A Major Game Of Thrones Question May Have Been Answered At The Library

A Major Game Of Thrones Question May Have Been Answered At The Library

A popular fan theory on the identity of one of George R.R. Martin’s most mysterious A Song of Ice and Fire characters may have just been debunked — and by a simple trip to the library. Spoilers for the series, including possibly for unpublished material here!

Redditor _honeybird this week documented a trip to Texas A&M University’s Cushing Memorial Library, which has hosted a vast collection of Martin’s materials, including in-progress manuscripts and much more, since 1992. Apparently anyone can just go in and take a look, which seems incredible once you learn what the fan may have discovered, given how closely Martin normally guards his ASOIAF secrets.

This is my last spoiler warning!

A Major Game Of Thrones Question May Have Been Answered At The Library

Many fans believe that Coldhands, a masked figure who rides a large elk and appears to be mostly dead, is secretly the lost Stark uncle, Benjen. But in this manuscript of A Dance With Dragons, the ASOIAF book that came out in 2011, Martin’s editor (in green) poses a question in the margin: “Is this Benjen? I think it’s Benjen…” to which Martin replies, emphatically in red, “NO”.

There’s been plenty of speculation over the years regarding what Coldhands’ role in the series will ultimately be, especially now that the HBO show’s fourth season came and went without any sign of him. If he isn’t Benjen — and that’s certainly what this seems to suggest — then maybe it’s one of those mysteries that will simply never be answered.

The Redditor’s investigation turned up plenty more of note, so go read about it if you’re a fan.


  • Between when we last see Benjen in A Game of Thrones and Coldhands’ appearance in A Dance with Dragons it’s been what, a year or two? I assumed that Coldhands was much more ancient than that. Coldhands is probably a Stark, but a much older one. Not that I’ve put any real thought into it.

      • If I had to pick any one person to be Coldhands I’d have said Bran the Builder but Bran only built the wall and granted the watch ownership of The Gift, I don’t think he was ever in the Watch – whereas it’s inferred that Coldhands is formerly of the Night’s Watch – which also excludes my second guess, Bran the Breaker, who was King in the North responsible for defeating the Night’s King.

          • It would partially explain why Coldhands hasn’t been introduced in the show but we did have a scene with (purportedly) the Night’s King making a baby ice zombie.

    • It’s probably Tony. The Coldhands moniker is because he’s wearing his Iron Man suit.
      (Disclaimer: I know absolutely nothing about Game of Thrones/ASOFAI.)

  • I bought the first Game of Thrones book, but was taking a while to get around to reading it so lent it to a colleague. Some time after he split up with his defacto wife and… apparently she ended up with the book?? I’m not sure how that works, all I know is I don’t have my book and he isn’t offering to buy me a new one 🙁 If it was someone else I might have insisted, but I didn’t want to bug him when he was going through a tough time…. still, kind of a dud move 🙁

    • Hah, I recently recovered one of my books from a friend’s ex fiancee…after it had survived his house burning down and sat in another friend’s shed, smoke damaged, for six months. “borrowed” a couple of his other books as restitution while I was there.

    • My sister-in-law trashed my copy a bit (still readable), but she bought me a new one to make it up. More than I would have asked of her.

      Not bragging – more just thinking: “why can’t people look after books?”

    • haha! I like this… he’s probably getting a little tired and even upset that so many things he considered to be interesting reveals up his sleeve getting uprooted with fans scanning every line and word for clues, wouldnt surprise me if he just wants to temporarily debunk things to keep them somewhat of a surprise

      • I read this terrible Spider-MAN comic written by Kevin Smith that had a years long break in between issues & you can tell someone on the internet guessed his big villain reveal so it does this terrible 180 out of nowhere and zzzzzz

        • *Really* hope this isnt on Martins mind, to do similar things. Who knows… I’d wager he would have more creative ways of changing things up though than Smith

          • For sure, Smith did some funny comedies and all but it’s a different level.

            Originally in my comment I more tried to refer to the creative process.
            Just because something works in the first draft, doesn’t necessarily mean it works in the last.
            I would hop any changes Martin makes along to way were to improve the story & not just be to please or shock the audience for the sake oof it.

      • I really hope he doesn’t do this. Big warning bells. If you don’t have the end of the story in mind when you write the first page, then you’re setting your audience up for big disappointments.

        • But I kind of mean, sticking by his original stories, but trying to put everyone off by saying theyre wrong about things theyre actually right about. Then going haha tricked you! And everyones like, awww George, you trickster you! Just like that

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