Isaac Hempstead Wright’s “Game of Thrones”
character, Bran Stark, was responsible for confirming a long-held fan theory
about Jon Snow in the show’s Season 6 finale.
In Sunday’s finale, “The Winds of Winter,” Bran
completed a vision he started earlier in the season. He traveled back to his
see his young father, Ned Stark, find his sister, Lyanna (Bran’s aunt), at the
Tower of Joy. The scene confirmed a long held fan theory that Jon Snow’s mother
is Lyanna Stark.
On Monday, Access Hollywood jumped on the phone to ask Isaac
all about being part of the scene, which delighted fans, and Bran’s goodbye to
his uncle Benjen.
AccessHollywood.com: What was your favorite reaction to last night’s episode? I remember when I
talked to you back at the [start of Season 6], you told me you love reading
Twitter and seeing the reactions.
Isaac Hempstead Wright: I’ve pretty much only just – because the episode’s
not even out in the UK yet, so I’ve pretty much only just managed to watch it
myself a couple of hours ago. I think that the overall reaction to this one has
just been – when I was watching it, it was kind of you just wanting to keep
shouting… ‘Oh my God! Oh my God!’ It was kind of getting better and better and
better as it went along. But I think overall it was — yeah, it was just epic
and I’ll have to catch up with Twitter tonight actually.
Access: Let us go back in time then, and please tell me if
the cast had any theories about who Jon Snow’s mom was. Were people talking
about that prior to this season?
Isaac: I think it had been bandied about. I think I can remember Kit
[Harington], in almost like the first season, mentioning how he’d read theories
on the internet about how it was the whole R+L=J and stuff, and I think we were
all aware of it, but it had never been formally kind of recognized or even
mentioned by the producers or anyone on the team, so it kind of just went to
the back of the pile and nobody really thought about it. But, to actually have
it kind of, sort of semi-confirmed, is pretty cool, is pretty special.
Access: What is the line then from the show? In my
opinion, it was half-confirmed.
Isaac: Yeah, I think so. There’s no way we actually know who the father is.
Access: We need a certain kind of TV host for that, and a
DNA test. ‘You are not the father.’
Isaac: Yes (laughs).
Access: I want to know what kind of conversations you had
with [director] Miguel Sapochnik about what you had to do in that scene,
because obviously you have to have a number of expressions on your face as
you’re watching it. But yeah, what were your conversations like with him?
Isaac: We had some really interesting conversations actually [about] the
bit that preceded the actual Tower of Joy scene — just in the woods with this
goodbye to Benjen. And Joe Mawle, who plays Benjen, he’s a fantastic actor. We
talked together at great lengths about exactly what was going on when Bran and
Benjen bid farewell to each other and there’s that great kind of elongated look
between Benjen and Bran, which I think totally summarizes what’s going on. … We
were trying to play it as if it’s — Bran and Benjen are having this kind of
secret conversation kind of through the airwaves almost and Meera’s got nothing
to do with it, but it’s just this intense focus between Bran and Benjen, and
this kind of knowing between the both of them that they will meet again
sometime soon and it will be in much less comfortable circumstances. And so I
thought that was something really interesting, saying goodbye to Benjen but
only to know that we’re going to see each other soon for the great war.
Actually inside the Tower of Joy… it’s hard to recall now, but I think that the
essence of it was a kind of terror and I don’t want to say confusion, but it
was kind of this devastating, crushing kind of revelation on Bran’s part after
seeing the look on Ned’s face — that kind of totally devastated, destroyed,
kind of crushing blow that it looked like he’d just been dealt. And I think it
was just Bran kind of stepping back and going, ‘Oh… my… goodness gracious me. … This is serious.’
Access: So, I turned my TV up because that’s the kind of
person that I am, and you can hear some of what Lyanna says.
Isaac: Oh, yeah, yeah. Tell me what we can hear.
Access: I’m going to have to paraphrase it because I
can’t remember it exactly, but she basically says, ‘you can’t tell Robert
’cause he’ll kill him.’
