One of the most heartbreaking moments in the entire series just occurred in the 5th episode of the 6th season of Game of Thrones, “The Door”. Unlike Ned Stark’s death and the Red Wedding, there was no reading material that these events were based on. The shock cam hard for book readers and show watchers alike.
The producers David Benioff and DB Weiss mentioned that they themselves were shocked as well when George R.R Martin told them about both Hodor’s Origin and Fate. They even explained it here on this official HBO clip:
One question rises though: How could “Hold the Door” mumbled into “Hodor” work in other languages? Since it’s was written for an English speaking audience, that task might have been a challenge for foreign dubbers. As it turns out, most Nordic and Germanic languages have a way to make it work smoothly. Some examples include:
Swedish: “Håll dörren”
While it means “Shut the door”, the phonetics work well, as it’s pronounced “H-oh-ll Deu-ren” which can seamlessly shift to “Hodor”
Dutch: “Houd De Deur”
This one might sound weird to Native Dutch speakers, as it’s not a common usage, but it does technially work. It literally translates to “Keep the Door” and again, can transition to “Hodor”
Danish and Norwegian: “Hold Døren”
Pronounced almost exactly like the Swedish variant.
French: “Ne les laisse pas aller au-dehors”
Now the French version uses a clever translation. “Ne les laisse pas aller au-dehors” translates to “Don’t let them go outside”, which makes sense for Meera to tell Hodor as she runs away from the Weirwood tree. “Au dehors” is “Outside” and can roll off to “Hodor”. Keep in mind also that the “H” is silent in French.
Well, that’s not what was in the Spanish broadcast. They used a literal translation, “Sostén la puerta!” to roll off to “Hodor”. It made no sense. On the other hand, “Joder” literally means “Fu*k” in Spanish. Having Wylis curse while holding the door makes absolutely no sense, but then again, what else can be brought for Spanish? Or any other Latin language for that matter…
Portuguese: “Segurem A Porta”
The Portuguese broadcast gets an A for effort, as they used “Segurem A Porta” which directly translates to “Hold the Door”, and tried to emphasize the roll to “ORTA” from “Porta” (Door in Portuguese). It sounds weird, almost makes no sense, but at least they tried…
German: “Halt Das Tor”
It gets tricky in German since both words for “Hold” and “Door” use the “T” consonant where the “D” should be. Nevertheless, the German’s dubbing of that scene can make it work. On top of that, the translation is “Shut the gate” which sounds off given the situation, but must be used in order to have it rolled over to “Hodor” (Almost sounding like “Hotor” in the German broadcast)
Czech: “Drž Dveře”
The Czech Broadcast used this literal translation to its language with no effort whatsoever to make it sound to “Hodor”
Polish: “Wstrzymaj Drzwi”
Apparently this is what is on the Polish Broadcast and is a literal translation of “Hold the Door” with absolutely no effort to link it to “Hodor”, or to use vowels for that matter. (Is there a ban on vowels in Poland?)
Turkish: “Orada Dur”
The Turkish Broadcast made it work pretty well themselves, using “Orada Dur”, which translates to “Stand Here” and can transition to “OR-DUR” and eventually “Hodor” seamlessly.
Farsi: “Daro Negah Daar!”
Farsi had the transition done with “gah-Daar” rolling into “GADAR” and then “GODOR”, “HODOR”
All and all, it was quite the effort to pull. And hopefully, the HBO translators got a nice bonus on top of their paychecks for that one…
Torture Of The Day:
For all you courageous or masochist among us, here’s the scene again:
Get your tissues ready…