HODOR! How brutal was that ending? If you’re all recovered from watching this week’s Game of Thrones (although I know I haven’t) then you can check out some of the interviews and videos that dissect “The Door.”
*Spoiler Warning* There are some references made to future book plotlines and which show storylines have been confirmed as canon by George R. R. Martin. Read on at your peril!
Entertainment Weekly spoke to Kristian Nairn about Hodor’s tragic final moments. The actor loved his final scene, saying:
I couldn’t be happier how he has gone out. The interesting thing is it’s kinda left open. You don’t actually see him [die]. It’s implied. So who knows? He may come back as a White Walker, maybe he got away. But it’s a really good way to do it. I couldn’t have asked for a better goodbye to a character I love. My favorite part is it ties up the question of why is Hodor “Hodor.” Why does he say the word “Hodor”? Only George R.R. Martin or David and Dan could have come up with this. It’s incredibly sad. The minute you finally learn something about Hodor, they kill him!
The scene was clearly just as emotional for the actors as it was for the viewers, with Nairn saying:
I had tears in my eyes. I don’t see myself on screen, I see Hodor. I always talk about him in the third person. I just saw the character die and it was very sad. I think people are going to a) freak out, b) be very sad.
Speaking about wrapping up and his life after the show, Nairn commented that:
When it was finally wrapped at the end of season 6 they allowed Isaac to be the one to wrap me. It was an emotional moment. It’s been an incredible journey that completely turned my life upside down and gave me a lot of hope for the future. I can’t wait to see what comes next. I have a lot more words than “Hodor.”
Nairn also discusses his favourite (and least favourite) ‘Hodor’ and his best day on set. You can read the full interview here.
Entertainment Weekly also spoke to Isaac Hempstead Wright, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss about losing a character that has become such an important part of the show, with Weiss saying:
He’s not somebody you think of as a main character, but he’s slowly, stealthily become an integral association with the show. ‘Hodor’ is the one word you can say to somebody and immediately evoke the show or the books. And he’s just been quietly there in Bran’s storyline, being lovable with his delivering the hell out of many, many ‘Hodors.
I think people will be surprised how hard it hits them emotionally. It’s always interesting when we do the death calls; the Hodor one was particularly tough … [The Hodor twist came] from one of our conversations with [author George R.R. Martin]. This is one of his ideas that he told us in Santa Fe. We thought it was f–king fantastic.”
Hempstead-Wright talks about how Bran’s selfish actions caused so much tragedy.
It’s so sad! We learned Hodor really is this vulnerable soul, who had such potential to live a happy life. First, through [Bran’s] selfish actions, going to the White Walker vision in the first place, I’ve screwed him over. He didn’t pick up that he should get out of the dream. And then Hodor sacrifices himself. He’s been through all this and he’s still having to do this…It encapsulates the Game of Thrones world — the nice guys who deserve looking after don’t always get it. It’s going to be mortifying when it airs. Bran would literally be nowhere without him.
You can read the full interview, including what happened when the actors behind Hodor and Bran met for the first time, here
Entertainment Weekly also took a look at everyone’s favourite new ‘ship: Brienne of Tarth and Tormund Giantsbane. Gwendoline Christie is a fan of the purported relationship, although she says most of her time with Kristofer Hivju she’s just trying not to laugh.
First of all, Kristofer is absolutely hilarious. I don’t think I’ve been in a scene on Game of Thrones when it’s been everything I can do to stop myself from laughing. The way he was behaving toward me was just extraordinary.
Christie says she enjoyed playing Brienne as being embarrassed by Tormund’s advances.
I enjoyed Brienne being put in that position of feeling awkward and not wanting the attention. That was a very fun thing to play. He’s a wildling, he’s very sensual and animal-like and very forthright with his emotions and feelings — which is really the opposite of [Brienne]. I enjoyed trying to navigate that and the beauty of her embarrassment. She can totally deal with the situation, and with him, but she’s just so embarrassed about it.
Isaac Hempstead Wright also spoke to HBO’s Making Game of Thrones blog.
Bran’s definitely had to grow quite a thick skin. He started off as this perfectly happy-go-lucky kid in a castle, who hoped to be a knight one day, to having that ripped away from him pretty brutally when he’s chucked out of a window. He’s had to understand that this is not a nice world he’s living in. But equally, I think Bran’s got a Zen aura about him. He realizes that he can’t be a normal kid anymore – he can’t even be a normal person in Westeros – because he’s got this higher purpose. He and he alone is going to be the one who commands the mystical powers of Westeros.
On the storyline he was most interested to film, he said:
I loved learning about the origins of the White Walkers. What’s really cool about Bran’s visions is it’s not just us watching some flashback – Bran needs to see it to understand exactly what he’s got to do. We’re getting to watch a character who has some relation to what he’s seeing react as well….There’s really the temptation for Bran to go completely AWOL and live in the vision world. But as we see, when he goes into a vision without the Raven’s protection, he realizes that this is not a world he has any kind of control over. And if that doesn’t teach Bran to be more wary and careful with this power, then I think he’s in for a whole other world of pain in the time to come.
He also talks about the episode’s other big loss- Bran’s direwolf Summer:
Summer was a relic from the time of Bran’s father, and he’s a reminder of his father and the Stark way. But also, Summer was Bran’s first connection to this strange, mystical world; there’s a very deep connection there. For Bran to then lose him – especially having come this far and having successfully escaped so many close calls – it’s another crushing blow. For Bran, it’s like losing a piece of himself.
For the full interview, including who he’d choose to be Hand of the King, you can read the rest here.
The blog also spoke to Kristian Nairn about how he learned of Hodor’s fate, the evolution of his character and whether or not he resents Bran for what’s happened.
Hodor does not resent – not my Hodor. He doesn’t have that emotion. I don’t think he’s very fond of the warging, but he sees the bigger picture. He’s not the most intelligent guy, but I think he can sense when things are important. He knows whatever Bran does is essential; it gets them out of some pretty tight situations. I think he’s more sad about what happened because he’s not going to see his friends again. But he also knows if he doesn’t hold that door for a second longer, they’re going to die….He always puts others first. I don’t think he has a bad bone in his body. He’s just unaffected by the s**t that’s going on around him. Even when things were bad during the traveling, he always had a smile ready. It wouldn’t matter what he had to do, he was always happy to do it.
Talking about which scenes resonated most for him, Nairn says:
I did love that scene in the cave. And I really did enjoy the one in the birthing hut, at Craster’s Keep when we were taken captive. Bran has to use his warging powers to free us. That was a complex scene to play. I was really playing two people at the same time – Hodor, and Bran in between both somewhere. As an actor, that’s a dream come true.
Asked what Hodor would have said to Bran if he could talk properly, the actor replied:
If it were me answering, I would have said “no” a lot more: “Hey, pick me up.” “No.” I think [Hodor] would have just said, “Take care of yourself little guy. Be safe.”
For the full interview, including who he’d most like to warg into and the period of history he’d most like to see on the show, click here
HBO have released their usual post-episode videos. In this week’s “Inside the Episode” David Benioff and D.B. Weiss discuss the evolution of Sansa’s character, the Kingsmoot and the (GRRM approved) implications behind Bran’s storyline.
We also have this excellent “Anatomy of a Scene” video, which takes us behind the complicated filming of that epic cave battle.
Emilia Clarke and Iain Glen discuss Jorah’s greyscale and the emotional reunion between their characters.
Finally Kristian Nairn and Isaac Hempstead-Wright talk about Hodor’s heart-wrenching final scenes.