Game of Thrones star Isaac Hempstead Wright reveals the trick to how Hodor was able to carry his character Bran around

By Kara Warner
Updated June 17, 2016 05:20 PM
Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP; Helen Sloan/HBO

It should come as no surprise to Game of Thrones fans to learn that the cast and crew regularly incorporate a bit of movie/TV-making magic during the production of their hit series. This is a show that involves dragons, White Walkers, and giants, after all.

One of the sixth season’s more impressive “tricks”, however, does not involve any of the fantastical elements above, it involves a manmade dummy of cast member Isaac Hempstead Wright, aka Bran Stark.

“They made a life-sized dummy of me,” Wright tells PEOPLE of how the production worked around Wright’s growth spurt and his co-star Kristian Nairn’s (Hodor!) back troubles. “I had to go and have a cast made which was a really weird experience. Even weirder to be sitting on set next to me, a weird lifeless form.”

Wright, who was absent from the entire fifth season, says everyone had a surprised reaction when they saw him again – especially Nairn, whose character Hodor carried paralyzed Bran around on his back.

“Everyone’s reaction has been ‘My God, where’s this come from?'” Wright, 17, says with a laugh. “Kristian in particular, I think he could see it coming, he was getting more and more concerned as the years went by. He has a problem with his back, so it’s a real nightmare for him.”

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Wright jokes that his dummy is also a good actor.

“A lot of the time when we were doing shots, some of the angles, the director wasn’t quite sure if it was me or the dummy,” he says. “‘Wow, you were really still that take.’ ‘Yeah, it wasn’t me.’ ”

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The most unsettling aspect of having the dummy around on set was how it was transported.

“They put it in this really spooky body bag for transporting, so I’ve kind of watched my carcass transported around set,” Wright says. “It’s much lighter, but it’s still heavy. It’s a pretty scary likeness.”

And has anyone in the cast and crew taken the opportunity to use Wright’s dummy for a good practical joke?

“We’ve got to do some of those next season!” Wright exclaims. “We’ve missed out.”

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.