Isaac Hempstead Wright Thought Bran Stark's Fate in Game of Thrones Was a Joke

Isaac Hempstead Wright in Game of Thrones season 8
Isaac Hempstead Wright in Game of Thrones season 8
Helen Sloan, HBO

Warning: Game of Thrones spoilers ahead!

Though oddsmakers have been predicting that Bran Stark would ultimately be named king in the final episode of Game of Thrones for weeks now, many fans didn't see how that was possible. The all-knowing Three-Eyed Raven, whose powers and purpose have remained largely a mystery to viewers, was appointed the King of the Six Kingdoms (after Sansa Stark declared Winterfell and the North would be independent). Although on the one hand it seems logical for someone not motivated by power to rule, it also just didn't feel like a decision the show's strong-willed characters would come to so easily and unanimously. And the actor behind Bran Stark, Isaac Hempstead Wright, couldn't believe it himself. He was sure the whole thing was a prank when he first read the script.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the 20-year-old actor shared his reaction to Bran's big scene in the final episode, "The Iron Throne."

"When I got to the [Dragonpit scene] in the last episode and they're like, 'What about Bran?' I had to get up and pace around the room," he recounted. "I genuinely thought it was a joke script and that [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] sent to everyone a script [where] their own character ends up on the Iron Throne. 'Yeah, good one guys. Oh s***, it's actually real?'"

But once he discovered it wasn't a joke, Hempstead Wright did approve of the decision. "I'm happy," he said of winning the ultimate prize. "Though I kind of did want to die and get in one good death scene with an exploding head or something." He also explained why he thinks Bran would do well as the ruler, poking fun at his character's ability of knowing and seeing all.

"I think he'll be a really good king actually," the actor continued. "Perhaps there will be something missing in having a real emotive leader, which is a useful quality in a king or queen as well. At the same time, you can't really argue with Bran. He's like, 'No, I know everything.'"

So what's Hempstead Wright’s plan now that Game of Thrones is over? We're not totally sure, but there's one thing he wants to do after last night's finale. "I just want to shout: 'King motherf***ers!,'" he joked. "Though that's probably not a wise plan, obviously."

It looks like he opted to take to social media instead, tweeting out a simple, yet to-the-point message.

We're glad the actor behind Bran can celebrate, though we're considering a rewatch of the finale just to get our thoughts in order.

Friends Cast Confirms Reunion Special is Coming to HBO Max

David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston in Friends.
David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston in Friends.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Could we be any more excited? After months of reports that the cast of Friends might be coming together for a reunion of sorts, it looks like it's officially a done deal.

According to Variety, all of the six original actors—Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer—have signed on for an unscripted special from HBO Max. While previous reports claimed each star would likely earn between $3 and $4 million for their appearances, it's now believed their paychecks will be "at least" $2.5 million apiece.

And to make everything even more real, the beloved actors behind the iconic series are personally confirming the news. All six stars took to Instagram quickly after the news dropped to share their excitement. "It's happening," they captioned the posts.

In a statement, HBO Max's chief content officer Kevin Reilly had this to say of the news:

"Guess you could call this the one where they all got back together—we are reuniting with David, Jennifer, Courteney, Matt, Lisa, and Matthew for an HBO Max special that will be programmed alongside the entire Friends library. I became aware of Friends when it was in the very early stages of development and then had the opportunity to work on the series many years later and have delighted in seeing it catch on with viewers generation after generation. It taps into an era when friends—and audiences—gathered together in real time, and we think this reunion special will capture that spirit, uniting original and new fans."

The Friends reunion does not have a release date yet, but HBO Max is debuting this May.

Party Like a Hobbit at Chicago’s Lord of the Rings Pop-Up Bar

Gollum and a Ringwraith loom near Bilbo's hobbit hole at Replay Lincoln Park's Lord of the Rings pop-up bar.
Gollum and a Ringwraith loom near Bilbo's hobbit hole at Replay Lincoln Park's Lord of the Rings pop-up bar.
Replay Lincoln Park

One does not simply walk into Mordor, but one does simply walk into The Lord of the Rings pop-up bar in Chicago—as long as you’re at least 21 years old, of course.

Replay Lincoln Park, known for elaborate themed pop-ups for Game of Thrones, South Park, and other entertainment franchises, has transformed its premises into a magical reproduction of Middle-earth aptly called “The One Pop-Up to Rule Them All,” open now through March 23.

Inside, you’ll be able to crouch under an outcropping of tangled tree roots while one of the dreaded Nazgûl lurks above you, high-five a grimacing Gollum, and snap photos with all your favorite Lord of the Rings characters.

nazgul at the lord of the rings pop-up bar at chicago's replay lincoln park
The Nazgûl like to party, too.
Replay Lincoln Park

You might want to skip elevenses to make sure you have plenty of room for a Hobbit-approved feast during your visit. The menu, catered by Zizi’s Cafe, features items like Fried Po-tay-toes, Lord of the Wings, Beef Lembas, and Pippen’s Popcorn.

ent replica at chicago's replay lincoln park pop-up bar
Say hello to a friendly Ent while you munch on "Pippen's Popcorn."
Replay Lincoln Park

According to Thrillist, there will be three different counters in the bar, each with its own specialty drinks. Head to The Prancing Pony for a second breakfast shot (maple whiskey, bacon, and orange juice), or take a trip to Minas Tirith to toss back a palantir shot, made of silver tequila and passion fruit purée. If you’re in the mood for a little dark magic, you can trek over to Mordor and try a “my precious” shot, a fusion of dark rum, orange liquor, and Cajun seasoning.

lord of the rings pop-up bar at chicago's replay lincoln park
The Eye of Sauron is watching you order another round of Mordor shots.
Replay Lincoln Park

For those of you who are happy to accompany your Tolkien-obsessed friends to the pop-up but aren’t exactly tickled at the sight of a moss-covered Ent replica yourselves, take heart in this added bonus: Replay Lincoln Park also boasts more than 60 free arcade games and pinball machines.

[h/t Thrillist]

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