Curtain Call: Kristian Nairn

Hodor

I’ll let you all know, first and foremost, that this was very hard for me.

Every time I sat down to write this, it felt like a eulogy. Like I was speaking words of praise and affection for someone who had passed away, every word a sad or morosely reflective one. And I didn’t want that. Not for him.

Hodor (Wylis) may have moved on to the Night Lands following a heroic final stand against the massed might of the Night King’s wight army, but Kristian Nairn is most certainly very much alive and well, and very much thriving right now. But every time I began a sentence it veered down a road of personal remembrance, a past-tense-a-palooza that made me more depressed with every word I typed.

Hodor-Hold-the-Door-Game-of-Thrones-Art-by-Aaron-Garcia
And it was silly. I knew it was silly. It’s a goddamned television show. Kristian’s fine! He’s not even unemployed! Dude’s got a couple projects in the works (Victrix, and Mythica: The Godslayer), and he makes music! And tours! Professionally!

…I’m still sad. Can’t shake it. Four days later and a Twitter post in-between. Still sad Hodor’s gone.

Hodor-teefury-Game-of-Thrones

You know what? Fuggit. We’re going full-on eulogy.

(I would declare an Irish wake, except if I poured out any alcohol, Kristian would probably pop me on the skull and call me a knucklehead.)

kristian-nairn-djDifference being —again, just to remind y’all— Kristian ain’t actually dead. So in a way, it’s kind of cool. I mean, how often do you get to read your own eulogy, right?

So let’s hit memory lane.

I first met Kristian in 2011. It was at TitanCon, in Belfast, and Kristian (along with Miltos Yerolemou) accompanied us all on a tour of Belfast shooting locations. It poured rain down on us nearly the entire time; we bonded over the miserable conditions amidst the nerdy coolness of it all.

Our first live interview with my TVEquals peeps:

Don’t be fooled by the stature or the musical acumen —Kristian is a nerd in the first degree. He’s a World of Warcraft geek of the highest order, and he grew up with the same social awkwardness that many nerds experience in their formative years —albeit as an exceedingly tall one. That couldn’t have been easy either. Anyway, short answer: He is one of my people.

CgIryXEUAAAyXDyOur friendship did not end in Belfast. Kristian and I have a mutual friend, Jake Stormoen (of Mythica fame), and on rare occasion when he is in L.A. we all decide to meet up at the Cuban restaurant Versailles and just, you know, hang. These formerly-intimate gatherings have ballooned a bit since, with other GoT luminaries joining in every now and again, such as Amrita Acharia, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Gethin Anthony, Dan Portman, and Eugene Simon, as well as a gazillion other cool people and friends I have garnered because of these. (I’d like to think it’s all for me, being generally Axeycentric, but really it’s for the garlic chicken. Y’all ain’t had chicken ’til you’ve had Versailles chicken!)

I was speaking to Kristian during our last visit just a few months back, and I was kind of taking the piss, though in a nice way. I mean, I admire what he’s done as Hodor –making the big lug so lovable, this character everybody roots for (as evidenced by the internet’s devastation at Hodor’s shocking and game-changing death)– but I rightly pointed out that acting wasn’t really even his first calling. No offense meant at all to him, he did a singular job with one bloody word. But…

Have you listened to his music? As an electronic artist, he is fucking singular. He brings this old early 90’s pop sound and blends it with modern trip-hop, techno, rave, and dance (some of his shit even has a disco vibe, so he’s reaching back to the 1970’s in certain respects). Not just his own stuff, but what he did with Dan10 & Kendra’s Koor? I love it. He’s at the top of his game.

stl_mus_raveofthroneskristiannairndjboards_courtesycentralentertainmentgroup

So I was kind of joking with him, and I asked, “Does it make you feel weird, being known by 95% of the world as Hodor’s actor, when music is kind of really your true calling?” He sort of smiled, shrugged it off, and replied matter-of-factly, “Maybe, but I wouldn’t have the opportunities I have today without Thrones.” And he’s thankful for the show. You can tell. It’s genuine.

And here’s the trippy thing —me, after playing the cheek with his thespian skills, had a moment watching episode 602, Home. I can only really describe it as evolutionary. Bran does the time warp to Winterfell and encounters Young Wylis, and upon his return says to Hodor, “You could talk!” Hodor, of course, replies “Hodor”… but inside of it was so much. His face (eyes especially), the pause just before speaking, even his body language, slightly sad, as also as though he’d just taken this huge, cleansing sigh. And man… it really affected me.

hodor dies game of thrones hbo

Then in The Door, when Meera speaks to him (about the simplest joys —food of all things), and he has that wistful, somewhat hopeful look… It kind of brought me back to that quiet “Hodor” he gave to Bran, and my eyes immediately misted up.

That was also when I kind of started fearing for Hodor’s life. The sinking feeling never left, only got worse, and … you know the rest. But I was so floored with his performance, I had a kneejerk moment in which I considered writing him and saying, “You know what? Your music is now bollocks next to your acting. I was so wrong before!”

(No, I’m not going to do that! Honestly I love both.)

I’m still sad for Hodor, and I’m weirdly glad too. They could have given Hodor some inconsequential sendoff. “George will probably just kill me and leave me in a ditch somewhere,” Kristian has been known to quip, but this was anything but. One of the most iconic deaths/reveals in television history. It changed the game and the very scope of the story we thought we were watching. This thing is going to resonate for many, many years. (And Kristian will be asked to hold doors for… many, many years…)

So I just want to thank him. It’s weird doing this for an actual personal friend. But he gave the gift of Hodor, he continues to give the gift of music…

Oh! And lastly, he gave me a personal gift. As some of you may or may not know, I am the father of a very lovely 21-year old young woman. As Game of Thrones fans go, she’s… let’s call her a casual fan. (Back when I began covering the show, she was too young to watch.) But of course like most young people, she loves music, and at one point was invited by some friends to go to one of Kristian’s shows. Being that he plays Hodor, she dropped me a note to gleefully point out that she was going to go see a GoT actor and I was not.

