Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” episode had one of the mostheart-wrenching deaths in the series to date. Not only did Hodor die protecting Bran and Meera, but we finally learned why he has only ever said the word “Hodor.”
When he was a young boy, known as Wylis, Bran Stark accidentally time traveled and warged Wylis into his future Hodor self, so that he witnessed his own death. Complicated, we know.
But it turns out this was author George R.R. Martin’s plan all along. In the “Inside the Episode” featurette for episode five, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss explained how they were told about Hodor’s origins.
“We had this meeting with George Martin where we’re trying to get as much information as possible out of him,” Benioff said. “Probably the most shocking revelation he had for us was when he told us the origin of Hodor, and how that name came about. I just remember [Weiss] and I looking at each other when he said and being like ‘holy s—.'”
Frederick M. Brown/Getty
With the show now advancing beyond the published series, it’s often hard to book readers to know whether or nothing something happening in the show will also play out that way in the books. So when Benioff and Weiss confirm certain pieces of the storyline came from Martin himself, there’s an added weight to those scenes for some book readers.
“It was just one of the saddest and most affecting things,” Weiss explained. “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.”