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Wrongly Disproven 'Game of Thrones' Fan Theory Now Made Official in This Week's Episode

By Dustin Rowles | Game of Thrones | May 29, 2016 |


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We’ll have a full recap and analysis of this week’s Game of Thrones up tomorrow (with follow-ups throughout the week, undoubtedly), but we thought we’d quickly address the question of Coldhands/Benjen Stark raised in tonight’s episode, “Blood of My Blood.”

Coldhands was a relatively minor but important figure on Game of Thrones. At one point, the mysteriously hooded Coldhands saved Samwell, Gilly, and her son after they escaped from Craster’s Keep. Coldhands led them back to the Wall, but could not cross it himself, as Coldhands was thought to be a wight/human hybrid and the magic of the Wall prevented him from crossing.

For a very long time, most book readers assumed that Coldhands was Benjen Stark, a member of the Night’s Watch and younger brother of Eddard and Lyanna Stark. Benjen is the one who invited Jon Snow into the Night’s Watch early on. However, he disappeared in season one and is presumed dead, killed by White Walkers.

The popular fan theory was that Benjen Stark and Cold Hands were the same person. However, last year, that theory was kind of struck down by George R.R. Martin based on unearthed notes to his editor. His editor, like most book readers, assumed Coldhands and Benjen were one in the same, but GRRM ruled that out in the notes.

Either the notes were inaccurate, GRRM was screwing with his editor, GRRM later changed his mind, or Benioff and Weiss decided to run with the fan theory despite GRRM’s assertion to the contrary, because in the HBO series, Coldhands and Benjen Stark are definitely the same person, as confirmed by D.B. Weiss on HBO’s “Inside the Episode” after Game of Thrones aired.

Twitter was nevertheless left confused.

Our suggestion: Ignore Twitter’s confusion and disregard notes to an editor from many years ago. Coldhands and Benjen Stark are one in the same, at least as far as the HBO series is concerned.



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