'Game of Thrones' Season 4: Will Coldhands arrive in 'Oathkeeper'?

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Warning: Potential spoilers for future "Game of Thrones" episodes are contained in this article. Read on at your own risk.

With fan-favorite "Game of Thrones" characters like Strong Belwas cut from the TV show, many have wondered if the show will do without one of the book series' biggest mystery characters: Coldhands. "Game of Thrones" teased viewers with the expectation they would meet him in Season 3, but ultimately Samwell Tarly faced off against a White Walker in "Second Sons." 

Will the same bait-and-switch happen in Season 4 as well? A new promo for "Game of Thrones" Season 4, episode 4 "Oathkeeper" ends with a shot of a creature that might be Coldhands, or might just be a red herring for fans hoping to meet the new character.

Chances are it's the latter. John Bradley, who plays Sam, tells Zap2it that he was disappointed Coldhands didn't come into play in Season 3, and realized showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were toying with fans a bit.

"I assumed that Coldhands was going to be a part of it," he admits. "I think that David and Dan and HBO, just in terms of little tiny teases that they sent out, I think that they too expected that the fans would expect him to be in, because the way the synopsis of the eighth episode of the third season was 'Sam and Gilly meet an older gentleman,' who turned out to be the White Walker in the end and not Coldhands. So I think they were quite clever in putting people off the scent there."

He continues, "I think they're very good at leading people who are very familiar with the books sort of down the garden path a little bit and then surprising them when they least expect it. ... That's the great thing about the trailers because people who've read the books have a certain expectation. I think these are teasers in a very literal sense."

With the opportunity for Sam and Coldhands to meet now passed, it remains to be seen if Bran will cross paths the mysterious character north of the Wall. Isaac Hempstead-Wright hedged about the meeting when Zap2it spoke with him at the "Game of Thrones" Season 4 premiere, though he could have just been playing coy about future events in the season.

"I was really disappointed because he was the cool conspiracy one in this storyline," he says. "It would have been so much fun to have Coldhands."

"I'm sure there will probably be a bigger, wider reasons, because it's such a crucial, important character. To suddenly not include him seems a bit [strange]," Hempstead-Wright continues. "I think anything important won't be left out without good reason. So for instance Coldhands, I suspect -- or hope, rather -- that he's been left out because he's going to come into play in a more important way later. But certainly all the important bits will definitely be there, and I look forward to seeing them."

"Game of Thrones" airs Sundays on HBO at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Photo/Video credit: HBO