Hodor’s death remains one of the most emotionally draining scenes from Game of Thrones till date. The gentle giant Hodor struggling with his back pressed on the door as one by one the dead hands of the wights start pulling at him. Hodor’s death scene evoked an intense reaction from GoT fans world over, for both its twisted backstory and gruesomeness.
Apparently, what we saw on screen was just a part of the fate the makers had originally envisioned for Hodor. In a recent interview with EW, longtime Game of Thrones storyboard artist Will Simpson spoke at length about his process and shared some sketches of the ‘Hold the Door!’ scene. Turns out, the original plan of the scene included the wights breaking the door and swarming over Hodor.
The entire sequence is peppered with deaths, including Bran’s direwolf Summer (sniff sniff!). But the most horrid of them surely is Hodor. His last stand plays out against the big reveal of his past, and Simpson wanted to capture the sheer awfulness of the whole situation. He says,
“I wanted to concentrate on him holding the door, being up against it, and also the fact that he wasn’t gonna get away. I didn’t want it to look like he could escape.”
“The fact they have to get further away while he’s doing that, and Bran has gone in his head to get him to that point, and then Bran has to come out of his head to move on, and Hodor’s gonna be left there, is so awful. And yet that’s always been his destiny. In the past, when he’s been living a happy life as a big guy saying ‘Hodor,’ we didn’t know that’s the future hitting the past until that moment.”
In the episode, we leave Hodor straining against the door as Meera Reed escapes with Bran. But the storyboard goes beyond that. There is a sketch that shows the door breaking and Hodor falling back. Another depicts the dead wights crawling over Hodor’s massive body, biting and tearing at him.
I have to admit, I’m kinda glad that the last bit did not make the cut.
Well, Hodor’s sacrifice enabled Bran to escape and now he is one of the key pieces in the war against the Dead.
Humility is a virtue possessed by few. Even though Game of Thrones reached great heights, the show’s cast was always humble to their roots. They have won the admiration and respect of fans all over the world due to their down-to-earth nature. For example, Jason Momoa reached out to a young Aquaman fan battling cancer last year. Kristian Nairn (Hodor) talked to Digital Spy about the show’s success and praised his co-stars.
He said, “It didn’t happen overnight, and I think for us that was a good thing. I mean it was always immensely popular, I just think as the seasons went on it moved from a really amazing TV show into a kind of phenomenon. It sort of turned into that thing that everyone talks about, people say over the watercooler at work. “
“It’s crazy, because every TV show you watch these days, every single TV show or movie, they all reference Game of Thrones. It always blows me away. I watch a show I love and there’s a reference to Hodor, there’s a reference to Khaleesi. It’s become such a huge part of the public psyche. I don’t think we ever dreamed before season one was out that that would happen. It still happens!”
“It kind of grew, it really doubled per season. But we grew into it, which made it kind of easy. The cast was really down to Earth. I can say hand on heart we’re all really down to Earth. I think that’s a really nice thing. Just the whole Hollywood thing, we’re all kind of aware of that… Game of Thrones is so brutal and real. It’s important to keep it real.”
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Game of Thrones was an enchanting journey that lasted for nearly a decade. Some of the show’s cast was very young when the show began. They sort of grew up with the show, like Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner and Isaac Hempstead-Wright. Stardom can be a bit scary when you are young. Especially for someone as studious as Isaac Hempstead-Wright. He revealed about his nervousness in an interview with Digital Spy.
Isaac (Bran) said, “It was actually a little bit intimidating. I remember seeing the show go interstellar. Especially when you’re separate from it a bit [Bran was off-screen during season five], you really just see how huge it is when you’re not in the midst of the whole thing.”
“I really think season five was when it had its meteoric rise. So coming back into season six – and I hadn’t acted for a year; I’d been doing my GCSEs – coming back in was kind of like, ‘Argh! I’ve forgotten how to act!’”
He continued, “I think also there had been a lot of bonds forged in that season, and a lot of people had grown up. I’d kind of grown-up, but I had that key year of being 15, 16 away from it. So it was a weird one to come back to. But after a couple of days, it was business as usual.”
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Game of Thrones ended more than one and a half years ago. It was a beautiful journey for both the fans and the crew that lasted for a decade. The fantastical series still holds the record for the most number of Emmy Awards won. On the occasion of New Year, the cast of the show came together for an interview with Digital Spy. They shared their experience while shooting for the fantasy epic. Gwendoline Christie (Brienne) and Kristian Nairn (Hodor) talked about how they were cast for their roles.
Gwendoline recalled, “I immediately rang my agent and said, ‘I want to do this’. My agent said, ‘What are you talking about? I’d never ever put you up for this. She’s ugly, her nose is broken, her teeth are broken and you’ll need to use a sword’.”
Nairn remembered, “I was a first-time actor. I was glad I didn’t know anything about the show at the time. Because if I had I would’ve realised what a huge audition I was going for. I had no idea what Game of Thrones was. I had auditioned for a part in another movie called Hot Fuzz, and I didn’t get the part. It was the casting director Nina Gold who remembered me – she called me in for this audition. I didn’t know it at the time, but when you’re called for an audition, that’s really in your favour.”
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