Kristian Nairn spent his Game of Thrones hiatus playing DJ, on a tour called Rave of Thrones, which fans have taken as an invitation to show up in homemade costumes inspired by the show. “I’ve seen a drag Hodor, I’ve seen a drag Joffrey, I’ve seen a drag Loras, with a drag Renly, and they were doing weird things with each other that I can’t unsee,” he laughed. Ahead of the season-six premiere of Game of Thrones Sunday, Nairn sat down with Vulture to chat about his musical sideline, getting in trouble for revealing spoilers, and how he’d like Hodor to die.
When we last spoke at last year’s New York Comic Con, you totally called the genre of music that would be on the next mixtape inspired by Game of Thrones. You suggested metal, and then it was …
[Chuckles] I might have had some inside information on that one. It was better than the awful hip-hop one! I’d like it if they could do an electronic one, but like epic electronic, like Chvrches, or Eric Prydz. A little bit of Kraftwerk or Jean Michel Jarre. Or Daft Punk. I’m not sure if it would work, but the emotions would be right. But I just can’t imagine the beat. You’d have Khaleesi going [pumps fist in air]. See? That wouldn’t be right.
It’d be like Khaleesi going Rastafarian, like in that Coldplay musical.
She did! I didn’t expect that. She’s a talented singer. I was supposed to take part in that, but I couldn’t … but that was funny! I was impressed that Chris Martin did that. Now we just need to get Daft Punk to do season six. We could go for a Tron theme. I love Tron. I’ll watch that just for the soundtrack. I can’t wait for the sequel.
Um, I hate to tell you this, but I don’t think there will be a sequel.
Oh, no! You just broke my heart. But could Tron 3 have been better than Tron 2? I don’t think it would be as fresh. But I want Westeros to be covered in neon tubes. Like a neon forest.
Luckily for you, the Children of the Forest would be open to that. Well, we call them Children of the Forest, they call themselves those who sing the song of the earth. They communicate by song.
Like dolphin noises? Or like soul divas? That could be weird! But I imagine the cavern under the weirwood tree to be like an Age of Aquarius shop: You walk in, incense is burning, there will be gentle vibrations. I don’t know if Daft Punk and Age of Aquarius go together. [Laughs.] I’d like to hear it, but that might be one step too far, to have a rave down there, with the Children of the Forest as club kids! But you know what, it could definitely work as an electronica soundtrack.
You didn’t actually choose the name Rave of Thrones. Was it thrust upon you?
It wasn’t thrust upon me. It wasn’t that I was unwilling, but when I first heard the name, I thought, “This is just stupid.” I thought it was tacky. But then survey groups showed that people liked it. It got in people’s heads. And that’s what worked, regardless of what I would have thought would have worked, so who am I to judge? For me, I was thinking about different genres, and to me, rave is full-on, fast-paced dance music. I don’t play that.
You’re more house.
I’m totally house. And to me, rave is like glow sticks and pointer sticks and oxygen masks. It’s not really a rave. That’s just me being anal, really, or pedantic about the name. It would make more sense to be like, I don’t know, House Hodor. That’s a really good one. But … I don’t want to be known as that. I mean, people will still call me Hodor on the street, obviously, but I’d like to think in five years’ time, I’ll be equally known for my music.
They call you Hodor because of the affinity for your character, not that they don’t recognize you for other things.
Which I’m eternally grateful for! There’s something symbiotic about it, and they don’t have to be mutually exclusive. I’ve definitely tied the two together. And Hodor is endearing and accessible. And I pride myself as a person that I don’t really have any barriers up. It’s pretty much what you see is what you get. It’s gotten me in trouble lots in the past, and I goof up …
Like with spoilers?
Yeah. I don’t work for NASA, I don’t have state secrets, I don’t work for Obama’s administration … I’m a fucking actor! [Laughs.] I’m not telling secrets that would hurt the country, you know what I mean? They’re probably not that important. But sometimes, it’s like, “You must not talk about this. You must not talk about that.” And obviously, it’s for the consumption of the public, so you don’t want to spoil things for them. But sometimes, the gravity of it is a little heavy. I’m not living in fear of it, but still …
If you want to shut people down, you could say, “I got my next script, and I could tell you my next line: ‘Hodor!’” You’re not lying, and you’re not giving anything away.
I’ll have to remember that one! I usually say, “Piss off. I’m not going to get in trouble.” It’s hard because sometimes that’s the only way. Not that I want to spoil things … well, for my friends, I like to spoil things for my friends, because it annoys them, and my mom as well. I’ll tell her things. But I’ve got all this cool stuff I want to tell people, and it’s hard, for a whole year, to hold it all in. I think it’s at the stage where people are actually watching which cast members are going to Belfast! You’re going to spoil it for yourselves! Stop it! [Laughs.] It’s one of those things where once you know, you’ll be like, “Ohhh …” [sounding defeated].
It’s like the Kit Harington hair watch. People are looking for any and every clue about Jon Snow scenes.
Yes! It’s like, yes, he was in Belfast. But he could be doing flashbacks. He could be doing a funeral scene. Leave him alone! Leave the poor guy alone! He’s going to have to be smuggled around in a coffin. But I don’t know what happens! If I were him, I’d want to be kept in the dark. I’d be afraid to let it slip. I let it slip before that I wasn’t in season five, and I got in trouble about it.
What happens when you get in trouble? How do they reprimand you?
“You shouldn’t have done that.” I love HBO, so it feels like you’re in trouble with your mom and dad. [Laughs.] I did my walk of shame like Cersei. What happened was, I was talking to someone with a camera, and they were still setting up the cameras, and I didn’t realize that she had kind of started the interview. It was sly. I didn’t realize she was going to use what I said. So I have to be careful. I’m getting better about it.
You’re a Thor fan — are you into Norse mythology? Did you make the connection with Hodor?
Hodr, the god of winter. [Chuckles.] Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s cool, and it’s what helps make it all relatable, because their universe is not too far away from some things in ours. It’s just slightly different. They’re just a little bit off center. And I’ve thought about that one, like, “Is that going to become relevant?” Who knows? I know as much as you do, unfortunately.
Well, then if you made that connection, you probably also know that Hodor’s name isn’t Hodor, it’s Walder — “Hodor” is just the word he knows. What does it mean? They haven’t said yet, but what if it connects to the god of winter, the Great Other? Melisandre’s always saying you can’t say his name, no one knows his name …
… and what if Hodor actually knows? Or is him in disguise? Like he’s a secret character? I would love that. I would really like something cool like that to happen, but, with my luck, he’ll just be slaughtered and left dead in a ditch. I’d love some grand end for him. Lots of fireworks and explosions. It would be like a Michael Bay film. Huge, transforming robots, falling out of the sky. Is that dramatic enough? And then I die with a cyber-spear in my chest.
This interview has been condensed and edited.