Following the emotional conclusion to “The Door,” actors Kristian Nairn (Hodor) and Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark) have been giving a lot of interviews. HBO posted a couple of its own to its Making Game of Thrones blog. As they come straight from the source, we could consider these the final word on the matter.
Let’s start with Nairn, who’s taking Hodor’s death better than some of his castmates. He talks about how he found out Hodor was going to die:
Actually, it was a three-stage thing. First I heard from friends, people who had read the script, some other cast members. I think I said laughingly, “So did I survive?” They just gave me a look, and I was like, “Whaat?” Then I had the call from David and Dan, the fateful call everyone gets when your number’s up. Then I read the script – which I loved. I loved the scene. I can’t think of a better way to go, really. He doesn’t give up. He never lets go of that door. For all costs, he’s going to stop them from getting to Bran.
There’s been some discussion about whether it was Hodor himself holding that door at the end of the episode, or if Bran was warging into him and forcing him to do it. So far as Nairn was concerned, Hodor was acting under his own power, and isn’t mad at Bran for what happened.
No. Hodor does not resent – not my Hodor. He doesn’t have that emotion. I don’t think he’s very fond of the warging, but he sees the bigger picture. He’s not the most intelligent guy, but I think he can sense when things are important. He knows whatever Bran does is essential; it gets them out of some pretty tight situations. I think he’s more sad about what happened because he’s not going to see his friends again. But he also knows if he doesn’t hold that door for a second longer, they’re going to die.
Aw, good old Hodor. Reading this is summoning the feels again.
Nairn has more to say, which you can read here. (Real quick: Besides his final moments, his favorite scene to film was the one in Craster’s Keep from Season 4, he wishes we could have seen more of the Mad King, and if he ruled Westeros, he’d want Brienne of Tarth as his Hand.) He also had some parting words about Bran. Hodor may not resent the burgeoning greenseer his slip-up in “The Door,” but according to Nairn, Bran has a ways to go before he masters his power.
I think he’s a pretty poor student, to be honest. His studies to be the new Three-Eyed Raven, or whatever his future is – he needs to take it more seriously. At the moment, he’s more interested in seeing replays of the past.
In his own interview, Isaac Hempstead Wright agrees that Bran needs to wise up a bit, but implies that the events of “The Door” may have smacked some sense into him.
There’s really the temptation for Bran to go completely AWOL and live in the vision world. But as we see, when he goes into a vision without the Raven’s protection, he realizes that this is not a world he has any kind of control over. And if that doesn’t teach Bran to be more wary and careful with this power, then I think he’s in for a whole other world of pain in the time to come.
Then again, I suppose you could take that final line about “a whole other world of pain” as in indication that there are more mess-ups to come in Bran’s future.
And how does knowing that Bran caused Hodor’s mental disability affect Bran?
It’s a devastating revelation for Bran. Hodor has been his closest friend, his greatest ally, and it’s really sad. Hodor needn’t have been like this. And yet, here he is; this gentle giant has taken care of Bran this whole time and has no idea that it was really Bran who ruined him.
And that’s to say nothing of losing Summer, which was “another crushing blow.” “For Bran, it’s like losing a piece of himself,” Wright said. The kid’s in a bad place at the moment.
Finally, Wright talked about where Bran might go now that his sanctuary’s been destroyed…assuming he lives through his current predicament, of course:
Well, now that Bran’s out in the open, if there is any chance of him surviving, then the next logical step would be to head somewhere he last saw any of his family. I hold out hope for Bran to make it south to reunite with Jon and Sansa, but nobody knows in Game of Thrones – there’ll probably be something terrible.
We’ll see what becomes of Bran this Sunday (we have some ideas).