Isaac Hempstead Wright, now 20, has played Bran since the HBO show premiered in 2011


To the shock and surprise of many, Bran Stark was named king of Westeros on the series finale of Game of Thrones.

Bran, fourth child of Eddard and Catelyn Stark, has been played by Isaac Hempstead Wright since the HBO show premiered in 2011. As a warg and the new Three-Eyed Raven, Bran is able to enter the minds of animals to perceive the world through their senses and even control their actions.

So who is the actor wearing the crown? Here are a few things to know about Wright.

Game of Thrones was his first big acting credit.

Wright, 20, landed the role of Bran Stark in the HBO mega-hit when he was just 10 years old.

While Game of Thrones was undoubtedly his big break, Wright actually made his screen debut in the 2011 horror film, The Awakening. Since then, he has also appeared in several commercials and has done voice work for animated films and television shows.

Bran Stark Game of Thrones
Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark in Game of Thrones (left: season 1, right: season 8)
| Credit: HBO (2)

He’s extremely studious.

The English actor, who continued his education while filming Game of Thrones, has some rather advanced hobbies: particle physics and classical piano.

“I’ve gone through various interests — before physics, it was neuroscience and how the brain works,” Wright previously told PEOPLE of his off-screen interests. “Through that, I had a fantastic physics teacher at my school, he is a really smart guy and I would talk to him in general about things that might link to neuroscience and before I knew it he was telling me about other interesting concepts and I got into the whole idea of particle physics and that fascinated me.”

He plays the piano.

Music is Wright’s true passion, specifically, playing the piano.

“My mom forced me to play the piano for a while, and I hated it,” he told PEOPLE. “I didn’t really want to play classical pieces, I wanted to learn whatever was in the charts. And just by chance, I picked up this score that was lying about at my house. It was a piece by [George Frideric] Handel which I knew and it was one piece of classical music I thought, ‘This is quite catchy.’ And I thought, ‘Oh wow, I can actually play this.’ I didn’t think I actually could. So then I went on a quest to find difficult looking pieces to play. But the classical stuff is not the only thing I play. I have quite an eclectic taste, ranging from everything from Jazz to Indie to rock and roll.”

Helen Sloan - HBO (10)
Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO

He thought the Game of Thrones ending was a joke.

When Wright was first given the script to the finale episode, he thought the showrunners were playing a prank on him.

“I genuinely thought it was a joke script and that [showrunners David Benioffand D.B. Weiss] sent to everyone a script with their own character ends up on the Iron Throne,” Wright told Entertainment Weekly. “‘Yeah, good one guys. Oh s—, it’s actually real?'”

And even Wright knew having Bran become king wouldn’t sit well with some viewers.

“Not everyone will be happy,” he said. “It’s so difficult to finish a series as popular as this without pissing some people off. I don’t think anybody will think it’s predictable and that’s as much as you can hope for. People are going to be angry. There’s going to be a lot of broken hearts. It’s ‘bittersweet,’ exactly as [saga author] George R.R. Martin intended. It’s a fitting conclusion to this epic saga.”