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How Game of Thrones Made “Hold The Door” Work in 21 Languages

The Door

Hodor’s death in Season 6 of Game of Thrones was the first true “Red Wedding” level shocker that book-readers had to live through unprepared, after five seasons of knowing the big twists ahead of time. Across the entire fandom, there was a twenty-or-so minute pause for grief after fans watched the episode, as they mentally digested not just that Hodor was dead, but just how screwed up it was how how Hodor became Hodor.


And then, just as we all pulled ourselves together, I saw a tweet: “Wait, so how does that work in the non-English versions?”

That’s a good point, because while the phrase “hold the door” contracts down to “Hodor” just fine in English, the scene had to be translated into many other languages for the rest of the world, and unless the various translators involved had planned from the start for the name “Hodor” to be a shortened version of however “hold the door” is said in any given language, there was going to be a problem. (If the translations had been like this, it might have been a giveaway.)

So how did they do it? One enterprising imgur user by the handle of  sat down this weekend and put together a slideshow to answer that question. Check out how Game of Thrones worked it out in 21 languages, from French to Russian to Manderin and beyond.

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

There are a few languages where the workaround doesn’t quite work, most notably Japanese. And there are few where it’s a bit of a stretch, like in Hebrew. And apparently Hodor’s name is “Pidovsul” in Finnish. But in general, it’s pretty impressive how many languages they made this work in.

12 Comments

  • Perhaps this only came recently. I watched the show in Russian and it made no sense. Speaking to my Russian friends, the idea of Hodors origin went right over their heads because it wasnt translated properly. It said Hold the Door in Russian which is derzhat’ dver’ and then just jumped to hodor.

  • No Bengali despite being one of the most majorly spoken language (Thirty-five Millions) around the world. Pity.

  • “And apparently Hodor’s name is “Pidovsul” in Finnish.” Nope, he’s called Hodor here as well. I guess there was just no way to say phrase that in Finnish (I know I can’t think of anything) that would sound anything like “hodor”, so they didn’t even bother and translated it directly. I guess it’s less of a problem when you use subtitles instead of dubbing. Don’t know how it’s going to work in the (possibly forthcoming) book.

  • It’s a fascinating illustration of the linguistic relationships between languages really… The Indo-European languages work best and the Germanic subset (where English fits) best of all. Norwegian and Dutch barely need translating at all. IFLS! :-)

  • Actually in Italian it was ‘Trova un modo’, as in ‘Find a way (to hold the door)…

  • In an unofficial HUNGARIAN suptitle on the internet we had the following text:
    “Holtodig ovd” (Protect until you die)
    “Holt… ov…”
    “Holdov”
    “Hodov”
    “Hodor”