We're used to our favourite Game of Thrones characters vanishing from the show in fairly abrupt circumstances (Oberyn, we hardly knew ye), but apparently we may be missing some actors without the usual bloody carnage next year.
Speaking to an Australian Broadcast network, DJ and actor Kristian Nairn, who plays the verbally challenged Hodor in the HBO series, suggested that he and co-star Isaac Hempstead-Wright might be sitting out the next series.
"We're not actually in season five, by the way," he told journalists. "We have a season off. We have a year's hiatus."
"Solely because, I imagine, our storyline is up to the end of the books."
Speaking to RadioTimes.com today, Hempstead-Wright (who plays paraplegic Bran Stark) refused to confirm or deny the rumours - though he did suggest that Nairn stick to the script.
He said: "If it was Kristian who said it, I’m amazed he managed; he could only say ‘Hodor’, I thought!”
Isaac Hempstead-Wright and Kristian Nairn in Game of Thrones
The TV series has speedily run through the first three books of author George RR Martin's original novels, and many fans have expressed concern about it catching up with, or even overtaking, Martin's planned seven-book series.
If Nairn is right (nothing has been confirmed by HBO or the show's producers), then it looks like the programme-makers might have the problem on their mind as well. Who knows; in years to come, maybe we'll be seeing a lot less of Tyrion, Jon Snow and Daenerys as well.
In any case, Hodor and Bran should be glad they've not been given the same exit as these characters…
Warning: the following clip contains strong violence
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