au where instead of bran stark using hodor as a human wheelchair they have a friendship where they mutually help each other with stuff like hodor carries bran around but bran also acts as an interpreter for hodor and helps calm him down and stuff like imagine them as mutual helpers it’s so much better than bran treating hodor like an animal and warging in him and stuff
Okay, I’m going to preface this response by saying that I’m in agreement that Bran should not be skinchanging into Hodor. But that’s something I’m not getting into anymore because I’ve said all I plan to on the subject.
That being said, I don’t understand how anyone can argue that Bran and Hodor don’t have a genuine friendship or that Bran treats Hodor like an animal?
Let’s look at the first mention of Hodor in a Bran chapter:
His father had told him that he ought to say his farewells today, and he had tried. After the hunt had ridden out, he wandered through the castle with his wolf at his side, intending to visit the ones who would be left behind, Old Nan and Gage the cook, Mikken in his smithy, Hodor the stableboy who smiled so much and took care of his pony and never said anything but “Hodor,” […] [AGOT]
Bran sees Hodor here as
- someone he will miss when he goes to King’s Landing
- someone who helps him by caring for his pony
Hodor is also the only person in that paragraph that Bran notes personal details about (smiling a lot and only saying “Hodor”), showing that Bran knows Hodor well and indicating that he cares about him.
During Bran’s dream as he’s in a coma, Hodor is the only non-family member at Winterfell besides Maester Luwin (who is also important to Bran) that he sees
He saw Hodor, the simple giant from the stables, carrying an anvil to Mikken’s forge, hefting it onto his shoulder as easily as another man might heft a bale of hay. [AGOT]
Bran empathizes with Hodor and even loves him
When the distant cheers had faded to silence and the yard was empty at last, Winterfell seemed deserted and dead. Bran looked around at the faces of those who remained, women and children and old men … and Hodor. The huge stableboy had a lost and frightened look to his face. “Hodor?” he said sadly. “Hodor,” Bran agreed, wondering what it meant. [AGOT]
"You could have been a knight too, I bet," Bran told him. "If the gods hadn’t taken your wits, you would have been a great knight." [ACOK]
"You could tell [a story]" said Bran. "While we walked. Hodor likes stories about knights. I do, too.’ [ASOS]
He sent sweets to Hodor and Old Nan as well, for no reason but he loved them. [ACOK]
and defends him from the cruel comments made by the Walders
Little Walder cast his splintered lance aside, spied Bran, and reined up. “Now there’s an ugly horse,” he said of Hodor.
"Hodor’s no horse," Bran said.
Little Walder’s mount whickered. “See, they’re talking to each other. Maybe hodor means ‘I love you’ in horse.”
"You shut up, Frey." Bran could feel his color rising. [ACOK]
Bran tries to be patient with Hodor, even when he’s tired and hungry and irritated
"Hoooooodor," said Hodor swaying. "Hooooodor, hooooodor, hoDOR, hoDOR, hoDOR." Sometimes he liked to do this, just saying his name different ways, over and over and over. […] "HODOR, HODOR, HODOR!" he shouted. He is not going to stop, Bran realized. “Hodor,” he said, “why don’t you go outside and train with your sword?” [ASOS]
And you say Bran never attempts to comfort/calm down Hodor?
Hodor jumped away, wailing “Hodor, Hodor” in dismay until Bran patted his shoulder to soothe his fears. [ACOK]
Hodor saw them too. “Hodor,” he wimpered, reluctant to go on. But when the girl child stopped to let them catch her, the torchlight steadied, and Bran realized that the snakes were only white roots like the one he’d hit his head on. “It’s weirwood roots,” he said. “Remember the heart tree in the godswood, Hodor? The white tree with red leaves? A tree can’t hurt you.” [ADWD]
When Hodor is panicking at Queenscrown, Bran does do his best to calm him down but Bran is also scared to death himself and when he does snap at Hodor to “be quiet” he does it in a “shrill scared voice”.
Now, as far as Bran “using Hodor as a human wheelchair”… let’s talk about that for a minute.
Bran is not selfishly having himself carried around like a prince on a litter by Hodor because he sees Hodor as inferior to him. In fact, he feels fairly horrible about the whole concept
Hodor hummed tunelessly as he went down hand under hand, Bran bouncing against his back in the wicker seat that Maester Luwin had fashioned for him. […] It was not as good as riding Dancer, but there were places Dancer could not go, and this did not shame Bran the way it did when Hodor carried him in his arms like a baby. Hodor seemed to like it too, though with Hodor it was hard to tell. [AGOT]
Bran feels shame and discomfort when he’s carried by Hodor and the basket on the back is only a SLIGHT improvement. Bran gets no enjoyment out of needing assistance like this.
"Men will look at you," Maester Luwin had warned him the first time they had strapped the wicker basket around Hodor’s chest. "They will look, and they will talk, and some will mock you." [AGOT]
Does that sound like anything a person would ever want to endure? If there had been a better option for Bran, I think we can reasonably assume that he would have taken it. Do you think that there are many wheelchairs readily available Beyond the Wall for Bran to use? And it should also be mentioned that Hodor never objects to carrying Bran.
In what ways specifically does Bran not mutually help Hodor in return? To the best of his ability, he defends and comforts Hodor, he DOES translate for Hodor many times and when he doesn’t, it’s because he doesn’t know what Hodor means (I can provide quotes here, if needed), he thinks fondly of Hodor the majority of the time, and always ensures that Hodor has the same food and safety that he and his other companions have.
I really resent the implication that has been made in this fandom more times than one that Bran mistreats Hodor from the start and that they don’t have a real friendship. Again, I will absolutely agree that Bran’s skinchanging into Hodor is wrong, but I don’t see how anyone can deny that Bran still cares for Hodor and sees him as an invaluable person in his life.