writing it and when it's done, it'll be done."

Fans don’t have to worry too much yet as there is still more than enough material for Season 5, which is currently in production. However, fans of Bran and Hodor will have to wait on Martin before they have any chance of seeing the characters again on TV. "Game of Thrones" Season 5 will premiere in April 2015.

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