Benjen Stark: the Last Stand of the Second-to-Last Hero

Jon Benjen Beyond the Wall

In the recent episode Beyond the Wall, Jon Snow, the King in the North (or South, if you listen to Tormund Giantsbane) found himself in a dire situation. Left for dead by his companions who’d retreated on dragonback from the Night King’s icy artillery, Jon faced imminent attack from the wight army that he’d been telling everyone about.

Like the Last Hero from one of Old Nan’s tales.

Jon and wights Beyond the Wall

Old Nan was featured in the first season as a storyteller and caregiver to young Bran Stark, who’d heard her speak of the Long Night of legend, the White Walkers with their dead servants, and ice spiders as big as hounds.

In the books, Nan tells more of that story, about the Last Hero and his quest to stop the ruthless monsters.

So as cold and death filled the earth, the last hero determined to seek out the children, in the hopes that their ancient magics could win back what the armies of men had lost. He set out into the dead lands with a sword, a horse, a dog, and a dozen companions. For years he searched until he despaired of ever finding the children of the forest in their secret cities. One by one his friends died, and his horse, and finally even his dog, and his sword froze so hard the blade snapped when he tried to use it.

And the Others smelled the hot blood in him and came silent on his trail…

Jon’s story doesn’t track exactly with Nan’s tale of the Last Hero. Most of his companions had escaped (RIP Thoros of Myr and five unlucky and nameless wildlings), his canine buddy Ghost was safe at Winterfell, Jon hadn’t even been riding on a horse, and he was even one up on the Last Hero by having a much hardier sword.

But the wights were closing in, and he was the last man alive for miles.

But, Jon was not alone. His undead uncle Benjen Stark, riding a supernaturally brave horse and wielding a long-chained flaming flail (complete with a badass sickle at the other end) arrived to offer his nephew the chance to escape.

RidingAndFlailing

Jon: Uncle Benjen!
Benjen: Yup!
Jon: Come with me!
Benjen: Nope!

Benjen told Jon that there’s not enough time for them both to escape (using less fewer words than that) and sent the horse on its way before Jon could try to argue and lose ground to the advancing, fast-running, indefatigable wights.

I understand why fans do not like the idea of Benjen choosing to stay behind and have all of the approaching wights pile on him like linebackers, instead of trying to escape as well. We’ve bitterly experienced something like this before in the previous season, with another favorite secondary character of book-readers.

Brienne: Blackfish!
Blackfish: Yup!
Brienne: Get in the boat with me and Podrick!
Blackfish: Nope!
Brienne: But, there’s no reason to stay behind. It’s not like you’ll be covering our escape as we float downriver.
Blackfish: Yes yes, but for complicated reasons, possibly involving contracts, possibly involving the need to maintain dramatic stakes and show that death is possible, I’m going to go down fighting.
Brienne: But, let’s be honest here, your death won’t really count. You may as well live.
Ser Barristan: Tell me about it.

But even though I wasn’t happy that the Blackfish opted to stick with Riverrun (particularly because I wanted him to make his way to his true love, Lady Oleanna — #Blackthorn) I’m okay in accepting Benjen Stark’s assessment that there was no time for them both to escape.

Because Benjen Stark’s doomed fight against an unbeatable foe is archetypal. If Jon is the Last Hero, Benjen is the Second-to-Last Hero. The guy who gives his all for the hero to live. The guy who doesn’t get the song. The guy who does his duty, knowing it’s his doom.

We’ve heard this sentiment before, from another legendary ranger.

Qhorin: The Watch has given you a great gift and you only have one thing to give it in return. Your life.
Jon: I’d gladly give my life.
Qhorin: I don’t want you to be glad about it! I want you to curse and fight until your heart is done pumping. Know this, boy. Your death will be a gift to them, south of the Wall. They’ll never know what you’ve done. They’ll never know how you died. They won’t even know your damn name. But they’ll be alive, because some nameless bastard north of the Wall gave his life for theirs.

The fact that we know Benjen’s name and his fate, covering Jon’s escape, shines a light on the things we don’t know about him. I don’t necessarily mean what adventures he’d been having as the Three Eyed Raven’s undead commando, or where he got that sweet flaming flail…

FireFlail

Beric: I assumed he just ignites it with blood magic.
Thoros: Or propane. It saves on blood.

There are just so many things we’d like for Benjen to clear up for us…

He was one of the last witnesses left to the events that started Robert’s Rebellion.

Did he have the skinny on Rhaegar and Lyanna’s relationship?

