By Patrick Yacco
Originally published on Advocate.com March 11 2014 1:39 PM ET
In an interview published today, actor Kristian Nairn disclosed to Game of Thrones fan site WinterIsComing.net that he is gay.
The revelation stemmed from questions regarding the bear community's appreciation for his portrayal of burly strongman Hodor, protector of the young prince Bran Stark. Hodor has been a recurring character on the HBO series since its debut in 2011.
While Nairn considers being gay only a small part of his identity, he does understand the importance of coming out. "In this day and age, it's important to stand up and be counted," he told the site. "I have and always will stand my ground."
Additionally, he mentioned that the Game of Thrones cast has been overwhelmingly supportive of him as a gay man.
During the interview, Nairn was surprised that that the issue hadn't been discussed earlier in his acting career: "I've never hidden my sexuality from anyone, my whole life in fact, and I've been waiting for someone to ask about it in an interview, [because] it's not something you just blurt out. I've tried to lead the questions a few times, to no avail!"
Besides Game of Thrones, Nairn has appeared on the BBC series Ripper Street. He occasionally DJs as well.
Nairn will return as Hodor in the new season of Game of Thrones, which premieres on HBO April 6.