Game of Thrones‘ beloved gentle giant Hodor has said his last Hodor – and it’s almost too much to bear.
In last night’s episode five, Bran Stark’s longtime companion and guardian died after heroically saving Bran and Meera’s life. As Hodor held the door for them, he was killed by a sea of undead wights.
But the scene was especially emotional as viewers discovered that Hodor’s condition was actually caused by Bran in the first place. As a young child he had ordered Hodor to “hold the door” and caused him to have a seizure which rendered him incapable of saying anything other than his famous”Hodor”.
In an interview about the tragic scene, Irish actor Kristian Nairn told Entertainment Weekly that he found his character Hodor’s backstory heart-breaking when he found out about it.
“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.”
Despite finding the story tragic, Nairn said he “couldn’t be happier” about how Hodor’s death was written.
“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 favourite 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!”
While Nairn said he’s sad to be leaving the show and the cast, the role – for the time it’s lasted – has been a real gift.
“When it was finally wrapped at the end of season six they allowed Isaac [Heampstead-Wright, who plays Bran] 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.”
Game of Thrones continues on Friday on Sky Atlantic at 9pm
Kasia is a TV, film and arts journalist who writes news, feautures and comment. She spends a lot of time feeling nostalgic about 90s American films and working her way back through the Desert Island Discs archive.