If you're a Game Of Thrones fan who doesn't like a spoiler, look away now! We've got bad Game of Thrones news with a silver lining: Bran will not appear in season 5. Fortunately, it's just an intermission. We first got wind of this when Kristian Nairn, who plays Hodor, told a reporter that he and his co-star Isaac Hempstead Wright, a.k.a. Bran, had the next season off. Now, writer and executive producer David Benioff has confirmed the claim and explained the reasoning behind the decision.
"Ideally that wouldn't have gotten out and it's unfortunate it did," 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."
At the end of season four, Bran, Hodor, and Meera (Ellie Kendrick) found the cave containing the Three-Eyed Raven, who is supposed to help Bran master his occult powers.
"It made sense to stop where we did," continued Benioff. "Bran'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…"
Of course a Game of Thrones writer knows just how to keep us hanging... We're bummed about Bran, but know that absence only makes the heart grow fonder. The show returns to HBO Spring 2015.