Game of Thrones season 6 episode 5: The heartbreaking Hodor twist explained

The clue was in the name all along

Christopher Hooton
Monday 23 May 2016 00:58

Game of Thrones season 6 episode 5 - 'The Door' - which legions of fans got to see early this week thanks to an accidental leak by HBO, was one of the most heart-wrenching episodes yet.


In a dramatic conclusion, we saw both the death of Hodor and the explanation for his much-debated name.

So how did he die?

Protecting Bran from a horde of White Walkers, who stormed the Weirwood tree after the Night's King discovered the young Stark's location by touching him on the arm during a flashback (convoluted, I know - apparently time travel is a thing in Game of Thrones now, for better or worse).


And what about the name?

Hodor had one job in repelling the White Walkers, he had to "hold the door". The loyal half-giant rose to the challenge, dying as the Walkers clawed at him and repeating the mantra: "Hold the door, hold the door."

Bran, the selfish bastard, was off enjoying a flashback in Winterfell while this was happening, and witnessed a young Hodor, Wyllis, having a fit, a sort of premonition, about this moment in the future. Seizing on the floor he yelled the words, which we're to assume was all he could say from that day forward: "Ho(ld the)door".

A few fans guessed this ahead of broadcast, given the title of the episode, 'The Door'.

Why am I bawling my eyes out?

Because, though Hodor wasn't a major character, he was beloved for his gentleness. Though Bran would ultimately be his demise, Hodor stuck with him until death. Everybody needs a Hodor.

What is the significance of all this?

Twofold, really: 1) it sets a crazy precedent for this 'White Walkers being able to control warging' thing, and makes them even more dangerous than they already were and 2) it will make Bran feel incredibly guilty, and will force him to be more mature and take the challenges still ahead of him incredibly seriously. Also shout out to Meera for being massively badass and nailing one of those bearded Night's King deputies.

Though it was handled a little too briefly, we also learned the origins of the White Walkers tonight and how the Children of the Forest are responsible for their arrival in Westeros. Oh, and the show finally 'freed the penis'.

Who is Azor Ahai?

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