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Hodor is a recurring character in the first, second, third and fourth seasons. He is played by guest star Kristian Nairn and debuts in the series premiere, though he does not speak until "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things." Hodor is a simpleminded servant of House Stark at Winterfell working in the stables. He aids Bran Stark's mobility after he sustains a paralyzing injury when falling from a tower by carrying him from place to place, in his arms, in a basket on his back, and in a wheelbarrow. After Winterfell is captured by Theon Greyjoy, Hodor escapes with Osha, Bran, and Rickon leaving a trail, then back tracking to hide in the Stark crypts. When emerging to find Winterfell burned, he leaves with Osha to take Bran and Rickon north to the Wall to Jon Snow.



Hodor is simpleminded (i.e. mentally handicapped) and he is only capable of saying one word, "hodor" (which is a nonsense word), though he can apparently understand complex instructions other people give. Nonetheless, the Starks set him to work at a productive occupation within his capacities, as stableboy serving at Winterfell. Hodor is incredibly large and strong. While he is slow of wits, he is gentle and loyal to the Starks.[1] He is actually Old Nan's great-grandson and only living relative.

Season 1

Hodor greets the arrival of King Robert Baratheon with the rest of the Winterfell household.[2]

Tyrion and Bran 1x04

Hodor carries Bran to see Tyrion in "Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things."

Theon Greyjoy directs Hodor to carry the crippled Bran Stark to the great hall to meet Tyrion Lannister. He holds Bran whilst Tyrion offers to give him the plans for a new kind of saddle that he can ride even in his crippled state.[3] Some weeks later, Hodor excitedly bursts into Bran's room with the saddle made from Tyrion's diagram.[4]

Hodor bathes naked in the hot pool in the godswood while Bran prays. Hodor is seen by Osha, who tells Bran that she thinks he must have giants' blood in him. Bran reminds Hodor to get dressed.[5]

Season 2

Bran dreams that he is Summer, seeing the world through the direwolf’s eyes as he stalks through the Godswood and looks up at the Red Comet. He goes to the pool next to the Heart tree and looks down at his reflection. The next day Bran has Hodor carry him out to the godswood; Osha accompanies them and finds a plant that can be used to make a pain relieving tea. She asks Bran if he has had more strange dreams and he claims that he does not dream at all. He changes the subject to the comet, saying that he has heard men say it is an omen favoring Robb in the War. Osha says that she has heard people say the comet is Lannister red and favours their enemies and that she heard a stableboy say the comet was blood red and marked the death of Eddard. Hodor kneels by the pool and Osha helps Bran to the ground by its edge, affectionately stroking his hair. She tells him that stars do not fall for men and that a red comet signifies dragons. Bran stares at his reflection in the water and asserts that dragons are extinct.[6]

Summer 2x03

Bran wakes to see Summer and Hodor in "What is Dead May Never Die."

Bran continues to have wolf dreams. During one, he follows Hodor and again sees the world from Summer's point of view. Summer follows Hodor as he comes to wake Bran up. Bran looking through Summer's eyes jumps up on the bed, and Bran finds himself looking down at his own face. Bran wakes to find himself looking into Summer's eyes with Hodor looking on.[7] Bran discusses his dreams with Osha as Hodor prepares his horse. Bran says that he dreamt that the sea came to Winterfell, flooding the castle and killing his people and killing Ser Rodrik Cassel. Ser Rodrik leads the garrison to relieve the siege of Torrhen's Square by an unknown enemy.[8] The attack was a feint orchestrated by Theon Greyjoy who uses the opportunity to seize Winterfell. Later, Osha kills a guard, then leads Hodor, Bran, and Rickon out the gate freeing them from the clutches of the Ironborn.[9] They travel to a shepherd's farm on the outskirts of the Stark lands. Theon hunts for them with hounds, tracking them to the farm and then losing the scent. He returns to Winterfell with the charred corpses of two boys, claiming that they are Bran and Rickon. He makes no mention of Hodor and Osha.[10]

Bran and Rickon Alive

Hodor, Bran, and Rickon in crypts of Winterfell in "The Prince of Winterfell."

