Hodor! Game of Thrones cast interviews with Kristian Nairn and Isaac Hempstead Wright

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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:

isaac2Bran 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.

51 responses

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    1. Isaac Hempstead Wright said in one interview that Bran will be kingmaker.

      I always believed that this story will end with Jon at the IT and I now believe it even more.

      There is no reason to have R+L=J if it won’t have any effect on the plot.

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    2. mau,

      Maybe, but just because we learn that Jon is eligible for the IT, doesn’t mean he will sit on it. It would be in-character for him to sacrifice himself in the War for the Dawn, either by dying in the battle or (a theory I find interesting) giving up his claim to the throne so that he can be the 1,000th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch……there wold be something powerful about seeing Jon, knowing he’s the heir to the IT and after everything which has happened, deciding instead to retake his vows and resume his service on The Wall. It would mirror Aemon Targaryen, too.

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    3. Kingmaker Bran!!

      I really missed Hodor, Bran, and Meera. Can’t wait to see what will happen to them. Kristian seems pretty happy with where their arc is going.

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    4. mau,

      He didn’t actually say that though. The Singapore article said that he “hinted” Bran “may play the role of kingmaker” but they never actually quoted what exactly Isaac said to hint that. It wasn’t written very well.

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    5. mau,

      Good point imo. It makes no sense to me for Bran to find out about RLJ and not do anything about it. There has to be a reason why Bloodraven is guiding him through that particular flashback. There has to be some sort of payoff (it makes sense from a narrative standpoint).

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    6. Between Isaac’s comments about being a “superpower” and the the clip of the Night’s King grabbing his arm in what seems to be a vision, it seems Bran and the Others can communicate through the same magical network, so to speak. Couple that with his previous comments about creating an earthquake, and you get a sense of the scale of his abilities. While I love the idea of Jon being resurrected by the Others, the thought that Bran and the Others could team up and use the magic of the North, the Others, and the Children to collapse the Wall is mouth-watering. And the Children have used their magic in the distant past to do some terra-forming. GRRM has said the Others aren’t evil, per se, but just another race of beings, albeit mysterious.

      With the dragons being the embodiment of fire magic and the Red God’s reliance on fire, as well, that could set an even more interesting dichotomy between ancient magics now awoken again – the fire of the dragons and the Red God and the magic of the Old Gods. We’re sure to be in store for an epic wrap-up to the series to say the least.

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    7. mau

      It could be king as in king in the north. One of the options for the end is a mirror of Dany as Aegon the conqueror and Jon as the king who knelt. It was mentioned in season 2 (I think) one of Robb’s men said ‘It was the dragon we married’. An alliance between the two. Not saying that’s how it will turn out, but it could.

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    8. Bob Warren: Maybe, but just because we learn that Jon is eligible for the IT, doesn’t mean he will sit on it. It would be in-character for him to sacrifice himself in the War for the Dawn, either by dying in the battle or (a theory I find interesting) giving up his claim to the throne so that he can be the 1,000th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch……there wold be something powerful about seeing Jon, knowing he’s the heir to the IT and after everything which has happened, deciding instead to retake his vows and resume his service on The Wall. It would mirror Aemon Targaryen, too.

      I too think he’ll play a sacrificial role. I don’t see how he can be a king or simply live a normal life. He’s dead and probably going to be resurrected like Dondarrion, right? Well, if I remember correctly, Dondarrion’s new life wasn’t exactly life: brain damages, memory loss, no need to sleep, no need to eat, a soul in torment… He was basically a walking dead. A man like that can only play a sacrificial role, I think. So, die in the final battle or survive it and resume his watch on the Wall (if there will still be a Wall). But I hope I’m wrong. Maybe he’ll be resurrected in a different way, who knows… And his fate may differ from the books. Maybe we’ll have a brand new shiny Jon with no flaws in the next season. 🙂

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    9. Bran said “’d love for Bran to just be a mystical presage that sort of controls the nature of Westeros and keeps everything in balance” which got me thinking head ‘maybe he can stop winter from coming’? Or not. If he can do an earthquake, why not? Loved the interviews, esp about how hard it is to take a year off, and miss the social contacts. I have an injury that prevents me from returning to work until august. Not seeing my buddies on a day to day basis, along with going stir crazy at home, has not been fun so I can empathize This site has helped, a lot! Anyway can’t wait to see them in action again.

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    10. Ser Creighton Longbough,

      Maybe Jon comes back and is completely ruthless. Just focused on the mission doing whatever is necessary to win like Stannis but as violent as Rick from the Walking Dead. Because I think something has to be lost when they get resurrected. So maybe he losses some of those hero qualities and becomes more of a grey character. Just a guess though but it would be interesting .

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    11. ash,

      Yes, I also did love that part of the interview. It’s really hard to return to social life after a time off. But fortunately it was good for Isaac as he could focus on his school and it seems that this time off really did decide to stay acting.

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    12. debbi,

      Well, I surely hope the first point in his to-do list when he comes back is to order Wun Wun to brutally crush Olly… 😀
      Second point: cut Alliser Thorne in half with Longclaw. 😀

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    13. Now that Sansa has played the Game of Thrones by agreeing to marry Ramsay, joined the dark side of the force as Darth Sansa, and jumped off a castle wall with Theon, how are you gonna top all that in season 6?