Did Ned trust Benjen with the secret of Jon’s parentage?

Was that going to be an item on the discussion agenda? The discussion that Benjen promised Jon they’d have when he returned to Castle Black from his ranging in Season One?

Jon: Come with me
Benjen: There’s no time.
Jon: But you promised we’d have a discussion.
Benjen: Sure, when I return to Castle Black! Does this look like Castle Black?
Jon: Aww, man.
Benjen: Look kid, if there wasn’t a horde of wights about to descend on us, sure, we’d have that talk.
Wights: Actually, we’d like to hear this story too.
Night King: A story would be nice. There’s not much excitement up here. Watching six guys freezing on a little island was like the Superbowl for us.
Benjen: *slaps horse* Sorry to disappoint, you monsters.

Why did Benjen join the Night’s Watch in the first place? For honorable reasons or for less noble ones?

Did he go to the Wall to atone for something?

Those secrets are likely to die along with Uncle Benjen, buried under a pile of wights. I understand why people are sad to see this potential font of information dry up.

But Benjen wasn’t here to entertain us, like a jester (Tyrion can confirm Benjen’s lack of jesting) or a storyteller. He was a man of the Night’s Watch, not Old Nan of the Night’s Watch. Like Qhorin Halfhand, Benjen knew the deal, that wearing the Black carries the possibility of sacrifice.

706 - Beyond - Jon, Beric 2

Beric Dondarrion sounded a lot like Qhorin when talking to Jon on the march north from Eastwatch.

Jon: So what are you fighting for?
Beric: Life. Death is the enemy. The first enemy, and the last.
Euron: Are you guys talking about storms?
Beric: No.
Euron: Sorry. I’ll bugger off then. Nice eyepatch.
Jon: But, we all die.
Beric: The enemy always wins. And will still need to fight him. That’s all I know. You and I won’t find much joy while we’re here, but we can keep others alive. We can defend those that can’t defend themselves.

Benjen’s actions in the episode were Beric’s words given life. He’d taken an oath.

I am the shield that guards the realms of men.

I don’t fault Jon Snow for finding a loophole in that same oath to get out of his service to the Watch. He’d been killed by his own men, who thought they were acting in service to those same southern realms that Jon was trying to protect.

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death.

But Benjen Stark was not clinging so much to the beginning of the oath, but the final piece, which has much the same sentiment but with an important difference in phrasing:

I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.

The back end of the Night’s Watch oath more heavily emphasizes the long-term duration of service. When Benjen died and the Children brought him back with a cardiac injection of dragonglass, Benjen had more nights to come.

But now Benjen’s watch has ended. We will not see his like again.

Benjen's Last Stand

Benjen: Hold on. If I can just crawl with this scrum of wights on me to the lake…
Me: Don’t you tease us, man. Don’t you even.
Benjen: Fine. And now my watch has ended.

So, respects go out to Benjen Stark, First Ranger and devoted uncle. The reason Jon Snow gets to be the last hero to leave the battle of the frozen lake. The second-to-last-hero found his resting place there.

36 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. I think Benjen joined the Night’s Watch for honourable reasons, there’s nothing in his known history to suggest otherwise anyway. GRRM has never elaborated on why Benjen made the choice, but I think House Stark is one of very few Houses who still see the Brotherhood as a noble calling and not just a place to dump the black sheep of the family. GRRM may yet have a story he wants to tell regarding Benjen of course that he’s not ready to spoiler.

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    2. Consider all the Littlefinger versa Starks at Winterfell Benjen death showed what is really important and will back up Beric words to Jon.

      Men like them are a shield for Westeros.

      RIP Benjen your watch has ended.

      Hodor as well?

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    3. I could be wrong but my interpretation of Benjen’s “There is no time” comment was because Jon was freezing to death and the horse couldn’t carry them both back to the wall before Jon succumbed to the cold.

      He’s a very interesting character and its a shame he wont be around to explain a few things.

      One other thing I noticed, on Inside the Episode D&D kept referring to Benjen as Coldhands. Do people think that’s a show only construct or will book Coldhands turn out to be Benjen afterall?

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    4. I alway thought Coldhands was a member of the Night’s Watch and was Benjen in the books ( I’ve not read them) he went missing not long after Jon’s arrival at the Wall. So he could be Coldhands definable in the show but didn’t GRM say Benjen was not in the books.

      Wonder if Bran now that Benjen is dead using the Weirwood trees get Benjen side of the story or maybe D&D will not have time in the last season 😢 to do that.

