The next episode of Game of Thrones might be bringing the past full circle for the Stark family. Finally.
Take a second to remember all the way back to Season 1, when the show introduced us to Ned’s younger brother Benjen.
Benjen was a member of the Night’s Watch who went beyond The Wall in Season 1 and was never seen or heard from again. The theory is that he is either dead — having been killed by a Wildling — or he was killed by a White Walker, in which case he’s now a member of the undead.
Now, here’s where things get complicated in true Game of Thrones‘ fashion. Just because Benjen may be a White Walker doesn’t necessarily mean he’s become a bad guy. In the books, we are introduced to a hooded character who rides an elk and seems to be a savior to travelers beyond the wall. He is dubbed Coldhands, though his real identity is unknown. He helps save Sam and Gilly from the White Walkers in George R.R. Martin‘s book A Storm of Swords. Of course, fans have put two and two together and have theorized that Coldhands is, in fact, Benjen Stark. A theory which I tend to think is a definite possibility.
And it’s a theory that could be coming into play on the next episode of Game of Thrones called “Blood of My Blood.”
As you’ll remember from the last episode, Bran and Meera left the Three-Eyed Raven and set out on their own after the cave was invaded by the White Walkers.
A promo for next week’s episode shows the duo getting themselves into big trouble. But MTV reports a man on horseback seemingly comes to their rescue. Could this man be Benjen Stark? And, if so, is he the unidentified Coldhands from the book or is he still alive?
If it is Benjen Stark, my theory is that he will definitely be an undead character. After all, if he were alive, he would have a claim to Winterfell as Ned Stark’s younger brother, and that would just complicated Jon and Sansa’s plans to take back the North to the point that I don’t even know if I can wrap my brain around it.
Rather, if he is “alive”, I’m hoping he is more of a friend than a foe. If he does team up with Bran and Meera, perhaps he will lead them back to The Wall where Bran can finally reunite with his siblings.
Check out the promo for “Blood of My Blood” below.