In the climactic scene of Game of Thrones S06E05 "The Door", I'm wondering if Bran was still warged into and controlling Hodor's body at the point when Hodor was holding the door.

I'm trying to ascertain if Hodor selflessly sacrificed himself or if he was actually forced to by Bran.

I first thought that it was Bran that was in control of Hodor's body at that point as Hodor was restless, and unable or unwilling to carry Bran's body to escape before Bran warged into him. But according to Kristian Nairn (the actor who plays Hodor), "[...] [Hodor] sacrificed himself for his friends."

  • related / possible dupe: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/128907/…
    – Paul L
    May 23, 2016 at 18:40
  • 1
    @PaulL I don't think that question covers what I'm asking about here. Also, this is specifically only about the point when Hodor was holding the door, not about how Bran's powers generally work. May 23, 2016 at 18:51
  • I understand. that's why I only commented, and didn't actually flag.
    – Paul L
    May 23, 2016 at 20:22
  • If this cannot be answered after the next episode, you'll have to wait for the book.
    – Chris
    May 23, 2016 at 22:30
  • It looked to me like Hodor's mind cleared as he was holding the door, like he suddenly knew where he was and what he needed to do. He's been waiting to hold that door for decades.
    – DCShannon
    May 24, 2016 at 0:01

4 Answers 4


According to Kristian Nairn in the New York Times:

Did the fact that Bran was responsible for not only his death, but also his simple-mindedness change your idea about the nature of their relationship?

No it doesn’t. Although Bran was responsible for the whole chain of events that killed Hodor, Hodor didn’t have to hold that door. He wasn’t being warged into at that stage. It was Meera who asked him to hold the door, it wasn’t Bran. He wants to protect the little guy. That’s all he’s ever done. He wants to help — this is the ultimate helping hand here. I just think he would be happy they could continue without him.


According to Wikia:

It is revealed that Hodor's disability was caused by Bran inadvertently warging into Wylis, linking the minds of the present-day Hodor and the young stableboy from the past. This mental trauma caused Wylis to seize. As he did, he heard Meera shouting the phrase "Hold the door!" through Bran and began repeating it, eventually slurring the sentence together enough to reduce it to a single word: "Hodor." Through Bran's warging, young Wylis has experienced his own future death, destroying his mind. Hodor's entire purpose is revealed to be to hold the door at this point in time so that Bran may escape, even at the cost of his own life. While Bran and Meera escape, Hodor is torn to shreds by the wights that have broken through parts of the door, but despite everything he held the door.

So the moment that the young Hodor fell to the floor in a fit was the moment Bran accidentally wargs out of present day Hodor, and into young Hodor. So he did indeed sacrifice himself for Bran's safety.

  • Even though Bran was no longer controlling him, the command; "Hold the door" had been embedded in his brain for years from when Bran Warged into him in the past so I'm not sure you could say he had a choice. May 24, 2016 at 21:39
  • He witnessed his own end. No matter what he thought, reacted or actioned, this was his fate. Hodor knew it evidently by the way he was reluctant to take action, even though he knew he was the only one that could save Bran. It wasn't until he was forced (by Brans warging inside green sight) that he took action.
    – John Bell
    May 25, 2016 at 0:00
  • The action of warging inside green sight blurred the lines between present and future, and created a paradox where Hodor could experience his own end (and his life purpose) as a young person. This is cemented in earlier seasons where Bran was initially fighting for his life, and Hodor relentlessly came to his aide. This isn't the display of someone who is a simpleton, this seems to me, to be the actions of someone who has accepted their fate.
    – John Bell
    May 25, 2016 at 0:05

A theory I like is that young Hodor (fully working) "consciousness" warged into big Hodor body, as Bran did, certainly with Bran's "help".

So, at the time Hodor is holding the door, he is controlled by his young himself, so he does sacrifice himself and is a true hero, then he dies so his consciousness cannot go back into young Hodor body, causing him being "Hodor".


As I understand the scene, Bran is still warged into Hodor but he simultaneously warged (by mistake) into Hodor from the past.

The mental order Bran gives to Hodor in the present days ("hold the door") needs to be very powerful because Hodor knows he is going to die. Bran needs a total control over Hodor's mind to make him accept his death and hold this door, he needs to destroy any desire to flee. In fact he destroys any other thought than "Hold the door", but this mind alteration also occurs in the past and make Hodor as we know him

  • Bran did not give Hodor any mental orders in the present day. It was Meera who kept shouting to Hodor to "Hold the door". Indeed, we don't even know that Bran is yet aware of what adult Hodor has just done - his consciousness, while possibly in control of adult Hodor, was only shown to be observing young Wyllis/Hodor in the past.
    – Paul L
    May 25, 2016 at 14:08

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