Game of Thrones’ Hodor reveal could be different in the books

Author George RR Martin was speaking at an event in Santa Fe - contains spoilers for the latest episode

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This week’s Game of Thrones ended in heart-rending scenes, as Kristian Nairn’s gentle Hodor was attacked by wights just as the real meaning of his name/catchphrase was revealed – a command to “Hold the door” that had been beamed into him through time as a child and fried his mind forever. 

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In a post-show video, showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss revealed that this had been the plan of source novel writer George RR Martin all along, stretching back to the early 90s when the first novel (A Game of Thrones) was published.

“We had this meeting with George Martin where we’re trying to get as much information as possible out of him, and probably the most shocking revelation he had for us was when he told us the origin of Hodor – or how that name came about,” Benioff said. “I just remember Dan and I looking at each other when he said that and just being like, ‘Holy shit.’”

However, one redditor has revealed that this doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll be seeing the revelation play out in the book series exactly how we saw it on screen – because George RR Martin might have other plans.

Apparently, while speaking at an event for fellow writer Joe Hill at the Cocteau cinema, Santa Fe, Martin addressed the latest episode in an informal Q and A, and while it’s currently unsubstantiated by the author, it’s certainly a very interesting development if true.

“He said that his name reveal in the books will differ in the context and how it happens,” redditor FunnyHunnyBunny passed on. “So while the name will still mean the same thing (Hold the Door), it will be very different from the show’s reveal.”

So perhaps we won’t be seeing the same wight attack/failed warging play out on the pages of The Winds of Winter, instead finding out the truth of Hodor’s catchphrase some other way – even if the eventual revelation is the same. Sounds like there’s still plenty of reason to be excited for the next novel, then.

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Game of Thrones continues on Sky Atlantic at 2am and 9:00pm