Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones latest episode!
Sunday night you could hear something. A meaty THWAK echoing across America as the Game of Thrones episode “The Door” hit its gut-wrenching conclusion. That was the sound of countless fans smacking their foreheads in an unconscious “well, duh” expression. We finally know what Wyllis is talking about.
Hodor = Hold the door.
But one guy was way ahead of the rest of us dopes on figuring out the origin of Hodor’s name and catchphrase. And he shared it on his blog back in 2014.
During a convention where they were both guests, writer Michael A. Ventrella had the recurring opportunity to share an elevator with A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin. During one of these brief interactions, Martin commented (I imagine wistfully), “I always wanted to be an elevator operator. If the writing thing hadn’t worked out…”
This sentiment echoed in Ventrella’s head. And then something clicked. The next time he and Martin were in the hotel elevator alone, they shared the following exchange:
Ventrella: I finally figured out why you have a character named “Hodor.”
Ventrella: I was thinking about your comment about wanting to be an elevator operator. It’s clear to me now that “Hodor” is short for “Hold the door.”
Martin: (laughing) You don’t know how close to the truth you are!
Props to Ventrella. Even the show’s creators, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, didn’t figure out that bit of the books’ still-evolving mythos. But you hear about the time Martin dropped the Hodor bomb on the pair on Inside The Episode:
Kristy Puchko blames Bran.