'Hold the door': 'Game of Thrones' star Kristian Nairn on the latest shocker
MANILA, Philippines – Last week's episode of Game of Thrones delivered another shocker as usual, but it was a thrilling one to watch. This week reverts to the kill-a-lovable-character habit.
This week's episode title, "The Door," is strongly tied to the scenes North of the Wall, where we last saw Bran Stark, Hodor, Meera Reed, Leaf, and the Three-Eyed Raven.
Some of the show's stars and showrunners have spoken up about the latest happenings. Click on the button below to read about their thoughts.
This week, we find out why Hodor was named as such, and why it's the only word he can utter. It boils down to three words with tragic consequences: "Hold the door."
There was an onslaught of White Walkers and wights who had discovered their hideout under the Weirwood tree. Bran, as it seems, scrambled Hodor's (erstwhile known as Wylis) mind in the past while using his ability of Greensight. He commanded the present Hodor to "hold the door" to keep the wights away. "Hold the door," the young Wylis repeated, until it became "Hodor."
Kristian Nairn, who plays the gentle giant, tells Entertainment Weekly (EW) about his somehow heroic exit: "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."
He also explained, however, that it could be open-ended, saying: "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," he continued.
At the same time, he said at the same time that viewers had discovered crucial truths about the character, it was a sudden exit for him. He said that this was what was tragic: "My favorite 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!"
Isaac Hempstead Wright, who plays Bran Stark, echoed this, as he told EW: "We learned Hodor really is this vulnerable soul, who had such potential to live a happy life."
"First, through [Bran’s] selfish actions, going to the White Walker vision in the first place, I've screwed him over. He didn't pick up that he should get out of the dream. And then Hodor sacrifices himself. He's been through all this and he's still having to do this," he said with a measure of remorse.
He also narrated what his last day on the set was like: "When it was finally wrapped at the end of season 6 they allowed Isaac 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.'"
Isaac, now 17, also had fond memories of his time growing up on the show with Kristian. He recounted, "As an ice breaker when we first me, he just handed me his iPhone to play with. I was playing the Harry Potter: Spells app. He says, 'Whatever you do don’t drop my phone,' and then I [accidentally] smashed it into pieces."
The showrunners, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, were equally gutted about Hodor's death.
"He's not somebody you think of as a main character, but he’s slowly, stealthily become an integral association with the show," Dan told EW. "'Hodor' is the one word you can say to somebody and immediately evoke the show or the books. And he's just been quietly there in Bran's storyline, being lovable with his delivering the hell out of many, many 'Hodors.' I think people will be surprised how hard it hits them emotionally."
David also admitted, "It's always interesting when we do the death calls; the Hodor one was particularly tough."
Game of Thrones airs on HBO at 9am in Asia – in a simulcast with the US – and has an encore telecast at 9pm. – Rappler.com