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How Game of Thrones' Hodor wordplay kind of, sort of works in other languages

How Game of Thrones' Hodor wordplay kind of, sort of works in other languages

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Helen Sloan / HBO

Game of Thrones viewers had a lot of questions after the fifth episode of season six, "The Door," aired this past May. My main question was "Why does this show need time travel in addition to zombies, wolf people, ice monsters, dragons, shadow demons, and shape shifters?" But another pressing question, for those less bratty than I, was how the show managed to translate the wordplay of the name "Hodor" being a contraction of "HOLD THE DOOR."

Cases like these are major sticking points in any translation — just ask the folks who translate niche manga pro bono! — and it does seem pretty far-fetched to expect that every language the show gets broadcast in would have a phrase that sounded enough like "Hodor" and had the rough meaning of "hold the door."

Turns out, someone went through the trouble of rounding up a bunch of the translations and sharing them in an Imgur gallery. I would like to bestow upon the Game of Thrones translators an unofficial Hodor Award for Translating, which honors translators who, like the award's namesake, sacrifice their bodies and minds to some lofty goal and / or a whiny teenage boy.

21 Languages: Game of Thrones S06E05 "The Door" (SPOILERS)

As you can see, the most hilarious script contortion was made by the folks who translated "The Door" into Italian. To get to "Hodor," they had Meera Reed shout "blocca l'orda! Orda!" which translates to "block the horde! the horde!" and is coincidentally what I generally shout when bodying innocent civilians out of my way on the F train platform.

Learning the Game of Thrones theme song on a futuristic keyboard