When it comes to bringing the pain, Game of Thrones has never been shy about making its viewers want to curl up in a corner and cry forever. The death of Hodor in "Hold the Door" was no different — but believe it or not, Hodor's death was almost much worse. In an interview with Observer, Jack Bender, the director of the now-infamous "Hold the Door," revealed he read the script and realized if a horde of White Walkers and wights were busting through the door, they would also be ripping Hodor apart easily.
"What the dead would be doing to Hodor would be ripping his clothes off once they got through that door," Bender told Observer. "They would be ripping his flesh off. If the dead can go through wood, they’re going to be tearing Hodor apart."
In other words, Game of Thrones almost went full on The Walking Dead for Hodor's final moments. Just the thought of seeing Hodor being ripped apart by White Walkers makes my skin crawl. Hodor was beloved for his innocence and the scene was hard enough to watch without lingering on Hodor's death. Apparently, showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff agreed.
According to Bender, when he told Weiss and Benioff about his idea to show the carnage of the attack on Hodor, the duo hit him with some wise words. "If it’s too horrific, we’re not going to feel the loss of Hodor," Weiss and Benioff told Bender. Excuse me, there is some dust in my eyes. Actually, all of the dust is in my eyes. I am definitely not crying again.
As much as I love a good zombie scene — and watching the White Walkers swarm the cave was amazing from a technical standpoint — seeing Hodor being ripped apart would have been too much to handle. In fact, it likely would have left fans angry instead of heartbroken. Often times it is what you don't see onscreen that leaves the biggest impression.
Weiss and Benioff let Hodor die a hero, knowing the terror on Hodor's face is all the audience needed to know the character's fate. It was the more emotional option, and sure enough, it resonated. To which I say, bravo! Game of Thrones is not famous for its restraint when it comes to character deaths, but in the case of Hodor, the show was respectful to the character while also delivering a poignant, chilling death scene. Hodor held the door so Bran and Meera could escape. He died the same gentle giant he always was, and thankfully, fans were spared an extra layer of pain on top of an already devastating farewell.
Images: HBO; Giphy