On Game of Thrones, the character of Hodor was a hulking, simple-minded giant who was only capable of uttering the single word "Hodor," leading everyone to believe that was his name. Hodor became the guardian of Bran Stark, helping him escape from Winterfell after its takeover by Theon Greyjoy, and later sacrificing himself by holding the door of a cave closed against a mob of White Walkers long enough for Bran and his companion Meera to flee.
In a new spot from KFC, Nairn plays a worker preparing himself for the coming lunchtime rush (a play on Game of Thrones' oft-repeated warning that "winter is coming."). When the mob streams through the door and starts shouting orders at Nairn, all of them wanting to order "chicken and fries" for some reason, the spot turns into a recreation of the "Hold the Door" moment with Nairn repeating the phrase "chicken and fries" over and over as Hodor always repeated his own name.
The ad then plays on the surprising origin of the Hodor name. In Game of Thrones, it was revealed that Hodor was really named Wylis and that as a young boy a strange voice came to him out of nowhere saying "hold the door," words that bored themselves into his brain and were eventually smeared together into the single word "Hodor," a word that would reverberate through his mind for the rest of his life. It turned out that the echo was actually the voice of Meera yelling "hold the door" as she and Bran fled from the White Walkers, her voice traveling back in time and into young Hodor's brain as a result of Bran simultaneously time traveling back to Hodor's youth in Winterfell and warging into Hodor's mind (for those not familiar with Game of Thrones, the power of warging allows Bran to briefly take over the minds of animals and simple-minded people).
On the show, Hodor held the door closed in fulfillment of the order he was given literally decades before, but was killed by White Walkers. In the ad, Nairn repeats "chicken and fries" over and over until the phrase mysteriously morphs into "chicken and rice," just as "Hodor" morphed itself back into "hold the door." When Nairn has his "chicken and rice" realization, a customer finally comes through the door and orders chicken and rice, and the spot then touts KFC's Ricebox.
The ad may be silly and the premise a bit strained, but it's nice to see Kristian Nairn back playing Hodor again... sort of.
Game of Thrones season 7 premieres Sunday, July 16 on HBO.
Source: KFC UK and Ireland