How 'Game of Thrones' creators solved the problem of translating 'Hodor' into other languages

Hodor Game of ThronesHBOStill crying.

The sixth season of “Game of Thrones” featured some heart-rending deaths, most notably the loss of the beloved Hodor. (We’re still sad about it.)

The fifth episode of the season, aptly titled “Hold the Door,” explained Hodor’s origins.

While present-day Hodor is holding the door against attacking wights, Bran, who is greenseeing, accidentally wargs into Hodor’s past self, a young boy named Wylis. Through Bran, Wylis hears Meera screaming at Hodor to “hold the door,” causing him to collapse and have a seizure as he experiences his own future death. As a young Wylis repeatedly shouts, “hold the door,” it becomes “hodor.”

This gut-wrenching scene flowed well in English, but it wasn’t such a simple translation in other languages.

Wylis Hodor Game of ThronesHBOOh, sweet Wylis.

One Quora user asked how Hodor’s origins translated to other languages and other users explained how some explanations worked and others didn’t.

  • The Greek translation was pretty smooth. Lefteris V. Tserkezis explained that the phrase was “krata tin porta.” That was shortened and an h was added to get “hrorta,” which later made it to “hodor.”
  • In the German version, they used “halt das tor,” which means “hold the gate,” for a smoother transition, according to user Susanne Moris.
  • In the Brazilian Portuguese’s version, “hold the door” was translated as “segure a porta,” and then mumbled until the character shouts “hodor,” according to Diego Pablo Rodrigues.
  • A Russian user explained that the translation was done “brilliantly.” Mark Maximov said the translation started literally “Держи дверь” and then was changed to “stay at the entrance” or “cтой у входа.” That resulted in, “bхода-хода-xодор,” where “xодор” equates with Hodor.
  • In Latin America, the Spanish translation went from “déjalo cerrado” to “hodor” after some merging and mumbling, according to Mariana Ferreira Albuquerque.
  • In Spain, the translation went from “aguanta el portón,” to “hodor” without much explanation, according to Jose Espartano.
  • The Turkish translation worked well according to Aydin Kocabas. The original phrase was translated to “orada dur,” which means “hold there.”
  • In French, the original phrase was changed to “garde-les au dehors,” which means “keep them outside,” wrote Guillaume Aub.
  • In China, “hodor” translates as “阿多(a-dor)” and “hold the door” is “堵住门( du-chu-men),” which aren’t close, said Jerri Zhang. The translation just changed the caption from “du-chu-men” to “du-men” then to “a-dor.”
  • The Italian translation didn’t fare too well, Luigi Romanelli said. The phrase “trova un modo,” which means, “find a way,” eventually made it to “hodor” without much explanation.

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