When Maester Luwin sees Osha taking bread down into the crypts, he looks at the bodies and realizes that they are not Bran and Rickon. Later in the crypts, Osha tells him that after they escaped, they doubled back through a stream to mislead the hounds, and have been hiding in the crypts beneath Winterfell ever since. Realizing the bodies were orphans working at the farm and that Theon killed them so no-one would know that Bran and Rickon had escaped him, they determine not to tell Bran as he would blame himself. However, Bran sitting next to a sleeping Hodor and Rickon has heard them.[11]

Bran, Hodor, Summer and Shaggydog

Hodor and Bran emerging from the Crypts with Shaggydog and Summer in "Valar Morghulis."

When the escapees finally emerge from the crypts, Winterfell has been burned and Maester Luwin is badly wounded in the Godswood. He tells them that the children must be taken to the Wall to Jon Snow who will protect them from the invading ironmen and get word to Catelyn and Robb. Later, Hodor is pushing Bran in a wheelbarrow, while Osha carries Rickon, as they head away from Winterfell.[12]

Season 3

Hodor is on the road to Castle Black, along with Bran, Rickon, Osha and the direwolves, Summer and Shaggydog. Bran continues to dream about chasing the Three-eyed Raven. But encounters in his dream a strange boy, who he later meets while awake. This is when he meets Jojen Reed and his sister, Meera. Jojen possesses the rare gift of seeing the past and present through his dreams, and is able to speak with Bran through their dreams. Jojen tells Bran that he is a 'Warg' someone who could control the minds of animals.

After seeking shelter in a derelict windmill during a rainstorm, the group notice a band of Wildlings chasing down a Northman. The sounds of thunder terrify Hodor, who shouts out in panic. Fearing discovery, Jojen tells Bran to silence Hodor, who keeps panicking. Bran unintentionally uses his Warg powers to render Hodor unconscious. With the Wildlings still outside, Jojen convinces Bran to Warg through Summer and Shaggydog outside, who then maul to death some of the Wildlings. While in control of Summer and Shaggydog, Bran saw Jon Snow outside fighting the Wildlings. He tells Osha to take Rickon with her to the holdfast of Greatjon Umber, a loyal bannerman of the Starks. Bran bids a tearful Rickon farewell, who leaves with Osha and Shaggydog, while Bran continues northward with Hodor, Summer and the Reed siblings.

Later, they make it to the wall, and stay overnight in an abandoned castle on the Wall. During the night, Samwell Tarly, with Gilly and her child, meet Bran and the Reeds in the castle. Samwell, noticing the gigantic Hodor and Summer, realises who Bran is and offers to take them to Castle Black. But Jojen tells Sam that they are going beyond the Wall, as no force in the realm of Westeros could withstand the threat posed by the White Walkers. Sam reluctantly gives them the obsidian blades found North of the Wall, which he earlier used to slay a White Walker. That night, Bran, the Reeds, Hodor and Summer finally pass beyond the Wall.


Season One appearances
Winter is Coming The Kingsroad Lord Snow Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things The Wolf and the Lion
A Golden Crown You Win or You Die The Pointy End Baelor Fire and Blood
Season Two appearances
The North Remembers The Night Lands What is Dead May Never Die Garden of Bones The Ghost of Harrenhal
The Old Gods and the New A Man Without Honor The Prince of Winterfell Blackwater Valar Morghulis
Season Three appearances
Valar Dohaeris Dark Wings, Dark Words Walk of Punishment And Now His Watch is Ended Kissed by Fire
The Climb The Bear and the Maiden Fair Second Sons The Rains of Castamere Mhysa

Behind the scenes

Hodor is not described in the books as having a large scar on his right temple: this was added by the makeup department of the TV series to hide a tattoo possessed by actor Kristian Nairn.

When asked if it was difficult to express a range of emotions when playing a character who can only speak a single word, Kristian responded:

"Unlike in the book, where Hodor's emotions are portrayed by a combination of the single word, the situation, and the reader's imagination, I have a very powerful medium to use as well: my body language. I was partially deaf when I was a child, and often in school, before I was fixed, I had to read context and emotions from people's faces and body language. That's also a huge part of sign language, and my knowledge of that (although I'm extremely out of practice) has put me in good stead for this part."[13]

Image Gallery

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Hodor has brown hair and a brown beard and is the great-grandson of Old Nan, the oldest woman in the castle. When Bran tells Nan that the only thing Hodor is sure of is his own name, Nan laughs as Hodor's real name is Walder: no one knows where the word "Hodor" came from, but it is only word he seems capable of speaking, and has become his name. The meaning of the word (if any) is unknown.

