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 HooptyDooDooMeister 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.
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.