HOLD THE DRESSING

Hodor from “Game of Thrones” is back, selling chicken for KFC in a new ad

Obsession
Glass
Obsession
Glass

This story contains spoilers for the HBO TV series Game of Thrones.

Hodor is a man of very few words.

The character from George RR Martin’s bestselling fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, is played by Kristian Nairn in the television adaptation for HBO. In season six, the simple, beloved Hodor, nicknamed for the only word he says, dies in a memorable scene. Now he’s been reincarnated in contemporary UK to sell chicken for KFC, with a marginally larger vocabulary.

On the show, Hodor reveals the origin of his name in his final time-bending scene. As he struggles to protect two other characters, Bran and Meera, from flesh-grabbing zombies, his words transform from a desperate instruction—”hold the door”—to “Hodor.”

In a commercial released July 3 by KFC UK and Ireland, Nairn faces a similar hoard in his modern-day combat as KFC cashier. A mob of hangry corporate zombies on their lunch break storm the restaurant, howling “Chicken and fries!”

“Chicken and fries,” repeats Hodor, er, Nairn. “Chicken and fries!” cries another voice from the mob. And a third, and fourth, and so on, until the seven-foot-tall man is overwhelmed and hears only the refrain “chicken and fries, chicken and fries, chicken and fries.”

As he repeats the words to himself, his back now to the hands poised to grab him, he hears the words morphing, like a revelation, to “chicken and rice, chicken and rice, chicken and rice.” Ah ha, the point emerges: KFC’s “ricebox” meals of chicken, rice, and salad.

The ad is cute, and it gives Hodor’s fans a benign twist on his tragic end, even if his new fate is to sell 500-calorie boxes of chicken fillet. The commercial also adds to the corpus of non-book, non-show “content” that’s blending the realities of Game of Thrones in all its forms.

home our picks popular latest obsessions search