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Bran Stark and Hodor.jpg
Hodor with Bran Stark and Summer, by Amok ©

Alias Hodor[1]
Allegiance House Stark
Culture Northmen
Born 283 AC or before[2]

Played by Kristian Nairn ~ Season 1 - Season 4, Season 6
Sam Coleman ~ Season 6 (Young Hodor)
TV series Game of Thrones:
Season 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 6

Hodor is a stableboy serving at Winterfell.[3] His real name is Walder, but he is commonly called "Hodor" because it is the only word he says.[1] In the television adaptation Game of Thrones, he is portrayed by Kristian Nairn, and by Sam Coleman in a Season 6 flashback. ‎

Appearance and Character

Hodor is seven feet tall,[N 1] with brown eyes,[4] shaggy hair,[1] a brown beard,[5] and thick brown hair all over his body, as thick as a pelt.[6] He also has an equally large manhood.[6] It is been suggested by Osha that his large size (and perhaps his body hair) is a result of giants' blood.[6] Hodor has a huge smile,[1] and smiles often.[7] He is strong enough to carry an anvil easily.[8]

Hodor is gentle and loyal to the Stark family. He is only capable of saying one word, "Hodor".[6] The Stark children believed this to be his actual name, until enlightened by Old Nan, his great-grandmother, that his real name is Walder.[1] Although he is slow of wits and stronger than he knows,[9] Hodor can perform tasks gently and deftly once taught.[1][4]

Hodor prefers stories about knights fighting monsters instead of love stories,[10] and he is familiar with stories about the Nightfort.[11] Hodor likes to hum tunelessly,[1][6] as well as saying his name over and over in different ways.[9] He hates cold water and soap, preferring instead to soak in the heated pools of the godswood of Winterfell.[6] Hodor smells faintly like horses,[1] and sleeps above the stable.[12]


Old Nan is Walder's great-grandmother, and only living relative. Her two sons, including Walder's grandfather, died in Robert's Rebellion. Her grandson, Walder's father, died at the siege of Pyke during Greyjoy's Rebellion.[1] According to Nan, no one knows where the word "Hodor" had come from, but when Walder started saying it, they started calling him by it.[1]

When Bran Stark was little, he went to the market square with his mother, Lady Catelyn Stark, and Septa Mordane. Hodor accompanied them to carry their goods, but the stableboy wandered off during the excursion. He was eventually found in an alley being poked with sticks by boys, with Hodor refusing to defend himself.[4]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Hodor and Bran Stark, by John Stanko © Fantasy Flight Games

Hodor takes care of Bran Stark's pony.[7] After the catspaw assassin attempts to kill the comatose Bran, but is killed by Bran's direwolf Summer, it was determined that he had been sleeping in the stables. Hallis Mollen says it was possible that Hodor saw the man, as he had been acting strangely, but was too simple to tell anyone.[13]

After Bran wakes from his fall from the First Keep, the crippled boy needs a way to move about Winterfell. Initially, Hodor carries Bran in his arms,[1] and later Maester Luwin designs a wicker basket that can be strapped to Hodor's back and in which Bran can be placed.[6] Hodor has served as Bran's way of transportation since. However, Hodor, being a simpleton, sometimes forgets that Bran is in the basket, which causes Bran moments of pain when Hodor bangs him into the top of doorways.[6]

When Lord Eddard Stark sees Ser Gregor Clegane at the Hand's Tourney in King's Landing, he thinks that the Mountain That Rides would tower over Hodor.[14]

Hodor and Joseth help guide Dancer when Bran learns how to ride the horse.[15]

When Eddard Stark says his daughters Sansa and Arya must leave King's Landing for Winterfell, Sansa is upset at the breaking of her betrothal to Prince Joffrey Baratheon. Arya tries to comfort Sansa, saying they will soon see their brothers, Bran and Robb, as well as Old Nan and Hodor and the others at Winterfell. However, Sansa rejects this, and angrily yells that Arya ought to marry Hodor, as she is also "stupid and hairy and ugly".[16]

As northmen respond to Robb Stark's calling of the banners when Eddard is arrested, Bran has Hodor bring him to the godswood of Winterfell. The stableboy soaks himself in the hottest pool, while Bran enjoys the quiet of the wood. The nude Hodor then encounters Bran speaking with Osha, and the wildling remarks that Hodor must have giant's blood.[6]

Hodor is momentarily[17] too scared to enter the crypt of Winterfell, so Bran has to be carried down instead by Osha.[18]

A Clash of Kings

Hodor and Bran Stark, by John Matson © Fantasy Flight Games

Bran defends Hodor when Little Walder leads Big Walder Frey in mocking him in Winterfell's yard.[4] When Bran has Hodor bring him to the godswood, the stableboy is frightened when a nude Osha leaps out of the cold pool by the heart tree.[4]

During the harvest feast in the Great Hall, Hodor hops from one foot to the other while listening to a piper perform. Bran sends sweets to the stableboy and Old Nan during the meal. After the tables are cleared for dancing, Hodor dances by himself. When Bran has Hodor take him back to his bedchamber, they encounter Joseth with a woman, who screams when she sees Hodor watching them. Bran has Hodor continue on, and when they get to his room, Bran tells Hodor he can return to the feast, but not to bother Joseth and the woman.[19]

