One of the most pivotal sacrifices in Game of Thrones has been retooled by KFC to create a commercial starring Kristian Nairn, who plays a counter clerk similar in affliction to his Thrones character Hodor. While Nairn’s Hodor on the hit HBO show has an extremely limited vocabulary (he can only say his own name), the KFC employee he plays in this advertisement seems to only be able to speak a single menu item: chicken with fries.
The commercial riffs off Hodor’s death in the fifth episode of the show’s sixth season. In the episode, the giant is sacrificed to ensure that Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) are able to escape the monstrous White Walkers and their otherworldly leader. In the scene, Bran witnesses a dangerous side to his newfound mind control powers – called warging – when he effectively influences the flow of time and causes a young Hodor to convulse on the ground while his older incarnation “holds the door” that allows Bran and Meera to escape unscathed by the icy horde.
From that moment on in the past, young Hodor is only able to slur the singular command “hold the door,” which is eventually condensed down to his nickname. The KFC advertisement sees Nairn overcome by hungry businesspeople on their lunch break who become increasingly irate with the lone employee who must take dozens of orders at once. As a result, Nairn repeats the order, chicken with fries, until the words slur into chicken with rice, which just so happens to be someone in the crowd’s order.
The commercial is meant to advertise the KFC Ricebox, which combines the chicken the brand is known for with rice.