As we patiently wait to catch a glimpse of every single Game of Thrones character this season, don't hold your breath for the second Stark boy. Bran is not in Game of Thrones Season 5, and the reason for it is really simple — the show has reached the end of his story. HBO hasn't forgotten about him, and he hasn't been killed off, so there's no need for alarm. There's just nothing more for him to do... right now. (Just keep in mind that no Bran means no Hodor, which is really the biggest travesty.)
Season 4 ended with Bran, Hodor, and Meera finally reaching the three-eyed raven. Jojen had just been killed by a wight (the scary zombie-like creatures who do the bidding of the White Walkers) so, needless to say, the group is pretty upset about it. As if they need more emotional turmoil, the three-eyed raven they meet is not in fact a three-eyed raven. The three-eyed raven turns out to be an old man fused to a tree who has been "watching" them this whole time. Bran cuts right to the chase with this old man, and asks him if he'll help him walk again. Instead of walking, the old man tells Bran that he will fly.
We're just not going to see any flying during Season 5, unfortunately.
GoT tries to stay in step with the books from A Song of Ice and Fire as best it can. Currently, with Season 5, the action is mostly pulled from A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, which are Books 4 and 5 respectively. Now, Bran wasn't even in a Feast for Crows (there were actually a lot of characters absent from this book, like Jon Snow, Dany, and Tyrion, but that's a whole different story).
For Season 4, they covered Bran's entire storyline for A Dance With Dragons. Honestly, not a whole lot even happened to him during A Dance with Dragons. It was easy for GoT to sort of "speed" through his story, and he reached the three-eyed raven by the end of the season, while everyone else is still slowly working through what happens to them.
GoT executive producer David Benioff defended their decision to leave Bran out of Season 5 completely. While talking to Entertainment Weekly, Benioff said, “The fact is, even though we’re making changes to the books and adapting as necessary, we’re trying to keep the various storylines the same as the books and trying to keep them roughly [chronologically] parallel. And last year we caught up to the end of Bran’s storyline. So if we pushed him forward this season, then he’s way ahead of where the other characters are.”
"So rather than being stuck in a cave for a year, we figured it would be interesting to leave him out for a little bit, so when you see him again…” then Benioff trailed off, because he didn't want divulge any more GoT secrets.
So even though Season 5 is Bran-less, we've at least got a thousand other characters to keep us occupied for the time being.
Image: Helen Sloan/HBO; Giphy