Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Hold the Door

Game of Thrones fans who watched S06E05 will recognize the reference. Last night, our hearts were torn out of our chests and stepped upon, as we witnessed one of the most beloved characters meet a heroic death as he held the door against a horde of zombies, so his master could escape.

I wept, as surely thousands around the world did, and up to now I find myself ruminating about this simple fellow whose tragic end wrought so much emotional damage.

I suppose it's partly the brilliant storytelling: how the character's name (Hodor) was actually a shortened version of the command "Hold the door."

And it's also awe. And envy.

I am in awe of his single-minded purpose. How his teenaged mind was blown apart by the enormity of what he was allowed to witness: his own death, several years later. And how he met his end bravely.

I am envious of his will. His strength of purpose. He knew that his entire existence stood for one thing: to hold the door despite desperate straits and certain death. He knew that if he did just this one thing right, he would have fulfilled his purpose.

And I suppose we are all in need of the vision that Hodor had. A glimpse granted to him in his youth, that both destroyed and made him.

To be utterly filled with an all-consuming mission. To move with certainty throughout life, knowing that each and every action was for a greater purpose. To be without doubt and the accompanying fear, to be strong against all distractions and temptations.

Hodor shows us what life is meant to be all about: not some demented search for happiness or self-actualization. But rather, the sweet, holy mission to serve and protect.

To live like Hodor is an honor. To die like him would be divine.

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