Beyond-the-Wall: Bran and Meera
Meera is no Hodor and she’s having a rough go of it carrying Bran in that sled of his. The newest Three-Eyed Raven meanwhile is still in the midst of greenseeing the history of Westeros. There’s White Walkers, Ned’s death, the Red Wedding, pretty much all events in the show but most interesting, we get our first glimpse of Jaime’s Kingslaying of “Mad King” Aerys, Dany’s father. Echoing throughout is his famous last words: “Burn them all.”
In the wake of last week’s Hodor revelation, a fan theory quickly spread that Bran may have been responsible for driving the Mad King, well, mad, similar to how he caused young Wylis to become Hodor by warging-while-greenseeing. He may have been whispering “Burn them all” as what to do with bodies before they can become the Walkers’ wights.
Speaking of wights, the undead are catching up! Even Hodor couldn’t hold the door forever, though thankfully the gentle giant’s corpse is not among the pursuers.. Meera struggles, stops and seems to accept that it is coming to an end. Bran finally wakes up.
Enter Coldhands! A character though adapted out (he meets Bran’s group prior to their arrival at the Raven’s cave in the novels). Despite the undead army numbering ten thousand, the chase seems to have left them rather diffuse, allowing the single warrior to wrackup some flaming flail attacks.
He saves Meera and Bran and, sure enough, his next scene confirms a long-time fan theory thought dismissed: Coldhands is indeed be long-lost Uncle Benjen. He was killed by White Walkers on his ranging mission but saved by the Children of the Forest, who saved him from becoming a wight using the same method they used to create the White Walkers – a shard of dragonglass to the heart. The kinda-dead Benjen is a friend of the Raven’s and he’s following poor Max von Sydow’s final instructions: to take Bran to the Wall to prevent the Night’s King from entering the realms of men.