Following a year away from the show, Bran Stark will return in Game of Thrones season 6 and he will have a massive impact on some of the upcoming stories …
When Isaac Hempstead-Wright got a call that Game of Thrones show runners David Benioff and Dan Weiss needed to see him towards the end of season 4, a great wave of dread washed over him. These are the kinds of meetings where actors usually find out that they are going to join a long list of people who get killed on Game of Thrones and are never seen again.
Instead, he was happy to find out that his character Bran Stark would only be going on hiatus for a season to allow his story to develop off screen before giving him a major role in Game of Thrones season 6.
“When I first heard the news Dan and David wanted to have a chat with me, I was like, ‘Oh no!’ ,” Hempstead-Wright said in a recent interview with EW. “Usually that’s to tell you [your character is] dead. So comparatively, missing a season was like, ‘phew!’ “
Hempstead-Wright returns to the show this year a little older (he’s 16 now), a little taller (he’s six-foot tall now) and with a shorter haircut. He also comes back on screen with a much greater understanding of his greenseer powers after training with the Three-Eyed Raven, who is now played by legendary actor Max Von Sydow for season 6.
For reference sake, Von Sydow was the voice you heard during the Game of Thrones season 6 teaser trailer that was posted in December, which you can also watch below.
For several seasons, Bran Stark has been traveling north of the Wall to find his true purpose while slowly developing skills to warg (see through the eyes of animals and even people on occasion) and trying to understand the strange visions has had where he sees events from the past, present and future like dreams.
Now as Bran returns in Game of Thrones season 6, his off screen journey from novice to master is much closer to complete. The producers on the show explained to him that this is sort of like what happened in the Star Wars universe between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi when Luke Skywalker was barely a fledgeling student when he met Yoda in one movie and then returned on screen with his full powers in the next.
So now when Bran returns this upcoming season, he’s finally started to control his powers but his greatest gift might be the prophetic visions that we’ve seen flashes of throughout the last few years. Those visions will now play a major part in the story to come.
“Previously Bran’s seen tiny glimpses of future or past but never has he been very much in control in the situation,” Hempstead-Wright said. “Now we’re given looks into very important events in the past, present and future of this world and Bran is beginning to piece them together like a detective, almost as if he’s watching the show.
“Equally, he’s now discovering how crucial he could be in the Great War. It’s quiteInception-y.”
Many (including myself) have critiqued Bran’s story as the slowest moving of any taking place in Game of Thrones but now it looks like business is about to pick up and the character will finally play a major role in the series going forward.
Game of Thrones season 6 will return in the first quarter of 2016 on HBO.