Well. One quick message to Kristian later… and my daughter had backstage passes to meet him.

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Guess who suddenly became the cool dad? Me! This guy.

Guys. I have NEVER been the “cool” dad! (I’ve never been the “cool” anything!)

Kristian has impacted my life in many ways, and I am so thankful I know him. And if I want to communicate anything to him right now, it’s that he is beloved –not just because he embodied a character and made it his own (honestly, who can read the books from now on and not picture Kristian Nairn?) –but because of who he is. A lovely, sweet, kind, man who makes you feel better just by knowing him. And, successful or no, what else can we ask of any person in life?

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I absolutely love this dude. Give him all your love, House Gatewatch!

133 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Can someone post a link to his music – something they would recommend? NO sadness, for the epic that is Kristian!

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    2. Kristian joins the short list of actors who have replaced the image I had in my head of the book character. And he seems like a lovely person. And damn he is an amazing DJ! I loved his musical performance at A Night of Ice and Fire.

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    3. NOOOOOOO………

      The Kristian Nairn Curtain Call was always going to be the hardest. Ugh. My heart sank when I saw it, and I knew it was coming. We all did.

      What can you say about someone whose entire vocal contribution to the series was one word, but transcended that and was *so much more* the entire time? Bravo, sir… You are a great big part of the reason Game of Thrones is so awesome.

      Hodor.

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    4. It is incredible to think about the range of emotions that Kristian expressed using only one word. It was a remarkable performance that I hope will lead to a multitude of opportunities for him.

      I still haven’t fully processed what I witnessed. First, Summer. Then, our gentle giant. I never expected to lose Hodor so soon and in such a desolate place. Hodor deserved a long, happy life surrounded by loved ones.

      Much luck to Kristian…his death leaves an enormous hole in this story.

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    5. Beautiful tribute to an amazing character and AMAZING celebration of a really cool guy!
      I think we all feel as if Kristian is our friend.

      Hodor could easily have been a punchline. A simpleton with the thankless job of carrying around the ever-growing Bran. Thankfully, the writer’s gave him personality and Kristian was able to let that shine through.
      The final 5 minutes of “The Door” was perhaps the single most heartbreaking, and game changing moment, I have ever seen on any show. While the intricate details of story-telling, moving from past to present, was crucial, Kristian sold his final moments as Hodor using his face. The pain and determination but most of all, the resignation of his final task, will go down as one of the greatest moments in this series.
      For a show revered for its epic battles, political intrigue and fantasy elements, it was simply the face of a man that knew what he had to do and never wavered, that will be remembered and talked about years from now when a new generation of Throne fans comes along to watch retro television.

      I hope Kristian knows how much the moment impacted viewers. Not just because we lost trusted, lovable Hodor. But because he is the one who brought him life and when it was time for Hodor to go, he sent him out like a boss.

      This is the hardest curtain call but damn, well done show and (very) well done Kristian!
      #TeamHoldTheDoor

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    6. Sue the Fury,

      Sue thanks for site its nicely done .I’d like to say GRRM is my favorite author and we should feel blessed to be right in it.”literally ” butterfly fly effect. I don’t go to other site’s so I make many post
      On here .I’m learning ,and will get better as I go..but I’m kinda social media virgin.hope to be proud to get my cherry popped on the wall.thanks again and I’ll have several more gentleman joining soon.

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    7. You ARE the coolest dad! 🙂 Really nice curtain call, Axey.

      I’ve always believed in that saying, “Those who talk the most, sometimes say the least.” As with Hodor, Kristian and those who truly act without a ton of dialogue, really amaze me.

      It’s all been said. I’ll miss the hell outta Hodor. And seeing Kristian on my screen most weeks. ❤

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    8. Very nice read.

      Hodor we will miss you. A lot. This has been hard with osha, summer and the hardest of all – hodor :(( the most innocent soul on the show

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    9. I didn’t realize how affecting Hodor’s passing would be. Kristian’s portrayal always drew quiet respect as I impatiently waited for the other major character’s storylines to take their dramatic twists and turns. But then he was leaving, and was gone. It’s so hard to shake, I’ve rewatched his final scenes more times this week than I have when Jon & Robb went. He held the door and my heart, thank you Kristian. Cheers to your past and future successes!

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    10. This was one of the best curtain calls I have read here. Hodor, and Kristian Nairn, will definitely be missed from the show.

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    11. I loved his character in the book so much, always caring and carrying Bran. I wondered how he’d handle carrying him inthe show with Isaac growing so much, but wow, I didn’t realize how big Kristian is! No worries there. In both the book and the show, he was portrayed as a caregiver, someone who just wants to give himself to others, he has no other need in life. Thats why we all love him and thats how we’ll all remember him

      ladywolfsbane,

      Yes, Id love to hear his music as well I wish Kristian much luck and joy in whatever he pursues next be it acting, music, or something totally different. What ever he does it will be marvelous.

      I also think it would be fitting to add Hold the Door to Support the Bottom. That way every time we post, we’ll remember Hodor again.

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    12. kells,

      Wow, your comment brought tears to my eyes. You made a beautiful tribute to Hodor and to Kristian Nairn. I, too, will always be #TeamHoldTheDoor!

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    13. That was a great tribute. Really tough to see him go. I can’t really imagine GoT without him being there Hodoring. I wish Kristian the very best in life!! I will miss Hodor!!