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    5. GRRM annotated a draft for ADWD where someone else had written Coldhands = Benjen to say that wasn’t so

      On page 115 the editor scrawls a note to GRRM about Coldhands:

      Is this Benjen? I think it’s Benjen… And does Bran never recognize him because he never sees his face fully?

      GRRM’s reply, in red pen:

      NO

      I think the show may have just decided it was better for the audience if Coldhands was a character the viewers already knew rather than some completely new character.

      Book!Benjen’s disappearance and fate remains a mystery.

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    6. I would have teased BenJen’s point of view a few times through the fight with the back of a horse’s head in view to make folks think we were looking through White Walker eyes.

      Then we see Jon shambling away, the wights turn toward him and the camera rushes forward on horseback like in the Dothraki charge down the hill with wights suddenly exploding left and right. We assume a dragon has come back for him. Then we cut to Jon’s POV that is shown in the episode. BenJen rides up, the horse terrified and eager to unass the pond. BenJen lowers his mask, puts a hand out to Jon, they both ride with the ice cracking behind them because they are too heavy and the hooves are breaking through the ice.

      They make it to the far side where Drogon’s wing wash opened a hole in the approach to the pass. Then Benjen slides off the horse and slaps the horse’s rump.

      Jon looks back in time to see BenJen cause an avalanche with a suicide vest filled with Children of the Forest grenades closing the pass behind Jon and BenJen disappears again under the snow. Jon can’t control the horse and it takes off hell for leather to the Wall.

      Much more epic. For the director’s cut of course.

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    7. It felt rushed to me and that Benjen didn’t get done justice. It felt like they forgot about him and were like “Oh shoot! We forgot about closure for Benjen. Uh-um let’s just squeeze him into this scene. Have him show up and die right away. ”

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    8. I was so excited to see his return when he saved Bran and Meera, but I knew undoubtedly that not being able to cross the wall we would not have him back for long. I’m glad that D&D referred to him as Coldhands. I would have liked to have seen more of him like others, if only to get the answers we all crave. He will be missed. He did such a great job playing Benjen!

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    9. You joke about the contract reasons (you’re probably right) but I feel like they brought him in to possibly cover up a visual effects mistake or a reshoot went bad. Then after all was said and done it felt really hastily done.

      They really should have had Bran contact Benjen via raven in the beginning of the episode and Bran could have sent him to protect Jon and his companions. The lack of Bran when it matters after all that Bran has been built up to be is really a let down.

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    10. Enjoyed the post! I agree with the NK, a story would be nice! I suppose it will come when D&D or GRRM are ready to tell it.

      Ser Not Appearing in this Series,
      Agree!

      ManderlyPieCompany:

      They really should have had Bran contact Benjen via raven in the beginning of the episode and Bran could have sent him to protect Jon and his companions. The lack of Bran when it matters after all that Bran has been built up to be is really a let down.

      Maybe that did happen and we will hear about it from Bran later in a long awaited chat between Bran and Jon. That is going to be one long conversation because Jon and Bran have soooo much to talk about.

      Con Jonnington:
      I could be wrong but my interpretation of Benjen’s “There is no time” comment was because Jon was freezing to death and the horse couldn’t carry them both back to the wall before Jon succumbed to the cold

      This is interesting and I think could have been a factor. Since there was no time, Benjen could not take the time to list all the reasons he would not come with Jon. Wight attack is imminent and you are wet and cold and hypothermia will kill you if you don’t get out of here now takes longer to say than “there’s no time.”

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    11. Con Jonnington: I could be wrong but my interpretation of Benjen’s “There is no time” comment was because Jon was freezing to death and the horse couldn’t carry them both back to the wall before Jon succumbed to the cold.

      heh, Luke Skywalkers Landspeeder wouldn’t have been fast enough!

      My big gripe is that they should have run into Benjen before the end. It could have been as simple as him tracking the wights & White Walker that Jon et al. kill. If they had done that, then Jon could have flown off on the dragon, and we’d have been spared a bit of melodrama.

      (Of course, we did need that final “trigger” to get Daenerys to admit to herself how she felt about Jon: but surely something else could have been done….)

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    12. ManderlyPieCompany: They really should have had Bran contact Benjen via raven in the beginning of the episode and Bran could have sent him to protect Jon and his companions. The lack of Bran when it matters after all that Bran has been built up to be is really a let down.

