Hodor and Podrick wouldn’t be a bad idea for a Game of Thrones TV spin-off sitcom, at least if Kristian Nairn and Daniel Portman’s joyous presence at this year’s New York Comic Con is any indication. The two actors held court with Wikia Director of Programming Eric Moro, Game of Thrones Wikia founder and series expert Adam Whitehead, and Wikia Marvel and DC Database founder Jamie at the Game of Thrones fan forum panel.
Read some highlights from their banter at the panel, including which Marvel heroes they would be, and how what this world needs now is Hodor, sweet Hodor.
Before we begin: There are spoilers for the four seasons of Game of Thrones and the books they cover, as well as casting for the upcoming season. The panel steered clear of questions regarding future events, though, so it’s pretty safe to read.
- Who’s read the books? Kristian hasn’t but his mom is a super-fan so he hears all about the plot and the characters. Daniel had actually read the books before he even tried out for the show, although he’s not read A Dance With Dragons. That novel came out a little after he got the part of Podrick and he didn’t want to spoil himself on the character’s possible fate.
- Favorite locations to shoot in any of the first four seasons? For Kristian it was the Irish countryside as they filmed their escape from the burning Winterfell. “It’s kind of my home country and [Winterfell] is on this beautiful mountaintop. You can see the weather coming from up there, the clouds circling around the other mountains.” Daniel was impressed by the Wall set in Iceland at the end of season 4 because it felt like he was actually there in Westeros.
- The inevitable “what do you think about the show ending before the books” question came and the panel was visibly weary answering it. Daniel: “It could happen? George trusts the show runners and we trust them.”
- So, Daniel…what did Podrick do in that scene where he is gifted time with two women from a brothel? The actor slipped his aviator sunglasses on for this answer. “Wouldn’t you like to know? What did I do? Lots of things. Lots and lots and lots of things. Erh…yeah!” He clarified. “I think Podrick is just a talented and well-endowed young man and that is all there is to it! Thank you. Thank you for the question.”
- Eric Moro asked the actors what they thought about potraying possibly the only truly noble people in the entire series. Daniel thinks Podrick is uncomplicated and that, despite having the House name of Payne, is probably just a really lovely guy. Kristian: “I genuinely don’t think Hodor has a dark side, and that if he does that it’s hidden even from him. He’s a pure soul.” Later on in the panel, Nairn would specify that Hodor’s actions in season 4 shook him, and that playing that through Hodor’s condition was an interesting challenge.
- Daniel is relatively new to acting and was cast in the show only a couple years out of high school. Because of that, he’s learning a lot from Peter Dinklage about acting. “It’s a massive learning curve.” And now he’s learning even greater shades of the art from Gwendoline Christie.
- Which Houses do the panel favor? Daniel: “House Payne! Or House Hodor.” Adam: “House Martell.” Jamie: “Tyrell for sure. They’re going to do something sneaky.” Kristian: “Definitely House Stark. I want to see some pretty furious revenge.”
- If Podrick and Oberyn Martell were both in a brothel, which room would be happier? Daniel: “That is a GREAT question.”
- Hodor’s emotional states tend to be included in the scripts since he’s mostly without dialogue, and Kristian tries to play that emotion subtly. He’ll change that if he thinks the tone of the scene deserves it.
- Valuable skills that the actors have learned from the show? Kristian: “Carrying. Especially children. Always ask for permission!”
- It turns out that Daniel had to learn horse-riding in order to learn how to consistently look bad at riding a horse. He’s glad to be able to add that skill to his resume, though.
- Kristian gets a little ruffled at Isaac Hempstead’s insistence on news/video diarying, especially when he’s just trying to sleep or learn his lines or play Angry Birds. Daniel relayed that Gwendoline is a very vibrant person on set and always bringing out laughter in others, whereas Peter Dinklage mostly keeps to himself.
- Kristian’s favorite moment on the show was when Bran took over his body, since it gave Nairn something new to act with. For Daniel it’s when Podrick saves Tyrion’s life during the Battle of the Blackwater. “That was really the first announcement that Podrick was THERE, you know?” Similarly, Daniel also loved the jail scene between him and Tyrion at the end of season 4.
- Favorite crazy theories? For Daniel it’s that Pod is Tysha and Tyrion’s secret child. Kristian doesn’t want to say which one is his favorite, just in case George R. R. Martin feels tempted to take it out of the books! (He is tickled by the idea that Hodor is a lost Clegane brother.) Jamie pointed out that Hodor is also rumored to be the son of Duncan the Tall.
- Three fan polls made their appearance during the panel: Favorite House, favorite new cast member in season 5, and whether you’ve read the books. The audience’s responses lined up pretty closely to the poll answers on the Game of Thrones Wikia here.
- Which character would the actors like to play on the show? Kristian: “We always get asked this and we’ve got a routine worked out for it! Really though, I’d like to play Brienne.” daniel wants to be Jaime Lannister.
- Olenna Tyrell is Kristian’s favorite character. Daniel’s is Varys. Adam’s is the way GRRM writes Randall Tarly, and Jamie loves Tyrion.
- Everyone on the panel seemed pretty happy with the changes made for the show. Jamie in particular thinks it’s unfair to give the show flack for changing events or ages from the books, since the mediums of book and TV are different.
- On where Pod and Brienne’s relationship will go in season 5: “Just expect more of the same. More trees. Actually, you’ll see a more human side to both of them.”
- Most annoying thing on set? Daniel falling all the way down the stairs during the Battle of Blackwater on his second day of shooting. (All he was supposed to do was give Tyrion an axe. He had one job!) Kristian was very much NOT happy with the glue that his prosthetic penis left behind.
- How does Nairn deal with portraying Hodor’s condition? ”When I’m playing Hodor…I was a pretty shy kid. I think he’s kind of terrified of the world around him slightly. Maybe a little autistic, I don’t know. But he’s very gentle and wouldn’t hurt anybody. So when he realized he harmed another human being in season 4 it really didn’t sit well with him. […] If everyone had a little more Hodor in them it would be a nicer world.”
- Nairn stays out of character when not filming, barring the occasional Hodor request.
- If they could be in Marvel films, Daniel would want to play the Human Torch or the Silver Surfer. Kristian would want to be Thor, since he’s loved Thor all his life and even has tattoos of him. It’s a tough question for him though. “I love comic books! I’m so excited about the Wonder Woman movie.”
- If Game of Thrones could cross-over with another show, what would it be? Daniel: “Do you guys get Antique Road Show here?” Jamie: “Doctor Who. That would be awesome!” Kristian: “And dreadful. This is a tough one. Adventure Time! I want to see Lumpy Space Princess as Arya.” The Walking Dead popped up for Adam, but he’d be more interested in seeing a crossover with a superhero TV or movie series, like Batman.
- Daniel admits to reading a season backwards to see where he shows up last, since there’s always the possibility that he’ll be killed off. Kristian admitted that it gets kind of depressing having to say goodbye to actors all the time.
Those were the highlights! Despite some of the downer notes, the tone really was jovial and fun. Daniel Portman in particular was all blushes when the audience brought up Pod’s brothel adventures. (And they brought it up a lot!)
We’ll update the post with video once it goes live. Hodor & Podrick. HBO, let’s make it happen.