      HOLD THE DOOR and FOR THE HORDE! <33

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    14. kells,

      I hope Kristian knows how much the moment impacted viewers. Not just because we lost trusted, lovable Hodor. But because he is the one who brought him life and when it was time for Hodor to go, he sent him out like a boss.

      I second this. And Axe, great job on the curtain call. As memorable as the character.

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    15. Great tribute.

      I’m not lying, I’m still randomly crying about Hodor. I have been all week. It was profound and will never be forgotten. Until now the bravest death for me has been Grenn’s. Grenn held the gate, but he was trained and took a vow and the giant was alive and the people behind him were armed. Hodor never really had a choice about any of it, not that he seemed to mind…until the end. And in the end he protected the people he loved, in spite of his fear, and held that damn door as long as he could. Best, most heartbreaking death in the entire series imo. And no one could have played it better.

      Also young Hodor actor? That was the one-two punch that killed me. Those cries on the ground combined with Kristian’s expressive face…

      And I’m crying again.

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    16. SerDuncanTheTall,

      Wow. I didn’t cry when I watched the show (tho it affected me greatly) but I am now.

      Also young Hodor actor? That was the one-two punch that killed me. Those cries on the ground combined with Kristian’s expressive face

      Oh yes – in fact would it be appropriate to include him on here as well? While he didn’t die per se, he did, and became someone else.…

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    17. An episode hasn’t affected me like this since the Red Bedding, and I was spoiled on this episode. Congrats to the actors, including Sam, on a major accomplishment. They will always be remembered for this. Best of luck to both.

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    18. RG,

      I’ve not been affected by a show death like this since Shireen. Oh the tears! Grenn and Pip were hard to take as well. Grenn’s last pep speech before the giant really got to me.

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    19. Hodor? Hodor… Hodor!

      Kristian…you are truly amazing. I can’t even begin to adequately praise and thank you for your work. You will be missed. Hope to see you in new things.

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    20. Beautiful. Thank you. He seems like such a lovely man.

      We’ve lost a lot of characters throughout the show, but this one stings. Days later, it still stings. Thanks to Kristian for being the embodiment of Hodor. So perfectly portrayed. If Kristian is ever DJ’ing or appearing anywhere nearby, I will be the first in line to see him.

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    21. Now I am crying again. So this is what it is like to be unsullied? Kristian Nairn was magnificent as Hodor, what a remarkable job he did. Great job on the curtain call, Axey. Thanks for making me cry again. (and at work yet)

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    22. I think the best thing that can be said, the greatest compliment one could give Kristian Nairn is this:

      I honestly believe that Hodor is the one character that will be universally- near unanimously -missed by viewers of GoT. He really did something remarkable in his performance, in that he made a character whose dialog was comprised of a single word one of the most beloved characters in the entire series. He took a single word, and, through his considerable abilities as an actor, he gave it a unique meaning every time he uttered it, through body language, tone and inflection, and physical actions.

      Take it from anyone who ever studied theater, or even took a theater class and took it seriously: What he was able to do is one of the most difficult challenges a performer can undertake..and he accomplished it magnificently.

      I’ll miss Hodor, but I’ll definitely look into Kristain Nairn’s other acting work because of his performance as Hodor, because what he showed me with Hodor was just that F’ing impressive.

      Cheers, Kristain, and all the best in your future endeavors. It was a pleasure watching you work.

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    23. I think Hodor the best death so far in GoT. He did not die due to some mistake he made. We had so many heroic figures in the series, but most of them died because they f***ed up things one way or another, like Ned, Robb, Catelyn, Oberyn, and so on, or because they were had a boring, illogical or pitiable death – Shireen, Myrcella, the Dornish, Barristan, etc. Bad people like Lysa, Joffrey, Alliser, Olly, etc. had it coming. But Hodor died a hero, protecting his friends. Unlike Qhorin or Grenn, he wasn’t really bound by duty – he served the Starks, but I’m certain he swore no oath to anyone. And all he did was help his friends. The only occasions he hurt someone was when Bran was warged into his body. In addition to that, his identity as Hodor was defined by his final moments. It was his death that shaped his life. And vice-versa, because of the curved time.

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    24. Sniffle.

      I still haven’t been able to rewatch it, even though it was a great episode.

      The Hodor size hole in the show will be impossible to fill and will be felt throughout the rest of the series, I expect.

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    25. It wasn’t about the content it was all in the delivery. How impressive to be such a loved character and be given so little to work with. Kristian, your Hodor will be missed and remembered. One day, they may even sings songs about him!

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    26. I didn’t cry at Ned’s execution… I didn’t cry at the Red Wedding… But, dammit if I didn’t cry at Hodor’s death (well, and Shireen’s, but this isn’t about that). The lovable giant now seems unbelievably tragic – Everytime he said Hodor, we grinned, not knowing that he was actually seeing his own death. Yet, he stood by Bran’s side and always kept him safe, despite knowing what he would ultimately have to do. He lived his life for the Stark family, and he gave his life for the Stark family.

      Major props to Kristian for bringing out so much emotion over 4 and a half seasons, with only one word. You will be missed, and so will Hodor… er, Wylis.

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    27. aabe:
      Axechucker,

      Nice obituary, here is some timely music from young Hodor (Sam Coleman) – https://twitter.com/SamColemanActor/status/735514360106323968

      https://soundcloud.com/samcolemanactor/hold-the-door-sam-coleman

      Oh, yeah, thanks!

