The final sequence in the most recent episode of Game of Thrones was intense, especially for Bran and Hodor, who…did a spoilery thing. Two recent interviews at Vulture delved into the scene, getting the actors’ thoughts on…you know. That thing.
Warning: Spoilers for last Sunday’s episode (“First of His Name”). Scroll past the comical image below if you wish to continue.
(image credit: Olipop)
Last time we saw Brandon Stark, he’d just saved himself from an unpleasant end by taking over Hodor and using him to kill his attacker. Watching Hodor Hulk out was seriously unsettling (especially since you know Bran is at the helm), but watching him struggle to understand the blood on his hands was worse. Actor Issac Hempstead-Wright (Bran) doesn’t think his character had much of a choice, but doesn’t equate that with it being a morally okay thing to do.
It’s really terrifying — more so for Hodor, because Bran has effectively forced him to commit murder. If there were a U.N., they would be upset with the human rights violations in Westeros. It’s a very serious thing for Bran to do, to take another human being’s life in his hands and take full responsibility of it. You could argue that Bran seems slightly psychotic, smashing someone’s neck, but he has to do it, because he has to get to this place [in Jojen Reed’s vision], is my take on it. There is this absolute necessity to make it to these strange four peaks. He’s not entirely sure what it means, but on some level within him, he knows there are precise coordinates where he has to get to. But I think it’s a moment for him to realize, “Okay, I know I’m determined to get to this place, but I’m not in control of the world, and I better remember with great power comes great responsibility.”
Kristian Nairn (Hodor) has a somewhat more forgiving take on the scene. He feels that though Hodor is horrified after the fact, the ends justified the means.
When Hodor comes around and realizes what he’s done, he’s not happy. He’s not happy at all. As you see at the end of the scene, he looks haunted. He’s standing there with the snow blowing around him, looking at his hands, looking at the body. And what his internal monologue is, I mean, obviously, he would say, “Hodor, Hodor, Hodor,” but his internal monologue is saying, “I couldn’t. I couldn’t have done this.” He sees the blood on his hands, and he’s terrified. He’s completely confused. He’s looking at the corpse, his hands, and Bran, and he’s thinking, I couldn’t have done that. But I’m sure he knows he did, because he must have had some sort of backseat view, because he doesn’t like it. But I think he cares enough about Bran that he would have let him, under certain circumstances. He realizes that there is a battle going on around him, so his sense of duty kicks in and he snaps out of it. And I don’t think we know enough about Bran’s ability yet, though, or how complicit Hodor really is or not yet. Could he fight him off, if he really wanted to? You know? All these situations have been out of necessity. It’s not like Bran is going, “Hey, I’m going to jump into Hodor here, and have a bit of a jog.” If Hodor was a reasonable man, he could have understood why Bran did this, and that’s what makes it more reasonable for me.
(via Winter Is Coming)
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