      The did not even need to do that. The prior 3-Eyed Raven didn’t send messenger birds: the communications seemed magical instead. Just saying that the 3-Eyed Raven sent me would have sufficed.

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    13. Did he have the skinny on Rhaegar and Lyanna’s relationship?

      Did Ned trust Benjen with the secret of Jon’s parentage?

      Almost certainly not. One, if you want something kept secret, then don’t tell anyone. It’s not just about “trusting” them: it’s about making sure that they naturally behave as if the official truth is the truth. We see that with Catelyn: having her be horrid to Jon was a great smokescreen.

      Two, why shatter Benjen’s illusions about his older sister? It almost certainly was bad enough for Ned to know that his sister behaved so dishonorably, and having to live with a tangible reminder of that dishonor would have been a constant gall for him. Why make Benjen endure that, too?

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    14. Greywind: We forgot about closure for Benjen.

      Benjen really was not a significant enough character for closure to be an issue. Again, this is a situation where Benjen’s importance to the story has been greatly amplified by the fandom: we’ve been speculating on his role in things for so long (particularly under the assumption that he was Coldhands, an idea that was not debunked until nearly 15 years after most of us first assumed it to be true!) that we turned a molehill into a mountain.

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    15. “Why did Benjen join the Night’s Watch in the first place?”

      I have not read the books, but I believe Benjen had nothing to atone or to be ashamed of when he joined the NIght’s Watch, he was simply not going to be lord of winterfell and there were probably no lady of a great house to marry when he was young, so he joined the night’s watch because each great House must give something (or someone) to the realm. He could have joined the citadel (or the faith in other times), but the Starks are more prone to fight for the realm than learn anything useful.

      “I don’t fault Jon Snow for finding a loophole in that same oath to get out of his service to the Watch.”

      Well, that would be a severe judgement of Jon’s actions. I do believe he broke his oath because he thought he could not act anymore as lord commander (he had been accused of being a traitor, which is not acceptable for a man of honor like Jon), but since then he acted like a protector of the realm: all his actions have aimed at eliminating the greatest threat (well, maybe retaken WF does not count!), and he is ready to die for this. He is actually trying to die everytime he has an opportunity (facing Ramsay Bolton’s army, facing Daenarys, facing dragons, facing the army of the dead…).

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    16. Like Jessica Henwick and Tobias Menzies, he had to squeeze it in between other jobs. I think it was Ripper Street and this one about the fall of Troy?

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    17. The Het: He could have joined the citadel (or the faith in other times), but the Starks are more prone to fight for the realm than learn anything useful.

      The Starks followed the Old Gods, and from everything we have seen and/or read, there is no organized clergy or “church” for the Old Gods: you just hang out by trees and listen to the wind!

      However, an analog of this might apply here. In the first book and season, we learn that the Starks take pride in having helped man the Wall for centuries. GRRM himself had Roman Catholic parents, and it used to be traditional for Roman Catholics to drill it into the heads of a younger son and/or daughter that he/she was meant for the Church. Families that failed to produce a priest and/or a nun were supposed to feel bad about themselves. (I know, I know: guilt from a Christian church, who could imagine it?) For the Starks and other Northern families, it would be the Wall: there might not be shame in failing to send a son there, but there would be a lot of pride in it. As a third son, Benjen would have grown up knowing that he did not have many prospects for himself AND also being nudged towards the Wall by repeated stories of the great honor for self, family, etc.

      When we hear/listen to Benjen talk about the Watch, we hear/read the words of a man who views it as his calling. At that point, we really do not need to know anymore: his words alone tell us why he joined.

      The Het: Well, that would be a severe judgement of Jon’s actions

      It also is a dodgey loophole at best! This has come up in real legal and religious cases: are people who were declared dead but then revived now free from contracts/vows up to death? For example, if you married in a church “until death do you part” and actually were dead for a while, is your marriage over?

      The repeated answers have been “no.” You’re not really dead until you stay dead. Moreover, real people have notes from their doctors showing flatline graphs: Jon has nothing like that.

      To be honest, I think that the show let Jon off lightly on this: I expect that it will be more of an issue in the books. However, it also will be an issue that will get resolved in Jon’s favor.

