Kristian Nairn talks Game of Thrones theories, weepy fans, and Hodor’s journey


For five seasons, Kristian Nairn played lovable giant Hodor on Game of Thrones. Ahead of appearing at the 2018 Toronto ComiCon, which runs from March 16-18, he reminisced about his time on the show with the Toronto Star, and on the memorable fan interactions it’s allowed him to have. And by that, we mean that if you come up to Nairn and start crying, he probably will, too. “What else do you do when people are coming up, crying and stuff?” he asked. “You realize that what you’ve done has touched someone.”

Although he was on the show for years, Hodor’s most memorable moment is unquestionably his death in season 6, where he held a door closed against a zombie horde, giving Bran Stark and Meera Reed time to escape. Nairn was “super pleased” with how it played out. “I kind of expected (his death) coming. I never expected it be so revealing about his past.”

Hodor /

Before learning who his character was and why he could only ever say “Hodor,” Nairn imagined he could have been a long-lost brother of Gregor and Sandor Clegane, on account of being so huge. He was also open to fan theories, like one that claimed that Hodor was actually the Night King. “A super bad guy, I would love that.”

When meeting fans, the topic of Hodor’s death is usually front and center. “That and people trying to get information about the next season,” he qualifies. “Am I coming back?” Unless he comes back as a wight, it’s unlikely. Probably more satisfying are stories like the one he heard from a pair of Chicago parents who said their autistic son lit up whenever Hodor was on screen. “It’s nice to leave a mark on the world.”

The Door
The Door /

Of course, fame has its drawbacks, too, as it’s hard for him to go out in public without drawing attention. “I have to do my grocery shopping at 2 in the morning,” Nairn said. “I can’t go into the city centre. I’m probably the most spottable person in the world. I have tattoos on my face, I’m seven foot tall. There’s no way I can hide.”

"[Fans are] usually very respectful and very nice. You do get the odd one who chases you around the frozen produce aisle shouting, ‘Hodor!’"

Nairn continues to act when opportunities arise. And when he’s not doing that, he DJs around the world, which is something he was doing long before Game of Thrones came along.

LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 23: DJ/actor Kristian Nairn performs at The LINQ Hotel
LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 23: DJ/actor Kristian Nairn performs at The LINQ Hotel /

If you’d like to meet Nairn up close and personal, the Toronto ComiCon kicks off tomorrow at the Metro Toronto Convention Center.

Next: Kit Harington wishes Steph Curry a happy birthday, shows off his season 8 costume

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