Benjen Stark

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Benjen Stark
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Benjen Stark.jpg
Benjen Stark by Amok ©

Alias Uncle Benjen[1]
Ben Stark[2]
The young pup[3]
Title First Ranger
Allegiance House Stark
Night's Watch
Culture Northmen
Born In 267 AC or later[4], at Winterfell[5]
Book(s) The World of Ice & Fire (appendix)
A Game of Thrones (appears)
A Clash of Kings (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)

Played by Joseph Mawle ~ Season 1 - Season 6
Matteo Elezi ~ Season 6
TV series Season 1 | Season 6 | Season 7
Benjen Stark - by Brittmartin ©

Benjen Stark, also known as Ben Stark,[6] is the younger brother of Lord Eddard Stark and First Ranger of the Night's Watch. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones he is portrayed by Joseph Mawle and in a Season 6 flashback by Matteo Elezi.


See also: Images of Benjen Stark

Benjen has sharp features and blue eyes, in which a hint of laughter is often present. He has long legs and is very thin.[1]

Benjen dresses in black, as befits a man from the Night's Watch. When visiting Winterfell, he also wears a silver buckle and a heavy silver chain.[1]


Benjen was the youngest child of Lord Rickard Stark and Lady Lyarra Stark.[7][8] He attended the tourney at Harrenhal with his siblings, Brandon, Eddard, and Lyanna, in 281 AC. At the tournament Lyanna rescued their father's vassal, Howland Reed, from an attack by three squires. Benjen offered Howland a horse and some armor so he could challenge his attackers. During the feast held to celebrate the start of the tournament, he teased Lyanna when she cried for a sad and beautiful song by the noted musician, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. Lyanna poured wine over his head for tesing him.[3] When a black brother from the Night's Watch spoke up during the feast, attempting to convince the gathered people to join the black brothers,[3] Benjen took the plea to heart.[5]

The first time Benjen got well and truly drunk, he was younger than fourteen.[1]

Benjen was the Stark in Winterfell during Robert's Rebellion. Although House Stark had been reduced to Benjen, Eddard, Eddard's infant son Robb, and Eddard's infant bastard son Jon Snow due to the events of the war, Benjen joined the Night's Watch within a few months of Eddard's return north. His reasons for doing so are unknown.[9] Benjen took his vows in front of a heart tree located half a league from Castle Black, north of the Wall.[10] Benjen's skills served him well as a ranger,[11] and he quickly rose to the position of First Ranger.[2][5] Mance Rayder came to consider Benjen the bane of the free folk.[12]

Benjen visited Winterfell on several occasions over the years.[13][14] Once, Bran Stark recited all of the names of the castles build at the Wall for Benjen.[13] Benjen and Eddard had discussed repopulating the Gift by raising new lords, so they could function as a shield against the wildlings. Benjen was convinced that Lord Commander Jeor Mormont could be convinced to part with the land, on the condition that taxes would be paid to Castle Black instead of Winterfell.[15][16] Benjen also wrote Eddard, keeping him updated on e.g., the military strength of the Night's Watch.[17] Benjen shares his brother Eddard's dislike for Lannisters.[18]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

When King Robert I Baratheon rides for Winterfell, Lord Eddard Stark sends word to Benjen on the Wall.[17] Benjen arrives in time for the feast held to welcome Robert to the north, where he speaks with Eddard's bastard son, Jon Snow. Jon rashly asks to be allowed to join the Night's Watch, which results in an argument between him and Benjen after Benjen states that Jon is rather young, and the boy angrily refuses Benjens suggestion that he father some bastard sons of himself before committing to a life at the Wall.[1] Nonetheless, Benjen approaches maester Luwin about Jon, informing the maester of Jon's question. This leads to Luwin informing Eddard, and eventually Eddard sending Jon north to join the Night's Watch.[19]

When back at the Wall Benjen is busy with his duties as First Ranger and does not have much time for Jon. He reminds Jon that the men of the Night's Watch leave their families and loyalties behind when they join the brotherhood.[2]

Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, sends Benjen with six rangers[2] to find Ser Waymar Royce, who has not returned after a ranging.[2][20][21] Benjen thinks they might have to search as far as the Shadow Tower.[2] When there is no word from Benjen, Ser Jaremy Rykker leads two sweeps in search of him, while Qhorin Halfhand leads another search party going north from the Shadow Tower. Nothing is found except a few blazes in trees that Benjen used to mark his way. The marks stop in the stony highlands to the northwest and all trace of Benjen vanishes.[22] Jaremy takes over command of the rangers in Benjen's absence.[10]

The bodies of the rangers Othor and Jafer Flowers, who had accompanied Benjen on his ranging, are later found. There is no trace of Benjen or any of the others, however.[6] The two corpses rise as wights and attempt to kill Lord Commander Mormont.[6] Jeor plans to find Benjen, either dead or alive, and makes it one of the goals of his great ranging.[23]

A Clash of Kings

When arriving at Craster's Keep, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont asks Craster whether he had seen Benjen recently, as Benjen was supposed to have passed the keep during his ranging the previous year. Craster claims not to have seen Benjen in three years.[21]

Jeor believes that Benjen cannot fail to notice the trail two hundred men from the Night's Watch and their horses leave behind during their great ranging, and is convinced that, if Benjen is still alive, he will be able to find his brothers at the Fist of the First Men.[24]

A Dance with Dragons

Bran Stark witnesses a vision from the past in which he sees a boy and a girl playing with wooden branches in the godswood of Winterfell.[25] Some readers believe this to have been Benjen and his older sister, Lyanna, as Bran describes the girl as being the eldest of the two, and states that she looks like his sister Arya,[26] who is said to look like Lyanna had.[27] Additionally, the girl refers to Old Nan,[25] placing the event Bran witnesses as having taken place in more recent generations.

Quotes by Benjen

The Night's Watch is a sworn brotherhood. We have no families. None of us will ever father sons. Our wife is duty. Our mistress is honor.[1]

—Benjen to Jon Snow

Quotes about Benjen

My uncle is not dead. Do you hear me? My uncle is not dead![20]

There's not a man on the Wall knows the haunted forest better than Benjen Stark. He'll find his way back.[20]

—unnamed brother of the Night's Watch to Yoren

His blood ran black. Made him my brother as much as yours.[28]


Jon Snow


External Links

Benjen Stark on the Game of Thrones wiki.