Science Might Know What's Wrong With Hodor

Science Might Know What's Wrong With Hodor

Look, I know it has dragons and giants, but the majority of Game of Thrones is actually grounded in some pretty brutal reality. So science can look at someone like Hodor and say, well, maybe he's just a simple giant, but let's try and diagnose his condition anyway.

Best-selling science author Sam Kean reckons Hodor suffers from expressive aphasia, a condition caused by "a localised stroke in the front of the brain, on the left side".

Expressive aphasia is also known as Broca's aphasia after the man who first diagnosed it, French physician Paul Broca. As Mother Jones writes:

Broca described a patient who had a lesion in the left frontal part of his brain and who could only say one word: "Tan." And just like Hodor, Broca's patient came to be known as "Tan" — the single word that he could utter voluntarily — even though it wasn't his actual name.

Seems expressive aphasia can also be caused by a brain injury, and its symptoms present themselves as the ability to only say a single word while retaining the ability to understand (and react appropriately) to others.

Just like Hodor. And Max Hass.

Neuroscience Explains Why This "Game of Thrones" Character Can Only Say One Word [Mother Jones]


    The biggest revelation once I started reading the books is that Hodor's real name is Walder.

    Last edited 24/06/14 7:18 pm

    There's actually a much simpler explanation for Hodor, it's because that's how the character was written,

    Interestingly, presenting symptoms will usually be more complex than that. The patient may not be able to say anything, they may speak coherent words out of syntax (that is very interesting to interact with) or their speech may be incoherent. In fact it may apply to speech or written language. If they speak multiple languages they may only lose one.

    Wernikies aphasia is interesting too where their incoming language skills are distorted. They speak/write well but cannot understand others or previously written words, even a recording of themselves form minutes ago.

    These two aphasias often co-present (since they are represented by adjacent areas of the brain) and patients might write a paragraph comfortably then when prompted to read it it appears incoherent or visa versa. That, as you can imagine, tends to piss them off.

    i'm soooo sick of articles like this - like you say Plunkett "it has dragons and giants", so the only legitimate scientific conclusion you can actually draw is that is has a coincidental similarity to something that occurs in real life - IT'S F**KING FICTIONAL, GET OVER TRYING TO EXPLAIN IT

    Last edited 28/06/14 12:31 pm

      Wow, that's a bit of a severe over reaction, given the author acknowledges that it is fiction and draws a correlation to an actual medical condition. This was interesting and I don't understand why you'd get so offended by it. I'm sick of people overreacting to shit they read online and stating their opinion about its merit or usefulness as if anyone actually gives a fuck (/irony).

        Hating the authors is a Kotaku "thing". You will find a huge subset of the population seems to actively hate the site and spend all their time and vitriol reminding others how much they hate it, instead of, y'know, leaving. Certain authors get this more than others, Like and Patricia especially. While both certainly have had weak articles, they have also both done some really good ones. But that will never stop the neverending stream of bile.

          this isn't the first of these 'explaining GoT through science' articles to be put up on kotaku, just saying - but my point was that scientific knowledge is based on observable (ideally reproducible) evidence. Ergo you can never draw scientific conclusions from fictional sources. I've studied science, it bugs me. But fair play, definite drunken overreaction there on my bad

          As regards to the authors thing, my comment didn't really have anything to do with this author specifically, just the content of the article. That being said I guess I'm just not a fan of the 'post a video with 10 word description and accompanying gif' style of article that is becoming more and more common on Kotaku (noticeably so with Luke and Patricia in particular). That's not to say that their longer articles are no good though, just a bit infrequent.

          Last edited 28/06/14 12:33 pm

    So does Groot have the same condition, combined with some severe warts or whatever skin condition affects some people to give them bark like skin?

    Maybe he was shot?
    Ho! Dor Simpson!

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