Casting News

Kristian Nairn is Hodor

After quickly following the clues let out by GRRM, our own fearless leader, Winter Is Coming personally dimed Irish DJ and performance artist Kristian Nairn as having won the role of Hodor. Soon after, Nairn himself confirmed to Ryan Cordes on Twitter:

Hey man. Not sure what I’m supposed to say or when and where ! But if I said “Hodor!?” … It might tell u something ;)

GRRM’s clues weren’t that difficult, seeing as we’d already been introduced to Kristian here when he’d tried out for the part, but here they are, with answers:

He doesn’t have a lot to say, but he says it a lot: Hodor! He’s not a muslim, not a pagan, not a scientologist: Kristian. He might be a town in Scotland: Nairn is a town in Scotland.

Fire And Blood: Kristian is more a musical performer than an actor, so this will be an interesting task for him. Kristian is no slouch in the DJ business either, having performed with Scissor Sisters among others. He plays House music mostly, and counts Bjork, Kate Bush, Danzig, Gary Numan, and the Cult as major influences.

Game of Thrones will take him away from his comfort zone and into a completely new level of performance. I sometimes compare the role of Hodor to the role of Tom Cullen (“M-o-o-n spells moon.”) from Stephen King’s The Stand, as it is more difficult and nuanced than most would believe; he literally has to be able to convey 100 different emotions with only one word. And who knows what GRRM has in store for Hodor in the future? It’s rumoured he may have giant’s blood, after all …

Congratulations, Kris! Good luck, and ‘ware the low ceilings (and Isaac’s head).


  • Well, I can't say I was terribly impressed with the leaked casting video… but I'll hope for the best! :) I'm sure with good direction he can pull it off.

  • Physically, he IS Hodor. He's big, strong, he has a good amble, and he does have an emotive face. I too was not entirely impressed with the leaked casting video, but I saw a lot of potential in him. Given that he really isn't a professional actor, I think we can assume two things:

    1. He was called in for an audition and he did much, much better in person than he did in the video.
    2. Now that he has been cast, he will probably receive some degree of coaching to help that potential ripen.

    Anyway….congratulations Kristian! I'm really happy to see Hodor have a face. Really looking forward to seeing him brought to life. "Hodor!" is going to be a huge meme once the show comes out…

  • I'm glad for him, all this must be very exciting. I can't say I imagined Hodor looking like him, but he has a proper, longish face for the Stark household :P

    But what's that rumour about Hodor having giant's blood, eh? Is GRRM going to do a Rowling :D

      • Yeah, but Rowling completed her story and Hagrid's character & character arc before GRRM.

        Don't get me wrong, I'm just having a little bit fun here. It's not like Rowling, or GRRM, was first to think that possibly some big guy can be partly a giant :)

  • haha!
    2 weeks ago I posted this long belated comment on Kristian Nairn’s audition tape. I guess it was kinda worth it then :)

    and yesterday I was reading ACoK and Kristian Nairn’s face popped up when I was reading Hodor scenes and I thought “this is silly. But it fits…”

    Really happy about this casting :)

    • Found it:

      I know it’s OT, but I didn’t get a chance to comment on it yet.

      Am I the only one who thinks the Hodor audition video we saw of Kristian Nairn was very interesting? I admit the video is very amateurish, the location was ill chosen (not enough space to walk around), the man needs cardio training (or to quit smoking as some other poster suggested, although for all we know this could be his 50th take, it could be very hot outside or his short breath could be caused by nerves) and he should have tried to render the “Hodor” line with different intonations and emotions, but still…

      If I was a casting agent and got that video, I would be very interested in seeing more of this guy. I mean, in addition to the basic requirements that the man is strong as a bull and that he looks like a very likeable, gentle giant, his build is quite unique, especially the large chest and shoulders, his facial features are worthy of a cartoon character and his awkward walk is priceless!

      I believe with a little cardio training and a Bran telling him where to go instead of making gestures over his head where he can’t see, he could make a great Hodor.

      And I’m sure like most people, he would be quite capable of saying “Hodor” with different intonations if asked to, although I agree some actors might convey more emotions and be more convincing than others, but we haven’t seen him try, so I can’t judge further than that.

      His physique just struck me as very unique and TV-material.

  • So apparently I missed all the fun of solving the clues…
    Good job you guys!
    I figured out the War of the Roses as soon as I read the clue though…
    Can't wait for more Froggies…. thanks GRRM! you're the best!

  • OT, congratulations to the US for the World Cup advancement!
    Very well deserved, especially, after the strangely disallowed goal against Slovenia.

