A few months ago, it was leaked that one of Game of Thrones' major characters, Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright), would be left off of the upcoming fifth season of HBO's ultra-popular fantasy adaptation of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series. Now, we have confirmation that it is indeed true, which would mark the first time a major character has been benched for an entire season.
One of the showrunners, David Benioff, spoke to EW about why that decision was made:
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.
So, it appears like Martin will have to be quick about finishing the upcoming sixth book in the series, "The Winds of Winter," in order for us to know more about Bran's storyline, now that he has finally reached the Three-Eyed Raven.
And according to Benioff, Bran is going to go through a rather extensive training process, most likely to enhance his own magical abilities:
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...
Truthfully, Bran's storyline never really resonated with me, mainly because he took so long to reach the wizard-like Three-Eyed Raven. As a result, I do not mind at all that the showrunners have decided to leave him out for season five. Hopefully, by the time we see him again, Bran has developed his powers to a level on par (if you will) with that of The Children, those mysterious non-human creatures that existed in Westeros long before the story we know began. I have always been of the mindset that Bran is no ordinary human being. And besides, with full-fledged powers, he could potentially become very helpful in the impending battle against the white walkers.
With Bran out, that means other story arcs will have more time to evolve, such as Queen Dany's reign in Meereen, both Arya and Tyrion's respective journeys to Essos (will they ever cross paths?), the fallout of Lord Tywin Lannister's death at the hands of his own son, Tyrion, Lord Stannis Baratheon's arrival at The Wall, as well as the introduction of all those new Dornish characters.
In case you might have missed it, here are the new characters set to make their ' [Game of Thrones](movie:817617)' debut:
Season five of Game of Thrones debuts sometime in early 2015, so make sure to stay tuned!
Does it really matter to you that Bran is not going to be in season five?
[Images from: Game of Thrones Wiki]