Through the torrent of tears I was crying when the truth about Hodor was revealed during the Game of Thrones episode "The Door," I was still able to see my beloved Hodor be mauled by White Walkers. Yet, is it possible that Hodor could return on Game of Thrones? While I fully acknowledge that I may just be deep into the denial stage of grief, every Game of Thrones fan knows that unless you see a character's dead body, there's a chance that character could be alive. And as Season 6 has proven with Jon Snow, even seeing a corpse isn't a sure indication of death. Since Hodor's fate was honestly the most devastating thing I have ever seen on a television show (my fiancé has had to remind me repeatedly that what happened to Hodor is purely fiction), couldn't Game of Thrones throw fans a bone and have Hodor magically survive his encounter with the White Walker army of wights? Has the amount of tears I have cried about Hodor in the last 12 hours made me completely delusional?
As irrational as it may be, I am super pissed at Bran Stark right now. I realize he didn't know what he was doing when he warged into Hodor in the past, but his unrelenting curiosity not only led to the destruction of the Three-Eyed Raven, it sealed Hodor's fate to "Hold the door" for decades. The thought that Hodor was a healthy child in Winterfell and that Bran's massive mistake of getting marked by the Night's King led to Hodor's mind being completely warped for the majority of his life is honestly just too much for me for me to handle. Cue the waterworks again.
Well, before I blame my hopefulness solely on my sorrow, the man behind Hodor gave Hodor fans the smallest glimmer of hope about Hodor's chance of survival. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hodor actor Kristian Nairn discussed his character's death and the potential that Hodor could possibly — just possibly — come back:
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.
While the idea of Hodor coming back as a White Walker makes Hodor's character arc even more tragic (and that's just not something I can emotionally handle right now), I'm 100 percent with Nairn that Game of Thrones leaving a story line open-ended means anything could happen. Yet, as much as it pains me to say it, I'm inclined to think that Hodor did not survive.
Hodor's entire life came full circle during "The Door" — damn you, Game of Thrones, for that episode title! Bran's warging somehow gave young Hodor insight into his own death and the utterly confounding nature and horror of the situation led to Hodor entering into a "brain-melting seizure," as EW's James Hibberd so expertly described it. It's rare that a character's past and motives are so neatly explained on Game of Thrones, so as completely heartbreaking as it was, Hodor's (seeming) death was a masterful piece of storytelling. Six seasons of Hodor Hodoring had been leading up to that moment and because of that, I'm not sure Game of Thrones could or should bring back Hodor.
If Hodor did somehow survive, I like to think his mind would return to being fully functional since he accomplished the goal of holding the door and saving Bran's life. Yet, I'm not naive enough to think that Game of Thrones would really give such a happy conclusion to the most innocent character on the series. Still, reading Nairn's postmortem interview with EW has helped me cope with the events of "The Door" just the tiniest bit. As Nairn said, "I'm considering this open ended — because you never know in the crazy world of Game of Thrones."
Images: HBO, Helen Sloan/HBO; Giphy