Warning! This post contains spoilers from last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, “The Door.” So if you aren’t all caught up, turn back now and we will SEE YOU LATER.
Okay. So. About last night — are you still crying, because I AM STILL CRYING. We *finally* learned why Hodor can only say “Hodor” (the season has been hinting at revealing his life story for awhile now, but we were NOT prepared for THIS), and now we wish we didn’t.
Basically, Bran is in a time-travel vision, and is hanging out at Winterfell again. But meanwhile, The White Walkers and their army of dead people (they’re called “wights”) have come after Bran’s tree clique because Bran decided to go back in time and was physically grabbed by the Night’s King. Once you’re marked, White Walkers know where you are. And apparently, they’ve been hunting Bran for awhile now.
In Bran’s vision, he hears Meera screaming for Bran to wake up. But instead of doing so, he wargs into present-day Hodor by using past Hodor’s body, and then holds the door to the tree shut with all his might as Meera and Bran make a run from the massive hoard of wights pushing against it. “Hold the door!” is what Meera yells at Hodor, and that is when past Hodor crumbles into a seizure and starts screaming “Hold the door” until it condenses down to “Hodor,” hence his name. Basically, past Hodor becomes mentally paralyzed when he learns he’s going to be slashed to pieces by a bunch of zombies.
None of us saw this devastating plot twist. Except for SOMEONE way back in 2014. According to Kotaku, a super Game of Thrones fan named Michael Ventrella ran into Martin in an elevator at a convention and told him he knew why Hodor was called Hodor.
Ventrella wrote about the encounter on his website, stating, “Martin’s room was right down the hall from mine and we kept ending up in the elevator together.”
He continued, “The first time there were some other fans on the elevator who asked for a picture with him, and he obliged. They got off before our floor, so it was just us. We walked out and headed down the hall and the conversation went like this:
Martin: I do get tired of posing for pictures all the time.
Me: Well, you’re quite famous now.
Martin: I wasn’t unknown before.
Me: True, among us. But you were never a guest on Conan before.
At some point during the convention, Martin told Ventrella, “I always wanted to be an elevator operator. If the writing thing hadn’t worked out…” But the fan figured this WASN’T just small talk. Maybe it was a clue. The next time Ventrella got into the elevator with Martin, he confronted him about Hodor.
“Me: I finally figured out why you have a character named “Hodor.”
Me: I was thinking about your comment about wanting to be an elevator operator. It’s clear to me now that “Hodor” is short for “Hold the door.”
Martin: (laughing) You don’t know how close to the truth you are!”
Ventrella concludes, “So there you have it. If we ever learn why Hodor says “Hodor” (which, as readers know, is not his given name) and it has something to do with elevators, remember: You read it here first.”
Not that this fixes our emotional wounds, but it maybe it makes you wonder what ELSE Martin has up his sleeve.