***This article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 5.
Ever since the fourth season of Game of Thrones ended, the question on every George R.R. Martin reader’s mind has been “how do you do the next two books?” Not exactly a secret, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons occur almost concurrently while focused on different characters. And considering how several story arcs from those books have already been partially undertaken in season four (namely Daenerys, Theon, Bran, and Sansa), we have wondered if season five will condense all literary events from both books.
Adding a wrinkle to such a theory is the latest revelation by actor Kristian Nairn, a DJ best known for playing Hodor on Game of Thrones. While speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Nairn let slip that Hodor (and thus likely Bran Stark and Meera Reed, as well) will not be appearing in season five.
“We’re not actually in season five, by the way,” Nairn said during the interview. “We have a season off. We have a year’s hiatus….I imagine our storyline is up to the end of the books.”
Nairn is not entirely wrong. Most of Bran Stark’s journey, and indeed the most eventful portions of it from A Dance with Dragons, have already occurred in season four. Much of his few remaining chapters from the fifth Martin novel (Bran Stark does not appear in A Feast for Crows) involve the Stark boy learning how to manage his magical powers.
Could this mean that they are going to only be doing events from the fourth novel of Martin’s cumulative “A Song of Ice and Fire?” That would seem unlikely. Besides already beginning story threads from A Dance with Dragons in season four, there is also the revelation that (again SPOILERS) Lena Headey’s Cersei Lannister will be walking in the nude through the streets of King’s Landing. This is more than from the fifth book; it’s also set after all of the scenes from her very prominent presence in A Feast for Crows. Ergo, it would appear that they are not only combining the two books, but they are squeezing most of them in season five.
So, an absence for Hodor and company may simply mean that either they are saving a handful of plot threads for season six or that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have opted to forego what is essentially a lot of Bran Stark filler, skipping to the end result in season six. It is no secret that Bran Stark’s more gingerly paced storyline got the thrifty treatment over the last two seasons.
Hodor is coming back, but like a Westerosi winter, it might take a while.
Special thanks to The Mary Sue for bringing this to our attention!