Audition tapes are fascinating, particularly when they feature Game of Thrones cast members. Some make you wonder what the casting director saw in the actor, while others leave no doubt as to why they were hired.
Kristian Nairn’s audition tape lies somewhere in the middle. In this video, Nairn gives us his best Hodor, complete with a sampling of the gentle giant’s eponymous dialogue, ambling gait, and the strength that makes him such an asset to Bran and crew as they traveled north of the Wall. But it doesn’t all go as planned.
On the one hand, Nairn nails Hodor’s name (the director of the tape pronounces it “Hador”) and delivery. He also has Hodor’s shambling walk down. It’s pretty close to what we eventually see on the small screen—Nairn claims it’s naturally close to his day-to-day walk.
Nairn seems to have a little trouble when demonstrating Hodor’s prodigious strength, though. Maybe he should have practiced lifting the table above his head? Then again, the end of the video proves that most people couldn’t even think of lifting it, let alone lifting it gracefully. And he’s got no problem lifting that little kid who’s standing in for Bran, though, who looks bigger than Isaac Hempstead Wright was for the first few seasons.
Either way, its fun to take a look at one of our favorite characters in the making, and to see that Nairn has several stars above his right eye.
Overall, this is one instance where Game of Thrones casting director Nina Gold nailed it. RIP Hodor.