In new interviews with New York Daily News and The Wall Street Journal, Kristian Nairn (Hodor) ponders his role and explains why he was first hesitant to accept it. Later with MSN, Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran) jokes about the Game of Thrones actor approach to dying.
Nairn on deciding to accept the role:
When I first read the part I wasn’t exactly dancing with joy. I really didn’t get it at first — I’m a 7-foot-tall gay man who’s spent my entire life fighting stereotypes. People sincerely believe that when you’re 7 feet tall and look like me, you’re stupid. And at first I felt that by playing this character I was going to be putting myself in the kind of box I had been fighting to get out of.
Instead of refusing the role, he took advice from his mother, an avid reader of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.
I went home to my mother after my audition feeling terrible and as it turned out she was a huge `Game of Thrones’ fan. She explained that Hodor is a really great character and that I would enjoy playing him. She put to rest all of my concerns. Although Hodor doesn’t say very much, he’s really an important part of this story and there’s great depth to him.
Then he grew rather affectionate toward his character:
[Hodor] is such an honorable guy, a sweetheart and I’m a very proud of the part. It kind of resonates with me that he’s an enigma — I love that about him. When the day comes that `Game of Thrones’ ends, or a piano falls on Hodor, I’m going to miss him.
By taking on the part, he also gained celebrity as Game of Thrones became the phenomenon it is today. He reflects on the Season 5 premiere and the roar he received from fans when he arrived:
I get misty-eyed in situations like that. I don’t really see myself as a celebrity. I was a very shy teenager, I spent most of my life doing things my own way and things started to change for me when I took ownership of the things about me that were different — whether it be your height, your weight, your look, your sexuality — whatever, just f—ing own it. That’s when things will happen.
For more, including his time off from Thrones, head on over to NY Daily News.
With The Wall Street Journal, Nairn teases Hodor’s role in the upcoming season.
I’m happy. Obviously, I can’t say too much. I’m very happy how season 6 has played out for us. It’s a very cool turn of events. It’s worth the wait.
On his year off:
It was weird. I missed it for a year. I missed the social aspect of it. I missed my friends. I’m a big fan of our storyline. It was strange to take a break of that. I was anxious to see where it was going to go, as well. It was difficult to wait for a year to find out what would happen to us.
He also discusses his music, what he’s a fan of, and more over at The Wall Street Journal.
At a roundtable event to promote Season 6, Isaac Hempstead Wright jokes the first thing the cast does when they receive the new batch of scripts with MSN.
It’s the first thing that everyone does. The thing is, people tend to know [when] their characters die. They get sent a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of champagne before they get the dreaded final call and then that’s it.
Gotta admire those attempts to cushion the blow. Wright goes on to say that the series’ trend for killing presumed essential characters is “a key factor in getting people immersed in it.” He also adds:
A lot of series, you can almost see where it’s going on or imagine other things that is going to happen for the rest of their run. With ‘Game of Thrones,’ you really can’t work out what’s going to happen. Nobody saw Jon Snow’s death coming, nobody saw Ned Stark’s death coming. When you watch ‘Game of Thrones,’ you become invested in the characters because you really won’t know what’s going to happen. There really is no guarantee that a character will survive so you invest in the people as though they were real people who could die any moment.
Like his co-star Nairn, Wright too underestimated the global phenomenon Game of Thrones would become. He says he had “no grasp of what an extraordinary thing and unique experience ‘Game of Thrones’ would be.” He also adds:
I was kinda in the age when I just take everything on, nothing’s a shock and it was just another thing that I was going to be doing, [although it] was a particularly exciting thing.
He goes on to tease Season 6 and Bran’s constant growing power:
Bran picks up a bit in Season 6. As the series progresses, we’ve been seeing glimpses of what his power could do. Bran is now a fully fledged superpower. He’s being able to use it to look at some important things and it’s setting the stage to use his powers for God knows what.
Wright also discusses where he’d like to see the show’s writing take Bran and talks about his year off and more over at MSN.
We can’t wait for this dynamic duo to return from their year off and resume Bran’s story in only 17 days! Let us know your thoughts below.