Coldhands on ‘Game of Thrones’: Theories & Analysis


Coldhands (HBO)

Coldhands is a mysterious character from the books who could throw many theories about the White Walkers into a tailspin. But the character hasn’t yet appeared in the show. Some fans wondered if Coldhands might be the shadowy figure seen helping Meera and Bran as they flee White Walkers in a trailer for Game of Thrones.

Read on for more theories about Coldhands. There will be spoilers through episode six, “Blood of My Blood,” along with spoilers from the books on scenes that didn’t appear in the TV show.

Here’s what you need to know.

Coldhands Was a Mysterious Character in the Books Who Helped Bran

Coldhands was a mysterious character in the Game of Thrones books. He first appears in A Storm of Swords, when he saved Sam, Gilly, and their child from a group of wights. He later guides Bran, Meera, Hodor, and Jojen to the Three-Eyed Raven.

In the books, he’s described as being ice cold to the touch and looks a lot like a White Walker. But he has black eyes instead of blue, which is a huge difference. He speaks normally, seems intelligent, and acts independently rather than like a zombie. He also has a flock of ravens who do his bidding. He’s never seen eating or even breathing in the books, he doesn’t like fire, and Summer thinks he smells like dead meat. Jojen trusted him from the beginning, however.

Now We Know that in the Show, Coldhands is Benjen Stark

In the show, Coldhands is Benjen Stark. Stark has been living north of the Wall and somehow received instructions from Three-Eyed Raven. Benjen was almost killed by the White Walkers when they plunged a dagger into his stomach. But the Children of the Forest saved him by plunging dragonglass into his heart, the same way they created the White Walkers. This somehow kept Benjen from dying or transformed him into a “wight-like” creature who can think for himself. It’s definitely confusing.

Coldhands Might be Undead or Some Type of White Walker

Coldhands’ exact nature is up for debate in the books, and we’re not completely sure about Benjen Stark either. In the books, he’s undead of some sort, since he can’t enter the Three-Eyed Raven’s cave. And in the books, Leaf said that the wights “killed him long ago.” However, in the TV series, the Children of the Forest themselves created “Coldhands” aka Benjen Stark.

But whether Benjen Stark/Coldhands is some form of White Walker or a wight/zombie or something else is debated. He could be a White Walker who is good, except he doesn’t have blue eyes. Maybe he’s a Wight zombie who somehow still maintained the ability to think as an individual. His hands are blackened at the tips, which lends credence to the idea that he did indeed die. Maybe being turned as half-undead somehow kept him from becoming a complete zombie. Or maybe being a Stark, and having his own warging abilities, is what stopped him from turning completely zombie or evil.

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