Game of Thrones ‘Hold The Door’: A Translators Nightmare

‘Hold the door’ became Hodor, and ‘Tenir la porte’ became… Hodor?

Fans of the popular TV show ‘Game of Thrones’ will never forget the beloved simpleton, who carried Bran on his back like a human chariot, and will most likely still cry whenever someone so much as whispers a request for them to ‘hold the door.’

Hodor was a much-loved character on the show, whether it was because of the fact that all he could say was his name, or because he was the only character incapable of evil thoughts, but like most things on Game of Thrones, if you love it… It will most likely get killed off in the most gruesome of ways possible.

Translating ‘Hold the door!’

But one issue arose when the story behind Hodor’s name was revealed, and translators all over the world collectively cried, and not just at the death of another much-loved character.

In English, it is easy to see how the phrase ‘hold the door’ eventually becomes ‘Hodor’, as the words are easily melded together, however in other languages, this is not necessarily the case. As can be seen above, a direct French translation of the phrase is ‘tenir la porte’, which you couldn’t feasibly meld together to make ‘Hodor’ no matter how hard you tried.

So how do you get around issues such as this? After all, language is complex and translating languages, even more so. There is grammar to consider, and some languages do not even have words for certain things!

Below is a list of how certain languages tackled the translations.

French – “Qu’ils n’aillent pas au-dehours!”  (Don’t let them get outside!)

Italian – “Blocca l’orda!” (Block the horde!)

German  – “Halte das Tor!” (Hold the gate!)

Spanish – “Obstruye el corredor!” (Black the passage!)

Polish – “Zahamuj dwych, ile mozesz!” (Hold the dead as long as you can!)

Translating is a most difficult job, which is why it’s important to not only know the language well but to also be effectively creative when issues such as this arise. Certain terms will not always have a direct translation, and sometimes when it does, it may have lost some, or even most of it’s meaning.

Adelphi’s Translators

Remember, when looking for a translation, it’s always better to find a qualified translator. Adelphi’s translators always translate into their native language to ensure the highest quality and most accurate possible translations.

Does your project have an issue regarding translation similar to that of the above? Our translators are more than qualified to find the best solution.

Written by – Hannah Sun