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    18. ” Jon’s story doesn’t track exactly with Nan’s tale of the Last Hero. Most of his companions had escaped (RIP Thoros of Myr and five unlucky and nameless wildlings), his canine buddy Ghost was safe at Winterfell, Jon hadn’t even been riding on a horse, and he was even one up on the Last Hero by having a much hardier sword.”
      —————-

      Well, to be fair Jon DID have a dog with him: his new canine buddy The Hound.
      However, I would imagine Old Nan’s Last Hero story did not include a companion who threw rocks at wights and called them “dumb c*nts.”
      🐶

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    19. Ser Not Appearing in this Series:
      I think Benjen joined the Night’s Watch for honourable reasons, there’s nothing in his known history to suggest otherwise anyway. GRRM has never elaborated on why Benjen made the choice, but I think House Stark is one of very few Houses who still see the Brotherhood as a noble calling and not just a place to dump the black sheep of the family. GRRM may yet have a story he wants to tell regarding Benjen of course that he’s not ready to spoiler.

      I completely agree. Benjen is kind of my example of what the Night’s Watch was intended to be. I know some people assume that the Watch has always been some kind of prison, but it was certainly something greater than that.

      I left my personal opinions of Benjen and the Watch out of the article, to encourage people to put forth their own ideas. I appreciate you giving your perspective, one that I share.

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    20. Con Jonnington:
      I could be wrong but my interpretation of Benjen’s “There is no time” comment was because Jon was freezing to death and the horse couldn’t carry them both back to the wall before Jon succumbed to the cold.

      He’s a very interesting character and its a shame he wont be around to explain a few things.

      One other thing I noticed, on Inside the Episode D&D kept referring to Benjen as Coldhands. Do people think that’s a show only construct or will book Coldhands turn out to be Benjen afterall?

      Yeah, your interpretation is also valid. I’ve seen people complaining that Benjen *did* have time, but I don’t see why we should argue with skilled and experienced ranger Benjen on his assessment.

      Since Coldhands isn’t otherwise on the show (in that there is no elk-riding wight who saves Sam and Gilly, escorts Bran and team north) I think it’s fair to say that Benjen is Coldhands in the show. We don’t know in the books, and I know there’s some external-to-the-books evidence from GRRM that Coldhands is not Benjen. But we don’t know yet from the books. I kind of still think that Coldhands is Benjen in the books. Kind of.

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    21. ManderlyPieCompany:
      You joke about the contract reasons (you’re probably right) but I feel like they brought him in to possibly cover up a visual effects mistake or a reshoot went bad. Then after all was said and done it felt really hastily done.

      They really should have had Bran contact Benjen via raven in the beginning of the episode and Bran could have sent him to protect Jon and his companions. The lack of Bran when it matters after all that Bran has been built up to be is really a let down.

      I don’t disagree with you. I’d love to have seen Bran sending Benjen ravens (without messages on their legs, because none would be needed.)

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    22. onefromaway:
      Enjoyed the post!I agree with the NK, a story would be nice! I suppose it will come when D&D or GRRM are ready to tell it.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post! I appreciate you letting me know. And especially you working in the Night’s King into your reply.

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    23. Wimsey: Almost certainly not.One, if you want something kept secret, then don’t tell anyone.It’s not just about “trusting” them: it’s about making sure that they naturally behave as if the official truth is the truth.We see that with Catelyn: having her be horrid to Jon was a great smokescreen.

      Two, why shatter Benjen’s illusions about his older sister?It almost certainly was bad enough for Ned to know that his sister behaved so dishonorably, and having to live with a tangible reminder of that dishonor would have been a constant gall for him.Why make Benjen endure that, too?

      I tend to agree with you. I bring up these questions, not only to get answers like yours that I agree with, but for people to air their theories that Benjen knew, getting messages from Lyanna but unable to get details to Ned out in the field. (These aren’t theories I tend to buy into, so don’t ask me to defend them, because I won’t.)

      I prefer to think that Ned was full-on committed to keeping the secret. But if Benjen did know, and he was equally committed to keeping Jon safe for Lyanna, it puts an interesting wrinkle on him not wanting Jon to go ranging – like he was also instrumental in suggesting Jon for steward duty to Jeor Mormont.

      That’s totally speculation, and not even something I believe, but I like to consider these things.

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    24. Ten Bears:
      ” Jon’s story doesn’t track exactly with Nan’s tale of the Last Hero. Most of his companions had escaped (RIP Thoros of Myr and five unlucky and nameless wildlings), his canine buddy Ghost was safe at Winterfell, Jon hadn’t even been riding on a horse, and he was even one up on the Last Hero by having a much hardier sword.”
      —————-

      Well, to be fair Jon DID have a dog with him: his new canine buddy The Hound.
      However, I would imagine Old Nan’s Last Hero story did not include a companion who threw rocks at wights and called them “dumb c*nts.”

