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Posts with tag kristian-nairn

15 Minutes of Fame: Actor Jake Stormoen lives the fantasy life on set and in Azeroth

Photo: Arrowstorm Entertainment
I actually made myself practice saying the first name of actor Jake Stormoen before our recent phone interview: "Jayyyyyyyke," I intoned over and over, trying to banish the memory of the chewy Irish "Jehk" I'd heard so many times in tale after tale of Azerothian camaraderie from long-time gaming buddy Kristian Nairn ("Hodor" in HBO's Game of Thrones). It's impossible to get very far talking with either actor without running into a reference to the other; the two have formed one of those crazy gaming bonds that -- well, you know how it is with a bromance forged in the ice and fire of Azeroth.

I caught up with the smaller half of the inseparable WoW-playing duo by phone during a break from the frigid set of multi-part fantasy epic Mythica, now filming on location in Utah in temperatures as low as 10 below zero. Young actor with a cool fantasy role? This guy's most definitely got it going on. We explored WoW friendships, mused over the pressures of tanking, laughed about blowing off steam in Azeroth after a long day on the set -- oh, and paused the whole interview mid-stream to deadpan and snort our way through a phone call from the Hodor-sized half of the Nairn/Stormoen duo.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

How do celebrity gamers keep the burden of fame off their backs?

How do celebrity gamers keep the burden of fame off their backs
When we interviewed Playboy's Miss October 2012 Pamela Horton last month, more than a few readers were aghast that we would print her character names and realm and her BattleTag, even though she clearly stated during the interview that she's happy to hear from and play with fans. "Do you think it wise to give out this poor girl's toon name?" wondered commenter lifecrits. "It can be used to find every single one of her characters on her account, and if she thought the male community in video games was bad before, wait until people harass her in Azeroth. I foresee an expensive name, faction, or server change for her in the near future."

"I hope that the members of the WoW community respect the trust she has placed in the gamer fan base by NOT hounding her and harassing her," worried commenter Aranyszin. "She took a bit of a risk revealing her 'online' persona; I'm sure she gets approached by fans, but remember people -- be respectful. Don't hide behind your anonymity and be a jerk."

Meanwhile, the feedback from Horton behind the scenes was all good –- which got us to wondering how other well-known people who play WoW and other online games handle in-game fan interaction. We checked in with Horton, Game of Thrones' Kristian "Hodor" Nairn, Olympic gold medalist Aries Merritt, pro football punter Chris Kluwe, America's Top Model winner Adrianne Curry, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Aron "Nog" Eisenberg to find out how they protect and enjoy their video game time when fans are clamoring to connect with them in game.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Where Are They Now? 2012 personalities, including the blind player and his 'guide dog'

Where Are They Now The last year in WoW personalities
At last, our look back at five years of WoW personality interviews rolls around to the duo everyone's been asking about: Hexu and Davidian, the British soldier blinded in Iraq and his redoubtable "guide dog" guildmate who steered him through full participation in current raid content. Their story exploded across the internet after we interviewed Davidian here on WoW Insider, and Blizzard recognized the dynamic duo with in-game helms with flavor text alluding to their inspiring bond of friendship.

Hexu and Davidian are both still playing World of Warcraft -- but the duo is together no more. As of the new year, the ever-energetic Hexu has been raiding on a new rogue, Dirtypawz, in Unqualified on Stormrage (EU). "I know!" he replies to my unspoken exclamation of surprise and sadness. "It was just that people were only raid logging, and it got boring -- but it was all amicable and cool. I still speak to people in Die Safe. I just wanted to do more than raid three nights a week." Hexu/Dirtypawz says a "very nice bloke" named Vatic is serving as his current raiding "guide dog" helper. "The people in the guild are all nice people," he adds, "and there [are] always things going on."

We'll visit with Hexu/Dirtypawz next month about how he's settling in and dig into his tips for the many sight-disabled players who've written to us during the past year trying to reach him for advice.

