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In 'Game of Thrones', Hodor is No Hero, Yet He Holds the Door to Greatness

In 'Game of Thrones', Hodor is No Hero, Yet He Holds the Door to Greatness

Hodor was no hero. He wasn’t doing it out of free will, he was manipulated to do so.

In the latest episode of the Game of Thrones, we didn’t lose any of our favourite heroes. Instead, we lost the simplest and most genuine of characters, Hodor. And yet, we the fans were possibly the most heartbroken by this death. The saga is known for the cruellest ends for some of the lead characters but Hodor’s end is the saddest till date, we feel.

Most of us know Hodor as the silly, happy giant of a man who has been seen carrying a lame Bran Stark on his shoulders throughout the series. Hodor, not always Hodor, was a stable boy in Winterfell and Old Nan’s son. A young boy close to Ned Stark and Lyanna Stark’s age, he was called Willis and had a pleasant demeanour. Until one day, Willis had the mother of all seizures. By ranting three words, ‘Hold the door’ repeatedly, his brain damage seemed to go on and on till it was complete by the time the words merged into a single ‘Hodor’.

This, we know from the final vision Bran has with the Three eyed Raven in the fifth episode of the sixth season. Only, the vision is a terribly timed one. A future attack by the White Walkers on Bran at the Raven’s cave forces the youngest Stark (who is simultaneously at two places - in the vision from the past and also aware of the present danger) to warg (take possession of the body of) into the young Willis. In the present, Bran doubly wargs into the older Hodor who drags Bran away from the millions of chasing wights. Meera Reed, the third member of their group shouts ‘Hold the door’ to Hodor until she and Bran escape to a safe distance. Ofcourse, Hodor is gruesomely killed by the snow zombies in the process.

Lots of fan theories later, we have it – Hodor indeed is ‘hold the door’. But not for protecting Lyanna Stark as most fans had presumed. As warped as time hopping is, in GoT, Hodor holds the door for his longest companion in the saga, Bran Stark.

But as many fans have since pointed out, Hodor was no hero. He wasn’t doing it out of free will, he was manipulated to do so. And yet, copious amount of ugly tears were shed by watchers across the globe on his loss.


When Robb Stark died in the Red Wedding, he didn’t ask for his death literally speaking. But he did so, through the slight of judgement he made about the Freys forgiving him for not marrying their daughter. Ned Stark, his righteous father and the just lord of Winterfell, died in an attempt to do the right thing (trying to out Cersei and Jaime’s incestuous relationship if the Queen didn’t leave the capital of her own accord back in season one).

Oberyn Martell, the dashing bisexual prince of Dorne, died defending Tyrion Lannister in a duel with The Mountain. We are counting who we know to be the heroes in this Westeros saga. So many more have died or been killed (Joffrey Baratheon, Stannis Baratheon, Tywin Lannister, Shae, The Hound) but let’s accept the fact that they weren’t no heroes.

So it is pretty clear that neither Hodor was a hero nor was he a contender for the Iron Throne. He was roughly put, a pawn in the scheme of things. And yet, his death hurt our collective sentiments exactly because of that reason. Hodor not being a hero and dying for possibly one of the noblest cause (saving a Stark kid) in the story bled us. Hodor being in the crossfire of time hopping bled us. Hodor paying for Bran’s unsupervised vision questing (where Bran was touched by the Night King, thereby giving away the location of the Raven’s cave) bled us. Hodor being dead for a grave mistake caused by the very person he protected throughout the story bled us.

Yes, Hodor was a simpleton who could have possibly died at any point in the story (after all, he was at the north of the Wall for almost all seasons) but his death is easily the most important one till date. It opens a can of worms for Bran Stark’s future time travelling ‘screw-ups’, for want of a better word. It lays bare the great story of Westeros to pretty much anything here on.


Image source: Mashable

Whether Hodor would ever willingly give up his life for Bran will remain a mystery (our guess is he would) but the fact that Bran ran his car over him again and again is no secret.

Hodor was no hero but what he did was heroic. And that is what really matters in a great story. Well done, GRRM, well done.


Image source: Giphy