When Summer and Shaggydog chase Meera and Jojen Reed up the heart tree in the godswood, Bran has Hodor chase off the direwolves.[20]

During the capture of Winterfell by the ironborn, Theon Greyjoy has all of Winterfell's people gather in the Great Hall so that they can hear Bran yield to him. Bran tells them to do as they are told by Theon, but Mikken angrily objects, and is killed by the ironborn. Theon asks if anyone else has something to say, and the frightened Hodor shouts "Hodor hodor hodor hodor." Theon commands that "the halfwit" be quieted, and his ironmen beat Hodor with the butts of their spears. While the men are beating Hodor, Theon promises the people of Winterfell that he will be as good to them as Eddard Stark was. Afterwards, the bruised and bleeding Hodor carries Bran back to his bedchamber.[12]

Hodor, Osha, Bran, Rickon, the Reed siblings, and the direwolves apparently escape from Winterfell, and are hunted in the wolfswood by a search party including Theon Greyjoy, Reek, Wex Pyke, Little Walder, Farlen, Joseth, Maester Luwin, and several ironborn. The tracks of Hodor's heavy tread are plain to see. Luwin makes Theon promise not to harm Bran, Rickon, or the Reeds, and tries to do the same with Hodor, who is only doing as he is told, and had always cared for Theon's horse and equipment. Theon thinks Hodor is nothing to him, but agrees, as long as Hodor does not fight them. When the party reaches a stream, Wex and Joseth point out that Hodor's prints are not visible in the mud, only the direwolves, and Theon understands that the escapees have doubled back. Eventually he realizes they have lost them.[21] In the end, Reek helps Theon cover up the Stark boys' escape by killing two miller's sons of an age with the Starks, and then flaying the corpses to avoid recognition.[22]

In actuality, Hodor, the Starks, the Reeds, and Osha are hiding in the Winterfell crypts. Hodor often sings "Hodor, Hodor, Hodor" to himself in the darkness.[23] While they are hiding, Reek reveals himself as Ramsay Snow, betrays Theon, and orders the sack of Winterfell.[24] When Bran and the others eventually decide to head aboveground, Hodor has to strain to open the ironwood door of the crypt, blocked by fallen stone, but succeeds. Outside, Hodor is upset to see Winterfell in ruins. After they speak to the dying Maester Luwin in the godswood, it is decided that the Stark brothers should be split up. Hodor goes with Bran, Meera, Jojen, and Summer north to the Wall, while Osha departs with Rickon and Shaggydog.[23]

A Storm of Swords

Hodor, Bran Stark, Jojen, and Meera Reed cross the causeway to the Queenscrown tower. By Michael Komarck ©

Hodor travels with Bran, Meera, and Jojen north toward the Wall. At the Tumbledown Tower, he practices with a dull iron sword taken from the crypts.[9]

Lothar Frey tells Robb and Catelyn Stark about the sack of Winterfell, which according to Little Walder and Big Walder Frey was ordered by Theon Greyjoy. Lothor reports that the ironmen put everyone but the women and children to the sword. Catelyn is heartsick at the assumed deaths of the people of Winterfell, including Hodor.[25]

The companions stop at the village of Queenscrown on their way north. With a storm approaching, the roofless inn is uninhabitable, so they take refuge in the tower. Hodor nearly slips twice while they cross the causeway over the lake. As they wait out the storm, Hodor becomes frightened by the lightning and thunder, shouting "Hodor!" loudly and grabbing at his sword as if to fight the storm. While they easily take the sword from him, the terrified Hodor rejects the attempts to calm him, screaming at each lighting strike and stumbling around the room. When Jojen sees a group of armed men entering the village, the group fears Hodor's shouting will alert the strangers of their presence. Bran desperately commands Hodor to be quiet, and accidentally enters Hodor's mind as a skinchanger for a moment. Hodor immediately quiets and sits calmly, to the confusion but gratitude of the others.[26]

At the Nightfort, Bran is alarmed when he hears sounds coming from the well in the ruined castle's kitchen. Bran slips into the mind of the sleeping Hodor, forcing the unknowing stableboy to arm himself with the sword. However, the visitor turns out to be the peaceful Samwell Tarly of the Night's Watch. Sam leads them through the Black Gate, a secret door at the bottom of the well, that takes them through to the north side of the Wall. There they meet Coldhands, an enigmatic figure of uncertain allegiance.[11]

A Feast for Crows

When Arya Stark is asked by the kindly man what the smell of the candles in the House of Black and White reminds her of, she thinks of Winterfell, including the stables and Hodor laughing.[27]

A Dance with Dragons

Hodor and Bran Stark in the cave of the three-eyed crow, by zippo514 ©

Coldhands leads Bran's party further north through the haunted forest, and Hodor's beard becomes tangled with hoarfrost.[5] Bran sometimes slips into Hodor's mind, which upsets the scared stableboy.[5]