Access: Which I think is kind of a throwback to Season 1
and the scene between Ned and Robert [on the Kingsroad] when Ned finds out that Robert [wanted to kill the] Targaryens across the water. … So, I don’t know, did they
talk to you about what she whispered to Ned that we didn’t hear?
Isaac: Nope, nope, nothing like that sadly, because I think that’s
important for Bran. He doesn’t exactly know what’s going on. He doesn’t really
know why he’s being shown this anyway, because the Three Eyed Raven always
carefully kind of showed him things that he had seen, things that were crucial
to Bran’s kind of warging and greenseeing developing, so I think it’s quite a
key element that Bran sees this and understands its significance, but doesn’t
exactly quite have the full picture yet. And I think that’s clearly something
that will kind of be explored in scenes to come.
Access: We didn’t get to see what Bran’s reaction was
when he got back to his own body, but how do you think he’s going to deal with
the fact that he now knows that Jon is his cousin?
Isaac: I think what’s going to be going through Bran’s head is – for a
couple of seconds, it’ll be, ‘Oh, right, well, he’s not my brother, but hey,
that’s not the issue here.’ I think what’ll be [going through his head] is ‘Why
is this important?’ I think that then leads onto the question, ‘Well, who is
his father?’ and so I think that’s what’s going through Bran’s head. It’s like,
‘Well, I need to tell Jon this and we need to try and understand why this is
important.’ So it seems to me the next logical step would be for Bran to head
down south and knock on Winterfell’s door and have a good old recap.
Access: For sure. How do you think he is going to react
to Sansa? She is a very different woman – she wasn’t a woman when he last saw
her, she was just a girl, and she’s now quite different.
Isaac: Yeah, I think he’ll be quite impressed because she’s really turned
into quite the diplomat and quite the cunning individual. Having been [around] so many different sort of tyrants — from Ramsay, to Littlefinger,
to Joffrey, to Cersei — she’s seen the inner machinations of government and of
politics and she’s learnt how to play the game, so I think what Bran would see,
will be like, ‘Well, we’ve got this fantastic leader and warrior in Jon, we’ve
got this superb diplomat in Sansa, and we got my magic thing going on. We can
rule the world.’ And of course Arya with her ninja stuff and face-changing kind
of assassin stuff, we’re the dream team, like Captain America.
Access: Wow. Yeah, that’s a good point … Did anyone talk about the fact that they weren’t going to mention who Jon Snow’s dad was in that episode when you guys were filming it?
Isaac: Not really. I can remember reading it and thinking ‘Oh, right, well this is going to be R+L=J.’ It’s like ‘Well this is only X+L=J (laughs). Where’s the R?’ And I remember going to my mum, going, ‘Ah, no, no. it’s Rhaegar isn’t it?’ She goes ‘Well, no. Not according to the script. We don’t know yet.’ I’m like, ‘Ahhh…’
Access: I’ve got two last questions – one, what do you think about that theory that Bran could have been responsible for driving the Mad King mad? I thought that was a fun theory this season people came up with.
Isaac: Oh, I love that. I love that. I saw this in a YouTube comment section, which I know is the best place to go for any wisdom, but I saw this fantastic theory that it was like, ‘Bran gets to The Wall and the Night’s King is starting to go through it, so he’s going ‘Burn The Wall, burn The Wall’ and Bran’s [in a] vision, looking at the Mad King and it morphs into like ‘Burn The Wall, burn them all, burn them all,” – like Hodor. How cool is that?
Access: Wow. I love it. Here’s my last question. I’m going to ask everyone on the cast this… but your character, seeing as he’s got some powers – where’s Gendry? Do you have any idea?
Isaac: (Laughs) I think he’s at the Inn in the Crossroads, he hasn’t left. He’s stuck. Who knows where Gendry is.
Access: Last time we saw him, he was rowing and Joe Dempsie tweeted a few years ago ‘still rowing,’ so, I feel like I need to end every interview just asking that question.
Isaac: He’s rowing champion by now.
— Joe Dempsie (@joedempsie) June 18, 2014
— Jolie Lash
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