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'Game of Thrones' season 5 spoilers: Bran Stark and Hodor not returning

There is about to be a lot less Hodor north of the Wall. On September 3 Entertainment Weekly posted the news that Bran Stark and Hodor will not be appearing in the upcoming fifth season of "Game of Thrones," which is expected to air on HBO next spring. The show has been filming the new ten episode season since early July all over the globe and neither character has been spotted yet.

Isaac Wright
Photo by Ian Gavan

Actor Kristian Nairn, who plays the role of Hodor, recently revealed in an interview that he and Isaac Hempstead-Wright who plays Bran Stark won't be in the new episodes. He mentioned the duo having a "season off" and he thinks the reason is because the characters story lines have played out on the show as far as they have been written in the books. The show is based on the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series by author George R. R. Martin, but the series does add new elements to the existing plot lines.

The season four finale showed Bran, Hodor, Meera and Jojen making it to the three eyed crow beyond the Wall. Martin is currently working on the sixth book in the series, called "The Winds of Winter," which is scheduled to be released sometime next year. Each season of the show is based on one half of a book, and the show is quickly catching up to the source material. Martin has previously mentioned that he isn't rushing to finish the series, although that might be a problem for the series which is one of the highest viewed shows in television history.

On September 3 Screencrush revealed that Nairn will use his year off to work on DJ gigs, which he has become more well known for since the series began airing. It's entirely possible that Bran or Meera may appear in the new season without Hodor, but it seems unlikely this far into filming. However, the new season will be filled with a new land and a bunch of new characters, so it is possible that past characters won't be as much screen time for season five.

The series will finally visit the land of Dorne, where Cersei sent her younger children to grow up. Prince Oberyn visited from Dorne last season before being killed off in a trial by combat for Tyrion's life. The show will film the scenes for Dorne in Spain, and some of the new characters include three of Oberyn's daughters nicknamed the Sand Snakes. Season five is also mark the first time a major character has bee left out of the series, which is expected to run for at least two or three more seasons on HBO.