One would think that with someone dying almost every week on Game of Thrones, we wouldn’t be fazed or do much more than blink. We fan learned a long time ago to never get attached to anyone. Last week’s episode, “Book of the Stranger,” saw Ramsay stab Osha till she bleed to death. No one seemed to care. The episode before that, Jon Snow executed Olly. He hung Olly till chocked to death. People either said nothing, or they cheered when the kid died. Let’s be honest- we all wanted Olly dead. But this week’s episode, “The Door” showed us how cruel Game of Thrones can truly be to its fans. Our beloved Hodor, the simple stable boy who has cared for, and carried, Bran Stark for the last few seasons, met his end- albeit, in true heroic fashion. That’s right- they killed Hodor! Our Hodor! In what could very well be one of the most heroic and brutal deaths to date, Hodor gave his life to save Bran and Meera from the Wights.
After accidentally exposing himself to the Night King, Bran reveals their location and gives the Wights the ability to enter the cave. Knowing that there is little time left, the Three-Eyed Raven gives Bran one last lesson. They once more visit the Winterfell of the past.
In the present, an army of Wights invade the cave, killing most of the Children of the Forest and the Three- Eyed Raven. Bran continues his vision of the past, where he sees a young Hodor. He accidentally wargs with him, giving the young Hodor a seizure. Young Hodor is able to hear exactly what Bran hears- Meera yelling at Adult Hodor to “Hold the Door!” She keeps screaming it over and over again, causing Young Hodor to repeat it, over and over. As the seizure gets worse, he begins to shorten the word till finally it’s been shortened to just one word- Hodor. It has seemed that for most of his life, he has only been able to say the one word that would define his final moments. Cue sad music and heartbreak.
Personally, this was by far the most difficult death for me to handle in the series. The last time I was this surprised by a death was when Ned Stark was killed in Season 1. That’s when I, like many fans, learned that no one is safe. Since then, for the most part, the deaths haven’t been all that surprising. Yeah, the death of Oberyn Martell in season 4 was horribly sad, but it wasn’t surprising. The same thing about the Red Wedding. They have always seemed to make sense somehow. But Hodor dying?! That one was hard to take. I’m not ashamed to admit that I did cry a little… Okay, a lot. Who wouldn’t cry? It was Hodor!
One must wonder if Hodor’s fate will be the same in “The Winds of Winter,” the upcoming sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, which Game of Thrones is based. It’s well known that author George R.R. Martin didn’t finish the book before the sixth season premiered back in May, and that TV series has departed quite a bit from the books since the start of Season five. There is a slight, though unlikely, chance that Hodor may survive in the books. Only time can tell.
That’s Game of Thrones for you. Ripping our hearts out, stomping them on the floor, and then tossing them back to us. And yes, we come back for more! Happily! Though, let’s hope Tyrion can make it to the end. I don’t think we could handle losing both Hodor and Tyrion in the same season.
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