Whether it be as a stable worker at Winterfell, a companion and bearer of Bran Stark, or as a warg’d fighter of incredible strength, Hodor is one of my favorite characters in Game of Thrones. He doesn’t have a lot of lines, but Hodor actor Kristian Nairn manages to put a whole bunch of emotion into it every time he says his name. Below, I’ve collected several shots of Kristian Nairn both in and out of character, and have an interesting take on the title song that fans of Hodor will appreciate. Click through for some Hodor facts and fun.
Game of Hodor theme song
Interesting fact: Hodor’s real name is Walder. Old Nan tells this to the Stark children because they call him “Hodor,” the only word he is able to say.
Hodor is first seen as a stablehand at Winterfell, working for House Stark. Based on the books, he is actually a great-grandson of Old Nan, whom we see telling stories to Bran back in Season One (we don’t get told about this connection in the series, which might be because Margaret John, who played Old Nan, passed away after the first season, and they never recast her character). The thing is, he also looks like he must be part giant. Osha, from north of the Wall, confirms this when she sees him naked in the godswood, saying, “He has giant’s blood in him, or I’m the queen.” Was Old Nan up to something the Stark’s didn’t know about when she was younger?
When Bran recovers from the fall that left him a paraplegic, Hodor gets a new job, toting the young Stark everywhere. Initially carrying him on his back, Bran is later moved to a kind of travois, pulled by Hodor through the snow.
He also ends up being a protector for Bran and his companions. When they are hiding in an abandoned tower near the Wall, a thunder storm frightens Hodor just as a group of wildlings might hear them. Hodor runs around, holding his ears and shouting, “Hodor! Hodor!” as Bran tries to hush him. Faced with imminent discovery, Bran wargs into Hodor, settling and quieting the gentle giant. This gives him knowledge of his ability, which helps him later to warg into Summer (his direwolf), and Hodor twice more, once to help them escape from Craster’s Keep, and the second time to save them from the risen skeletons outside the weirwood where the three-eyed raven lives.
Hodor actor Kristian Nairn is a 6’10” Irishman, born November 25th, 1975, making him currently 38 years old. Until he nabbed the role of Hodor, he was better known locally as a DJ – I guess you could say he was the biggest DJ in Ireland. If you’re interested in having Hodor DJ your event, you can even hire him! He asks that you contact Chris Pope here.
Earlier this year, Nairn came out in an interview with winteriscoming.net. He says that being gay is “a very small part of who I am…but nonetheless…it’s important to stand up and be counted.”1
1. WinterIsComing.net accessed June 19, 2014.