'Winds of Winter' spoilers: What a familiar Stark and Mercy in 'Game of Thrones' Season 6 could mean

By @sachintrivedig on
George R.R. Martin, author of the "Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy series
IN PHOTO: George R.R. Martin, author of the "Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy series that is the basis of the television series "Game of Thrones", gestures during his masterclass at the Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) in Neuchatel July 10, 2014. Reuters/Denis Balibouse

Some of the fans may have already read the chapter about Mercy in “Winds of Winter,” so the scene of Arya Stark may not have been very surprising. However, the return of a Stark character in the TV series was unexpected.

[Spoiler alert]

In the book series a character called Coldhands is seen as an ally of the Three-Eyed Raven. Many fans theorised that this was the long lost Benjen Stark, who is the brother of Ned Stark.

Benjen joined the Night’s Watch after his brother took over the House and became the Lord of Winterfell. He quickly rose through the ranks and became a Ranger. One day he ventured deep beyond the Wall and never returned.

Author George R.R. Martin reportedly struck down all speculation that Coldhands was Benjen. The original manuscript of “A Dance with Dragons” has been placed at the Texas A&M Cushing Library and one of the fans went over there and took pictures, Vulture reports. The pictures revealed a hand written note by the author saying that Coldhands was not Benjen Stark.

Will the author change his mind and confirm that Coldhands and Benjen are the same in “Winds of Winter”? On the other hand, the producers and writers may have combined the two characters to make it easy to adapt for the “Game of Thrones” TV series.

In a new video released online, the producers refer to the character as Coldhands Benjen. The character has been working with the Three-eyed Raven for the past several years. Executive Producer D. B. Weiss said that he has a “window into Bran’s purpose.”

Another big reveal from “Winds of Winter” in the TV series was that of Mercy, a name Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) takes. In the TV series it is shown to be a turning point for the character and she embraces her identity as a Stark once again. Will the character in the book go through a similar transformation and finally decide to get back to Westeros and seek her vengeance?

Credit: YouTube/ GameofThrones