This post contains spoilers for the final season of Game of Thrones.
Nearly two weeks after Game of Thrones concluded, fans of the show are still thinking about its shocking ending. Other audience members are considering what George R.R. Martin has in store for the books, and if the books might present a different ending from the one put forth by the TV series.
Now, the actor who played the show’s reigning king is coming forward, and has shed some new light on Martin’s thoughts.
Isaac Hempstead Wright, who played Bran Stark for the entirety of Game of Thrones — and became the king of Westeros in the series finale — said in an interview with the HBO website Making Game of Thrones that it had always been George R.R. Martin’s plan that his character would end up as king.
“[Creators] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] told me there were two things [author] George R.R. Martin had planned for Bran, and that was the Hodor revelation, and that he would be king,” Hempstead Wright said in the interview. “So that’s pretty special to be directly involved in something that is part of George’s vision.”
The Hodor revelation referred to took place in Season 6 of the series, when it was revealed that the character of Hodor — the simple-minded servant who had carried Bran around for the previous several seasons — had gone by that name, and said only that word, because Bran had accessed his mind in the past. Hodor’s name came from repeatedly being told “hold the door,” right before his death. That was one of the first major moments on the show which took place beyond the plot laid out by Martin’s books.
Bran’s fate in #GameofThrones Season 8 comes directly from author George R.R. Martin, reveals Isaac Hempstead Wright https://t.co/dXZpoUL4qW #GOTS8 #ForTheThrone #TheIronThrone pic.twitter.com/x4ZgZrOVm4— Watchers on the Wall (@WatchersOTWall) May 30, 2019
Since the show went off the air, Martin has been somewhat coy about which parts of the ending were his — and which were not.
As for Hempstead Wright, he also said in the interview that he was shocked when he received the script. The script had him becoming king, and he just assumed it had been a prank — one in which every actor had received a script with his or her own name put forth as the next ruler of Westeros.
“He’s not human, he’s not normal, so there’s nothing to base him on,” Hempstead Wright said of Bran, who became the all-seeing “three-eyed raven” around Season 6. “It was just getting that balance of mystery and strangeness but with some little spark in him that keeps you compelled to see him on screen.”