*WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Season 6 of Game of Thrones.*
It's been over a week since we lost Hodor on Game of Thrones, and even though the initial shock has subsided, it's still difficult to come to terms with the fact that he won't be returning to carry Bran around like a little Stark backpack.
Fans of Game of Thrones know that all men must die, but there was a certain sense of satisfying glory in Hodor's death at the end of "The Door." Even though he saw a more righteous end than many of our favorite characters, it was still pretty unnerving to watch. In case you've already forgotten, or you feel like bawling like a baby today, check out the scene below:
Jack Bender, who directed the devastating episode, told Observer that initially Hodor's death was far more gruesome. Here's what he had planned before deciding to tone things down a bit:
"I said, 'What the dead would be doing to Hodor would be ripping his clothes off once they got through that door. They would be ripping his flesh off. If the dead can go through wood, they’re going to be tearing Hodor apart.'”
Ouch. Thankfully, showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss told him that seeing Hodor being torn apart by the wights might detract from the loss of such a beloved character. They explained, “If it’s too horrific, we’re not going to feel the loss of Hodor.” And boy, did we feel the loss with the ending they gave us instead.
Although he was willing to make Hodor's fate slightly less disturbing, Bender notes that he still wanted it to be a scary scene as much as it was a heartbreaking self-sacrifice.
"I still wanted to make it scary enough, see Hodor surrounded and engulfed by these skeletal arms and long fingers, that were eventually going to smother and kill and rip him apart, or whatever they were going to do that we didn’t see. But to not let the horror of it overwhelm the emotion of losing that character and making it really land on the idea that he was sacrificing himself so his friends could get away. That was the dominant idea."
Bender was able to perfectly straddle that fine like between tragic and horrifying, and the end result left plenty of audiences — yours truly being one of them — in tears. Ultimately, I'm glad that the showrunners and directors went the route that they did. I don't think my heart could take seeing Hodor being ripped to shreds.
Are you still reeling after Hodor's tragic end?