Game of Thrones' Bran Stark is back and he's all grown up. Isaac Hempstead Wright, who reprises the role in the new season of the HBO series, talks about special powers and fitting in.
What was it like having to sit out the fifth season? "It was bizarre not having to go to Belfast [where GoT is shot] and hang out in the rain for six months. Watching the season didn't feel too weird because I could see my friends in it, but it felt a bit of a shame not to see everyone in the flesh, because we're quite close. Coming back was a shock to the system; I hadn't done any film set work for a year. I did an animation [ The Boxtrolls] but that was in a recording studio. It was quite intimidating at first but, before I knew it, I was home again."
Tell us about Bran's powers? "He has the ability to 'warg', or go into animals and humans, and harness the power of weirwood trees to look into the past, present and future. In season six he will have sufficient ability to look into the past, which we've never seen him do before."
How has the character evolved? "He's developed a thick skin to deal with the unpleasantries of life in the medieval kingdom of Westeros. At an early age, he knew life was going to be very tough. By the time he reaches seasons four and six and gets to the cave, his attitude has changed. Instead of just trying to survive on the road while following his destiny, he can actually put effort into learning about the capabilities of his power and working out exactly how his power might work in the greater scheme of things, or if it will be of any use at all."
What do you like about Bran? "He's a slightly different character from the other ones at Westeros. He's not glamorous or particularly smart and cunning; he's just a little boy thrust into extraordinary circumstances. He's been through all the wars and had a rough time of it, but throughout he's stayed in command of his destiny and followed his calling, even though he doesn't know what it is or where he's going. He could have easily given up or died … but Bran is a symbol of fighting in adversity."
How do you think the story will finish? "We can see where Bran fits in the wider puzzle of Westeros. This season you can start to see storylines tying up and paving the way for a dramatic conclusion."
The sixth season of Game of Thrones is showing on HBO on Mondays, at 9am and again at 9pm.