What's interesting is that although the old gods and R'hllor seem to be at odds, the Knights of the Hollow Hill (followers of the Lord of Light) seem to have made their base under a weirwood tree. Then in another Arya chapter, you have Thoros being able to gaze into the fire (albeit weakly) at High Heart, a place where the old gods magic is said to have lingered. That would reinforce the idea that magic is magic, and different religions are simply harnessing that power.
Though I'd say that there's more in common with the old gods of the North and the FM of Braavos, tbh.
”I came down to Storm’s End to lift the siege,” Ned told them, “and the Lords Tyrell and Redwyne dipped their banners, and all their knights bent the knee to pledge us fealty. I was certain you would be among them.” "Our knees do not bend easily,” said Ser Arthur Dayne.
I have to say, thank you for this thread, Butterbumps!. The reason why I am rather weary of participating in R+L threads are because people are so quick to assign blame to one party or the other when there is so much pertinent information to the story that's obviously missing.
As for Benjen joining the NW, I'm quoting this from the "World of Ice and Fire" app:
"Lord Rickard Stark's youngest son is present with his siblings at the great tourney at Harrenhal when a brother of the Night's Watch appears to beg the gathered chivalry to take the black. It is a plea Benjen takes to heart. He remains at Winterfell throughout Robert's Rebellion, but once Eddard is back ruling Winterfell, with his sons Robb and Jon ensuring the continuation of the Stark lineage, Benjen joins the Watch."
It seems as if he was genuinely interested in the NW, but I can also see how it would also serve as a means to remove himself from the past (aka Lyanna and RR).