Louisa Mellor

Aug 31, 2017

Before season seven, we chatted to Isaac Hempstead Wright about Bran Stark’s power and the potential ramifications of Jon’s secret…

Warning: contains spoilers.

In a brief round-table chat with Isaac Hempstead Wright before season seven aired this July, he was asked about his future plans and said he’d been offered a place at university but wasn’t yet sure whether he would take it up. John Bradley [who plays Samwell Tarly] widened his eyes. “Imagine being at uni though, and being you! What a time you’re going to have! Go! Just go for a term!” he laughed. “Just stalk around Fresher’s Week!”

Game Of Thrones, as he says, has been eighteen-year-old Hempstead Wright’s education. He joined the show at the age of ten to play Bran, a character few would have pinned hopes on surviving this far back then at the rate the Starks were losing their heads. He’s still around, and more crucial to the endgame than ever. Indeed, thanks to his unique abilities, he’s arguably one of the show’s most powerful players…

Is Bran the most powerful character in Game Of Thrones?

There are so many different types of power within the Game Of Thrones world. You’ve got Cersei who is arguably one of the most powerful political figures, and then you’ve got your Varys and your Littlefinger… but Bran, I think probably, I will be bold and say that overall, he probably is the most powerful character because he’s all-knowing. That’s the point of being the Three-Eyed Raven, he can dip into all of time in the history of the universe [laughs] in a moment so that in itself presents a huge power for Bran.

At the same time, what’s quite neat about it is the way this power has been given to one of the least physically powerful characters in the show so it’s kind of swings and roundabouts. If Cersei had that power, I dread to think what would go down!

How did it feel when you found out the secret that was going to be revealed to Bran about Jon’s paternity?

This news that Bran has found out is massive, it could completely shake up the entire race for the Iron Throne, it could shake up the entire fate of the story. And the trouble I think for Bran is that by the end of season six, it’s just him and Meera at the foot of the wall, they’ve lost everyone near and dear to them, all the people who’ve protected and looked out for them, and they’re now totally out on their own, but Bran has this sort of golden information.

Game Of Thrones: Isaac Hempstead Wright on Bran Stark, Jon’s secret

Not only that but also the origins of the White Walkers, which, who knows, may reveal how they might be defeated when the time comes. So the difficulty for Bran is that he’s going to have to make sure people find this out and the right people find this out, because if it gets into the wrong hands then it could be pandemonium.

I think if Bran rocked up to wherever and said ‘look, trust me on this one, I’ve been living in a tree for the past few years up in the North and this raven has told me who your parents are’ I think he’d be locked away [laughs].

Which fight is more important in the game of thrones, the spirit or the physical? Which is harder to win?

There is only one fight really in the game of thrones and that’s between the humans and the White Walkers. That’s what all this has been leading up to. What’s been clever is you’ve had all this petty squabbling going on for years and years and all these people vying for the Iron Throne when really that is such an irrelevant problem in the face of the White Walkers.

How aware are you of what’s going on in the other units while you’re filming your scenes?

Whenever I’m in a studio [laughs] I just ask them if, whenever I’ve got a break, if I can go and look at all the other sets and just wander round.

Game Of Thrones: Isaac Hempstead Wright on Bran Stark, Jon’s secret

Years from now, what’s the story you’ll tell your grandkids about Game Of Thrones? What will they be sick of hearing?

To be honest, I think they’ll just be sick of hearing the words Game Of Thrones [laughs]. For me, this has literally been my adolescence. I joined the show when I was ten and that was eight years ago, so it’s pretty much been half my life, which is a weird concept. I think every day there’s a different story. To me, it’s been like being at a school, it’s been as integral to my life and as regular a yearly fixture as going to school.

What plans do you have for the future? There was talk of leaving acting for a career in academia wasn’t there?

No, I’m going to carry on acting. I’m just doing my last school exams at the moment and I’ve got a place at university next year. I don’t know whether I’m going to go at all, take a year out, I’m just going to see, but I’m definitely going to keep the acting going.

What is the biggest and best scenes you’ve seen on the show?

Recently, I think the Battle of the Bastards was just a spectacle. It kind of summed up how far Game Of Thrones has come and just the epic scale of the brutal warfare I think pretty much is what Game Of Thrones is.

Isaac Hempstead Wright, thank you very much!

Game of Thrones Season 7 is available now on Digital Download