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Game of Thrones and the A Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R.R. Martin feature some infuriating unanswered questions we hope to have eventually satisfied. (Seriously George, where the heck is Benjen Stark?) However, one question that is consistently overlooked is the shroud of mystery over Hodor, the friendly, gigantic stableboy under the service of the Starks, who conveniently only says his name. It's compelling dialogue.
The character seems like the ultimate trolling from Martin, but Game of Thrones is not the type of series that would feature someone solely for comic relief. We got the first glimpses of Hodor's true nature in a flashback sequence with Bran Stark and the Three-Eyed Raven on Sunday's episode, in which they encounter a young Ned, Lyanna and Benjen Stark, along with Hodor, whose real name is Wylis. And he can talk!
So, what on Earth happened to Wylis? Well, some redditors have a pretty interesting theory: Hodor is actually a horse trapped in a human's body. OK, that sounds absurd at first, but the evidence is pretty persuasive. Per TazoGreenTea, Wylis might have had similar warging abilities to Bran, but he might've taken it too far (the series has consistently warned Bran of the dangers of warging overuse).
"Wylis may have been more attuned to his abilities especially if his Old Nan told him stories and shared more knowledge about warging," TazoGreenTea posits. "I'm thinking that Wylis went far beyond the limits of warging, which may have mentally damaged him and turned him into Hodor. I remember Jojen Reed warning Bran not to warg for too long or else he'll be trapped and forget he's human."
So, if he isn't a human, why would he be a horse? As redditor gbinasia points out, as a stableboy, it would make sense for the character to be tied to the animal — and specifically, Lyanna Stark's white horse (named Hodor, perhaps?). If Wylis was infatuated with Lyanna, gbinasia theorizes, he could have warged into the horse to spend more time with her, and might have been affected by what happened if the horse was slain.
Not to mention, he appears very comfortable carrying Bran around on a makeshift saddle.
There are other little tidbits to complement the theory: there's a scene in which Hodor is frightened by thunder, as a horse would be. Bran even has to warg into him to sedate him. He's very afraid of fighting, despite his massive size and strength (demonstrated, again, when Bran wargs into him and snaps a Bolton lackey's neck). Furthermore, there might have been some subtle foreshadowing on the part of Martin in the books, when one of the Frey boys calls Hodor an "ugly horse," to which Bran replies, obviously, "Hodor's no horse."
The Tower of Joy flashback scene is expected to occur in Game of Thrones' upcoming episode, so we know Bran will have at least one more venture into the past. Perhaps, in the process — or through another sequence — we'll know the true purpose of Hodor as well, and whether he really is a horse. In the meantime, we're Hodor horse truthers.