We've heard the rumors from Hodor himself that Bran Stark, having finally reached the Three-Eyed Raven last year, would be absent in the next season of Game of Thrones. But now showrunner David Benioff has not only confirmed we're going Hodor-less, but explains why.
Here's what Benioff told Entertainment Weekly:
"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 [chronologically] parallel. And last year we caught up to the end of Bran's storyline [in George R.R. Martin's most recent A Song of Ice and Fire novel, A Dance with Dragons]. So if we pushed him forward this season, then he's way ahead of where the other characters are."
All true. Here, Benioff explains why now was the right time to put Bran on the backburner:
"It made sense to stop where we did," Benioff said. "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 didn't want to reveal much more beyond that.
Also true! And to be fair, I was mostly excited to get more Bran footage in order to get a jump on the books anyways. My only qualm about this is that actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright has grown up so much over the last few years that I wonder what he'll look like when he comes back to the show. Will we even recognize him?
Maybe we will.