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Is Benjen Stark Coldhands?

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No, Coldhands is one who died long ago. One companion of Bloodraven or someone older.
Benjen is alive. Possibly at Hardhome or somewhere safe.

I suppose he will have things to say concerning Lyanna and Rhaegar.

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There are a couple things that lead people to believe Coldhands is not Benjen;

  • Leaf, one of the Children of the Forest, says Coldhands was killed "long ago". At this point, Benjen has been missing for about a year and a half. It would be clumsy for humans to call something that happened a year and a half earlier "long ago", and I'd imagine doubly so for a being which is at least 200 years old.

Coldhands seems to have ancient knowledge. He knows about the passage through the Night Fort, and that he cannot pass through it,. The Watch at large does not have this information, since Sam has to tell them about it when he returns to Castle Black. But Benjen was First Ranger, and so it's safe to assume that he wouldn't have a compelling reason to hide this information from his brothers.

Coldhands can speak the Old Tongue, evidenced when he kills his elk mount. This suggests Coldhands is older than Benjen, and may in fact be centuries old.

Bran doesn't recognise Coldhands as Benjen, and Coldhands doesn't reveal himself as Benjen. In ADWD, there's a chapter where Bran and the Reeds openly challenge Coldhands about whether he's leading them into a trap. The Three Eyed Crow has sent Coldhands to lead Bran to him, so if Coldhands was Benjen, it makes little sense to keep himself concealed. Revealed, it would only cause Bran to trust him.

Leaf responded to Bran's comment... they will kill him...

"Long ago" taken as literal and in relation to Leaf's lifespan is one leap it also must forget "they" (the wights outside the cave)

There is nothing that suggests the black gate is ancient, secret, or hidden. It is not common knowledge among the survivors as the rangers are all gone, we do not know what they knew.

Mance Rayder and Leathers speak the old tongue, as do some wildings. As first ranger, Benjen was regularly in contact with the wildings. The old tongue is still in use.

Coldhands is undead... I am your uncle-reassuring... I am your undead uncle-creepy.

Brynden Rivers is 125 in 300... His clothes are rotted away. Coldhands is wearing faded blacks with no described rotting.

Coldhands is surprised by wights waiting under the snow. Either this is a new wight tactic or something Coldhands did not see before.

There is a note saying Benjen is not Coldhands and a SSM that says the same.... By the by the night's king is about 8000 years old.

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I'm more interested in "what is" Coldhands instead of who he is. Is he a White Walker? Some kind of wight? Something in between? Some kind of half-converted White Walker? A completely different thing?
If he is indeed a White Walker it would be confirmed that they have intelligence similar to humans and there can be disagreements between them and such.

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As much as i'd love to believe it is Benjen, like everyone, it just doesn't add up for me. As others have stated before, "he died long ago", he speaks the old tongue, and he RIDES AN ELK. I don't think Benjen rode many elks.

What I do think is it's Bloodraven warging into an old night's watchman.

I believe the Night's King is a warg with powers stronger than any before (him possibly being a Stark helps this). He is 1000's of years old, so he's had plenty of time to reach full potential. I believe he "wargs" the dead and controls them as some sort of hivemind.

By this same token, I believe Bloodraven can do it too, but obviously to a lesser extent.

It would explain why he is undead but does not have the signature blue eyes. Blue eyes are ones controlled by the Night's King. He has black eyes because he's controlled by Bloodraven.

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