      I was considering adding a brief footnote to the curtain call for props for Sam, but we still don’t even really know if that was his last scene. (I feel like I kind of want to hope Sam’s young Hodor has a few more years of flashbacks to go; he’s not so much dead as stuck back in time…)

      But he was excellent, no denying. I gave props before for his “Hold the Door-to-Hodor” transition… And can you imagine playing a scene in which you, as a large person, have to fall flat on your back from a standing position? Because you know this wasn’t just one take. This is GoT. He crashed to the dirt over and over again, all in the name of art.

      So yeah. Good stuff.

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    28. Stunning end to an intriguing character whose cursed, heroic simplicity was a bright light in a world of darkness. His ultimate sacrifice was riveting and possibly the most emotional experience I have witnessed onscreen in many years. I was visibly shaken at the end of the episode. I will miss Kristian Nairn’s portrayal of Wyllis greatly.

      I also wonder how it will affect Bran going forward? What an awful burden to carry.

      Lovely read, Axey.

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    29. I hope he gets some good acting opportunities. It really dawned on me how good he is during the scenes when Bran, Hodor, Meera and Jojen were travelling to the Wall and Bran began to warg into Hodor. He was terrific and hopefully it hasn’t gone unnoticed by casting people.

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    30. What a beautiful performance and story to honor the character of Hodor – who braved cold, starving conditions and gave his life to help his friend. I’ll miss watching him every week!

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    31. Shucks Axey, you got me all teary-eyed again. I was only able to rewatch the episode once.
      I can’t remember the last time I was so emotional about a TV death. I will miss this gentle giant.
      Best wishes for Kristian for all his future endeavors.

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    32. aabe,

      Sam Coleman is going to be in the Leatherface movie, which is pretty cool. It’s about the origins of Leatherface before the events of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie.

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    33. Beautifully done, Axey. Really, you knocked this one out of the park, and thank you for sharing your personal reflections on the man behind the character. He was phenomenal in the role and sounds like an exceptional human-being. I feel as though he gave all of us a rare gift.

      Lord Farstark: Take it from anyone who ever studied theater, or even took a theater class and took it seriously: What he was able to do is one of the most difficult challenges a performer can undertake..and he accomplished it magnificently.

      Forgive my foray into theatre-geekdom, but did you ever play the ABC game? It’s where you were given a scenario you had to act out with another actor, but you couldn’t use any words, you could only use the alphabet. What Kristian Nairn did reminds me of that, although instead of the alphabet, he had “Hodor.” He communicated everything so clearly, so beautifully, all while only using, in essence, a nonsensical word (ok, well, nonsensical until last week’s episode, when it finally made sense, and our hearts were torn out).

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    34. ash,

      Sam Coleman really nailed it.

      It’s funny now, when you think that everybody though that it was young Robert when his casting was leaked.

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    35. Best hodor I could’ve imagined!perfect! Now every time I read this series I’ll remember that’s how it always was to me even back before the show .wicked Grrm mind trip!( And good luck at WWE). Great job man. (ha ha sorry couldn’t help it)

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    36. Great post, Axey! I, too, had a strong reaction to Kristian’s “Hodor” following Bran’s first trip to Winterfell and his subsequent musings on breakfast. So heartbreaking!

      Best of luck in your future endeavors, Kristian! I’ll be looking for your projects.

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    37. I’ve never had the privilege of hearing or meeting Kristian Nairn in person, but thank you, Axey, for bringing him to life for us. That picture with your daughter that transformed you into the “cool dad” is so moving. Kristian’s portrayal of Hodor was brilliant. Hodor’s death hit me harder than any other on the show because I had no idea it was coming. And because he was so purely good and loyal, despite his tragic origin and inevitable death.

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    38. Hodor.

      Sniff.

      Kristian Nairn was really such an asset to this show, and the way it served as such a level of amusement for so long really just then ended up as such a gut punch. This death doesn’t feel overwrought, stupid or gratuitous, the kind of one where you want it to end just so you don’t have to look at Ramsay anymore. This was genuine, and earned, and heartbreaking, so many ways.

      In a way it feels as if there was some foreshadowing here…when Bran wakes to see Hodor sitting there, and mentions his name as Wyllis, and that he could talk? The “Hodors” that follow don’t sound like the usual jubilant. A bit more melancholy. And in a way it’s a bit of a signal.

      🙁

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    39. As the tempest thundered, as the storm broke free
      Suddenly in darkness, fear there none to see
      Visions in his memory, what was meant to be
      When the storm was over, nothing could be seen
      Life and boat were taken, God knows what it means

      Pulling up the anchor, letting go the rope
      Fate rules over all things, fate rules over hope

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    40. i loved hodor. sweet peace loving giant who reminded us the meaning of sacrifice. he did what he had to do; expected nothing in return. he made a sacrifice for the good of the realm perhaps he doesnt know it perhaps he does..we will perhaps never know what he was thinking the whole time ..he perhaps lived his whole life knowing what he needs to do when the time comes… and probably knew his fate..thats why hodor is a true hero….plus a lot of other reasons……Kristian Nairn brought the role to life..it is his dedication and commitment to the role that made hodor legendary …………………………………………………………you shall be missed………………….HODOOORRRRR..

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    41. What an emotional week it’s been. I really wasn’t sure how it would play out , but I did know it was a great scene, and it was REALLY hard to keep it to myself for nearly a year.
      I’ve had nothing but support from you guys pretty much since casting speculations , and I believe Axey knew about my being cast almost as soon as I did ( maybe a little before lol ) and I really REALLY appreciate it.
      I’m still around , doing my thing , so I’m sure I’ll run into most of you sooner or later <3
      Thank you for the lovely words Axey buddy, hopefully see you soon.
      Take care and enjoy the rest of the season.
      And of course
      Hodor

      KN

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    42. RG,

      Big Hodor fan – but was his death really brave? I was under the impression that Bran was warged into Hodor at the time. So really he was sacrificed against his will.

