Hodor is a recurring character in the first, second, and third 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. He is actually Old Nan's great-grandson and only living relative.
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. Some weeks later, Hodor excitedly bursts into Bran's room with the saddle made from Tyrion's diagram.
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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
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.
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.
|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.
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.
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".
- Hodor at A Wiki of Ice and Fire (MAJOR spoilers from the books)
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Stark - Hodor entry
- ↑ "Winter is Coming"
- ↑ "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things"
- ↑ "A Golden Crown"
- ↑ "The Pointy End"
- ↑ "The North Remembers"
- ↑ "What is Dead May Never Die"
- ↑ "The Ghost of Harrenhal"
- ↑ "The Old Gods and the New"
- ↑ "A Man Without Honor"
- ↑ "The Prince of Winterfell"
- ↑ "Valar Morghulis"
|Lord:||Prince Bran Stark||Heir:||Rickon Stark|
|Title(s):||King in the North · Lord Paramount of the North · Lord of Winterfell|
|Ancestors:||Brandon the Builder · Rodrik Stark · Karlon Stark · Torrhen Stark|
|Current members:||Sansa Stark · Arya Stark · Benjen Stark · Jon Snow|
|Deceased members:||Rickard Stark · Brandon Stark · Lyanna Stark · Eddard Stark · King Robb Stark · Talisa Stark · Catelyn Stark|
|Household:||Ser Rodrik Cassel · Maester Luwin · Jory Cassel · Vayon Poole · Septa Mordane · Theon Greyjoy · Jeyne Poole · Osha · Hodor · Farlen · Old Nan · Mikken · Varly · Heward · Wyl · Tomard · Tommy · Jacks|