Hodor is a stableboy serving House Stark at Winterfell. He is a giant with little intellectual capabilities.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

After Eddard Stark got killed and Theon Greyjoy took over Winterfell, Hodor ran away with Bran Stark and Rickon Stark. As they journeyed to meet the three-eyed crow, Bran used him to fight off a bunch of wights. When Bran falls off a tower at Winterfell, he slips into a coma. When he wakes up, he loses the ability to use his legs, and Hodor becomes his aide.

Hodor Personal Details

  • Real Name: Walder.
  • Alias: Hodor.
  • Allegiance: House Stark.
  • Culture: Northmen.
  • Religion: Old Gods of the Forest.
  • Relatives: Old Nan.
  • Eye Color: Brown.
  • Hair Color: Brown.

Appearance and Personality

Hodor is a seven feet tall stable boy with brown eyes and slow wits. Though he says only one word, he is a loyal servant of the Starks. He has a brown beard and thick hair all over his body. Because of his size and hairiness, he is likely a descendant of giants.

Though Hodor is mentally handicapped, he is gentle and kind. He is scared of lightning and the crypts of Winterfell. Because of his ability to say only one word, the Stark children always believed his name was the word he said. However, they later learned from Old Nan that his actual name is Walder.

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Game of Thrones

When King Robert Baratheon comes to Winterfell, he brings an entourage. He asks Ned Stark to become the new Hand of the King as Lord Jon Arryn is dead. Meanwhile, Bran, who loves climbing the towers of Winterfell, stumbles across Queen Cersei Lannister, sleeping with her twin brother Ser Jaime Lannister.

Upon getting discovered, Jaime throws Bran down. From the accident, Bran becomes incapable of walking. Maester Luwin designs a basket and straps it to Hodor’s back, making him a mode of transportation for Bran. However, he sometimes forgets about Bran being strapped to him, causing the young boy pain.

A Clash of Kings

When Robb Stark sends Theon to the Iron Islands to negotiate an alliance, he turns cloak. He then decides to take over Winterfell and convinces Dagmer Cleftjaw to attack Torrhen’s Square.

When Ser Rodrik Cassel leaves Winterfell, Theon takes over the Castle and arrests Bran and his brother, Rickon. However, Osha helps the Stark boys and hides them in the crypts with Jojen Reed, Meera Reed, and Hodor. When they leave the Crypts, they realize the Castle got destroyed by Ramsay. Hodor and the group escape from the Castle. Bran heads North with his companions.

A Storm of Swords

When Hodor and the group reach the Wall, they meet Samwell Tarly, who takes them to the Black Gate. Sam tells Bran that Coldhands is waiting for them on the other side as he cannot pass the gate. When the group crosses to the other side, they meet Coldhands, who guides them to meet the three-eyed crow.

A Dance with Dragons

When Bran and his companions reach the cave of the three-eyed crow, they get attacked by a horde of wights. Being a skinchanger, Bran wargs and enters Hodor’s mind to fight them off. He then blacks out and wakes up inside the cave. Because of the cave’s protection against wights, Coldhands does not enter. To explore more about the cave, Bran continues entering his aide’s mind. The three-eyed crow teaches Bran how to use his warg abilities to the fullest.

Appearance in Adaptation

In the HBO series Game of Thrones, Hodor got portrayed by actor Kristian Nairn. He appeared in seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 and starred in 23 episodes. He was a gentle giant who helped Bran reach the three-eyed raven.

In the series, Hodor’s real name was Wylis, and he was Old Nan’s great-grandson. Old Nan revealed to Bran that he became mentally handicapped from the trauma of getting hit in the head by a horse. However, in season 6, episode 5, the mystery behind his name got revealed. 

When Hodor, Bran, and Meera reach the three-eyed raven’s cave, they get attacked by White Walkers as Bran wargs recklessly. as they leave the cave through the back exit, the White Walkers try breaking the door, keeping them from attacking the group.

As Hodor holds the door, Bran enters his mind and tries merging young Wylis with the present; this causes the young Wylis to have a seizure and scream: ‘hold the door.’ Bran then realizes that the word Hodor was the abbreviated form of ‘Hold the Door.’

Hodor: The Gentle Giant

Though he was a minor character in A Song of Ice and Fire, Hodor was crucial in Bran’s journey to becoming a greenseer. As a giant, Hodor was kind and helped anyone that needed assistance. He traveled with Jojen, Meera, and Bran beyond the Wall and protected the young prince during times of conflict; this made him one of the most loyal and noble characters in the novel series.

In the television adaptation, many fans were shocked when Season 6, episode 5 aired. As no one expected a time-traveling twist in Game of Thrones, many loved the episode, and Hodor rose to become a favorite character in the tv series.


Does Bran’s aide die in the books?

Unlike the tv series, Hodor is not dead in A Song of Ice and Fire. After Bran and his companions get to the three-eyed crow’s cave, Bran enters his body and fights off the wights. They then reach and enter the cave shielded against the undead.

Why is Hodor unable to talk in the books?

In A Song of Ice and Fire, the reason for Hodor’s inability to talk is unknown. However, a probable cause is that he is a descendant of the giants.

Is Hodor a good fighter?

Being only a stable boy, Hodor is a poor fighter. He has no weapon training. However, he has brute strength.

Is Old Nan related to Bran’s giant friend?

In the books, Old Nan is the great-grandmother of Hodor, whose real name is Walder. Though she has no idea how he got incapacitated in speaking, she claims he got hit in the head as a child.

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