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    14. Ser Creighton Longbough:
      debbi,

      Well, I surely hope the first point in his to-do list when he comes back is to order Wun Wun to brutally crush Olly…
      Second point: cut Alliser Thorne in half with Longclaw.

      By what episode do you think the mutineers will be dead by?

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    15. Isaac just seems like such a genuinely happy, interested person. Great to see a kid that’s grown up on TV so unaffected.

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    16. Holy shit at the clip they just showed on Conan… so Ghost is alive… and they are gonna fight the nights watch that plotted against Jon… hellz yeah

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    17. plop_plop:
      Holy shit at the clip they just showed on Conan… so Ghost is alive… and they are gonna fight the nights watch that plotted against Jon… hellz yeah

      here you go @ 1:47

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    18. mau:

      I always believed that this story will end with Jon at the IT and I now believe it even more.

      So that’s how Mel is going to resurrect him – she’s going to turn him off and on again!

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    19. OMG, that clip was so intense and so damn good.

      We can put to rest that speculation that Davos will be fighting the NW brothers inside the room. They will be fighting together against the a**holes on the other side of the door. I don’t see Edd, though.

      And Ghost!!! He is going to rip out throats…starting with Alliser’s, I hope. The CGI looks awesome.

      OMG, I am giddy with anticipation!! Eeeeee!!

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    20. BunBunStark,

      Yeah, that looked awesome! We still don’t know why Davos feels the need to protect Jon’s dead body. Probably Mel will have another vision and this time Davos believes her for some reason? I cannot think of any other reason why they wouldn’t just burn him.

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    21. Melisandre doesn’t appear to be in the room with Jon’s body. I wonder where she and Edd are at while the mutineers are trying to break into the room.

      Looks to be about 4 loyal brothers protecting Jon’s body, along with Davos and Ghost.

      I love Ghost’s growling. He is pissed. I also love that Ghost instinctively knows who to trust. Even when Davos and co draw their swords, Ghost still knows where the threat really is.

      Olly looks scared shitless. I would feel sorry for him, but oh well, that’s what happens when you choose the wrong team, kid.

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    22. BunBunStark,

      I think that Edd rode south for the Gift to tell Tormund and the wildlings what happened at Castle Black and perhaps Mel went with him. Maybe Wun Wun breaks through the gates at the exact moment the mutineers break down the door and Davos, Ghost, and the NW guarding Jon are prepared to fight them, but the Conan clip could have ended just before this moment.

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    23. In this video NCW doesn’t give any spoiler or say something new, but he talks about Kit saying in a very present tense
      “I spend a lot of time with Kit Harington who plays not played Jon Snow.”

      Thank God it’s only 16 days till the premiere…i hope we will not get another so tiring cliffhanger for the next season. The video with Davos in that show is amazing.

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    24. Oh my ! That new clip has me so hyped I don’t know what to do now. Ghost is badass. I don’t know if I want Olly dead, he looks so scared, could he be remorseful of his actions?

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    25. Ace0099,

      I seriously thought this was going to be a gag clip they put together for Conan, and then it turned out to be a real clip from Ep 1. Wow! And it looks cool as shit!

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    26. Great Article. Nice guy is Khristian!

      But do you know what made me Secretly Delighted… ?

      That the 1st poster didn’t scream “Hodor” !!!

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    27. Has anyone seen this yet? Liam Cunningham interview with Conan:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Toam5br4lBE

      The clip at the end of the interview answers some questions about that scene with Davos defending Jon Snow’s body – that he and the men inside the room are fighting against Alliser Thorne & Co., who are trying to break in.

      GREAT to see Ghost in action!

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    28. Woah, amazing clip. Is this the end for Alliser? Also lack of Edd is a slight worry… although I do feel he will be one of those that makes it through to the bitter end.

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    29. Kit Hairyton,

      Remember that, chronologically, in the trailer we see Jon still lying dead outside in day time, so this clip scene will take place at least a day after his execution. Edd not being there doesn’t really mean much, honestly.

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    30. Dutch Maester:
      Kit Hairyton,

      Remember that, chronologically, in the trailer we see Jon still lying dead outside in day time, so this clip scene will take place at least a day after his execution. Edd not being there doesn’t really mean much, honestly.

      Dawn, not exactly day time. But your point stands. This Davos scene takes place at night, and Jon was still in the ground by dawn. Which means this new scene takes place next night, at the very least. You’re right.

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    31. I never post, but this has been bothering me lately. If someone could kindly answer:

      [Spoiler]
      If R+L=J then would J be considered a trueborn? I don’t get that, as R was not married to L. Obviously, still a noble birth, but I find it ironic that he could still be considered a “bastard”. Everyone always assumes if its true then he’s no longer one? Does anyone know the ramifications?

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    32. Poor Old Dead Ned,

      Yeah, I think the bigger mystery than Jon’s birth is if R+L ever married. And if they did, whether it would be legitimate. As a royal, Rhaegar would have needed the King’s permission to marry anyone, let alone into a polygamous marriage. Polygamy hadn’t happened since Maegor, and even then it was frowned upon.

        Quote  Reply

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