Well, the end has finally begun for Game of Thrones. As sad as that may be, it is pretty cool to see the return of so many familiar faces that viewers have journeyed with for eight years, especially when it comes to the youngest members of the Stark clan. It's crazy to think that the actor who played Bran Stark was only 10-years-old when he got the role, so how did Isaac Hempstead Wright end up on Game of Thrones in the first place?
Raised in Kent, Hempstead Wright began acting after attending a local drama club "because football club was too cold" as he told The Telegraph in a recent interview. From here he started attending auditions under the guidance of his drama teacher, and after an unsuccessful attempt at auditioning for an advert for Top Gear, he eventually landed the role of a lifetime as the second-youngest Stark on Game of Thrones. But as the actor was only 10-years-old, he needed guidance and reassurance from his parents on whether or not this role was the right fit for him. "It was a genuine dilemma. They had to think, 'Should we let Isaac do this?' Not least because this is a show about incest and murder," he explained to newspaper. "You have to be the right kid for it and you have to have the right parents for it."
Thankfully, Hempstead Wright did. While they didn't have to explain that the violence was make-believe as it was "debunked instantaneously" thanks to Sean Bean "literally playing football with his decapitated head [off camera]." However, when it came to *that* scene between Jaime and Cersei Lancaster, Hempstead Wright's mum had to subject him to "the talk". "They were like, 'So duck, this is not the way normal sexual relations happen," he said. Forget the sex talk, can we appreciate how adorable that nickname is? I can't.
Through his parent's guidance, the actor was also able to find the perfect balance between his work and school life. "I was lucky in the sense that I never had a huge amount to film, and it was spread out enough so that I could go to school pretty much all the time," he recently told Esquire. "There were a few times I had to be away, but I was pretty studious so I was good at catching up with whatever I missed." The GoT star knew his priorities, which led to him taking a year off during the fifth series to focus on his GSCE's as The Telegraph reports.
In 2017, the actor began studying music and maths at the University of Birmingham which is also where he received the scripts for the final season. "I was reading the scripts in my student halls, I had to double-lock the door, I was reading through them and then... I think it was episode six, I had to actually pace around the room a little bit, and go 'F**k!'" Yeah, I totally don't have anxiety brewing for that episode now either.
But it was due to the actor's role as Bran that eventually led him to drop out of uni altogether. "My address got published. I couldn't walk out of my halls without having to take a selfie. Eventually I got assigned a police officer," he told Esquire. "And because your email is public domain, I got like, billions of emails from people going: 'Hi, three-eyed raven!'. I was just trying to find out when my next lecture was."
"I had the nicest flatmates. But it made it quite difficult to make friends. I don't think I'll ever be able to have a normal university experience, which is kind of sad. I couldn't relax and go and have a drink or get drunk or whatever, because if I did someone would be like: 'I saw Bran and he was all fucked up.'"
However, once GoT is finally said and done Hempstead Wright will be returning to university, and this time he'll be studying neuroscience as The Telegraph reports. "I just want the chance to go and do something of my own accord. I've been on this big machine for so long and yet this is still the start of my life," he explained. "I fell into it when I was so young. I didn't know what I was doing or where I was going."
The final season of Game of Thrones premieres tonight on Sky Atlantic at 9 p.m., and will continue weekly.