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My Cold Hands Theory: Jon Snow

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Coldhands could be a Stark, a Brandon Stark from long ago, as some think he introduces himself here:

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"A monster," Bran said.

The ranger looked at Bran as if the rest of them did not exist. "Your monster, Brandon Stark."

"Yours," the raven echoed, from his shoulder. Outside the door, the ravens in the trees took up the cry, until the night wood echoed to the murderer's song of "Yours, yours, yours."

Probably this Brandon Stark, who probably needs to hide his neck with a scarf now:

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Then, as he watched, a bearded man forced a captive down onto his knees before the heart tree. A white-haired woman stepped toward them through a drift of dark red leaves, a bronze sickle in her hand.

"No," said Bran, "no, don't," but they could not hear him, no more than his father had. The woman grabbed the captive by the hair, hooked the sickle round his throat, and slashed. And through the mist of centuries the broken boy could only watch as the man's feet drummed against the earth … but as his life flowed out of him in a red tide, Brandon Stark could taste the blood.

Bran is never called "Brandon" in the narrative text.

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Posted (edited)

Further to my post above, during my last re-read I became convinced that Coldhands was the Night's King, a Brandon Stark from long ago.

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The Nightfort had figured in some of Old Nan's scariest stories. It was here that Night's King had reigned, before his name was wiped from the memory of man. This was where the Rat Cook had served the Andal king his prince-and-bacon pie, where the seventy-nine sentinels stood their watch, where brave young Danny Flint had been raped and murdered. This was the castle where King Sherrit had called down his curse on the Andals of old, where the 'prentice boys had faced the thing that came in the night, where blind Symeon Star-Eyes had seen the hellhounds fighting. Mad Axe had once walked these yards and climbed these towers, butchering his brothers in the dark.(...)

There are ghosts here. (...)

Sometimes Summer would hear sounds that Bran seemed deaf to, or bare his teeth at nothing, the fur on the back of his neck bristling... but the Rat Cook never put in an appearance, nor the seventy-nine sentinels, nor Mad Axe. 

A Storm of Swords - Bran IV

The Nighfort was the Night's King seat, who better than him can remember where the Black Gate is? Also note that the NK is not mentioned in the end and CH makes his appearance soon after.

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The gathering gloom put Bran in mind of another of Old Nan's stories, the tale of Night's King. He had been the thirteenth man to lead the Night's Watch, she said; a warrior who knew no fear. "And that was the fault in him," she would add, "for all men must know fear." A woman was his downfall; a woman glimpsed from atop the Wall, with skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars. Fearing nothing, he chased her and caught her and loved her, though her skin was cold as ice, and when he gave his seed to her he gave his soul as well.

He brought her back to the Nightfort and proclaimed her a queen and himself her king, and with strange sorceries he bound his Sworn Brothers to his will. For thirteen years they had ruled, Night's King and his corpse queen, till finally the Stark of Winterfell [Brandon the Breaker] and Joramun of the wildlings had joined to free the Watch from bondage. After his fall, when it was found he had been sacrificing to the Others, all records of Night's King had been destroyed, his very name forbidden.

"Some say he was a Bolton," Old Nan would always end. "Some say a Magnar out of Skagos, some say Umber, Flint, or Norrey. Some would have you think he was a Woodfoot, from them who ruled Bear Island before the ironmen came. He never was. He was a Stark, the brother of the man who brought him down." She always pinched Bran on the nose then, he would never forget it. "He was a Stark of Winterfell, and who can say? Mayhaps his name was Brandon. Mayhaps he slept in this very bed in this very room."

A Storm of Swords - Bran IV

 

He hides his face, and will not speak a name. (...)

Men of the Night's Watch. "You killed them. You and the ravens. Their faces were all torn, and their eyes were gone." Coldhands did not deny it. "They were your brothers. I saw. The wolves had ripped their clothes up, but I could still tell. Their cloaks were black. Like your hands." Coldhands said nothing. "Who are you? (...) 

"Show us your face." (...)

"A monster," Bran said.

The ranger looked at Bran as if the rest of them did not exist. "Your monster, Brandon Stark."

A Dance with Dragons - Bran I

 

Then, as he watched, a bearded man forced a captive down onto his knees before the heart tree. A white-haired woman stepped toward them through a drift of dark red leaves, a bronze sickle in her hand.

"No," said Bran, "no, don't," but they could not hear him, no more than his father had. The woman grabbed the captive by the hair, hooked the sickle round his throat, and slashed. And through the mist of centuries the broken boy could only watch as the man's feet drummed against the earth … but as his life flowed out of him in a red tide, Brandon Stark could taste the blood.

A Dance with Dragons - Bran III

All this very much fits with CH, especially if you believe that the Horn of Joramum is the broken one Jon found by the Fist. And what if Joranum was a white-haired woman and not a man as everyone believes? The broken bondage could also explain why CH cannot use the secret gate. And according to Old Nan the NK was a Stark, mayhaps a Brandon Stark... Who introduced himself to Bran and whom he could taste the blood when flying in the past.

