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How did three different Game of Thrones fans predict that Hodor surprise?

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If you haven't seen last night's episode of Game of Thrones yet, I suggest closing this tab and putting all of your devices on airplane mode and avoiding human interaction until you have the opportunity to do so.

Are you gone?

Okay, great. The lovable, perfect Hodor, who dedicated the last several years of his life to carrying known-brat Bran Stark around on his back and listening to Meera Reed spout off about how much she hates Bran (valid) and just wants some eggs (same), is now deceased. The mystery of Hodor is deceased as well, as all has been revealed.

did you predict this? if so, can science study your brain?

Here is seriously the most simple way I can think to recap what transpired in about two minutes of a very popular cable television program last night: as far as Bran or the audience knew, Hodor has always had some kind of very specific (and presumably rare!) medical condition that renders him incapable of saying any words other than "Hodor" (ostensibly his name), despite being totally able to understand English. Recently it was revealed, via an enlightening vision of the past that Bran had, that Hodor was not always Hodor (not his name!), and actually used to be Wyllis, a child who could say lots of words. This week, Bran messes up everyone's lives by accidentally summoning the Night's King and an army of the undead to the tree cave where he has been learning how to have enlightening visions. Bloodraven, a tree-man who knows visions, makes Bran go into another vision even while death is at the door so that he can witness Hodor's young self having some kind of fit and yelling, "Hold the door! Hold the door!" which slowly devolves into yelling, "Hodor! Hodor!" Young Hodor is doing that because Old Hodor is currently being possessed by Bran (who is simultaneously in the past, staring at Young Hodor, and in the present, being asleep on a sled), and Meera is yelling "Hold the door" repeatedly, because behind the door is that zombie horde I mentioned. Old Hodor holds the door, of course, and dies of course, but at least now we know that this zombie dragon universe also involves time travel.

flat circle

If you told me you had predicted this turn of events, I would slam the door in your face!

However, at least three different individuals seem to have predicted some of what happened on Game of Thrones last night — years in advance. I have no explanation for this, other than the human brain is a beautiful mystery. Much like Hodor's human brain was (RIP).

A commenter in the forums of popular A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones fan site Westeros.org predicted that "Hodor" came from "hold the door" in 2008:

"The poor guy is just asking someone to hold the door for him, since he's always carrying someone else around. After a while, 'Hold the door' became 'Hold the doorHold the doorHoldoorHodoor. Dammit! Hold the door!' His mind finally snapped, and now all he can say is Hodor."

Novelist Michael Ventrella told a story on his personal blog in April 2014 about meeting George R. R. Martin at a convention in the fall of 2013 and sharing a not-very-funny joke about being an elevator operator as a fallback career. According to Ventrella, the conversation continued with this exchange:

Ventrella: I was thinking about your comment about wanting to be an elevator operator. It's clear to me now that "Hodor" is short for "Hold the door."

Martin: (laughing) You don't know how close to the truth you are!

I'm not sure why this story would have been faked, but it smells funky to me based on how little those lines I just quoted look like sentences two human beings would ever say to each other.

And perhaps most chilling, a commenter on the A Song of Ice and Fire subreddit posited a theory two years ago that bears a striking resemblance to the events of last evening (despite also being super wrong and more than a little dumb):

"Hodor is actually Aegon Targaryen. Basically, when Gregor is coming for Elia and the babies she (Elia) yells for the guards to 'HOLD THE DOOR!' as Gregor gets ever closer she gets so frantic it becomes "HOLD DOOR!" then 'HOLDOOR!' before finally the last thing Aegon/Hodor hears before his head was dashed against the wall, causing serious brain damage and trauma was 'HODOR!'"

Just goes to show: if you think hard enough about an extremely long series of books you will eventually almost guess a very odd plot point but not quite.


Learning the Game of Thrones theme song on a futuristic keyboard