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    43. Jay:
      RG,

      Big Hodor fan – but was his death really brave? I was under the impression that Bran was warged into Hodor at the time. So really he was sacrificed against his will.

      I had the same impression. Otherwise Hodor would likely have gone back to whimpering, plus there wouldn’t be the mind meld connection between times, which caused the Hodor affliction to begin with.

      But Kristian says he wasn’t being warged after he got up, which doesn’t make sense since Wylis only wigged out once Hodor was holding the door. Doesn’t matter in the end because he was a faithful friend and companion even so.

      That’s why I’m not a fan of time travel. Good for story and action, but bad for logic and reason when you think too hard on it. ?

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    44. KN:
      What an emotional week it’s been. I really wasn’t sure how it would play out , but I did know it was a great scene, and it was REALLY hard to keep it to myself for nearly a year.
      I’ve had nothing but support from you guys pretty much since casting speculations , and I believe Axey knew about my being cast almost as soon as I did ( maybe a little before lol ) and I really REALLY appreciate it.
      I’m still around , doing my thing , so I’m sure I’ll run into most of you sooner or later<3
      Thank you for the lovely words Axey buddy, hopefully see you soon.
      Take care and enjoy the rest of the season.
      And of course
      Hodor

      KN

      From the man himself. Thanks so much, Kristian!

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    45. Very nice Fabio. I still remember the leaked audition video from Kristian Nairn. It doesn’t seem that long ago but look how far this show has come. Kristian should be very proud of his contribution. Bringing a legendary literary and HBO character to life is no small feat. Bravo Sir.

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    46. Direwolf Lvr,

      I think Bran only warged into him to get him going when he was sitting down, freaking out. After they started running down the tunnel, I’m pretty sure it was all Hodor.

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    47. KN:
      What an emotional week it’s been. I really wasn’t sure how it would play out , but I did know it was a great scene, and it was REALLY hard to keep it to myself for nearly a year.
      I’ve had nothing but support from you guys pretty much since casting speculations , and I believe Axey knew about my being cast almost as soon as I did ( maybe a little before lol ) and I really REALLY appreciate it.
      I’m still around , doing my thing , so I’m sure I’ll run into most of you sooner or later<3
      Thank you for the lovely words Axey buddy, hopefully see you soon.
      Take care and enjoy the rest of the season.
      And of course
      Hodor

      KN

      Thanks for everything, Kristian! Until your comment, I hadn’t considered you had to keep that secret for almost a year! So much attention has been given to Kit Harington (and other cast members) for keeping the Jon Snow secret, but you’ve been suffering, too! Were you able to at least tell your family and closest friends, like Kit did? Anyway, thanks for working so hard to bring Hodor to life and for keeping that secret so we could all be so deeply affected by Hodor’s tragic and heroic death.

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    48. I loved how this guy was so kind and polite and just always affectionate towards the fanbase.

      He also plays World of Warcraft. Wish I knew what server and character so I could swing by and say hi once in a while.

      Anywho, he always seemed like one of us more so then any other actor on the show and I think for that reason his work as Hodor had a unique and special impact on this cummunity.

      I will really miss seeing him on the show and I will follow his career wherever it takes him =]

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    49. KN,

      Thank you for sharing your talent by breathing life in to one of the most endearing & iconic characters from the ASoIaF series. It’s a gift performers give us as an audience, not just to simply tell a story but to allow us to become emotionally invested in the people actors portray. You also deserve real props for staying gracious while facing the onslaught of attention from this rabid fanbase.

      And the WoW developers need to give you a tribute; like a goblin DJ at the Darkmoon Faire? Make it happen Blizzard!

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    50. This loss surpasses Ned, the RW, and is officially the most heartbreaking character death for me in GoT. For me, Hodor represents the one of the last vestiges of Bran’s childhood & innocence (Summer could also be included), and now that he’s served his purpose and gone, winter will truly begin. A gentle giant who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but still managed to go out with purpose and dignity and cut many of us deeper than we thought it could. We will never forget.

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    51. Kristian is the man! I was very glad and privileged to meet him twice in Belfast. Thank you for your work on the show and involvement with the fandom.

        Quote  Reply

    52. Jay,

      Kristian said it himself-that it was Hodor at the end. Or rather Wylis.
      Yes, time travel is confusing but after spending years watching Hodor and seeing Bran warg him multiple times-this time definitely felt different.
      I think in that moment as who he was connected with who he is, he became aware. It was clear to me in his expression, and I think that’s what the show was trying to convey with all those close ups there at the end.

      If I’m wrong, never tell me 🙂 Hodor is a hero.

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    53. Thank you Kristian and good luck with your future career.

      Your Hodor will always be my book vision now. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    54. It is safe to say, Hodor was one of the most memorable characters in the show. Not a small achievement for a minor character, not small at all, and also it all came down to the actor’s skill to do it right.

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    55. Another character who really came to life in the show, in the books you could be cynical and say that he was there merely to be Bran’s transport – if only GRRM had got more of the story written by now so we could have seen Hodor’s story come to fruition….any thoughts like that could have been dispelled.

      Kristian Nairn – thanks for bringing so much nuance to a single word and being an all round and very funny top bloke! Best wishes for everything.

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    56. A perfect testament to both Hodor as a character and Kristian as an actor. A combination of the power of GRRM’s writing and imagination when portrayed by an actor who is really convincing.
      Bravo Kristian!! And thank you. We will miss you, probably more than any of the characters who’ve gone before.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Sue the Fury,

      Did Stephen Dillane did the same thing for you with Stannis? From me he did. Charles Dance with Tywin too. They were two best actors on the show.

