A year after Game of Thrones viewers learned the shocking fate of fan favorite Hodor, the man who portrayed the gentle giant says he still gets choked up as he recalls the character's exit from the show.
Kristian Nairn, 41, now watches the most talked about show in the world as a spectator following his character's death.
“I am still quite emotional,” he told InsideEdition.com, adding, “It is really weird not being in it anymore."
The 6-foot-11-inch actor spoke about how a failed audition actually led him to the role of a lifetime, and his life beyond the HBO hit.
The Northern Irish artist started his career as a musician, performing with bands like the Scissor Sisters and spinning records in Belfast for a number of years before turning to acting.
Nairn said he was called to audition for the cult comedy Hot Fuzz, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and while he didn't get the role, it led to something big.
"I was DJing the night before [in Belfast], traveled to London, did this awful audition and I didn’t hear anything about Hot Fuzz,” he recalled. "About four or five years later, I got a call from the casting director who said, ‘There is this project, Game of Thrones, coming up. I just can’t think of anyone else for the part.'"
Nairn didn't know anything about the Game of Thrones books, but auditioned for the role of Hodor, and as he puts it, “The rest is history."
But the George R. R. Martin literary series already had a big fan in Nairn's mom, who was thrilled when he got the role.
“My mother was a huge fan of the books and when I told her the news, she completely flipped,” he said.
The pop culture phenomenon that is Game of Thrones remains a heavy influence on Nairn, who now hosts “Rave of Thrones” parties around the world as a DJ.
At a "Rave of Thrones" bash, clubs are decorated to look like the set of the TV show, and people come dressed in costumes that look like they were tailored in Westeros.
“It is a regular DJ set for me, I don’t do anything too different,” he admitted.
Nairn, who released his new single, “Bigger,” is currently touring the U.S. and revelers who flood the clubs are often surprised to learn he has another craft aside from acting.
“When I first got the part in Game of Thrones, people reacted and said, ‘This guy is a DJ — he is not going to be a good actor,’ he told InsideEdition.com. “When it came out that I was a DJ, people were like, ‘He is an actor — he is going to be one of those terrible celebrity DJs.’ I really had to prove myself all over again.”
He says he still keeps in touch with the cast and crew of Game of Thrones and “we see each other regularly,” adding that many come to see him perform.
The show, which capped its seventh season Sunday, is slated to end for good in 2019, and the man who played Hodor for five seasons says he “can’t imagine the world without Game of Thrones.”
And any die-hard fans who believe Nairn knows the direction of the series in the eighth and final season can save their breath — he has no idea.
“We don’t get sent scripts anymore; people assume I get sent scripts,” he said. “Why would I be sent scripts? I am not in it anymore. People assume I know everything right up until the end, I don’t. I haven’t got a clue."