Entertainment Weekly has gone straight to Game of Thrones executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss to clarify the fate of Bran Stark in the hit drama's upcoming fifth season.
Actor Kristian Nairn proved to be much more talkative than his character Hodor when he revealed that both he and Isaac Hempstead Wright -- who plays Bran -- will be taking Season 5 off. Two months later, showrunner Benioff confirmed that to be true.
"Ideally that wouldn't have gotten out and it's unfortunate it did," he said. "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 novel, A Dance with Dragons]. So if we pushed him forward this season, then he's way ahead of where the other characters are."
Bran, Hodor and Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) reached their temporary stopping point in last season's finale, when the trio discovered the magical Three-Eyed Raven. "It made sense to stop where we did," Benioff continued. "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..." Benioff left the rest of that sentence open to speculation.
Game of Thrones fifth season will premiere in 2015 on HBO.