Kristian Nairn is a really fun interview. He’s verbose and opinionated, as the student audience at University College Dublin found out when he stopped by for a lengthy question-and-answer session. Watch the hour-long interview below. Warning: Nairn works blue.
It’s a pretty lightweight interview, but here are some highlights. First, let’s cycle through some of Nairn’s favorites from the show:
- “The Door” was probably his favorite episode, although he admits he’s biased. He’s also a big fan of “And Now His Watch is Ended” and “The Rains of Castamere.”
- Hodor’s favorite character? Cersei. “I like a good Disney witch.” He’s also a big fan of Arya, Varys and Brienne, the latter of whom is his pic to sit the Iron Throne, because she doesn’t want it and would be fair.
- And which character does he hate? “I really am not a big fan of Jon Snow.” As he predicted, the audience swiftly turns on him there.
- Which character’s death did Nairn find saddest? “Catelyn Stark. That killed me.” And his favorite death? Ramsay Bolton’s. “He definitely deserved it. Horrible piece of shit.”
A couple of people ask Nairn if he forgives Bran for his role in Hodor’s death. Nairn’s answer is very simple: “No.”
Cruel? Maybe, but Bran was responsible for both crippling Hodor as a boy and killing him as a man. Incidentally, Nairn thinks that Hodor would forgive Bran—it’s just that he, personally, would not. In fact, if Nairn got the opportunity to come back to the show as a wight (which he would love to do), he would “love to rip Bran’s head off and shit down [his] neck.”
Like I said, he works blue.
This is a good time to mention that Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran) is in the audience and is clearly taking all this in good fun. In fact, there are a couple of times when Wright comes up to the podium to answer questions, and it’s obvious the two are very close, particularly around 49:30.
Nairn also talks a little about what Game of Thrones has meant to him, and why he thinks it’s been such a successful fantasy show. He praises its restraint—obviously, the show features magic and dragons and such, but it doesn’t overexpose them, instead keeping the focus on family drama, although he “would love to have spent five seasons riding a big unicorn.” Overall, he never thought the show would become as big as it became, certainly not so big that President Obama would ever name-check him.
- No, Nairn didn’t know about Hodor’s ultimate fate when he first joined the show. In fact, he thought Hodor would make it to the end, although he’s glad he had a cool death.
- If Nairn wasn’t an actor, he would be a sign language interpreter. He had hearing problems early in life and was studying for that job before being cast on the show. He thinks that helped him play Hodor, since it involved a lot of communication through body language.
- What would the words of House Nairn be? “Do I have to?” Nairn says he always thought of himself as kind of lazy, although he’s developed a strong work ethic in recent years. Relatedly, if Hodor could say one word besides “Hodor,” what would it be? “No.”
- Which character would Nairn bring back? “It would be really boring, but I think if you brought back Ned Stark half the kill stuff wouldn’t happen, probably. I think that was the sort of ball starting to roll of all the chaos.”
- Nairn didn’t think R+L=J would be proved true. “I thought it was a wee bit obvious. Because if I was George [R.R. Martin] and I saw so many people getting it right, I woulda been like ‘Eh. I’m gonna change that.'”
- Nairn reminds the audience that showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are quite the pranksters. For example, they gave Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) a script in Season 2 where Bran kills Theon (while on Hodor’s back). “I think they almost forgot to tell him it was a joke, and he just sort of glumly accepted.”
- At 42:35, Nairn talks about Hodor’s nude scene from Season 1, which he calls “one of the most tragic days of my life.” It turns out the prosthetic penis was horribly uncomfortable. “They had to plot and glue the public hair into my own…I would be finding glue in my own sort of area for about two weeks or three weeks afterwards…They promised me it would be a closed set, and there was everybody. I think there were people who didn’t even work on the show there.”
Nairn is now working on a Netflix series, “a fantasy-type show, slightly higher fantasy than Game of Thrones.” He can’t give too many details, but his character is very different from Hodor. “I won’t do another Hodor-esque character. I’ve turned down quite a few, actually…If I’m gonna do that sort of thing, I don’t think I can get any better than Hodor. I think he’s the pinnacle of one-word characters, including Groot.”
Finally, how would Hodor respond to seeing the dragons? “Hodor.”