3. Crazy Uncle Benjen
You may have forgotten Benjen Stark since he vanished beyond the Wall about three episodes into the series. Benjen was Ned’s brother, and was the one who inspired Jon to join the Night’s Watch. The expedition beyond the Wall in Season 2 and 3 was partially to find Benjen. The Night’s Watch used the promise of Benjen to lure Jon Snow to his death.
He has to come back at some point. Most show watchers have already forgotten about Benjen, so his return as a wight or just his corpse would have no emotional impact on the audience. So there are really only two options: Either Benjen is now a high ranking White Walker, meaning the conflict with them will be more personal for Jon, or Benjen is alive and could return to explain important plot points from the past.
By now you’ve probably heard about the R+L=J fan theory. It is one of the most widely believed and supported fan theories. If you haven’t you can check it out below.
In short, it claims that Jon’s parents are Rhaegar Targaryen (Dany’s brother who died fighting future King Robert Baratheon during Robert’s rebellion) and Lyanna Stark (Ned’s sister who was supposed to marry Robert). Ned made a promise to Lyanna in the Tower of Joy, where he found her dying in a bed of blood. Accoring to the R+L=J theory, the bed of blood was from childbirth and she wanted him to protect Jon, by blood one of the Targaryens Robert was trying so hard to exterminate. We’ve gotten several hints that the Tower of Joy scene will be a flashback in Season 6, but we need a character who was there to prompt it and tell other characters about it.
In the books, we know that Holland Reed was the only other survivor aside from Ned at the Tower of Joy, but the show is constantly combining characters so Benjen could take over the role. He might turn up in either Bran or Jon’s plot lines and explain the truth of Jon’s parentage, giving him an even greater claim to the throne, potentially better than Dany’s.