Hodor’s death in Season 6 of Game of Thrones was the first true “Red Wedding” level shocker that book readers lived through, after five seasons of knowing the spoilery twists ahead of time. Across the entire fandom, there was a twenty or so minute pause for grief after fans watched the episode, as they mentally digested not just that he was dead, but just how screwed up it was that *that* was how Hodor became Hodor.
And then, just as we all pulled ourselves together, I saw a tweet: “Wait, so how does that work in the non-English versions?”
It was a startling moment because it at once was a reminder that though for US and UK viewers the phase “hold the door” contracts down to “Hodor” just fine, in all these other countries that watch Game of Thrones, including many European countries where English is not the first language, to South America, to countries in Asia and all around the globe, their languages would somehow have to weirdly contract down to a two syllable sound that has nothing to do with the words used to say “hold the door.” After all, it’s not like “Hodor” was named other contractions by the show in other languages. (If he had, it might have been a giveaway actually.)
So how did they do it? One enterprising imgur user by the handle of HooptyDooDooMeister sat down this weekend and put together a slide show to answer that question for us. Check out how Game of Thrones worked it out in 21 languages, from French to Russian to even Manderin in China.
There are a few where you can see it kind of doesn’t work, the most notable being Japanese. And there are few places where it’s a bit of a stretch, like in Hebrew. But in general, it is pretty impressive how many languages they made it work in.