GAME OF THRONES Star Kristian Nairn Reflects On Hodor's Death And Talks Divisive Final Season (Exclusive)

Looking back at his time playing Hodor, actor Kristian Nairn shares his thoughts on his character's memorable demise and weighs in on Bran being the one to end up on the Iron Throne in the final season...

Game of Thrones featured a lot of memorable deaths over the years - we still haven't recovered from the Red Wedding - but Hodor's is easily among the most upsetting.

With the White Walkers closing in as a result of Bran's reckless warging, Hodor "holds the door" in an effort to allow Bran and Meera time to escape. However, when Bran inadvertently wargs into Wylis (Hodor's true name) he linked the minds of the present-day Hodor and his younger stableboy self.

That mental trauma caused Wylis to suffer a seizure and experience the trauma of his own future death, damaging his mind. As for poor Hodor, he sacrifices his life as the wights tear him apart. 

His destiny was to die protecting Bran, and when we recently spoke with actor Kristian Nairn, we asked how he feels about the way his character's story ended.

"I didn’t expect it to be such a big deal. He was a minor character. I know he was a fan-favourite, but I wasn’t expecting that level of national grief [Laughs] and all the memes…it still blows me away and I still hear about it every day," he admits in the video below. "It’s maybe five years roughly but not a day goes by when someone doesn’t either approach me or contact me in some way to talk about it. That’s totally fine!"

"It was a really great time in my life being part of Game of Thrones. It was a lot of hard work, but it was very rewarding and I’m very proud of it. It was an immensely difficult scene to film both emotionally and technically. You would not have realised on screen, but that was one of the best things…there were so many locations in the door, out of the door…there were about seven different doors. Stunt doors [Laughs]. It was fun but hard."

The final season of Game of Thrones was incredibly divisive, of course, and ended with Bran becoming Westeros' new King. That didn't sit well with many fans and, while we're not blaming Hodor, he was obviously pivotal in ensuring that happened!

For Nairn, it was rewarding to see Bran end up on the Iron Throne after what they went through together. 

"It felt like maybe Hodor didn’t die for nothing. He saved the King. I know some people weren’t happy he was King. I was very happy, obviously," the actor recalls. "You’re right, he was my boy. We went the whole way together and I was proud of Isaac [Hempstead Wright] and his performance."

"We were very close on set. He was like a little brother and still is. I was happy with the last season. If I had to write a script note, it’s that I wish it was longer. In a way, is that not a compliment?"

The Hodor actor has said before he enjoyed the final season, but so did a lot of viewers so he's definitely not alone there. Since House of the Dragons launched, calls to "remake" season 8 of Game of Thrones have subsided, though there's a lot of excitement to see where that planned Jon Snow-led sequel series takes the story next. 

Unwelcome is coming to AMC Theaters' Thrills and Chills Lineup on March 10 and hits Digital on March 14.

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