[Warning: the following article contains Game of Thrones season 6 spoilers]
Where in the world is
Carmen Sandiego Benjen Stark?
The First Ranger of the Night’s Watch and brother of Ned Stark was last seen way back in season 1 of Game of Thrones. He embarked on a ranging mission north of The Wall and hasn’t been seen since, though he has been mentioned several times since his disappearance.
During the season 5 finale, Olly was able to lure Jon Snow to his death with the promise of information concerning his uncle, and earlier in the current season, Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven witnessed a vision of young Benjen and his siblings playing in Winterfell’s courtyard.
Show runners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have purposely tried to keep Benjen fresh in fan’s minds, and now that Bran and Meera are alone, unarmed, and in desperate need of an ally north of The Wall, it might be time for the elusive character to finally reappear and save the day.
This theory is a bit of a stretch, but it’s not without evidence.
The initial trailer for season 6 includes a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene where a man on horseback takes down what appears to be a Wight with a flaming weapon. This mystery man is likely saving Bran and Meera, as the setting of this scene perfectly matches the one shown in the preview for season 6 episode 6, where our young and vulnerable heroes struggle to escape a group of Wights.
Some may argue that this mystery man is Coldhands, a friendly Wight who saves Bran in the novels and brings him to the Three-Eyed Raven, but this is unlikely. Wights are vulnerable to fire, so it makes little sense for one to wield the dangerous element as a weapon.
There is also the possibility that this man is a Wildling, but this too is highly unlikely. All of the Wildlings north of The Wall were either killed and turned into Wights ( remember the battle of Hardhome?) or relocated south of The Wall. And even if there are a few stray Wildlings left, it wouldn’t make sense for this man to be one. Wildlings operate on foot, not on horseback, and this man appears to be dressed in black garb more typical of the brothers of the Night’s Watch than the Wildlings.
And there’s only one member of the Night’s Watch unaccounted for beyond The Wall: Benjen.
It’s possible that Benjen has been lurking in the shadows as part of a covert operation to take down the White Walkers. If this is true, then Benjen likely is the one responsible for burying a large stockade of Dragonglass (one of the only known weapons that can kill White Walkers) north of The Wall for the Night’s Watch to find.
After all, if anyone is well aware of the fact that Winter is coming, it’s a Stark.
The truth will (hopefully) be revealed next Sunday at 9 PM!