George R.R. Martin reveals how Hodor's fate will be different in his books
Consider yourself warned: This is a book spoiler that you should not read if you don't want to know a key event from The Winds of Winter (or, perhaps, from A Dream of Spring).
As Game of Thrones fans know, the lovable, monoverbal Hodor (Kristian Nairn) perished in the season 6 episode "The Door." The gentle giant was commanded to "hold the door" and used his weight to block an exit as undead wights attacked, allowing Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) to escape.
Martin chose the scene to give an example of how his upcoming books will be different than the show, and it also serves as an interesting example of the choices made when adapting a print tale to television.
"I thought they executed it very well, but there are going to be differences in the book," Martin said. "They did it very physical — 'hold the door' with Hodor's strength. In the book, Hodor has stolen one of the old swords from the crypt. Bran has been warging into Hodor and practicing with his body, because Bran had been trained in swordplay. So telling Hodor to 'hold the door' is more like 'hold this pass' — defend it when enemies are coming — and Hodor is fighting and killing them. A little different, but same idea."
For the show, the writers felt it would more clearly and visually communicate the concept of "hold the door" if Hodor was shown using his bulk against a door.
"For our purpose, holding the door is visually better, especially because we have so much fighting," co-producer Dave Hill noted.
As the door cracked and shattered, Hodor was pierced with dozens of skeletal fingers. The scene became one of the show's most powerful moments as fans realized that Hodor's name and mental debilitation were due to the command "hold the door" as it echoed back through time via Bran's vision of Hodor's young self.
Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon is the untold and uncensored story of the making of Game of Thrones and is available now.
Game of Thrones
HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series 'A Song of Ice and Fire.'