A few months ago Kristian Nairn said something that shocked everyone, that he would not be appearing in season 5. Now when this initially came out, it was unclear just what that meant. Did it mean that all of Bran and company would be left out of the season? Or just Hodor and Meera? I originally believed that we would still have a Bran story line, and that we just would bench Hodor and Meera, and focus in on Bran and the Three-Eyed Crow. However, I was wrong. David Benioff, one of the Game of Thrones producers, has just confirmed with Entertainment Weekly that the entire Bran story line will be benched for season 5. When asked about the decision to bench the story line, Benioff said the following: (possible spoilers, very mild though)
Ideally that wouldn’t have gotten out and it’s unfortunate it did. 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 [in George R.R. Martin’s most recent A Song of Ice and Fire novel, A Dance with Dragons]. So if we pushed him forward this season, then he’s way ahead of where the other characters are.
It made sense to stop where we did. 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…
This is a very interesting decision to make. And to be quite honest, I'm not sure which way I lean on this - whether or not I like this decision or not. I'm glad that it seems like David and Dan have a plan - although who knows just what that plan is. As a book reader I'm glad that I can feel safe, for hopefully this season, to not be spoiled about whats to come in the books. Bran's story is by far the furthest along in its book arch, reaching just about the same point as the books. That being said it'll be nice for the show to add what time would otherwise have been spent on Bran, now can be added to the new story lines, such as those in Dorne. But I was looking forward to seeing Bran training with the Three-Eyed Crow, and the possibilities that opened up the show. That being a particular scene I was almost positive we would've had, that is if Bran was going to be in season 5. Its odd that they decided to show Bran's transformation off screen, while they decided to show Theon's transformation on screen. I personally would've flipped these and had it done the same way as the books. Just imagine how much older Isaac Hempstead-Wright is going to look in season 6! So what do you think about this? Are you happy, are you mad? Let me know your thoughts down below!