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The sixth season of Game of Thrones included some sad deaths, especially the loss of beloved Hodor, which still hurts us to this day. In the fifth episode of the season, aptly named “Hold the door”, Hodor’s past was explained.

How did we get to Hodor?

While present Hodor holds the gate to contain the creatures that attack them, Bran has a green vision. Then, he accidentally gets into the mind of past Hodor, a young man named Wylis. Through Bran, Wylis hears Meera shouting at Hodor to “hold the door”. He then collapses and suffers convulsions as he experiences his death in the future. When young Wylis repeatedly shouts “hold the door” it becomes hodor.

The different solutions in Game of Thrones

This harrowing scene unfolds naturally in English, but it was not so easy to translate into other languages.

A Quora user asked how Hodor’s past was translated into other languages. Some users explained how some solutions worked and some did not.

  • The Greek translation was quite fluent. Lefteris V. Tserkezis explained that the phrase was krata tin porta. This was shortened and an h was added to get hrorta, which later became hodor.

  • In the German version they used halt das Tor, which means anchor the door. According to Susanne Moris, a more natural translation was achieved.

  • In the Portuguese version of Brazil, hold the door was translated as segure a porta. Then the character stammered until he shouted hodor, according to Diego Pablo Rodrigues.

  • A Russian user explained that the translation was brilliant. Mark Maximov said the original translation was Держи дверь. Then it was changed to stay close to the door or cтой у входа. The phrase was derived from bхода-хода-xодор, where xодор equals Hodor.

  • In Latin America, the Spanish translation changed from déjalo cerrado to hodor. According to Mariana Ferreira Albuquerque, it was due to a babble in which the sounds were mixed.

  • The Turkish translation worked quite well, according to Aydin Kocabas. The original phrase was translated as orada dur, which means hold on.

  • In French, the original phrase was changed to garde-les au dehors, which means hold them out, according to Guillaume Aub.

Thought-provoking translations

In some countries, the translation of this word led to some problems of meaning with respect to the original text.

  • In China, hodor was translated as 阿多 (a-dor) and hold the door was translated as 堵住门 (du-chu-men). According to Jerry Zhang, they did not look alike. In the translation, the phrase du-chu-men was changed to du-men and then to a-dor.

  • In Spain, the translation went from aguanta el portón to hodor without much explanation, according to Jose Espartano.

  • The Italian translation did not go very well, according to Luigi Romanelli. The phrase trova un modo, which means find the way, eventually became hodor, without much explanation.

This scene of Game of Thrones was especially emotional for the audience and the translation must have moved them. Trying to recreate the development of that scene is a real puzzle for the translator. That’s why it has so much merit when a solution is found that comes close to the effect of the original. Even if it is a little, the emotion of Hodor’s birth is already an achievement. The fact is that some languages could not accomplish this recreation. The important thing is that the spectator is impacted by the scene and that has been achieved.

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Concers, fears and insecurities in the world of translation. Do we have them all?