George R.R. Martin, author of the popular fantasy series Game of Thrones, debunked a fan theory so popular even his own editor believed it to be true. And he did it with a simple “NO” written in red on his most current manuscript.
The manuscript is that of the fifth and newest title of Martin’s epic fantasy saga, entitled A Dance with Dragons, and it’s reported to be 1,600 pages long. It’s currently at the Texas A&M’s Cushing Library, complete with annotations (in green ink) by Martin’s editor.
And consider yourself warned — debunking this theory involves some mild spoilers ahead for those who only watch the series or have not read all of the currently available books in the series.
The popular fan theory that Martin debunked with his simple declarative involves Benjen Stark. Benjen is the brother of the late Eddard Stark, and so is the uncle of the Stark children. He is a member of the Night’s Watch, but he disappeared “beyond the wall” during the very first book in the series and hasn’t been seen since… at least not as Benjen Stark, that is.
Many fans believe that Benjen is actually the character Coldhands, whose face is never seen fully. Coldhands has yet to be seen in the popular television series, but is present in the novels. Coldhands is described as looking very much like a wight — or a “white walker” for watchers — but he’s actually a benign character who is helping Bran, the Stark boy who suffered extreme injury at the hands of Jamie Lannister, on his own journey North.
And George R.R. Martin’s editor was the one who asked the source himself — is Coldhands actually Benjen Stark?
Writes Martin’s editor, “Is this Benjen? I think it’s Benjen… And does Bran never recognize him [as his long lost uncle] because he never sees his face fully?”
“NO,” Martin noted in red.
And that was that. And considering it came from the series’ creator himself, it seems as though the idea that Benjen Stark and Coldhands are one in the same is simply not true, just another fan theory of the popular series shot down.
There is still a great deal of hope, however, for one of the most favorite fan theories of Game of Thrones: That Jon Snow, played on the show by Kit Harington, is not the son of Eddard Stark but is, instead, the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen.
Game of Thrones’ fifth season premieres April 12 on HBO. For more on the premier and what Season 5 may hold, click here.
[Image via Reddit]