When something terrible–truly awful, near-apocalyptic tragedy–happens, is it more comforting to know that it was completely planned? Can Game of Thrones fans find solace in discovering that the death of someone held near and dear to the hearts of all was written in the stars to occur from the beginning?
And is he really dead at all?
Kristian Nairn, the actor who has played beloved Hodor since the beginning, broke his silence on the violent death and biographical revelation of his character on Sunday. As a reminder, the benevolent half-giant who from his very introduction could only speak his name, very likely gave his life to barricade the one door keeping back an army of White Walkers from slaughtering Bran Stark (Issac Hempstead-Wright) and Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) as the two fled into the snow. Meera, while shouting to Hodor “Hold the door!” in the waking world, permeated Bran’s dream-like past state where the younger, past Hodor collapsed to the ground while writhing around, gasping “hold the door” until it mashes together to make one “Hodor.”
Nairn says he wasn’t too much surprised by his character’s death, especially after receiving a phone call from show-runners David Benioff and Dan Weiss. “You know what’s going to happen,”said Nairn to Entertainment Weekly. “Some of my friends got the scripts before I did, so I sort of got the hint it was going to happen. With Game of Thrones nothing is ever certain, and that I made it this far is pretty good.”
The Irish-born actor also noted that considering Ned Stark didn’t even make it past the first season, it’s incredible Hodor’s fall was all the way in the sixth. And Nairn suggests that just because he will not be returning next year, that does not necessarily mean that the season is up for Hodor.
“You don’t actually see him [die]. It’s implied,” said Nairn. “So who knows? He may come back as a White Walker, maybe he got away.”
Whatever happens to Hodor, it was always original Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin’s plan to kill him off this way, the Telegraph reports.
Benioff, during a meeting with Martin wherein he and Weiss tried to lay a plot-line as close to the original vision as possible, the mostly-secretive author revealed to them his series-long plan on Hodor’s origin and death combination (and, keep in mind, the Game of Thrones series began in 1992).
“I just remember [Weiss] and I looking at each other when he said and being like ‘holy s—,” said Benioff.
“It was just one of the saddest and most affecting things,” Weiss continued off Benioff. “Even sitting in a hotel room and having somebody tell you this was going to happen in the abstract … and that ‘hold the door’ was the origin of the name Hodor. We just thought that was a really really heartbreaking idea.”
So for fans who both read the books and watch the show now, there is at least some comfort in the knowledge that the show-runners are still following Martin’s plan somewhat, at least. After all, the duo has taken some serious liberties already, between Jon Snow’s resurrection and following march on Winterfell to the rape of Sansa Stark to the killings of Myrcella, Stannis Baratheon, the Three-Eyed Raven, etc.
Nonetheless, as Nairn suggests, the world may not have seen the last of Hodor.