The Tragedy of Cedric Diggory and Hodor
Before we begin, I have not read any of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. However, this will include spoilers pertaining to the HBO series Game of Thrones, primarily focusing on “The Door.”
If you are a Game of Thrones fan and witnessed this past Sunday’s episode, “The Door,” you may be like myself where you are still attempting to recover from that ending. I actually missed the original airtime and spent my Monday workday trying to decipher what “Hold the door!” meant and feared for a tragic flashback or death. Never would I have imagined that I would be correct on both accounts.
As I watched Hodor be ripped to shreds in the present while losing his sanity in the past, I found myself comparing Bran and Hodor’s segment to a scene in Goblet of Fire. Hodor’s death and damnation on Bran’s account sent me reeling, thinking back to the graveyard scene where Wormtail murdered Cedric Diggory.
Bran, the second youngest of the Stark family, has been with the Bloodraven learning to control his paranormal talents, including time travel visions, similar to the Pensieve. Bran has been witnessing his family history and watching the rise of the White Walkers. In this particular case, Bran finds himself surrounded by the White Walkers army and in a twist; the leader of the army reaches out and touches Bran. Bran wakes immediately to discover the mark has transferred through his vision and shines brightly on his skin. Bloodraven warns him that the White Walkers can now enter their cave and will come looking for him.
Sound familiar? I found myself comparing this to when Harry was trapped in the graveyard with Wormtail. Harry is stuck with no sense of escape, and Wormtail marks Harry by cutting his arm to take blood to use in Voldemort’s rebirth. Harry’s blood flowing through Voldemort’s body gave Voldemort the ability to touch and attack Harry in a way he couldn’t before. I can hear Ralph Fiennes’s voice: “I can touch you now!” Creepy stuff.
Both Harry and Bran have now been “marked” by an enemy of theirs, who in result can now pursue each character with full force.
Hodor and Cedric Diggory are the same in that they meet similar fates. Both were damned to their death by a friend who had good intentions. Harry insists that Cedric take the Triwizard Cup with him, which as we know, turns into a Portkey, leading Cedric to his death. Harry having Cedric grab the Cup was his way to invite Cedric to share the winnings of the tournament but instead, marked him as a “spare” who was uninvited to Harry’s surprise meeting.
At the time of the White Walker attack, Bran had yet to wake up from his vision, causing Meera to take control when moments later, Bran warged into Hodor. As they all escape, Hodor is left with the task of holding the door so Bran and Meera could escape. As Meera shouts, “Hold the door!” Bran reinforces the message as he remained in control of Hodor. We soon discover, as Bran is trapped in a vision, that it was this command that caused Hodor to lose his mind and speech capabilities. Bran had no intentions for Hodor to lose his sanity years ago and then die at his hand. Bran is currently developing his talents, and because of this, there is no way he would have known just how powerful he truly is. I think of it kind of the way that Harry had no idea that Sectumsempra would almost kill Draco Malfoy in Half-Blood Prince.
My initial thoughts made me wonder if perhaps HBO or George R.R. Martin decided to borrow J.K. Rowling’s twist for their own use until fellow staff member Cassie reminded me that the Game of Thrones series was published first, long before Potter. In my defense, this season of the popular HBO show is not following any particular published book by Martin, minus the advisements Martin has given to show producers.
Cassie and I both believe that Bran may be one of George R.R. Martin’s favorite characters, which leads me to believe that this plot point was something Martin had in mind for decades.
Aside from this one scene comparison, Harry and Bran share more in common than one might think. Both are teenagers in the middle of large wars. Both have lost their parents and had people attempt to kill them. They both lose their mentor at a crucial moment in their life, and Dumbledore and the Bloodraven are ominously vague in their advice.
If we take these comparisons to heart, does this give Thrones fans a potential glimpse into Bran’s future? Harry’s story is well known: He grows up to defeat the man who attempted to kill him as a child. Could Bran meet the same fate to take down the man who caused his paralysis? Now that Bran has this mark of his enemy, has he become more powerful to be the one to end the White Walkers?
It’s funny how great minds tend to think alike as Rowling and Martin have. Am I crazy and over thinking a heartbreaking scenario from both series? Possibly. However, when it is all laid out, the similarities do exist and make me wonder if Harry’s story might offer some insight into Bran’s future.