'Game of Thrones': This Fan Predicted the Meaning of Hodor 8 Years Ago

Game of Thrones' Hodor
Kristian Nairn as Hodor in "Game of Thrones." The latest episode revealed the origins of the character's name—but one astute fan had it all figured out in 2008. HBO

Updated | If you thought Game of Thrones producers were smart for devising that time-bending twist in Hodor’s back story Sunday, well, perhaps this guy is even smarter. One fan worked out that Hodor means “Hold the door” eight years ago.

That’s three years before the show even started.

Mind blown.

Before Game of Thrones became the biggest show on television, it was but a humble book series—A Song of Ice and Fire—written by George R.R. Martin. However, even then it had created a cult Internet following, including the fan website Westeros.org. Back in February 2008, the site’s forums saw some lively discussion about where the unusual name Hodor came from.

One user, Myrddin, in jest, suggested Hodor “is just asking someone to hold the door for him.”

If only he realized just how accurate his seemingly ridiculous prediction would turn out to be.

Game of Thrones fan predicts Hodor meaning "Game of Thrones" fan Myrddin predicted the meaning of Hodor in 2008. ASOIF/Westeros.org

Myrddin wrote: “The poor guy is just asking someone to hold the door for him, since he's always carrying someone else around. After a while, ‘Hold the door’ became ‘Hold the doorHold the doorHoldoorHodoor. Dammit! Hold the door!’ His mind finally snapped, and now all he can say is Hodor.”

Although Sunday’s episode didn’t pan out exactly like that, Myrddin—real name Stuart A. Etter, a budding author from Orlando, Florida—pretty much nailed how, mid-seizure after being warged into by Bran Stark, a young Wylis kept repeating “Hold the door” before his words slurred into just Hodor.

When Newsweek reached out to Etter, 42, for reaction to his eerily accurate theory (and some lottery numbers) Tuesday, he admitted seeing his innocuous posting come partially to life had been “surreal.”

“Before I actually saw the episode, someone messaged me a link to my 2008 post, which was odd,” he said. “I remembered writing it, but honestly I haven’t thought about it much since. So, when I watched the episode later that night, it did hit me right before it happened: ‘Hold the door.’”

“It’s even more surreal that someone on Reddit was able to find my eight-year-old post buried within an archived thread on a fansite. I’m just glad there are no videos of me doing something stupid floating around,” Etter joked.

Explaining how he came up with his “Hold the door” theory back in 2008, Etter said that, as an author himself, he saw “the words hidden within the name.”

“I’m a writer, so I like wordplay and puzzles,” he explained. “When the question was posed on the forum ‘What does Hodor mean?’ I saw the words hidden within the name.

“It seemed too silly and obvious to be actually true, of course. So yes, I puzzled out the meaning but dismissed it as a joke. Without the context of the scene, Hodor meaning ‘Hold the door’ is not much better than just ‘Hodor.’”

It turns out that Etter isn’t the only one who apparently has the ability to warg into the minds of Martin and the show’s producers, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

In April 2014, another fan, Michael A. Ventrella—who describes himself on his website as a “lawyer, writer and wiseass”—recounted how he met Martin at a convention in 2013 and also came uncannily close to the truth.

He summarized the conversation in a blog post as follows:

Me: I finally figured out why you have a character named “Hodor.”

Martin: Oh?

Me: I was thinking about your comment about wanting to be an elevator operator. It’s clear to me now that “Hodor” is short for “Hold the door.”

Martin: (laughing)  You don’t know how close to the truth you are!

As of Monday morning, after Sunday’s episode “The Door” aired on HBO and Ventrella became something of a soothsayer, he had yet to see the episode. He told Philly.com: “I haven’t even seen it yet. All I know is Hodor has something to do with holding a door, and judging by the sad faces in the messages it doesn’t end well.”

Perhaps they could give Melisandre some pointers. The Lord of Light didn’t exactly guide her in the right direction.

This article has been updated to include reaction from Etter.