Meanwhile, Davidian reports that the year since we interviewed him has been packed with recognition and encouragement. "The publicity was just unreal," he says. "Even to this day, I get people coming to our server just to say how much the story inspired them and restored their faith in the gaming community. The biggest thing of all, though, was the fact that it made its way to Blizzard, and myself and Ben got signed copies of the collectors edition of Cataclysm signed by at least 50 members of the Blizzard team, and [we] received in-game pets also. Then to top it off, having in-game items with our names on them was just outstanding -- I mean, to be immortal in a game that we love to play is just, well words couldn't possibly describe it."

All good people connecting to play a game that's close to our hearts ... Keep reading for more updates about people who love World of Warcraft, from our interviews during 2012.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Why Game of Throne's Hodor has come back to the World of Warcraft

Backstage at Game of Thrones: Hodor and Bran
When Game of Throne's Hodor, actor Kristian Nairn, showed up to talk Star Wars: The Old Republic and RIFT on the podcast of our sister site Massively back in February, we knew it marked a temporary state of affairs. As enthusiastic about lightsabers as the Belfast resident was at the time, we suspected he'd eventually make his way back to Azeroth, the gaming world that's captured his heart and imagination.

... Which is how I found myself logged into World of Warcraft late last night, merrily ignoring my deadline for transcribing the final pieces of this interview, as Nairn and I struggled to find a Game of Thrones-themed guild name that hadn't already been devoured whole by hungry fans of the critically acclaimed HBO series. (Meanwhile, the Riders of Brohan were keeping my Decline button busy with repeated invitations to their own spin on a fantasy-named guild. Folks, if you're an aspiring Bro, this is your big chance -- this guild's obviously riding hard in search of a full roster.) After a crazed evening spent losing signatures to the Bros and new character deletions as quickly as we could recruit them, success was had. A guild was created, my final interview with Nairn was completed, and I logged out to finish cobbling together a handful of meandering conversations with Nairn conducted since February of this year.

Does the man have more than a monosyllabic "Hodor" to say about why his heart lies with Azeroth? Why, yes -- yes, he most certainly does.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

15 Minutes of Fame: I didn't know he plays WoW!

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

Readers constantly bombard us with tips and requests for features on famous people who play WoW. So here's the deal ... Frankly, guys? Sometimes the hottest celebrities, the ones who seem the most exciting, the really bigger than life types -- they're really not all that exciting to talk to about WoW. They turn out to be pretty much like the rest of us -- they go to work (albeit, more glamorous work than ours), they come home, and they flop down in front of the computer to grind and pug and raid just like the rest of us. They equip their WoW pants the same as anyone else.

And then sometimes, famous people just don't want the spotlight shone on their gaming habit. Even today, when everyone plays some sort of game on Facebook or their phones or a console or somewhere, some people consider gaming their dirty little secret. Others are afraid that their privacy will be compromised. Despite not needing to divulge a single identifying detail about their characters, they still don't want to risk anyone being able to figure out the identities of the Azerothian alter egos.

Yet over the years, 15 Minutes of Fame has talked with some pretty enthusiastic WoW players who also happen to be somewhat (or very) famous. You'll find some of them in last week's roundup of WoW-playing authors. And we've talked to plenty more -- and so to stoke your curiosity, we've rounded up a list of some of the more high-profile WoW players we've featured.

Didn't realize Mr. or Ms. Famous So-and-So plays your game? Click past the break and get the inside scoop.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

15 Minutes of Fame: Hodor!

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

When last we heard from Game of Thrones' Kristian Nairn, the burly Irish actor was preparing to stuff himself into an airplane seat and fly to America for a bit of rest and recreation before filming begins on Season 2 of the acclaimed HBO series. As you read this week's installment of our interview -- a Skype conversation held a few days after our initial e-interview simply overflowed the confines of email -- Nairn is wrapping up his whirlwind visit and preparing to head back to Belfast ... and more World of Warcraft.

This week, we chat with Nairn about his preferences for PvP and arcane spec, more on his character Hodor, and his very pointed notion of what questing would be like in a Game of Thrones MMO.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

15 Minutes of Fame: Azeroth to Westeros with Game of Thrones' Kristian Nairn

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

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.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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