What has this gentle giant been up to since his watch on Game of Thrones ended in 2016?
Kristian Nairn was born on November 25, 1975 in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. As a child, he was often bullied for his impressive height.
Along with his mother’s encouragement, these experiences motivated him to embrace his 6’10” frame in future artistic endeavors.
From a young age, Nairn enjoyed music, and he quickly put his guitar skills to use playing in a number of Irish rock bands.
Over time, Nairn’s passion for music evolved into an interest in DJing, which would set him down a new career path.
This new-found talent ultimately led Nairn to log an impressive eleven years as resident DJ at the Kremlin, a famous club in Belfast.
During his tenure there, Nairn discovered that he wasn’t just a gifted musician and DJ—he was a true performer in every sense of the word!
As a result, Nairn began performing as the drag queen known as Revvlon. Years later, as a guest judge on The Boulet Brothers’ competition series Dragula, Nairn would claim to be the first horror-inspired drag queen in Ireland.
At the height of his success at the Kremlin, an acting agent discovered Nairn and encouraged him to audition for a role in the 2007 film Hot Fuzz, which he didn’t get thanks to a bad audition.
However, this audition led to him being called for the role of Hodor on HBO’s Game of Thrones, and the rest is history.
Game of Thrones
Although he began pursuing acting later in his career, snagging Game of Thrones as his first acting credit highlights Nairn’s ambition as well as the breadth of his talents.
Game of Thrones fans and regular TV viewers alike will recognize Nairn as the kindly, simple Hodor, who faithfully served the Stark family for most of his life.
Over the course of the series, Hodor became a kind of protector to Bran Stark, a plot point which felt natural for Kristian Nairn thanks to his close friendship with actor Isaac Hempstead Wright.
He even brought his acting and DJing worlds together in 2014 when Nairn announced the Rave of Thrones tour of Australia.
During this tour, he performed Game of Thrones-themed DJ sets in partnerships with several popular bands.
Initially, Nairn worried about playing a character who only ever said one word; however, as the character developed, he grew to love Hodor’s nuances and was sad to leave the character behind.
Nairn appeared in 23 episodes of Game of Thrones until Hodor’s death in Season 6. Thanks to his status as a fan-favorite character, Nairn is likely to always be remembered and treasured for his portrayal of Hodor.
What did he do after Game of Thrones?
Since his time on Game of Thrones ended in 2017, Nairn has continued acting, accepting roles with increasing depth and visibility.
He also maintains his DJ and music pursuits. In 2018, he had a part in his first horror film, The Appearance. In the same year, he had a jam session with the metal band Megadeth.
While Nairn considers himself a fan of the series, he has said in interviews that he wishes the whole thing was a bit longer, and he can understand why fans were upset about the show’s ending.
Nairn attended a Game of Thrones mini-reunion earlier this year in the form of a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Along with Game of Thrones co-stars Isaac Hempstead Wright and Natalie Emmanuel, he spent an afternoon welcoming the public to the new Game of Thrones studio tour in Northern Ireland.
What is Kristian Nairn doing now?
Currently, Nairn performs on the series Our Flag Means Death. This light-hearted rom-com is about the adventures of gentleman pirate Stede Bonnet and his quirky crew.
On the show, Nairn plays Wee John Feeney, a pyromaniac pirate who enjoys sewing and is part of Blackbeard’s crew. Fans love his character’s warm-hearted humor and laid-back nature.
Nairn will also appear in Unwelcome, his second horror film, in 2023. He continues to record new music as well, including a recent remix of the Ferry Corsten song “Wounded.”
Even though he came out as gay to the world in a 2014 interview, Nairn has been very open about his sexuality since he was 14 years old.
His mother was supportive back then, and she continues to be one of his greatest supporters to this day.