The last we saw of Hodor on Game of Thrones, he was holding the door to keep the White Walkers at bay. As the only person standing between the Night King’s army and Bran and Meera, Hodor’s life was sacrificed so the newly minted Three-Eyed Raven could live and make his way back to Winterfell.
While his death was one of the saddest, there’s a chance Hodor could be back in Season 8 in a particularly twisted way. A thought-provoking new theory suggests Hodor might appear on the battlefield, but he’ll be fighting alongside the White Walkers.
Redditor u/Lunabase15 posits that Hodor, who was killed by the White Walkers in Season 7 (though we never did see his actual death), will return to Game of Thrones as a wight. Since Bran and Meera had to make a swift exit, they didn’t get the chance to burn Hodor’s body, which means the Night King could have turned Hodor into an ice zombie just like he did Daenerys’ dragon, Viserion, and so many others. While leaving Hodor behind may have been necessary, he was put in the vulnerable position to be brought back immediately following his death.
Hodor’s backstory was revealed in the same episode that he died. Every fan remembers the “hold the door” moment as Bran warged into Hodor’s mind and created a connection that destabilized young Hodor (formerly known as Wyllis). Now that part of the Wall has fallen and the Night King’s army is on their way to Winterfell, there’s a real possibility that Hodor will unwillingly be on the opposing side. It would certainly make the fight between the White Walkers and the Stark family that much more personal if they saw what had become of their loyal friend fighting against them as a frostbitten zombie.
On the other hand, it would be a nice cameo for the character, who quickly became a fan favorite during his journey with Bran, leading to one of the most emotional deaths on a show known for emotional deaths.
The battle with the White Walkers at Winterfell looks like it’ll be coming at the very end of Episode 2 (based on the leaked title and description), with Episode 3 focused almost entirely on the fight. There’s no doubt the Night King is on his way to Winterfell; it’s only a matter of time before he gets there.
Assuming that Hodor does turn up at the Battle of Wintefell, the question then becomes: Who will be the one to kill him? U/Lunabase15 believes it could be Jon Snow, but the thought of any of the Starks killing Hodor is painful.
Jon might also be preoccupied trying to fight the Night King, though, since he’s already come face-to-face with him the most at this point. However, now that Jaime Lannister is in Winterfell, he’d have no qualms taking on the newly undead Hodor.
A particularly emotional outcome would be Bran somehow killing undead Hodor. That seems unlikely given his disability, but he might be able to do it by warging into some other creature — maybe a direwolf — or perhaps from horseback if Game of Thrones decides to bring back Bran’s specially designed saddle from Season 1.
Game of Thrones Season 8 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.