My Favourite Game Kris­tian Nairn


He may not talk much as Hodor, but the ac­tor and DJ has plenty to say about Blizzard and an on-set iPhone mishap “He was like, ‘Oh, can I do Ex­pel­liar­mus?’ So he made the mo­tion and the phone went fly­ing”

Stand­ing at six feet and ten inches tall, Kris­tian Nairn is the per­fect fit for the role of Hodor in HBO’s Game Of Thrones. But when he’s not play­ing mule to Bran Stark or DJing along­side the Scis­sor Sis­ters, you’ll find him play­ing games, through prob­a­bly not Poké­mon.

How did you find yourself play­ing Hodor on Game Of Thrones?

It was an au­di­tion I did four or five years pre­vi­ously for the film Hot Fuzz. Nina Gold – she was the same cast­ing di­rec­tor [on] Game Of Thrones – re­mem­bered me for the part and said, “Would you put yourself on tape and we’ll have a meet­ing?” And the rest is his­tory.

Do people play games on set at all?

Isaac [Hempstead-Wright, who plays Bran Stark] would tend to bring his iPad but I don’t bring any tech­nol­ogy to set, be­cause Isaac would prob­a­bly break it. He’s bro­ken an iPhone. My iPhone. The first day I met him, he broke my iPhone. I had the Harry Pot­ter Spells app and, in fair­ness to him, I had this ridicu­lous Diesel case, and he was like, “Oh, can I do Ex­pel­liar­mus?” So he made the Ex­pel­liar­mus mo­tion and the phone went fly­ing through the air. But that’s a good way to meet your co-star…

What’s your ear­li­est gam­ing mem­ory?

I was al­ways an Atari fan. Not the con­soles, mind you. I had the com­put­ers, the 800XL. I al­ways liked to try to write my own shitty lit­tle pro­grams. I re­mem­ber games like Galax­ian, De­fender – Pac­Man, ob­vi­ously. There was a game, it was lit­er­ally the most ba­sic game you could imag­ine, it was called Leg­git. It was a stick­man and there were maybe 12 lines on­screen, and it would have mov­ing holes, which you had to jump, try­ing to get to the top of the screen. Dude, it was the most ad­dic­tive game!

Which ma­chine came af­ter that?

Well, I’m a mu­si­cian, so I moved on to the Atari STs and STFMs for mu­sic pro­duc­tion, but the first proper con­sole I had, I think, was a Su­per Nin­tendo. I had a Mega Drive as well. I was kind of spoiled for choice at that stage. That was when my ad­dic­tion re­ally started. I loved all the Sonic games. I still don’t think, in some re­spects, Street Fighter II and the orig­i­nal Mario Kart have been bet­tered.

How have your gam­ing tastes changed?

Well, I ended up get­ting the orig­i­nal Xbox, and I got ad­dicted to Jet Set Ra­dio Fu­ture. I thought the mu­sic was in­cred­i­ble; it had all that sort of Ja­panese-style mu­sic in it, like Cibo Matto. I would love them to do a ver­sion for Xbox One, which I have now. I’ve had two 360s, two Wiis and two PS3s. I would buy a con­sole, play it for a while, sell it, get the next one, and then a game would come out I wanted to play, and I’d have to buy an­other.

Are there any types of game that you won’t play?

I don’t get on with Poké­mon. I’m just not very good at be­ing tac­ti­cal. I brought my 3DS over to LA the last time I went to see Jake [Stor­moen], and we played a lot to­gether and he kept beat­ing me. One day on the aero­plane, we were trav­el­ling be­tween DC and LA, and I said, “Fuck this! Never again!” And that was true.

What game are you most look­ing for­ward to in 2014?

I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to The El­der Scrolls On­line. I didn’t love Skyrim; well,

I did love Skyrim but I pre­fer it to be more guided. Not on rails, but I sort of got lost af­ter two hours of game­play and went, ‘Fuck this, I’m go­ing to play Warcraft’. But I love the idea of it be­ing on­line like a whole uni­verse. I’ve been play­ing WOW since about three weeks af­ter it came out. Just like with ev­ery­thing, I get bored with it some­times, but I love it just as much as the day I got it.

Out of ev­ery­thing you’ve ever played, what’s your favourite?

I’m go­ing to go with World Of Warcraft. I have to. Just be­cause there’s so much to do. You can go off in your own lit­tle world and you can sink so much time into it and it’s nev­erend­ing, and I like that.

What do you think Hodor’s favourite game would be?

It’s def­i­nitely not Words With Friends. I’m think­ing like a child­ish game; he’d prob­a­bly like Mario. I think he’d like the pretty lit­tle flow­ers and the Venus fly­traps, and the mush­rooms. I won­der if he had a few too many mush­rooms at one stage and that might be the prob­lem.

Nairn did stage work be­fore tak­ing on Hodor. Work­ing with such limited lines, he has to rely on his phys­i­cal per­for­mance to con­vey the thoughts and emo­tions of Bran Stark’s dogs­body

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