Did you miss Bran Stark in Game of Thrones Season 5? Not to worry. He's coming back in a big way when HBO debuts Game of Thrones Season 6 this spring. While we don't have a confirmed date for new episodes, which kick off this April, we do know that Isaac Hempstead-Wright is back in action. And today, EW has our first look at his return. Warning, SPOILERS follow.
Most Game of Thrones fans are awaiting one big answer left dangling at the end of Season 5. And that's the true fate of Jon Snow. It's one aspect HBO has gleefully teased ever since Kit Harington was taken down by his own men last spring in the Game of Thrones Season 5 finale. While we await the final answer on that particular story thread, we do know for a fact that one of Ned Stark's other sons is alive and well. After sitting out the entirety of Game of Thrones Season 5, Bran will be making his presence known yet again.
When we last saw Bran Stark, he was meeting the cave-dwelling mystical Three-Eyed Raven. That character is now being played by Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor Max von Sydow. The Game of Thrones Season 4 finale showed us Bran trying to get control of his fledgling psychic powers. Now 16 years old, Isaac Hempstead-Wright has grown quite a bit since we last laid eyes on him.
Isaac Hempstead-Wright now sports short hair, and he is nearly six feet tall. Which can't bode well for poor' Hodor's back. We're still not sure how Bran Stark will figure into the ongoing story from this point. The TV show has reached the end of the published books, and the actor wasn't very forthcoming back in July when he confirmed his return to the show. He had this to say to The Irish Examiner.
"I can't say a lot but I am back this season, and it's going to get particularly interesting with Bran. He has some interesting visions."
In the books, Bran's storyline was further along than some of the other characters. It made perfect sense for him to sit on the sidelines all through Game of Thrones's latest episodes. In his final Game of Thrones Season 4 episodes, Bran Stark had just reached the Weirwood trees beyond the wall. His Traveling party was attacked by a group of wights, with Jojen meeting his demise. Soon after, Bran met the Children of the Forest and the Three-Eyed Rave. It is expected that they have been training the young Stark all throughout the events seen in Game of Thrones Season 5. The series wanted to avoid jumping too far ahead, keeping all the characters on the same timeline, with David Benioff further explaining the character's absence as such.
"The fact is, even though we're making changes to the books and adapting as necessary, we're trying to keep the various story lines the same as the books and trying to keep them roughly [chronologically] parallel."
With Game of Thrones Season 6 caught up to the published books, both readers and viewers will experience all-new story arcs for the first time ever. We still have nearly a year to go before any of these secrets get revealed, as the show is expected to return this spring. Take a look at Bran Stark as he prepares for a whole new set of adventures. What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.