Episode 6 of HBO’s sixth season of Game of Thrones finally revealed just why Hodor could never say anything beyond “Hodor”. And, it turns out his backstory is tragic.
SPOILER ALERT: This article contains information about HBO’s Game of Thrones. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers, particularly is you have not yet viewed Episode 5 (entitled “The Door”) of Season 6.
It has been an enduring mystery; just why did Hodor (Kristian Nairn) only ever mutter the one word? Was it his name or was it something else. The start of Season 6 of Game of Thrones told us it was something else when it was revealed via a greensight of Bran’s (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) that Hodor’s name was, in fact, Wylis.
Season 6 of Game of Thrones also revealed that Hodor could speak when he was younger. This means that something pretty terrible must have happened to render the child mute beyond one word. So what was that event? Fans of Game of Thrones have come up with plenty of theories, most of which have been disproved thanks to Episode 5. But a few smart people had worked it out before fans saw Bran create a time paradox with his greensighting.
Yes, Bran created a time paradox in Game of Thrones. You read it right. We saw it first when Bran greensighted to when his father was younger and at the Tower of Joy. When Bran called out, it appeared his father heard him even though Bran wasn’t really there. And now, Episode 5 showed us just how dangerous warging while greensighting really can be. When Bran warged into the present day Hodor while still greensighting a younger version of Hodor, things got mixed up and Bran took possession of both Hodors. Thanks to the chaos of a battle with the white walkers in the present day, Meera (Ellie Kendrick) was calling out to Hodor, “Hold the door” to prevent the white walkers getting through. In the mixed up state of young Wylis, possessed by Bran but not completely, he kept muttering this phrase over and over until it became the single word, “Hodor.” Hopefully, this time paradox will be enough for Bran to fully comprehend the dangers of greensighting so often now. Although, this could also mean fans will have to wait even longer for more information on why Lyanna was crying out in the Tower of Joy. This, potentially, could lead to the truth about Jon Snow’s (Kit Harington) true parentage being held off indefinitely now.
But, for some fans, knowing Hodor’s backstory is less about finally unraveling the truth, but for the validation they knew the answer all along. According to the Verge, three super fans of Game of Thrones had already worked out why Hodor never said anything beyond “Hodor.”
A fan on the A Song of Ice and Fire site dedicated to all things Game of Thrones related, posted the following back in February 2008.
“The poor guy is just asking someone to hold the door for him, since he’s always carrying someone else around. After a while, ‘Hold the door’ became ‘Hold the doorHold the doorHoldoorHodoor. Dammit! Hold the door!’ His mind finally snapped, and now all he can say is Hodor.”
The second fan, fellow author, Michael A. Ventrella, predicted what “Hodor” meant after several encounters with George R.R. Martin (the author of the book series Game of Thrones is based on) while in an elevator at a convention back in April of 2014. George R.R. Martin had made the comment (possibly sarcastically) that he had always wanted to be an elevator operator. After thinking about this comment, the next time Ventrella met the author in the elevator, he noted he thought he had worked out why Hodor always said just the one word. “I was thinking about your comment about wanting to be an elevator operator. It’s clear to me now that “Hodor” is short for “Hold the door.” To which Martin replied, “You don’t know how close to the truth you are!”
Finally, another fan posted the following to the Song of Ice and Fire subreddit.
“Hodor is actually Aegon Targaryen. Basically, when Gregor is coming for Elia and the babies she (Elia) yells for the guards to ‘HOLD THE DOOR!’ as Gregor gets ever closer she gets so frantic it becomes ‘HOLD DOOR!’ then ‘HOLDOOR!’ before finally the last thing Aegon/Hodor hears before his head was dashed against the wall, causing serious brain damage and trauma was ‘HODOR!'”
What did you think about Hodor’s backstory in Episode 5 of Game of Thrones? Had you guessed it already? Let us know by commenting below!
Season 6 of Game of Thrones returns to HBO with Episode 6, entitled “Blood Of My Blood” on Sunday, May 29, at 9 p.m. ET.The official synopsis for Episode 6 is as follows.
“An old foe comes back into the picture. Gilly (Hannah Murray) meets Sam’s (John Bradley) family. Arya (Maisie Williams) faces a difficult choice. Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) faces off against the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce).”
[Image via HBO]