HBO's Game of Thrones will be leaving a few popular characters on the sidelines when it returns for Season 5. According to actor Kristian Nairn, who plays Hodor, he is taking a one year hiatus along with Isaac Hempstead-Wright, who plays Bran Stark and Ellie Kendrick who plays Meera.
This means the popular fantasy series will not be going beyond the wall when it returns. The reason seems to be that Hodor and Bran's storylines have caught up with George R.R. Martin novels. the end of Season 4 found Hodor, Bran and Meera finally making it to the "weirwood tree" where they encountered the Three-Eyed Raven Bran had been dreaming about. When they enter the cave of children in the forest, Bran is promised a number of different things. Their storyline won't continue until 2016, when HBO debuts Game of Thrones Season 6.
George R.R. Martin has written scenes that appear in the fifth book, A Dance With Dragons which have not yet been filmed and could have been utilized in Season 5. But those will be saved for a later date. The author still needs to finish the last two books in the series, so the fate of Bran Stark and Hodor is not yet known to the show's writers.
Kristian Nairn explained in an interview with Yahoo! Australia how things were working out, but be warned, there are Major Spoilers! ahead if you are not completely caught up with last season.
"We're actually not in Season 5, by the way. We have a season off and we have a year's hiatus, solely because I imagine our storyline is up to the end of the books. So, I get my year off now to do Rave of Thrones and gallivant all over the world."