There was a time when Game of Thrones could be trusted to deliver surprises and tearful moments. Back before the disastrous final season, beloved character deaths carried significant cultural weight, imprinting on viewers and able to be called up with a simple mention of the Red Wedding or the Battle of Blackwater. The death of lovable giant Hodor (and the reveal of his name's origin) was one such moment, tearing at viewers' heartstrings like a whole squad of angry wights. But A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin says he's going to go in a slightly different direction when the time comes for his long-awaited final books.
To jog your memory, television's Hodor blocks an invading army of the dead from entering the place where Bran is staying. It's revealed that the phrase "Hold the door" was imprinted on young Hodor by the prescient, time-traveling Bran. Hodor completes the circuit by literally holding a door shut so that Bran can escape, ultimately being torn to pieces.
In James Hibberd's new book on the series Fire Can Not Kill A Dragon, Martin reveals his own plans for the giant. He wants Hodor to go down fighting.
“They did it very physical — ‘hold the door’ with Hodor’s strength. In the book, Hodor has stolen one of the old swords from the crypt. Bran has been warging into Hodor and practicing with his body, because Bran had been trained in swordplay," he said, according to The Wrap. "So telling Hodor to ‘hold the door’ is more like ‘hold this pass’ — defend it when enemies are coming — and Hodor is fighting and killing them. A little different, but same idea.”
It's not the only difference from the show that the book has revealed. Emilia Clarke shared her non-canonical theory for what happened to her character Daenerys and the dragon Drogon, after the former's untimely death. While the show heavily implies that the dragon went back to Daenerys' homeland of Old Valyria, Clarke believes it flew around endlessly as the Mad Queen's body decomposed.
Fire Can Not Kill A Dragon is out now.