Warning! This article contains major spoilers for last night’s Game of Thrones episode The Door. Do not read any further if you have not watched it yet. For those who did succumb to this heartbreaking installment of Season 6, you well know that Hodor has spoken his final ‘Hodor’. Bran Stark’s beloved companion died while heroically saving Bran and Meera, with ‘Hold the door’ becoming the rallying cry across all platforms of social media Sunday night. Hodor fulfilled his heroic destiny as a horde of undead wights descended upon his helpless body. The heartbreaking moment was almost too much for many to handle. Including the actor who plays Hodor himself.
This episode also revealed that Hodor‘s condition in life was caused by Bran Stark. Stark went back to Hodor’s youth in Winterfell and ordered him to ‘hold the door’. This caused a brain-melting seizure, leaving Hodor only able to say one word for the rest of his life. Though he was muttering ‘hold the door’ in broken English, Hodor became the man’s name. This was an important part of Hodor’s story, told just before his passing at the hand of Bran, whom Hodor had come to care about more than anyone else in life. Kristian Nairn, the Irish actor and DJ who plays Hodor, opened up to EW about his final performance on the show. About this being his last season, he says this.
“I got The Call. [Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] gave me the call. You know what’s going to happen. 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. Ned Stark only made it to episode 9!”
The actor went on to talk about his big emotional scene. And how Hordor met his untimely demise. The actor is quite proud of the scene. He had this to say about the way he was dispatched.
“I love it. Funnily enough, I just saw [the scene] today for the first time. I couldn’t be happier how he has gone out. The interesting thing is it’s kinda left open. You don’t actually see him [die]. It’s implied. So who knows? He may come back as a White Walker, maybe he got away. But it’s a really good way to do it. I couldn’t have asked for a better goodbye to a character I love. My favorite part is it ties up the question of why is Hodor “Hodor.” Why does he say the word “Hodor”? Only George R.R. Martin or David and Dan could have come up with this. It’s incredibly sad. The minute you finally learn something about Hodor, they kill him! I had tears in my eyes. I don’t see myself on screen, I see Hodor. I always talk about him in the third person. I just saw the character die and it was very sad. I think people are going to a) freak out, b) be very sad. In season 4, there was the scene in Craster’s Keep where people thought I was going to get killed. And people were like, “If Hodor dies, we riot.” It will be interesting to see. I can’t wait until it airs. It’s weird talking to you about it as I haven’t been able to talk about it for so long.”
The actor went on to talk about his last day on set. He recalls being with actor Isaac Hempstead Wright, who plays Bran Stark. This is what he said.
“When it was finally wrapped at the end of season 6 they allowed Isaac to be the one to wrap me. It was an emotional moment. It’s been an incredible journey that completely turned my life upside down and gave me a lot of hope for the future. I can’t wait to see what comes next. I have a lot more words than Hodor.”
Actor Isaac Hempstead Wright and showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss also spoke about Hodor’s untimely passing. Weiss admits that Hodor is not exactly a main character, but he has become integral to the show. He says this about the show losing one of its fan favorites.
“He’s not somebody you think of as a main character, but he’s slowly, stealthily become an integral association with the show. ‘Hodor’ is the one word you can say to somebody and immediately evoke the show or the books. And he’s just been quietly there in Bran’s storyline, being lovable with his delivering the hell out of many, many ‘Hodors.’ I think people will be surprised how hard it hits them emotionally.”
Benioff went on to talk about the inevitable death call they had to put into Kristian Nairn. This one was particularly hard. He explains.
“It’s always interesting when we do the death calls; the Hodor one was particularly tough … [The Hodor twist came] from one of our conversations with [author George R.R. Martin]. This is one of his ideas that he told us in Santa Fe. We thought it was f-king fantastic.”
Actor Isaac Hempstead Wright probably took the death hardest of all. Especially since his character is the one responsible for not only Hodor’s passing but also his lot in life. Says Wright about working through last night’s episode.
“It’s so sad! We learned Hodor really is this vulnerable soul, who had such potential to live a happy life. First, through [Bran’s] selfish actions, going to the White Walker vision in the first place, I’ve screwed him over. He didn’t pick up that he should get out of the dream. And then Hodor sacrifices himself. He’s been through all this and he’s still having to do this. It encapsulates the Game of Thrones world – the nice guys who deserve looking after don’t always get it,” he says. “It’s going to be mortifying when it airs. Bran would literally be nowhere without him.”
Game of Thrones Season 6 continues next Sunday with Blood of My Blood, airing Sunday, May 29 at 9 PM ET. The season is now at the halfway point, and there are surely more deaths and a few shocking scenes left to devastate fans. In the next all-new episode, an old foe comes back into the picture. Gilly (Hannah Murray) meets Sam’s (John Bradley) family. Arya (Maisie Williams) faces a difficult choice. And Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) finally faces off against the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce).”