Here’s why that surprise return on “Game of Thrones” is actually a major Three-Eyed Raven game changer

Last night’s episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones — Season 7, Episode 6, “Beyond the Wall” — saw the surprise return of a character. If you haven’t watched, we suggest you check out the episode, THEN come back for theories, because SPOILERS LIE AHEAD. And if you have watched, welcome! Let’s dive in…

As we knew leading up to this penultimate episode of Game of Thrones Season 7, Jon and his ragtag crew of misfits were heading beyond the wall to scoop up a wight to prove to #TeamCersei that A) the threat of the Night King is very real, and B) the living must band together to defeat the dead.

The mission was well intentioned but very poorly executed.

Because, hello, a handful of dudes can’t defend themselves against the Army of the Dead on their own. And yeah, they didn’t know what they would come across exactly upon setting out on their mission, but they had to know they were running that risk.

Things took a horrible turn when the #SQUAD was cornered on an island, with wights/White Walkers all around and only a thin sheet of ice between the opposing groups. The undead eventually made their way to that island (because The Hound is an idiot) and a fierce battle commenced.

Long story short, Dany and her dragons came to the rescue — though Viserion didn’t make it out…alive — but she wasn’t able to save Jon, who had just been pushed into the freezing water below by the undead. Jon did make his way out of the water, but things were looking very bad for him because with Dany and company gone, it was just him against the wights/White Walkers.

That is, until a mysterious figure arrived to save him — that mysterious figure being Jon’s uncle Benjen, aka Coldhands.


Benjen insisted that Jon leave on his horse and that he stay behind to fight the wights/White Walkers off. It was a very noble move and one that presumably left Benjen for dead (although you never know…). But the move does bring about questions. Like, how did Benjen know that Jon was in trouble, let alone where exactly to find him?

Reddit user ProbablyAPun has a theory…

"Uncle Benjen coming to save Jon Snow actually makes sense. It's not just a shitty way to close up his plot line. It's foreshadowing the fact that Bran has actually learned how to control becoming the Three-eyed Raven."

ProbablyAPun cited as evidence the time we saw Benjen save Bran and Meera, and this makes a whole lotta sense.

"When Benjen comes and saves Bran and Meera, he states that the Three-Eyed Raven had sent for him. We can only assume that the original Three-Eyed Raven did this through some sort of supernatural communication, which has precedence via Bran communicating with Hodor. So, somehow, Bran learned how to communicate with him using his powers, and sent him to save Jon."

Other users pointed out that it’s possible that Benjen was just in the right place at the right time, that he could have been keeping an eye on the Army of the Dead and happened to see/save Jon.

That makes sense too, but given that Bran is leaning more and more into his whole Three-Eyed Raven thang, we’re not ruling out the possibility that he’s now pretty much in control of those abilities. Or that we could find out what exactly is going on with Bran when the Game of Thrones Season 7 finale airs on Sunday.

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