(NEW YORK) — (SPOILERS AHEAD!) If you don’t want to know, stop reading now. On Sunday night’s Game of Thrones, we said goodbye to the sweet, brave Hodor.
The big man died trying to save his friend and charge Bran Stark from the wights — the gang of deadly, zombie-like white walkers chasing the group out of the Three-Eyed Raven’s tree location.
We also learned Hodor – not only the character’s name, but the only word we ever hear him say — is short for “Hold the door,” which is what Hodor does before succumbing to the undead attack.
Kristian Nairn, who played Hodor up until last night, told Entertainment Weekly about when he got “The Call” about his character’s fate.
“You know what’s going to happen. Some of my friends got the scripts before I did, so I sort of got the hint it was going to happen,” he said. “With Game of Thrones, nothing is ever certain, and that I made it this far is pretty good. Ned Stark only made it to episode nine!”
Nairn said he “loved” the way his character went out, saving the lives of his friends.
“I couldn’t be happier how he has gone out. The interesting thing is it’s kinda left open. You don’t actually see him [die]. It’s implied,” he added. “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. My favorite part is it ties up the question of why is Hodor ‘Hodor.’ Why does he say the word ‘Hodor?’
“I had tears in my eyes,” Nairn continued. “I don’t see myself on screen, I see Hodor. I always talk about him in the third person.”
The death was also heartbreaking for fans, who fell in love with Hodor.
“I tend to do my grocery shopping in the middle of the night now because it’s awkward [with fans],” he said. “But it’s fun, too. People love the show and identify with us as the characters. People always ask me, ‘What’s your worst fan interaction?’ I don’t have any. Everyone is super chill, even the slightly annoying ones. ‘Thrones’ fans tend to be respectful.”
Finally, Nairn spoke about the last day on set and how Bran, played by Isaac Hempstead, was involved behind the scenes.
“When it was finally wrapped at the end of season six, they allowed Isaac to be the one to wrap me,” he said. “It was an emotional moment. It’s been an incredible journey that completely turned my life upside down and gave me a lot of hope for the future.”
As for what’s next for Nairn: “I can’t wait to see what comes next,” he says. “I have a lot more words than ‘Hodor.'”
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