First of all, WE’RE REALLY SORRY about the clickbaity headline + image. But we didn’t want to accidentally spoil it for anyone, nor did we want to get anyone’s hopes up.
And with that in mind, this post contains spoilers for Season 6 Episode 5.
A Game of Thrones fan has theorised that Jon Snow‘s uncle, the ranger Benjen Stark who disappeared north of the wall in Season 1, is about to reappear – and unlike a lot of fan theories feeding the content mines right now, this one has a few legs.
This fan – username KainoaBorges – first of all reckons that the scene from the Episode 6 trailer showing Bran and Meera running from some danger in the woods is directly related to a scene in the Season 6 trailer, which shows a horsed stranger attacking… something… with a flaming flail. (KainoaBorges reckons it’s a wight, and Reddit doesn’t disagree, but do wights wear cloaks and hoods? Tbd.)
It’s this horsed stranger that KainoaBorges reckons is Benjen Stark. He points out that wildlings (what’s left of them, anyway) don’t have horses, so either this scene is happening south of the wall, or it’s a non-wildling north of the wall. After Benjen Stark went missing, his horse (and two dead comrades) *did* return to Castle Black, but hey – it’s been five seasons. Dude could’ve found a horse.
KainoaBorges then goes deep into the IMDb pages… and here’s where it gets tricky.
Based on his screenshots, it looks like Joseph Mawle – the actor who plays Benjen – is reappearing in the next episode as the character ‘Brother Beyond the Wall’.
Yet when we checked out IMDb, we could find no such reference. So, either some dude has too much time on his hands and is photoshopping shit for internet points, or whoever cocked this one up on IMDb has hastily undone their work.
George R. R. Martin has been known to tie up / reintroduce a plot line yonks down the track (see: HODOR), so this isn’t outside the realms of possibility. And aside from this being a long-lost Stark, it’d be pretty sick for Bran & Meera to be joined by someone who wasn’t a) dead or b) trying to make them dead.
If you want to get deep, DEEP into the ins and outs of the theory, it’s all going on over here. Or if you just want to wait and see next week’s episode, ‘Blood of My Blood’, watch the trailer below. Hopefully next week won’t be a repeat of last week and rip your fucking heart out.