Game of Thrones Director Says Hodor's Heart-Wrenching Scene Was Originally More Brutal

The sixth season of Game of Thrones showed us one of the most heart-wrenching scenes we've seen in HBO's epic series, and that is when Hodor heroically sacrificed himself to stall the wights from getting to Bran and Meera in The Door episode. Director Jack Bender helmed that episode, and his initial idea was much more brutal than what ended up being shown.

Speaking to the Observer, Bender revealed what he originally had in mind for that scene:

"Early on I had the idea to make it one shot that just pushes in and gets closer and closer, and then the parallel high shot that gets closer and closer to Wylis, who became Hodor. I talked about it with [executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss] a lot. I said, ‘What the dead would be doing to Hodor would be ripping his clothes off once they got through that door. They would be ripping his flesh off. If the dead can go through wood, they're going to be tearing Hodor apart.'"

The original vision was more brutal yet it makes a lot of sense how the dead would be tearing up Hodor's flesh. I wish they showed that version instead. Why did they cut? Was it too brutal for TV --even in Game of Thrones standards? I don't think it would be as bloody as the Red Wedding. Nonetheless, the scene still turned out to be emotionally devastating and unforgettable.

It turns out that showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff convinced Bender to go for a more restrained approach for the moment: "And they said something to me that really stuck. Which was ‘If it's too horrific, we're not going to feel the loss of Hodor,'" Bender says. "And that was my compass the entire time, to make us really care at the end. I still wanted to make it scary enough, see Hodor surrounded and engulfed by these skeletal arms and long fingers, that were eventually going to smother and kill and rip him apart, or whatever they were going to do that we didn't see. But to not let the horror of it overwhelm the emotion of losing that character and making it really land on the idea that he was sacrificing himself so his friends could get away. That was the dominant idea."

Bender isn't sure whether or not he'll return to direct another Game of Thrones episode for Season 7, revealing that the season will only have seven episodes.

The next Game of Thrones episode will air this Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.

Read: 'The Walking Dead' Creator Robert Kirkman on Why He's Disappointed With George R.R. Martin in Handling ‘Game of Thrones'

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