      Also, I loved Hodor, he was interesting simply because he was unique character. Something like Bran himself became, and in a way Theon too. They are all cripples and broken things.

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    58. So many feelings guys… Thank you so much for the post Axechucker, it feels so good being sad, reading it… HODOR! WYLLIS! KRISTIAN!

        Quote  Reply

    59. This scene was the only time I have cried watching GoT – everything about it was perfect, the timing, the cutaways, the dawning realization… and of course the acting. Brilliantly done Kristian, congratulations on a fantastic role and thanks so much for being so responsive to the fan base, I know it means a lot to people.

      And great write-up Axey, thank you!

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    60. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      A variation of such an exercise; instead of a letter, we had to use an advertisement slogan/catchphrase, whatever you want to call it.

      My teacher and I did an entire scene where the premise was that of a father and son having a discussion over what I (the son) was going to do with his life.

      My teacher used “Coke is it”, I used “Choice of a New Generation”.

      We also did Gibberish quite a bit, which is similar, but still gives you much more flexibility than ABC or what KN was tasked with in the role of Hodor, which is a BIG reason I have such admiration for what he did with the role.

      Gibberish gives you way more wiggle room for the more complex aspects you’re trying to convey. Being limited to a single (seemingly) nonsense word is far tougher, I think.

        Quote  Reply

    61. kells:
      Beautiful tribute to an amazing character and AMAZING celebration of a really cool guy!
      I think we all feel as if Kristian is our friend.

      Hodor could easily have been a punchline. A simpleton with the thankless job of carrying around the ever-growing Bran. Thankfully, the writer’s gave him personality and Kristian was able to let that shine through.
      The final 5 minutes of “The Door” was perhaps the single most heartbreaking, and game changing moment, I have ever seen on any show. While the intricate details of story-telling, moving from past to present, was crucial, Kristian sold his final moments as Hodor using his face. The pain and determination but most of all, the resignation of his final task, will go down as one of the greatest moments in this series.
      For a show revered for its epic battles, political intrigue and fantasy elements, it was simply the face of a man that knew what he had to do and never wavered, that will be remembered and talked about years from now when a new generation of Throne fans comes along to watch retro television.

      I hope Kristian knows how much the moment impacted viewers. Not just because we lost trusted, lovable Hodor. But because he is the one who brought him life and when it was time for Hodor to go, he sent him out like a boss.

      This is the hardest curtain call but damn, well done show and (very) well done Kristian!
      #TeamHoldTheDoor

      Well you’ve saved me posting much as I couldn’t have put it better myself! 🙂

      Probably the only pure soul in Westeros who sacrificed himself to save his friends, in fact- his actions will save the world.

      This scene will always break my heart, but I’m just so glad that Hodor/Kristian were pushed to centre stage and given such a momentous/heartbreaking/meaningful end.

      RIP you beautiful, gentle giant ?

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    62. He’s such a cool dude. I’ve never had celebrity crushes, but Kristian might be one. Hodor will be missed but I hope I can catch Kristian on tour.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Thanks for the feature, Axey, and well done to Kristian Nairn and young Sam for their portrayals of older Hodor and younger Hodor.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Lovely send off. Thank you.
      (And I never read the curtain calls but this one was different. Perhaps because Hodor was a GOT Sysiphus, always carrying this thing, this Bran, but never relenting but instead making this Bran his own. Smiling at the thought of eggs and sausage before taking up this Bran once more until the absurdity of it all passed beneath the lintel door. Good night sweet Prince that was never promised.)

        Quote  Reply

    65. kells,

      This was so touching to read, as was Axey’s ‘eulogy’. Thank you

      And Axey you’ve always been cool to us fans on here and Twitter!

        Quote  Reply

    66. Beautiful tribute to your friend, Axey!

      Hodor was perhaps the sweetest and most genuine character in this story. Kristian Nairn was certainly of the most beloved actors. And that death scene – and in retrospect, most of Wylis’s life – is one of the most heartbreaking, and instantly iconic moments in the show’s history. It’s tragic, it’s powerful, but above all, it’s heroic – quietly, but indelibly. I’m still affected by it – how it was shot and directed, how it was written and constructed, but most importantly how it was acted by both Kristian and Sam Coleman (and Isaac Hempstead-Wright, whose face as Bran realizes what he’s done to his lifelong friend is just devastating). I will be thinking about it for a long time and fighting back tears, especially when I rewatch the series. I don’t know how I’ll react when I Kristian shuffle on to the screen and smile and say the line that foreshadows his character’s death, knowing now just how deep the story of that character runs. All I know is that I’ll savor every moment, because the performance is wonderful, and every moment that I get to spend watching Kristian perform will be a gift.

      KN,

      Thank you for everything, Kristian! You gave a beautiful performance and have always been a wonderfuly ambassador for Game of Thrones. You will be terribly missed. I wish you all the best – I have no doubt that you’ll thrive at whatever you choose to do – in music, in acting, or just in life. You’re amazingly talented, and we’ve all been lucky to watch you work your craft these past several years. Here’s to many more! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    67. Wonderful post, Axey.

      This for me, was the hardest death as well, with all of its tragic undertones.

      KN:
      What an emotional week it’s been. I really wasn’t sure how it would play out , but I did know it was a great scene, and it was REALLY hard to keep it to myself for nearly a year.
      I’ve had nothing but support from you guys pretty much since casting speculations , and I believe Axey knew about my being cast almost as soon as I did ( maybe a little before lol ) and I really REALLY appreciate it.
      I’m still around , doing my thing , so I’m sure I’ll run into most of you sooner or later<3
      Thank you for the lovely words Axey buddy, hopefully see you soon.
      Take care and enjoy the rest of the season.
      And of course
      Hodor

      KN

      Kristian, thank you for bringing such a wonderful character to life. I can’t imagine anyone else who could’ve filled your shoes in the role. I can imagine no other Hodor. You gave such depth to your performance over the years, with only one word, but so much more beyond that. Thank you.

