Some Game Of Thrones fan thinks Hodor might be a horse, so get ready to insert your own jokes about how he’s already hung like one. Like most fan theories, this one developed over on Reddit and contains just enough evidence to keep it on the right side of plausible. It’s based mostly on a flashback from season six’s second episode, “Home,” which offered the first glimpse into Hodor’s past.
Though present-day Hodor has diminished mental capacities and can only speak the word “Hodor,” it turns out that young Hodor was perfectly capable of regular speech. Wylis, as he’s called, grew up alongside Ned Stark and his siblings, working as their stable boy. Though he was hulking from a young age, his mental simplicity came later in life, and the question of how that change occurred still remains.
Though many assume he was just kicked or hit in the head, this particular Reddit theory offers a magical solution that involves “warging,” the mystical ability to project your consciousness into an animal. User TazoGreenTea first suggested that Wylis had the ability to warg, but used his powers for too long, which left him mentally compromised. TazoGreenTea suggests Wylis warged into a horse because he already had a connection to them as a stable boy. And that mental equine link explains why adult Hodor is afraid of thunder and comfortable carrying people on his back—two things that are also true of horses.
Redditor Gbinasia adds more details to TazoGreenTea’s theory, creating a complicated backstory in which Wylis had a crush on Ned’s sister, Lyanna, and wargs into her horse so that he could get “pet, brushed and generally receive attention no girls would give him.” And if Wylis’s consciousness is actually in Lyanna’s horse, that could give the show opportunities to explore backstory about the time she was kidnapped and/or ran away with Rhaegar Targaryen, a crucial plot point that has so far only been explained through dialogue.
If the “R + L = J” theory is true, the Game Of Thrones showrunners might want to dramatize Lyanna’s history so that the reveal hits home for casual fans who can’t tell a Rhaegar from a Rakharo. Of course, it seems far more likely that the show will just use Bran’s newly discovered ability to project himself through time and watch visions of the past unfold, but, sure, it’s also possible that some Hodor-as-a-horse flashbacks are in store.
Gbinasia also suggests horse-Hodor was later slain in battle, which is why present-day Hodor can’t speak, as part of his mental abilities died with the horse. And that could also wind up being a key point in Bran’s story. Gbinasia writes:
Wylis’s demise into Hodor would also serve as an amazing warning to Bran about the dangers of warging, and you can see how the Three Eyed Raven almost interjects when Bran says ‘Hodor talks!’. [sic] Think about it: wouldn’t it be an amazing end to Bran’s arc this season? Considering how isolated he is, there are few characters that would make an impact on him. Bran even asks Hodor about what happened to him, and Hodor has no answer but Hodor. For now.
The main takeaway here is likely that the idea of warging offers innumerable possibilities for fan theories. Others have speculated that Jon Snow’s consciousness was able to warg into his direwolf, Ghost, before (spoiler alert) Melisandre brought his body back to life. So until the series defines the exact parameters of warging, get ready for even more theories about how Khal Drogo is secretly one of Dany’s dragons, or something.