The companions reach the cave of the three-eyed crow, but they are ambushed by wights just outside the cave's entrance. As Hodor grapples with a wight, Bran is thrown from his back. After being saved by Summer, Bran enters Hodor's mind and uses his longsword to fight off the wights. Bran blacks out, however, and wakes up inside the cave after being rescued by one of the children of the forest. The cave is warded against white walkers and wights, so Coldhands cannot accompany them inside. Deeper in the cave, the group meet the last remaining children, and the three-eyed crow.[28]

The three-eyed crow, whom Bran learns was named Brynden, teaches Bran about greensight and skinchanging. Bran continues to enter Hodor's mind to explore the deeper parts of the cave, with Meera and Jojen, and by "himself". The stableboy no longer makes any attempt to resist Bran, and instead hides deep within in his mind like a whipped dog. The Reeds are unaware of Bran's actions, and Bran believes that no one must ever know.[29]

The giant Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun reminds Jon Snow of a larger and simpler Hodor.[30]


Old Nan

Quotes by Hodor

Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran Stark and Kristian Nairn as Hodor in Game of Thrones

Luwin: Hodor, will you help Bran down to the hall?
Hodor: Hodor![1]

Luwin and Hodor

Bran: Hodor, you forgot your clothes.

Hodor: Hodor.

Osha: Now there's a big man. He has giant's blood in him, or I'm the queen.[6]

Bran Stark, Hodor, and Osha

Bran: You could have been a knight too, I bet. If the gods hadn't taken your wits, you would have been a great knight.

Hodor: Hodor?

Bran: Yes.[4]

Bran Stark and Hodor

Hoooodor. Hooooooodor, hoooooodor, hoDOR, hoDOR, hoDOR.[9]

—Hodor, to himself




—Hodor is terrified during a storm

Quotes about Hodor

Hodor and Bran Stark by MiguelRegodónHarkness©

Theon Greyjoy had once commented that Hodor did not know much, but no one could doubt that he knew his name. Old Nan had cackled like a hen when Bran told her that, and confessed that Hodor's real name was Walder. No one knew where "Hodor" had come from, she said, but when he started saying it, they started calling him by it. It was the only word he had.[1]

—thoughts of Bran Stark

If I had a poleaxe with a big long haft, Hodor could be my legs. We could be a knight together.[18]

Bran: It made me so mad I almost gave him a swat in the head, like Old Nan is always doing. I didn't, though.
Luwin: Good. Hodor is a man, not a mule to be beaten.[18]

Walder: Now there's an ugly horse.
Bran: Hodor's no horse.[4]

Luwin: The boy is simple, you know that. He does as he is told. How many times has he groomed your horse, soaped your saddle, scoured your mail?
Theon: If he does not fight us, we will let him live.[21]

Sometimes he liked to do this, just saying his name different ways, over and over and over. Other times, he would stay so quiet you forgot he was there. There was never any knowing with Hodor.[9]

—thoughts of Bran Stark

The big stableboy no longer fought him as he had the first time, back in the lake tower during the storm. Like a dog who has had all the fight whipped out of him, Hodor would curl up and hide whenever Bran reached out for him. His hiding place was somewhere deep within him, a pit where not even Bran could touch him.[29]

—thoughts of Bran Stark

Under the hill, Jojen brooded, Meera fretted, and Hodor wandered through dark tunnels with a sword in his right hand and a torch in his left. Or was it Bran wandering? No one must ever know.[29]

—thoughts of Bran Stark

No one wants to hurt you, Hodor, I just want to be strong again for a while. I'll give it back, the way I always do.

—thoughts of Bran Stark

See also

Behind the Scenes

The death of Hodor was first depicted by the show Game of Thrones in the episode titled The Door. It was revealed after the episode aired that this plotline came from George R. R. Martin himself. Martin later explained how Hodor's death will be different in his books compared to the show, though an important revelation will be the same.[31]


  1. In AGOT, Bran IV, Bran estimates Hodor's height to be nearly seven feet tall. However, the appendices of A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons all indicate Hodor's height at seven feet tall. Bran's estimation was slightly off.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 24, Bran IV.
  2. See the Hodor calculation.
  3. A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 16, Bran II.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 4, Bran I.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 53, Bran VI.
  7. 7.0 7.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 8, Bran II.
  8. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 17, Bran III.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 9, Bran I.
  10. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 24, Bran II.
  11. 11.0 11.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 56, Bran IV.
  12. 12.0 12.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 46, Bran VI.
  13. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 14, Catelyn III.
  14. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
  15. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 37, Bran V.
  16. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 44, Sansa III.
  17. So Spake Martin: Hodor and the Crypts, January 03, 1999
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 66, Bran VII.
  19. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 21, Bran III.
  20. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 28, Bran IV.
  21. 21.0 21.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 50, Theon IV.
  22. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 56, Theon V.
  23. 23.0 23.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 69, Bran VII.
  24. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 66, Theon VI.
  25. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 35, Catelyn IV.
  26. 26.0 26.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 40, Bran III.
  27. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 22, Arya II.
  28. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 13, Bran II.
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 34, Bran III.
  30. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 39, Jon VIII.
  31. Business Insider: GRRM finally reveals details about how Hodor's death will be different in the books (October 6, 2020)