Video by Jeremy Ho
Bran Stark’s journey in acclaimed HBO series Game of Thrones has taken him from bright-eyed child to despairing cripple to having the ability to see into the past and the future. And from the sounds of it, there is lots more in store for him yet in the upcoming season,
Speaking to Yahoo Singapore, English actor Isaac Hempstead Wright, 17, who plays Stark, hinted that his character may play the role of kingmaker in the never-ending quest for the Iron Throne. With his “extraordinary enabling capabilities”, he may even cause an “earthquake” in Westeros, said Hempstead Wright.
“Particularly this season, he’s almost read the script. He knows what’s going on all around the world. So this year, I kind of approached it as if Bran had just watched the show the whole time.”
He added, “When we meet Bran in season 6, he’s still got a lot of learning to do, but expect lots of magic.”
Loving it in Singapore
Hempstead Wright at a media round table in Singapore. Photo: Nicholas Yong/Yahoo Singapore
Wright is in town to promote the sixth season of the wildly popular medieval fantasy series. He was absent from season 5, which coincided with his examinations at school, and meant a “complete year’s break” from the show. The exuberant teenager confesses to feeling “a little bit sad” at seeing the cast on TV, while the show got ever more popular. “By the time it was (time to get back into it), I was thinking: Oh, I’m really missing this!” said Wright.
Hempstead Wright has certainly been having a good time in Singapore. Last night (4 Apr), he posted an Instagram photo of a feast that included local favourites satay, claypot rice and char kway teow (his favourite was the wanton mee).
Last week, he recalled his most intense fan encounter in the city-state during a meet-and-greet session at ION Orchard. “I was expecting maybe 50 people. But when we came in, (there was) layer upon layer of screaming teenage girls. It was cool. That was wild.”
Hempstead Wright is also appreciative of the fan mail he receives from all over the world. “It’s really nice to be able to read these words from corners of the globe where you’ve never been. It’s like having lots and lots of pen friends.”
Hi-jinks on the Game of Thrones set
Hempstead Wright takes a selfie with members of the media. Photo: Jeremy Ho/Yahoo Singapore
Responding to a question on who are the biggest pranksters on set, Wright gleefully points to showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. Given the show’s propensity to abruptly kill off the most popular characters, their party piece involves sending amended scripts to cast members where they have been killed off.
Hempstead Wright told a media roundtable with a smile, “They sent Alfie Allen, who plays Theon Greyjoy, a script where I jumped out and stabbed him in the back over and over again. And I got this text from Alfie: “Oh my god, just read the new script, you stab me to death, that’s amazing!”
And when asked if the cast takes bets on who will make it through the season, he replied with a laugh, “I think we should start a sweepstakes. The first thing anyone does when they get the script is: Forget the story, am I alive?”
Who will take the Iron Throne?
Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) Photo: HBO Asia
Just like Bran Stark, his sister Sansa, played by Sophie Turner, has also had to endure “horrendous things”, said Hempstead Wright. And she is one character he would like to see on the Iron Throne.
“She’s had to learn the way of the diplomat, she’s been exposed to the politics of Westeros in a way that other characters have not. I reckon she could be particularly cunning.”
He added, “She’d make a good queen, nicer than Cersei.”
Bran Stark (Hempstead Wright) and the Three-Eyed Raven (Max von Sydow). Photo: HBO Asia
Given that his cast mates and buddies Turner and Maisie Williams have started landing roles in other franchises, is Hempstead Wright looking to roles outside of the HBO series?
“I’d like to try something wildly different from Game of Thrones. Sort of like a comedy or a modern drama film,” said Hempstead Wright, even though the show takes up six months of the year and he is still in school.
Would he fancy something like Me Before You, the upcoming romantic drama headlined by GOT alumnus Emilia Clarke?
“I don’t think I’d be very good at that kind of schmaltziness. (I would prefer) something darker,” he said with a laugh.
Game of Thrones season 6 premieres exclusively on HBO (starHub TV Ch 601) on 25 Apr at 9am, with a same day primetime encore at 9pm.