Few characters in the six seasons of Game of Thrones has gained as devoted of a following as Hodor, the gentle giant who could merely utter the word "Hodor." This past season, fans got to see exactly how the stable boy became incapable of saying any other words, but the actor who played him in a flashback, Sam Coleman, had no idea how integral his role was until he saw the finished episode.
While doing a Reddit AMA, the actor explained that he was auditioning for the role of "large Stable boy – about 10-12 yrs old." Coleman confessed, "The audition was a weird one."
"When I arrived, the waiting room was full of chubby 13/14-year-olds sitting with their mothers or chaperones…and then there was me…18-year-old me…sitting on my own…out of place…like a walrus at a beach party," the actor joked. "Anyway, I did the audition and then left thinking, 'Oh well, that was a fun experience'…a week later I got a phone call from my agent and, well, the rest is history."
In Coleman's episode, the adult Hodor attempts to "hold the door" against an oncoming threat to protect Bran Stark. With Bran's powers allowing him to project his mind into other beings and the past, a rift in the time-space continuum results in a young Hodor, whose real name is Wylis, hearing "Hold the door" being shouted, sending him into a panicked episode where he can only utter those three words. Over the years, those three words shorten to "Hodor."
When Coleman was asked if he knew any of this information, he revealed, "Not really, just got told that someone shouts hold the door in the future."
One commenter asked Coleman if he was familiar with the show and, if he was, how he didn't make the connection of the character he'd be playing.
Coleman responded, "You'd be surprised! The way they put it in the casting brief, it may not have been. Besides, who would've suspected flashbacks let alone a Hodor flashback back then?!"
Although it's unlikely that we'll see Hodor in this upcoming season of Game of Thrones, anything is possible. As Coleman himself described, a flashback involving Hodor seemed unlikely, and Season 7 is sure to be full of surprised.
Season 7 of Game of Thrones premieres on July 16.