      You held the door and our hearts. Great job!

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    68. I am at work and have absolutely no time to read this, but I still needed to write this: WE WILL MISS YOU WYLIS.
      Thank you Mr. Nairn.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Kristian, you were great as Hodor and you will be missed.

      And now his watch is ended.

      Also want to give a shout-out to Sam Coleman, who did an amazing job bringing young Wylis to life.

        Quote  Reply

    70. Axey, your send off brought tears to my eyes. GREAT JOB!! Your words moved me and you are so spot on. I haven’t watched the episode again and I always watch it twice just to absorb everything I am seeing, but not this episode. I’m just not ready.:(

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    71. RG: Also young Hodor actor? That was the one-two pu

      I hadn’t even stopped to give credit where credit was due, but you are right. That young man did an amazing job and he deserves tall praise also!

        Quote  Reply

    72. Axechucker,

      Axey, how great is that? You have really done the best job ever and it was obviously well noted by Kristian. Thank you again for the wonderful send off.

        Quote  Reply

    73. HODOR!!!! I’ll be holding doors for people across the parking lot from now until the day I die! Great job Kristian & Sam! Hodor will be sorely missed!

        Quote  Reply

    74. KN:
      What an emotional week it’s been. I really wasn’t sure how it would play out , but I did know it was a great scene, and it was REALLY hard to keep it to myself for nearly a year.
      I’ve had nothing but support from you guys pretty much since casting speculations , and I believe Axey knew about my being cast almost as soon as I did ( maybe a little before lol ) and I really REALLY appreciate it.
      I’m still around , doing my thing , so I’m sure I’ll run into most of you sooner or later<3
      Thank you for the lovely words Axey buddy, hopefully see you soon.
      Take care and enjoy the rest of the season.
      And of course
      Hodor

      KN

      As Hodor, you stole my heart and now it lies in ashes. As I sit here still misty from my thoughts and all the lovely words folks have left here for you, it is hard to think that a television show can do this to a person. But it doesn’t always, YOU did this to this person. Thank you for the laughs, the tears and the love. Your Hodor will never be forgotten. Rock on gentle giant, keep making your own music and we will look for you with fondness and joy for your future.

      Axey
      Great send off by a very cool dad, cool friend and obviously cool person. I can only imagine how difficult this was to put together and you served it very well indeed, Sir.

      #teamholdthedoor

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    75. KN,

      Thank you so much for the life that you put into this character. I have never actually cried while watching GoT, but last week finally did it for me. I’ve watched this scene over a dozen times now and my eyes tear up every time. Kudos as well to the young man playing Wyllis… he was equally important to this scene working like it did. Good luck in all you do and hopefully I will see you spin in person one day!

      Bravo Kristian Nairn, bravo.

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    76. I’m here for you Kristian and Axey; but I’m not ready. First time almost wishing I’d been spoiled on the episode. I’d have drank more. Also, not as much looking forward to the next episode because it means moving on and coping. Damnit! Hodor/Wyllis was a favorite Stark, whatever his name. Even just being a TwoIsCo podcast listener made me feel like I was watching my friend portraying one of maybe two characters I’d describe as loveable. It was agonizing and you executed so perfectly, KN, all along the way. Raise a glass!

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    77. Awwww! He made you the Cool Dad!!that means more than anything ? Your daughter is absolutely adorable. She is so cute in that pic with Kristian!! Great post as always Axey. You have such a wonderful, comfortable way of writing. I love reading your stuff. And hey, the term “House Gatewatch” , man, i havent heard that for a while! Brings back memories to me of all the gates We used to have, and the Kings Landing Butler, and that one guy that we use to campaign to get a bit part made videos – whatever happened to him? Did he ever get a big part? brings back memories to me of all the gates we used to have, back in season one when we book readers were the only ones who picked apart episodes.

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    78. Axechucker,
      great obit. i really did think the expression on sam’s face was amazingly similar to kristian’s when he was disturbed in season 4. here’s to same and christian.

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    79. Kristian was the first GOT actor I have met – in Dublin in 2010, during the Octocon (GRRM was a honorable guest and he invited Kristian to join)
      As well I remember well the evening when some of us completely crazy nerds discovered his audition tape for Hodor on Vimeo.
      It looked odd, but totally cool.

      I was completely devastated on wednesday night when watched the last episode.
      R.I.P. Hodor Long live Kristian!

        Quote  Reply

    80. Axechucker,

      Thanks! Shoot for me but the video got taken down, I wasn’t fast enough! Listening today to some other stuff… my style of music! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    81. Hey,

      Sam Coleman (Young Hodor) here.

      Brilliant Curtain Call for Kristian, he truly is an inspiration and I could not have wished for a better actor to emulate, though it was a tough challenge living up to Kristian’s infallible legacy.

      I just wanted to comment because I saw some comments on this asking Axey to include me and I wanted to say that I am glad you didn’t, Axey. Kristian definitely deserves to have his own curtain call, especially given that muggins here interrupted his final scene with my shouty chicken-dance. But after 6 years of astounding acting, Kristian is the one who deserves the limelight. I’d hate to steal his moment after only a few minutes of screen time which was only possible because of his amazing skill at turning Hodor, a two-syllabled, walking wheelchair, into one of the deepest, kindest and most loveable characters on the show.

      So… thank you Kristian, good luck in the future and well done Axey for a brilliant, touching send off.

