‘Game Of Thrones’: What Does ‘Hodor’ Really Mean, Anyway?

For many fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones, there is a character who says so much without really ever saying anything at all: Hodor. That is his name and that is all that he ever says. But could the word have a special meaning? The actor who plays Hodor, Kristian Nairn, would like to think so.

When he was interviewed recently by Huffington Post, the Game of Thrones actor thought it would be nice if Hodor was the one magical word that could tame a wild dragon.

“I would like there to be a dragon,” he explains, “and the word to control it is ‘Hodor.’ He somehow tames it with the word Hodor.”

Game of Thrones Hodor meme

There are other theories too in relation to the meaning of Hodor, and, as Nairn points out, the creator of the books series Game of Thrones is based on, George R.R. Martin never does anything by accident, so lets have a look at the theories out there (but be warned, there are spoilers contained within):

  • Hodor is actually trying to say his name “Walder.” Walder is the name given to him in the Game of Thrones book series, so perhaps this is all he has been trying to say all along?
  • The God of Winter in Norwegian is Höðr (also spelled Hod, Hoder and Hodur). It is pronounced in a very similar way to “Hodor.” Perhaps this is what Hodor means. Perhaps he saw the God of Winter and is trying to warn everyone that winter is coming? As Nairn mentions in the interview, George R.R. Martin is very partial to using Norse mythology is his storytelling, so this seems like a very good assumption to make.
  • The word “Hodor” means something to the white walkers. This ties into the Höðr theory above. There is actually a Game of Thrones fan theory out there that connects Hodor directly to the white walkers — makes him their leader in fact. This theory is an interesting one considering what happened in the season 5 finale. Could Hodor somehow help contain the white walkers if they do ever attack Westeros?
  • Hodor will be able to defeat Melisandre and the Lord of Light. Once again, this theory ties in with the Höðr theory. Melisandre follows the Lord of Light and wants to defeat the God of Darkness, someone whose name must not ever be spoken according to Melisandre: “His name may not be spoken. He is the God of Night and Terror, Jon Snow, and these shapes in the snow are his creatures.” If this is correct, could Hodor be the only one who can defeat the Lord of Light? And do we even want him to do that with Jon Snow still on death’s door?

You can watch the interview with Kristian Nairn who plays Hodor in Game of Thrones below:

Game of Thrones returns to HBO for season 6 in 2016.

What do you think the word ‘Hodor’ really means? Let us know by commenting below.

[Image credit: HBO Inc. / GameNGuide]

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