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Among the many online debates between readers and viewers of Game of Thrones, it’s frequently the omission of certain book characters tha...

‘Game of Thrones’ Mini-Recap: Guess Which Fan-Favorite Book Character Finally Showed Up?

Among the many online debates between readers and viewers of Game of Thrones, it’s frequently the omission of certain book characters that’s prompted the hugest outcries. Because George R. R. Martin has written what feels like several million pages of dense, detailed literature, it’s clear that the writers and showrunners of the HBO series simply haven’t had time to include every element. We’d mention some of those omissions by name, but as this week’s episode of Game of Thrones proves, the mere suggestion of their existence constitutes a spoiler! That’s because, ladies and gentlemen, meet Coldhands!

Book readers know Coldhands as the mysterious, cloaked (and possibly undead) hero that arrives to save Bran’s life… It’s just that his introduction happened much earlier in Bran’s storyline, leading those who know both versions to suspect the TV version had decided to cut the character. Not so! In the cold open (literally) of “Blood of My Blood,” Meera and Bran found themselves set upon by wights and preparing for certain death when a stranger appeared and set the ice zombies aflame. Later during a relaxing meal of rabbit’s blood, he removed his scarf and revealed himself as Benjen Stark, Bran’s uncle, who had disappeared north of the wall sometime ago. Even this reveal was exciting for book readers, as the true identity of Coldhands had been in debate for some time. The TV series may not have had time to introduce him sooner, but that also meant it wasn’t going to prolong the mystery of his identity any further.

But Benjen Stark’s appearance wasn’t the only interesting turn of events this week. The most significant plotline was probably the conflict of King’s Landing, specifically Margaery’s (possibly fraudulent) conversion to pious High Sparrow follower, and the resultant conversion of Tommen himself. This messy religious situation just keeps getting worse for Cersei and Jaime, because as Lady Olenna grumbled best: “They’ve won.” As if Joffrey weren’t example enough, it’s even clearer that children should never be king.

Another prominent plotline had Samwell and Gilly visiting the Tarly home for a nice evening of racism and fat-shaming. Yes, Sam’s father was easily as horrifying as we’d been led to believe as he continued badgering Sam for his weight and proceeded to berate Gilly for being a Wildling. But on the upside, both Sam and Gilly looked great in their evening wear, and Sam managed to steal a Valyrian steel sword as they snuck out. It may not have been a fun family dinner, but at least Sam has a new White Walker-vanquishing weapon in his arsenal.

Arya, meanwhile, more or less went AWOL on the House of Black and White when she decided not to murder the stage actress. The upside was that it revealed Arya still had a sense of compassion; the downside was that The Waif was now dead-set on murdering Arya. Fortunately Arya was able to relocate Needle under that stack of rocks by the harbor, and it was going to come in handy if she’s ever going to sleep with any kind of security from now on.

Though “Blood of My Blood” wasn’t quite as shocking or impactful as last week’s episode, it was still an enjoyable and worthwhile hour of TV. Much more happened than the above (Drogon is back!), so please check back here for our full photo recap!

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