Warning: Contains spoilers from Game of Thrones Season 6, episode 6.
LONDON Right, so let’s get this straight once and for all.
Is Benjen Stark (i.e. the same Benjen Stark that has been missing from the show for a full SIX SEASONS, ever since he went trotting off beyond the wall back at the start of Season 1) is that Benjen Stark the same character as the mysterious “Coldhands” figure from George R. R. Martin’s books? The same character that’s been absent from the show so far, and who many assumed had been cut out?
Well first, let’s recap. Benjen Stark swooped in on horseback at the start of last Sunday’s episode to rescue Meera and his nephew from all those pesky undead. He was wearing a hood and his face was covered. After he’d got them to safety and Bran was awake, he revealed his true identity and said something about how the Children of the Forest had revived him after he was attacked by the White Walkers (he didn’t go into detail about what exactly he’s been doing for the last six seasons, but maybe that’s a story for another day).
Coldhands, meanwhile, is a mysterious character who appears earlier in Martin’s books and helps Bran and co. navigate their way through the land beyond the wall to track down The Three Eyed Raven. His real identity has yet to be revealed, but we do know that he’s undead and that he can’t pass beyond the wall.
So are they the same character? Well, from the looks of this recent tweet from Isaac Wright (a.k.a. Bran), it seems likely.
Those emoji don’t lie.
The evidence doesn’t stop there, either. In this behind-the-scenes clip for episode 6, co-creator D.B. Weiss actually refers to the character as “Coldhands Benjen.”
So if Coldhands from the books is the same character as “Coldhands Benjen” from the show, why did George R. R. Martin explicitly deny this theory in the hand-written notes for his original A Dance with Dragons Manuscript?
Seems like there are a couple of possibilities here: either Martin was lying to keep the return of a big character secret, or the show has gone off on another tangent.
Maybe Benjen will return in the books, but as a separate character to Coldhands? It’s always possible that the show could have merged the two characters into one and combined their storylines to save screen time.
Ultimately, until The Winds of Winter hits the shelves, we know nothing.
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Read more: <a href="http://mashable.com/2016/06/03/game-of-thrones-coldhands-isaac-wright-tweet/">http://mashable.com/</a>