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Beneath the trees, a man muffled head to heels in mottled blacks and greys sat astride an elk. "Here," the rider called. A hood shadowed his face.

A Storm of Swords - Samwell III

 

There were trees growing where the stables had been, and a twisted white weirwood pushing up through the gaping hole in the roof of the domed kitchen. (...)

The Reeds decided that they would sleep in the kitchens, a stone octagon with a broken dome. It looked to offer better shelter than most of the other buildings, even though a crooked weirwood had burst up through the slate floor beside the huge central well, stretching slantwise toward the hole in the roof, its bone-white branches reaching for the sun. It was a queer kind of tree, skinnier than any other weirwood that Bran had ever seen and faceless as well, but it made him feel as if the old gods were with him here, at least.(...)

You could feel the cold seeping up through the slate floor. Bran did not like the shadows either, or the huge brick ovens that surrounded them like open mouths, or the rusted meat hooks, or the scars and stains he saw in the butcher's block along one wall. 

A Storm of Swords - Bran IV

 

The direwolf did not like the way that Coldhands smelled. Dead meat, dry blood, a faint whiff of rot. And cold. Cold over all.(...)

The ranger killed a pig. [we know it was not a pig...] (...)

His voice rattled in his throat, as thin and gaunt as he was. "His hands and feet swell up and turn as black as pudding. The rest of him becomes as white as milk." (...)

A Dance with Dragons - Bran I

The description of the domed (doomed?) kitchen reminds me of CH... And ends with the well, which we know will lead to CH.

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Outside the wind was sending armies of dead leaves marching across the courtyards to scratch faintly at the doors and windows. The sounds made him think of Old Nan's stories. He could almost hear the ghostly sentinels calling to each other atop the Wall and winding their ghostly warhorns. Pale moonlight slanted down through the hole in the dome, painting the branches of the weirwood as they strained up toward the roof. It looked as if the tree was trying to catch the moon and drag it down into the well. Old gods, Bran prayed, if you hear me, don't send a dream tonight. Or if you do, make it a good dream. The gods made no answer.

A Storm of Swords - Bran IV

The NK and his army of the dead are coming! And CH too...

Edited by Jô Maltese

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Posted (edited)

I feel somewhat certain that Coldhands was a member of the Night Watch at some point, since he refers to Sam as brother and Sam notices that he is wearing blacks.  His knowledge of the Black Gate at the Night Fort perhaps places him in a time long ago.  Other than that, I don't have a clue.

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A Storm of Swords - Samwell III

"Brother!" The shout cut through the night, through the shrieks of a thousand ravens. Beneath the trees, a man muffled head to heels in mottled blacks and greys sat astride an elk. "Here," the rider called. A hood shadowed his face.
He's wearing blacks. Sam urged Gilly toward him. The elk was huge, a great elk, ten feet tall at the shoulder, with a rack of antlers near as wide. The creature sank to his knees to let them mount. "Here," the rider said, reaching down with a gloved hand to pull Gilly up behind him. Then it was Sam's turn. "My thanks," he puffed. Only when he grasped the offered hand did he realize that the rider wore no glove. His hand was black and cold, with fingers hard as stone.

 

Edit:  Oh, I would also say that Coldhands reminds me of Old Nan's story of the Thing That Comes in the Night for the apprentice boys.  And also another kind of grumkin perhaps.  If Arya's grumpkin is a faceless man; Coldhands may be of that sort as well since he insists that Sam take an oath of silence three times in payment for lives that Coldhands saved.  
Edited by LynnS

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Posted (edited)

It doesn’t feel like anyone is actually trying to change the past.

I think he is an equivalent to the dead Starks in the crypt, but unlike them didn’t go full White Walker, and obviously hasn’t been dead/buried. I think the Starks used to have WW-like powers, the Azor Ahai myth sounds like it could be about stabbing one in the heart with dragon glass to turn into one, R’hlor’s faith is a flaming heart which is probably a corruption of what the process actually implied.

He could be the last hero too.

Edited by NonoNono

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

I feel somewhat certain that Coldhands was a member of the Night Watch at some point, since he refers to Sam as brother and Sam notices that he is wearing blacks.  His knowledge of the Black Gate at the Night Fort perhaps places him in a time long ago.  Other than that, I don't have a clue.

Edit:  Oh, I would also say that Coldhands reminds me of Old Nan's story of the Thing That Comes in the Night for the apprentice boys.  And also another kind of grumkin perhaps.  If Arya's grumpkin is a faceless man; Coldhands may be of that sort as well since he insists that Sam take an oath of silence three times in payment for lives that Coldhands saved.  

Yes, it's a certainty for me, he was part of the Night Watch once. As was the NK.

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On 12/28/2018 at 6:38 PM, Sophia [email protected] said:

Cold Hands in the Books version is/was the 13 Commander of Night Watch he made a bargain with the Others to become a King of Night Watch.  I don't think he is a Stark.

  Indeed you are probably right. And the Author of this thread is also partially right. His name was Jon Snow the 13th Lord Commander of the Night Watch. Ygritte tells Jon that Jon Snow is an evil name. Probably it is an evil name because it was that name of the 13th Lord Commander.

