If you've read the books behind the spellbinding new HBO series Game of Thrones, you'll instantly recognize the character portrayed by the bearded beast of burden above -- yes, that's Kristian Nairn as Hodor, on the set with young passenger Isaac Hempstead-Wright (as Bran Stark). While you may not recognize Nairn yet if you're new to the gritty fantasy series (he hasn't been onscreen yet), the show itself has been hard to ignore, debuting amidst a deluge of publicity and earning a renewal for a second season after only a single episode. Luckily for us, Nairn's enthusiasm for the World of Warcraft proves to be as capacious as both the series' success and his own 6'10" frame. The Belfast resident, who's also a professional DJ, plays on both US and EU servers (yep, he's that enthusiastic about the game), and once we'd covered the basics by email, he felt there was still so much left to say that we wound up chatting on Skype a few days later.
So Hodor -- no, not Hodir, Hodor ... although come to think of it, they're both rather remarkable in stature, and ... awww, heck, set thy nose to the page if you haven't yet read George R.R. Martin's best-selling Song of Ice and Fire series and you don't know who Hodor is. These are characters that'll grab you by the short hairs -- it's the ride of a lifetime. In the meantime, settle in with us for the first of two interviews with Kristian Nairn, from Azeroth to Westeros and back again.