We’re in uncharted territory on Game of Thrones. There are no books to work from — even George R.R. Martin might be surprised with what’s happening on the HBO series — and things could get confusing. To help you out, after every new episode, our Thrones experts will answer your six most pressing questions.
1. Why does Hodor’s real name, Wylis, sound familiar?
Ryan: Wylis is a fairly common name in the north — the Manderlys seem to enjoy naming their children that almost as much as the Freys do with Walder. (Book readers might be familiar with Wylis Manderly.) But I think Hodor’s true name and even the fact that he used to speak isn’t going to have any major impact on the story. It’s more about what the show is setting us up for by revealing that there’s more to Hodor than we knew.
The Three-Eyed Raven and Bran are setting out on an adventure through time, and what we’re about to learn through their shared visions may be some of the most important facts the series has ever doled out. Consider this reveal on Hodor’s past to be a tasty appetizer that is drawing you into their plot and getting you more interested in what can be learned from the past.
Josh: If the “Hodor can speak” stuff was the tasty appetizer, then the introduction of Ned Stark’s sister, Lyanna, was the filling meal. Her running away with Rhaegar Targaryen set the events of the series in motion, and birthed its most popular theory, R + L = J. (Check out our video explainer; we’ll also have a detailed look at how it might feed into this episode later.) Things don’t end well for Lyanna, or Ned, or anyone involved really, and it sounds like we’ll get to see the details behind her mysterious death. I could have stayed in Bran’s vision for the entire episode, but in typical Game of Thrones fashion, “You finally show me something I care about, then you drag me away.” Same, Bran. Same. Also, Hodor.