'Game of Thrones' star reveals how the 'brilliant' 'hold the door' scene was shot


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Kristian Nairn as Hodor.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for the sixth season of HBO's "Game of Thrones."


One of the biggest moments to come out of the sixth season of "Game of Thrones" was Hodor's death. Not only was it a heart-wrenching moment for fans, but it became a viral internet meme.

Hodor, played by Kristian Nairn, was torn apart by wights while Bran Stark and Meera Reed escaped. And as he repeatedly said "hold the door," it started coming together to form his name, or what was believed to be the mute character's name.

Ellie Kendrick - who plays Meera Reed, Bran Stark's traveling partner and protector on the HBO hit - said that she couldn't have predicted how just how big the scene would be for fans.

"When I first read the 'hold the door' scene, I knew it was going to be big and people were going to get pretty excited about it," Kendrick told Business Insider while promoting the show's newly released season-six Blu-ray/DVD set. "But I didn't know that it was going to get quite the reaction that it did. People were putting stickers on elevator doors with Kristian's face, which was hilarious."


The running joke became so popular that the show's cocreators even saw fit to apologize for the annoying use of the phrase their show let loose unto the world. Kendrick didn't get off scot-free either.

"I did get a couple of people yell 'hold the door' sometimes when I'm running for the train," she said. "It's happened once or twice. I think fair enough, pretty good one."

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"Game of Thrones"/HBO

Ellie Kendrick as Meera Reed and Kristian Nairn as Hodor on "Game of Thrones."

All joking aside, Kendrick was happy to see that Hodor and the actor who played the silent giant got the sendoff that was due them.

"It was really gratifying and pleasing to see just how well people were responding to that scene," Kendrick told us. "The Hodor character is such a brilliant one and Kristian Nairn did it with such love. It was great to see him get a real moment there and a sad one. It was brilliant to see the reaction everyone had. When you're filming something over a period of a few days, there's a lot of CGI with bits of the scene missing, and maybe you shoot it in 15-second chunks, it gets all sewn together later, and all the special effects get added on top. So it's ace when you finally see the realized thing. In this case, it was so much better than it was in my head."

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