It is stated that Old Nan's two sons died in Robert's Rebellion, and her daughters moved away and died (presumably childless), while her grandson died in the Greyjoy Rebellion. While the exact relationships have not been explicitly stated, this presumably means that it was Hodor's grandfather who died in Robert's Rebellion, and Nan's grandson who died in the Greyjoy Rebellion was Hodor's father.

There is widespread speculation that Hodor is a descendant of the famous knight Duncan the Tall, who eventually rose to be Lord Commander of the Kingsguard under his friend King Aegon V Targaryen. Ser Duncan ("Dunk") and Aegon "Egg" Targaryen are the two main characters in the "Tales of Dunk and Egg" prequel novellas, which start about 90 years before Game of Thrones begins. George R.R. Martin has stated that, with time-jumps in between each story, he intends for the prequel novellas to cover the entire lives of Dunk and Egg, up until about 50 years ago. Like Ser Duncan, Hodor is also extremely tall. The upcoming fourth prequel novella, The She-Wolves of Winterfell, reveals that Ser Duncan traveled to Winterfell. At one point Bran Stark has a greensight vision of the past, and sees a very large man "as tall as Hodor" in the Winterfell godswood, being kissed by a slender young woman - who might have been Old Nan. There is also speculation, based on some hints given by George R.R. Martin, that Brienne of Tarth is also a descendant of Ser Duncan.

Hodor is incredibly strong and over seven feet tall, making him taller than even Greatjon Umber (who is slightly less than seven feet tall). This causes Osha to remark (as in the TV series) that she wonders if he has giant's blood in him. Actor Kristian Nairn is actually 6'11'' and thus slightly shorter than Hodor is described, however, clever use of camera angles makes him seem taller. Also, being paired with the child Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark) results in a forced perspective which makes him seem proportionately taller (as opposed to if he was standing next to Brienne of Tarth or Sandor Clegane in many scenes, which he does not). There are many instances showing Hodor's great strength, such as pushing up a roof beam and pushing open the crypt door, even after part of the tower has fallen against it. However, he is very docile and never shows aggression, even when being taunted or bullied by others much weaker than he is.

In the books, there are numerous instances in which the mentally handicapped are forced into demeaning positions as court fools, etc., and not simply among the smallfolk. Even handicapped persons born into noble Houses are often reduced to being court fools and aren't treated as blood relatives. For example, the second son of Stevron Frey, Aegon, himself the first son of Walder Frey, was born mentally handicapped and is put in a degrading position as the court fool at The Twins and nicknamed "Jinglebell". This demeaning treatment given to the mentally handicapped is similar to the discrimination that Tyrion Lannister faces due to his dwarfism: as he points out, had he been born a commoner, they'd have simply left him out in the woods to die as a baby. Hodor offers a contrast between how House Stark and most other noble Houses treat the mentally disabled and the weak in general. Instead of making him a court fool or social outcast, the Starks have treated Hodor with respect as a person, giving him an actual vocation within his ability so he can live as a fairly functional member of society. The Starks and Maester Luwin have occasion to tell others, such as the two Walder Frey fosterlings, to not abuse or make fun of him.

According to the TV series official pronunciation guide developed for the cast and crew, the name "Hodor" is pronounced "HO-dor".

See also


v  d  e
Lord: Prince Bran Stark Heir: Prince Rickon Stark
Seat: Winterfell (formerly) Lands: The North
Title(s): King in the North · Lord Paramount of the North · Lord of Winterfell
Ancestors:Brandon the Builder · Brandon the Breaker · Dorren Stark · Rodrik Stark · Karlon Stark · Osric Stark · Torrhen Stark · Cregan Stark
Current members:Sansa Stark · Arya Stark · Benjen Stark
Deceased members:Rickard Stark · Brandon Stark · Lyanna Stark · Eddard Stark · King Robb Stark · Talisa Stark · Catelyn Stark · Jon Snow
Household:{Ser Rodrik Cassel} · {Maester Luwin} · {Jory Cassel} · {Vayon Poole} · {Septa Mordane} · Jeyne Poole · Osha · Hodor · Farlen · {Old Nan} · Mikken · Varly · Heward · Wyl · Tomard · Tommy · Jacks

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