      Including the Hound as the Last Hero “dog” is very clever, thank you!

      Today, someone told me that Meera Reed is also a Last Hero archetype, since she lost her brother, Hodor, Summer, and even lost the last of her companions, Bran.

      Meera: You died in that cave!

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    25. Jon: So what are you fighting for?
      Beric: Life. Death is the enemy. The first enemy, and the last.
      Euron: Are you guys talking about storms?
      Beric: No.
      Euron: Sorry. I’ll bugger off then. Nice eyepatch.

      THIS! Just made my day, Patrick 😀

      Great article on the Second-to-Last Hero. Even though he didn’t get many seconds onscreen, it’s amazing how a character (cue the actor) can have such an impact on the audience from off screen… Considering most of the GoT casting has been great, Mawle was (cold)hands down just the perfect choice for Benjen! He and his possible lost knowledge will be missed…

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    26. Dead Dane Walking,

      🙂

      I’m glad you liked my surprise inclusion of Euron into the Beric/Jon conversation…

      Thanks for reading the article and commenting, you and I have similar thoughts on the performance by Jason Mawle, a great job for a small amount of screentime in the series.

      (Thumbs up for the (cold)hands reference. YES.)

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    27. I don’t know about you but Benjen always looks like he is half-death. And how could he have survived for so long on his own? And he does know the children of the forest. Is any of you believing the possibility that the children of the forest, probably by using dragonglass, stopped him ‘turning’ into a Wight in the middle of the process, therefore giving him the almost-dead appearance but yet making him immune to turn into one of them?

      It makes me think of the ironborn motto “What is dead may never die” which always make me believe they are immune as well

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    28. elnauze:
      I don’t know about you but Benjen always looks like he is half-death. And how could he have survived for so long on his own? And he does know the children of the forest. Is any of you believing the possibility that the children of the forest, probably by using dragonglass, stopped him ‘turning’ into a Wight in the middle of the process, therefore giving him the almost-dead appearance but yet making him immune to turn into one of them?

      It makes me think of the ironborn motto “What is dead may never die” which always make me believe they are immune as well

      Benjen tells the story of the Children and the dragonglass, and his actual state of being is up for question. He’s not a mindless wight, but he’s no longer a normal human being.

      He can set his flail on fire, so that’s magical.

      But Benjen says that he’s a dead man. He told Bran that the wards on the Wall that prevent the dead from passing apply to him as well. So in some ways, he’s a magically animated dead man.

      I’d like to think that he can’t be killed, but like Beric who was also brought back from the dead, he probably can be so wrecked up that the spell of the frozen fire that’s animating him (the Valyrian word for obsidian is ‘frozen fire’) would fail, and he’d die.

      But I like this speculation. I’d be up for Benjen Stark being unbreakable.

      Unbreakable! He’s alive dammit!
      It’s a miracle!
      Unbreakable! He’s alive, dammit.
      Benjen is strong as hell!

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    29. Appreciate in return you liked the (Cold)hands reference…it was just too obvious to let that one pass! 😉

      What I especially liked is how you made Euron unnaturally humble and friendly with just one short sentence 😂 I’ve seen the scene so vividly play out in front of me several times during the day and I chuckle a bit every single time!

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    30. Dead Dane Walking:
      Appreciate in return you liked the (Cold)hands reference…it was just too obvious to let that one pass!

      What I especially liked is how you made Euron unnaturally humble and friendly with just one short sentence I’ve seen the scene so vividly play out in front of me several times during the day and I chuckle a bit every single time!

      I’m very pleased to hear this, thanks!

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    31. elnauze,

      I too cannot let go of that thought, so thanks for bringing it up. Being animated by the frozen fire like the NK himself, I actually picture Benjen more like him. Not quite as equals since Benjen was half-turned, when the CotF saved him, but at least not like the wights. In addition both were animated by the same powerful magic and use of obsidian by the CotF (as the only two in the entire show, I imagine). I would think he’s also immune to fire as well…especially since it’s his own choice of weapon against the wights.

      The only two ways I see him dead is that the wights mau(w)led – almost did it again Patrick 😜 – him to death, thereby separating the obsidian from his body OR the NK somehow killing him personally with whatever means he can think of.

      All nice uplifting thoughts (Oh what I wouldn’t give to see him one last time), but I do expect, that was it… His second and final sacrifice to save the nephews, bound to save the Realms of Men… R.I.P.

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