In George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, the novel series on which Game of Thrones is based, Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) receives assistance in his travels beyond the Wall from a man called Coldhands, described as a hooded figure who resides somewhere between the realms of the dead and the living.
The character first appears in the books as Bran and his company work their way toward meeting the Three-Eyed Raven. His absence on the show during Bran’s season four storyline left many fans wondering if Coldhands would ever appear at all — but finally, at long last, he did, and he came equipped with a familiar name: Benjen Stark (Joseph Mawle), First Ranger of the Night’s Watch, and Bran’s long lost uncle.
And now that Uncle Benjen is Brandon’s protector and semi-mentor, honing his warging and green-seeing abilities, you can be sure Bran will return to the Tower of Joy, where Ned Stark fought with Ser Arthur Dayne, and the return will rock many viewers.
Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) reunited two episodes earlier, with their combined eye toward rescuing their brother Rickon (Art Parkinson) and reclaiming their home at Winterfell. Bran was destined to return south at some point, and equally likely to join with his siblings, but his reunion with Benjen marks a different kind of homecoming for House Stark. It’s the resurgence of an earlier generation, an older school set of Starks that know a thing or two about the bitter cold way of the world, right when the show’s heroes need that perspective most. Next week’s preview sets up more secrets to be revealed, see it below:
Winter is Coming!