'Game Of Thrones' Showrunner David Benioff Explains Why Isaac Hempstead-Wright's Bran Stark Is Not In Season 5

"Game of Thrones" writer and executive producer David Benioff, who also serves as the showrunner for the hit HBO fantasy drama series along with D.B. Weiss, confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) will not appear in Season 5.

While the news would definitely disappoint some fans, Benioff revealed that they have a couple of good reasons why they decided to put Bran's storyline on the bench.

"Ideally that wouldn't have gotten out and it's unfortunate it did," Benioff told EW of Bran's plot. "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. So if we pushed him forward this season, then he's way ahead of where the other characters are."

In the Season 4 finale titled "The Children," Bran and his escorts reached the Heart tree seen in Jojen Reed's (Thomas Brodie Sangster) vision. But before they could actually set foot in the cave under the tree, they were attacked by a group of undead that killed Jojen. Bran, Hodor (Kristian Nairn) and Meera (Ellie Kendrick) were saved by a Child of the Forest (Octavia Selena Alexandru), who eventually introduced them to the wizard-like Three-eyed Raven (Struan Rodger).

This is the last Bran/Hodor/Meera storyline that was published in George R.R. Martin's novel series "A Song of Ice and Fire," in which "Games of Thrones" is based, according to Screen Crush.

While Benioff and Weiss have the ability to extend Bran's storyline, like what they did with the plot of Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) -  whose character spent a large stretch in the original source away from the action -  Bran's training with the Three-eyed Raven on how to improve his warg power does not seem to provide a compelling material, at least for the showrunners.

"It made sense to stop where we did," Benioff told EW. "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..." He did not dish any additional details beyond that.

Bran's absence in Season 5 was first revealed by Nairn in September. In an interview with Australia's 7.30 to promote his DJ tour "Rave of Thrones," the 38-year-old Irish actor and DJ revealed that he and his co-stars Hempstead-Wright and Kendrick have a year off from the show.

"We're not actually in Season 5, by the way. We have a season off. We have a year's hiatus," he said. "Solely because, I imagine, our storyline is up to the end of the books."

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