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Is Coldhands Benjen Stark? A Song of Ice and Fire

This may only be of interest to Game of Thrones nerds, and it contains possible spoilers, so proceed at your own risk!

An A Song of Ice and Fire fan on Reddit, _honeybird, visited the Cushing Library in Texas which houses George R.R. Martin‘s original manuscript for A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5). She read through the entire 1600 page manuscript, paying particular attention to editor’s notes and differences from the published version. For instance, the editor, Anne Lesley Groell, made note of how often the phrase “words are wind” was used.

A Song of Ice and Fire editor thinks "words are wind" phrase is used too much

She also thought Davos Seaworth’s fingerbones were mentioned too much.

A Song of Ice and Fire editor thinks Davos Seaworth's fingerbones are mentioned too much

But the biggest find has to be the following note regarding the identity of Coldhands, the mysterious figure from beyond the Wall who meets up with Bran. A popular theory has been that Coldhands is actually the long missing Benjen Stark. It would appear that George R.R. Martin has given a definitive answer right on the manuscript…

Definitive proof that Benjen Stark is not Coldhands

Editor: Is this Benjen? I think it’s Benjen… 🙂 And does Bran never recognize him because he never sees his face fully?

George R.R. Martin: No.

So I guess we have our answer. Coldhands is not Benjen Stark.

The OP found several other interesting tidbits besides these, so if you’re a big ASOIAF fan like me you should go ahead and read the full post on Reddit.