When Isaac Hempstead Wright received his scripts for the final season of Game of Thrones and read that Bran Stark would become King Bran the Broken, he thought he was being pranked. “I had to physically get up and walk around my flat,” he told HBO’s Making Game of Thrones blog. “I said, ‘What?! You’re joking.’ It was the very last thing I expected to happen. I was convinced they had sent a script to everyone in which they become king or queen, so I still didn’t believe it until the read-through.”
But it was the truth! How does Hempstead Wright feel about Bran’s coronation? “I think he is a great character to take on that role. You never thought of him in that way, but what more could you ask for in a king than to have no personal attachments, no agenda, but have a calm understanding of the entire universe? He’s the ideal person to be in charge.”
"[Creators] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] told me there were two things [author] George R.R. Martin had planned for Bran, and that was the Hodor revelation, and that he would be king. So that’s pretty special to be directly involved in something that is part of George’s vision. It was a really nice way to wrap it up."
That should put to bed any thoughts this not being the plan for Bran in the Song of Ice and Fire novels, although we can expect that the path to get there will be a little different. Martin has his own thoughts on the matter.
On the show, the lords and ladies of Westeros vote Bran as king after Tyrion gives a speech about the importance of stories. A lot of fans weren’t convinced by that, but Hempstead Wright was a fan. “It’s definitely a nice parallel to Game of Thrones,” he mused. “Episodes and seasons come and go and the show has ended, but stories never die. Great experiences and memories of watching something and loving it and being involved in characters and storylines are things no one can take away from you.”
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Apparently, the Dragonpit scene (which was filmed in Seville, Spain) took five days to shoot, and Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) had to continually repeat his speech over and over. But according to Wright, it never got boring. “It was such an incredible performance from him; utterly captivating. There were a couple of times I almost forgot my line because I was so completely involved in his storytelling. And that was my final scene to shoot, so that was a really special way to end it with so many people. It was very emotional.”
Now that the credits have rolled forever on the show, what does Wright hope people will take away from the finale? “I don’t think it’s the ending people need to take away from, it’s the overall message of what these characters have done and how they’ve changed.”
"You can read into it in all sorts of ways but at the end of the day, what Game of Thrones is so brilliant at is telling really human stories, and you can take away anything you want from it. There are so many types of people and story-arcs in it, that all have different conclusions and morals and messages. More than anything it’s a great thing to watch, and a useful tool in sitting there and reflect on how we behave."
Long may he reign.