        Quote  Reply

    82. Jilly,

      We’ve been hoping for the return of all strange little tertiary characters since season one’s King’s Landing Butler, season two’s Brad Lannister, and season three’s House Tyrell Cheese Boy. Alas, none have as yet!

        Quote  Reply

    83. Hey,

      Sam Coleman (Young Hodor) here.

      Brilliant Curtain Call for Kristian, he truly is an inspiration and I could not have wished for a better actor to emulate, though it was a tough challenge living up to Kristian’s infallible legacy.

      I just wanted to comment because I saw some comments on this asking Axey to include me and I wanted to say that I am glad you didn’t, Axey. Kristian definitely deserves to have his own curtain call, especially given that muggins here interrupted his final scene with my shouty chicken-dance. But after 6 years of astounding acting, Kristian is the one who deserves the limelight. I’d hate to steal his moment after onlya few minutes of screen time which was only possible because of his amazing skill at turning Hodor, a two-syllabled, walking wheelchair, into one of the deepest, kindest and most loveable characters on the show.

      So… thank you Kristian, good luck in the future and well done Axey for a brilliant, touching send off.

      Thanks, Sam! We loved your work, man! It was like stepping up and hitting a home run in your first ever at-bat. (Not sure what the cricket analogy is across the pond…) Feel free to join us for some Versailles garlic chicken if you’re ever here in L.A.!

      (That goes for all of you, really.)

        Quote  Reply

    84. Unlike Axey, I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Kristian in person (damn me and my moving out of LA right before the show started airing!) but I have had a chance to exchange DMs with him on Twitter and we even spent some time together in Azeroth. And everything Axey says about him above is correct, he is the nicest and most genuine guy you could meet. And a true nerd at heart.

      And I’ll admit, when I first saw his audition video for Hodor, I thought it was a joke. A hilarious joke. But then he got the part and turns out, the guy can fucking act! And then of course we learned about his prodigious musical talents and his nerdier tendencies and that just endeared the fans to him even more. And he shared the love right back. It was great, those early days especially, when the show was not yet a cultural phenomenon and the actors were all too happy to engage with the fans. To Kristian’s credit, he continues to do that to this day.

      So cheers to Kristian for his memorable performance of such a lovable character. And cheers to him for his genuine affectation for the fans. May your bottom always be supported and your doors always held!

        Quote  Reply

    85. Kristian Nairn did a wonderful job with Hodor/Wylis. He only had one word to say each time but there was so much more behind it. It takes a great actor to be able to convey emotion despite only having one word to say. Even when he would say Hodor, you could tell what he was saying back whenever another character was talking to him. I am going to miss this character so much. I wish Kristian good luck on all his future projects. He held the door.

        Quote  Reply

    86. Well done, Axey. And how wonderful that Kristian (and Sam!) commented. You can tell from his interviews that Kristian is a down-to-earth, super cool guy. He did an incredible job on this show, and I look forward to following his career (both acting and music). We love you Hodor!

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    87. SC <img draggable="false" class="emoji" alt="&#55357;&#56898;" src="https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/72x72/1f642.png" scale="0">,

      Loved what you did! You saw a shouty-chicken dance. The fans saw you unravel a mystery that had eluded the Sullied and Unsullied alike. You helped bring to life a moment that was shattering in it’s simple and poignant revelation. In other words, shouty chicken dance my ass! Keep up the great work and hope we see more of you!

        Quote  Reply

    88. KN,

      Aw that was fantastic! Thanks for stopping in to say a few words! We all love you! 🙂

      SC 🙂 ,

      You were brilliant and deserve recognition as well! 😀 <3

        Quote  Reply

    89. Sam you are a good and humble man, and give a loving tribute to your fellow actor. But don’t sell yourself short – you were a big part of that moment, and definitely deserve the recognition. Congrats on a job well done. Can’t wait to hear what you are going to do next!

        Quote  Reply

    90. Sue – is there a chance that we could have a curtain call update, to find out what our former actors are currently involved in? Weve had so many amazing actors playing a variety of roles that touched our hearts and brought this story to life. It would be fun, at least for me, to see where else they are shining. (and if this isn’t the approp place to ask, feel free to delete… 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    91. True facts: Versailles garlic chicken is the shiznit. Have had it many times, and really, you’d have to be a wight to not appreciate the food there.

      That being said, Kristian, you did a lot with what could have been a tiny role. You made this simple, sweet man into someone we all loved dearly. And you know, all you had was one line, but you did so much with it. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. And, hey, totally thank you on your DJ skills. Follow your art and passion.

      Look forward to listening to you on GOO, and hopefully you’ll still be around as we ride the GoT dragon wherever it takes us.

      (And no, I’m still not okay from Sunday….just…no holding doors. *cries*)

        Quote  Reply

    92. SC 🙂,

      That’s a very gracious post to allow Kristian all the honours when you were an integral part of what made the tragic scenes work so well. Thanks for giving your all for being Young Hodor and we are all appreciative of your excellent performance I am sure!

      Good luck for your future – and hopefully people won’t be shouting “hold the door” at you forever 😉

        Quote  Reply

    93. There’s giant’s blood in him or I’m the queen! Thank you so much, Kristian Nairn, for making Hodor so much more than the character in the books. Your presence was felt from the first time you came through Bran’s door in Winterfell through the time you held the door to save his life. Very best wishes for your future endeavors and the North will never forget you.

        Quote  Reply

    94. Good night, “sweet giant”! I somehow felt to combine Hamlet and Osha, I don’t know why… Hodor had seemed so simple in the beginning, but there was nothing simple about him.
      P.S. Thanks a lot for your work, Axey! I was glad to see your daughter’s picture with Kristian.

        Quote  Reply

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