    Since Sweden aren't in the tournamnet I find myself rooting for the other underdogs :) (And the Netherlands, always the Netherlands!)

    Anyway good luck against Germany (which is the most probable opponent at this point, right? we'll see tonight…)

  • What I really like about him is his willingness to interact with us rabid fans. =) I tweeted a comment to him this afternoon when I saw the news and got a lovely reply back. That alone, to me, shows commitment to the fans and to the series as a whole. I cannot wait to see him in action as Hodor. He's got the physique and probably also the talent to make Hodor come alive. =)

  • I liked him from his first audition video, despite the fact that he clearly needed some better direction. But he just has something kind of likeable about him, which is important for Hodor IMO.

    Also, I think it’s cool that the role went to an unknown with little/no acting experience. Obviously the producers saw something special in him.

    Can’t wait to see him carrying little Isaac on his back!

    Here’s my updated cast list:

  • He looks great! I was going to ask his height but I see someone else beat me to it.6'10 is definately tall enough for Hodor!
    The war clue for Dotrice doesn't refer to The War of the Roses (whioch was my initial knee-jerk thought as well). Its a reference to WW2 in which Dotrice fought. WW2 is often cited as inspiration for Tolkien's LoTR which is pretty much the grand-daddy of modern fantasy (hence the "some say inspired all this" clue). It's been a while but I'm pretty sure Tolkien didn't like the ww2 comparison. Neverhteless scholars and critics over the years continually refer to the war as JRRT's muse for the books. One way or the other, Tolkien who was also in the war was infulenced in some way by it when writing the books.
    As to which Maester Dotrice will play, I agree with PG on this one. Aemon is THE old Maester. P

    • Well, no. Admittedly it's obvious that WW2 influenced Tolkien while he was writing, how could it not have, but he started already before the war (though got to the juicy bits only after the war had started) and personally he was much more influenced by WW1, in which he fought and lost many a friend. WW1 was the Great War of his generation. In WW2 Tolkien only served as an air-warden (and somewhat unnecessary one, as Oxford was never much bombed). So saying that WW2 would have inspired all of modern fantasy literature is quite a misconception, and I don't think it's even a very popular one.

      On topic, I think Nairn will be great. He sure has the looks, and I believe in his acting abilities too, even having seen the mediocre video before.

      • Minor nitpick: WWI wasn't just 'the Great War of his generation' – it was, at the time, from a Western perspective, THE great war, the greatest of all of them. We often forget how much bigger it was than WWII. Put together the WWI war dead of Romania, Turkey and Italy, and you've got more dead soldiers than from the whole of the Western involvement in WWII. More British soldiers died at the Battle of the Somme than died in the whole of WWII.

        [Of course, WWI was in turn matched by the Sino-Japanese war, and by the Eastern Front of WWII. But I'm not sure that the enormity of Chinese and Soviet losses would really have hit home yet to a parochial Englishman in Oxford shortly after the war, nor would the American view of the war (as they had not really experienced WWI, they saw their involvement in WWII as unparalleled in size) have yet been hammered home into English memories.]

  • I'm content with this casting. I think choosing an unknown with no acting experience gives a little clue to what's in store for the character in future books (not so much as some people expected, I guess), And for this very reason it might be a challenge to the director's ability, to be able to exploit every ounce of talent of Kristian's huge frame.

    Best of luck to him on this life-changing endeavour!

  • There are earthquakes in central Canada??? I live in Vancouver, on the west coast, and we are overdue for a SUPER quake. Like a 9.0 or something. Scary stuff.

    • The wind kind of picked up just before it happened, so I thought it was a tornado. When I started seeing peoples' statuses on facebook, I was SO shocked! Earthquake? Really?

      I lived in Abbotsford for 6 years, and in high school we had earthquake drills to prepare us for that eventual super quake!

  • Congrats! You sure have the look. I have read the series a number of times. I got HBO, just to watch the series. Looking forward to watching it. Hodor still has a lot of mystery about him. I believe there is still a great deal not revealed about this simple man.

  • paulgude,

    Great pic! My hubby is unsure how Hodor is going to say just Hodor all the time, and not have it become too comical. I figure it’ll be just like the Pokemon used to do it. He missed that era, but anyone with older kids like mine will remember Pokemon and how they all talked.. I figure it will be like that! Pika chu… Pika Pika! Chu?

  • Olá!
    Estou adorando As Crônicas de Gelo e Fogo! É demais! Que pena que aqui no Brasil teremos que aguardar um pouco mais para acompanhar a história. Estou lendo Fúria dos Reis e não consigo largar o livro.
    Parabéns George R.R. Martin!
    Ana Maria