The last season of Game of Thrones may have seen Sansa, Bran and Arya solidify their power in Winterfell (RIP Littlefinger), but there was one Stark without a happy ending: Benjen.
During the battle beyond the wall between Jon Snow’s suicide squad and the Night King, Benjen (Joseph Mawle) appeared to sacrifice himself to save Jon. After throwing his nephew onto his horse, we saw ole Coldhands swamped by wights as Jon rode away.
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But did Benjen really meet his fate there? After all, when we thought the Night’s Watch ranger was dead earlier in the series, he returned to save Sam Tarly from a white walker. Could Thrones throw another deus ex Benjen at us in season eight?
Simple answer: no. Although Thrones co-creator David Benioff has already hinted that was the last of Benjen, director Alan Taylor, who helmed the episode seemed to confirm Benjen does indeed die in this scene.
Speaking on the DVD commentary during the sequence in episode Beyond The Wall, Taylor says “he meets his end here”, referring to Benjen.
So, if the wights killed Coldhands, will the character now join the ranks of the dead? Could he return as a wight himself? We’re not sure. Although we’ve seen other characters transformed into Night King foot soldiers (such as Hardhome’s Karsi), Benjen isn’t a normal being. Previously the Stark was stabbed by a white walker but was saved from becoming a wight by having his heart pierced with dragonglass. Will that stop him from turning full wight forever?
Here’s hoping not. If undead Benjen returns that raises the possibility of more killed off characters making a comeback under the Night King’s rule. And – dare we say it – that could mean undead Hodor.