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On ‎3‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 9:18 PM, HallowedMarcus said:

  Indeed you are probably right. And the Author of this thread is also partially right. His name was Jon Snow the 13th Lord Commander of the Night Watch. Ygritte tells Jon that Jon Snow is an evil name. Probably it is an evil name because it was that name of the 13th Lord Commander.

Maybe his last name was Snow that he also Bastard of the North, but when the these bastards regions started? when the Andals came or when the First Men came?  Pikes, Flowers, Snow, Hill, Waters, Sands Rivers, Storms, Stone.

 

Orys Bartherthorn was natural born of Aerion Targaryen he didn't have bastard name.

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Posted (edited)
On 12/28/2018 at 3:38 PM, Black Dragons said:

Cold Hands in the Books version is/was the 13 Commander of Night Watch he made a bargain with the Others to become a King of Night Watch.  I don't think he is a Stark.

Yes! He was the Last Hero, who, almost dead, was turned into the Night's King by the Night's Queen. Old Nan said he was MAN BY THE LIGHT OF DAY. He eventually "broke" the curse by stabbing the Night's Queen with a dragonsteel sword (which he had to forge to get a sword that wouldn't break against the Others like his previous one), and the sword became Lightbringer. "The moon cracked" = "Her skin was pale like the moon" = Nissa Nissa = Night's Queen = stabbed by Coldhands (the Last Hero, cured from having been turned into the Night's King somehow) BROKE the curse = Coldhands is the Last Hero is Azor Ahai is the Night's King is Brandon the Breaker.

Old Nan was right: "Maybe his name was Brandon." <- speaking of the Night's King

Coldhands: "Your monster, Brandon Stark."

Edited by NonoNono

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Why not throw in the Boltons' origin as well by having them come from the biological son of cold hands and ice woman.  "I stopped her, you saw it, i came back from the cursedness to fight for the living.  I've earned this:  Let my son live.  Give him a castle.  Promise me."

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i'm not trying to stop the conversation, or trying to be thought of as a thwarter to the flow of intelligent ideas but what about the fact that Coldhands rides a ELK?

an elk is not a beast that people usually ever ride ...  people sled/cart with reindeer/deer/goats & such but elk aren't an animal normally used for that nor ridden. 
why would Coldhands ride an elk?   it's always bugged me.
 

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Posted (edited)

Back when he first appeared and i thought coldhands was going to be....ahem....better than he ended up being, the elk signified that he had the blessings of the elves / forest creatures / old gods.   He appeared as a magical agent of Life.   So it was a bummer for me when he was then presented as someone's dead pet and nothing else on their ensuing journey.   Hopefully it's just a lull before the character roars back to interestingness.  Which is why one clicks on threads like this.

Edited by The Mother of The Others

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2 hours ago, Dorian Martell's son said:

Man, 8 years between books and we have Juan Snow=Coldhands. I wonder what is next. Tyrion is the Night's King? Dany is cersei time traveling and warging Tywin's baby? 

Rhaegar = Cersei, which is why they're both prophecy obsessed. It is known.

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2 hours ago, Dorian Martell's son said:

Man, 8 years between books and we have Juan Snow=Coldhands. I wonder what is next. Tyrion is the Night's King? Dany is cersei time traveling and warging Tywin's baby? 

You may be onto something here! :lmao:

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On 12/28/2018 at 3:38 PM, Black Dragons said:

Cold Hands in the Books version is/was the 13 Commander of Night Watch he made a bargain with the Others to become a King of Night Watch.  I don't think he is a Stark.

The Night's King was a Stark.  

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1 hour ago, Unit A2 said:

The Night's King was a Stark.  

His name was Brandon Stark, also known as Brandon the Breaker, also know as the Last Hero, also known as Azor Ahai:)

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Never really noticed the ambiguity of this passage before. 

Quote

And through the mist of centuries the broken boy could only watch as the man's feet drummed against the earth … but as his life flowed out of him in a red tide, Brandon Stark could taste the blood.

His life? Who's? The broken boy or the man?

Who's the Brandon Stark in the last part referencing? 

Aaaargh. 

As to the OP, I disagree. If anyone ends up time travelling, it has to be Bran imo (since he's already doing it, whispering to Eddard by the Winterfell heart tree). I hope there's no "real" time travel, though, as I feel it cheapens the consequences of choices made, as mentioned previously and feels too "tales from the crypt". 

CH could just be a random NW brother, who's watch goes on in death like the 79 sentinels. Or a BR meat sack. 

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15 minutes ago, SiSt said:

Never really noticed the ambiguity of this passage before

His life? Who's? The broken boy or the man?

Who's the Brandon Stark in the last part referencing? 

Aaaargh. 

As to the OP, I disagree. If anyone ends up time travelling, it has to be Bran imo (since he's already doing it, whispering to Eddard by the Winterfell heart tree). I hope there's no "real" time travel, though, as I feel it cheapens the consequences of choices made, as mentioned previously and feels too "tales from the crypt". 

CH could just be a random NW brother, who's watch goes on in death like the 79 sentinels. Or a BR meat sack. 

Yes - see my post here: 

 

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