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Zenefertiti

Do we find out why Benjen Stark joined the Night Watch?

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Just wondering :) I'm loving the series, I've read a GoT and aCoK .. and this forum!

Taking into account everything we know about the Starks and Benjen and the Wall (from the first two books) do we find out why Benjen went there? Was it for honour? Did he do something bad?

If we find out later in the series, please just say that - otherwise, what are your ideas???

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I am on A Dance with Dragons right now and unless I missed something I don't believe you ever find out the exact reason why Benjen joined the Watch

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Maybe because Benjen was 3rd in line after Brandon & Eddard, so he figured he had no claims ??

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AFAIK, there's no explicit reason given, but he was a third son, and the Starks considered it an honourable calling. I guess we're meant to assume that those two points explain Benjen's motives.

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that makes sense - being of the ' north' where the Starks had been for centuries.. and reasonably believing he wouldnt have a claim to Winterfell being the third born.. I was just wondering if there was some kind of scandal involved!

I made the mistake of looking up the Starks in wikipedia - now I wish I hadnt, because of the shocking future storylines for 3 of the members! Of course I wont mention it here, but yeah.. i didnt see that coming, and now, when I read aSoS .. I know what is coming :( couldnt help myself!

note to self - dont look it up on wikipedia :)

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The Starks had been kings/wardens/whatever of north for thousands of years. For that to be possible all the extra Stark males had to go somewhere. Otherwise there'd literally be millions of them running around.

I imagine after the succession is secured the spare heir would be told he could join the watch or some other no-marriage monestary, or he could go under the knife.

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He hasn't yet explained it but I believe GRRM said we will get one before the series is done.

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Maybe because Benjen was 3rd in line after Brandon & Eddard, so he figured he had no claims ??

Brandon died before Robert's Rebellion, BenJen did not go to the Wall until Ned returned from war. At this time Catelyn had given birth so Ben Jen was 3rd in line but behind Ned and Robb.

My feeling is that BenJen went to the Wall out of guilt for his role in the events leading up to the rebellion.

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Hello. I'm new. First post!

So, I wondered if, in addition to all the reasons stated above, that Benjen, like Eddard, had a guilty secret. For this to ring true with you, you'd need to be on board with R + L = J and that Rhaegar and Lyanna eloped, in love.

We know that Lyanna had doubts about her match with Robert, and she shared these with her elder brother Ned, though Ned was Robert's best friend. But I can imagine her being reluctant to open up to Ned that she was in love with someone else - Rhaegar - knowing full well the scandal that would create (Rhaegar already being married and a father). Also, recalling that Ned had spent part of his youth fostered as a ward of Jon Arryn, so the closeness that might have been there between Ned and Lyanna when they were younger would perhaps have faded.

However, perhaps the younger brother stumbled on Lyanna's secret? Perhaps he saw the lovers together at Winterfell? Perhaps Lyanna swore him to secrecy. Later, when Lyanna eloped with Rhaegar, Brandon ran off after her, then Rickard and war erupted, all events traceable to this secret liaison, Benjen would have been racked with guilt. He may have even guessed, when Ned returned from the war with a bastard child, that this was Lyanna's lovechild, not Ned's. He may have opened up to Ned, or decided to keep his secret, but as a form of self-punishment, he took the black.

Does it say anywhere how old Benjen was when the war started? Is he the youngest child, or the brother just above Lyanna in age?

I seem to remember a song/story told within the text that foreshadows this - that someone knew Lyanna's secret love - but I can't remember which book/chapter it was in, or even if I imagined it!

But there, my theory is that Benjen joined the NW as penance for his own guilt and secrets about Lyanna and Rhaegar.

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Hello. I'm new. First post!

(snip)

But there, my theory is that Benjen joined the NW as penance for his own guilt and secrets about Lyanna and Rhaegar.

Hello Lupomostro.

Nice thinking about a possible role of Benjen.

This has been discussed before. I don't have a thread link at hand but the search box will lead you to more threads where this possibility is discussed.

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Does it say anywhere how old Benjen was when the war started? Is he the youngest child, or the brother just above Lyanna in age?

Benjen is the youngest, Brandon - Ned / Lyanna - Benjen.

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Hi FanTasy

Benjen is the youngest, Brandon - Ned / Lyanna - Benjen.

Thanks. That was what I thought, but couldn't remember where I'd picked that up.

The idea of Benjen and Ned both having secrets and guilt associated with keeping them from the people they love iis a symmetry I like :)

I will search this site for more on Benjen and Lyanna, thanks.

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I'm curious aswell, but I think the above mentioned theories are acceptable. Maybe we find out why he joined the Night Watch when he's found again.

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Why I do think Benjen may have had multible reasons, I believe it was very common far a Stark to join the NW. There probably has been a Stark manning the Wall since it's been built.

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Northmen seem to really respect the Watch, its almost like a King's guard thing to them (though without the knighthood, something few Northmen do) it seems to me. So for a third son who will not inherit, it seems to make sense.

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how old was ben during the time of the tourney of harrenhal? was he too young to have been the one who got ashara dayne with child..?

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Benjen was at Winterfell until Ned returned because he was still basically a boy, wasn't he? He was the youngest of all the Stark children.

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When Meera and Jojen tell Bran the story about the wolves at the Tourney at Harrenhal, they said something about a Black Brother coming to speak to all the guests. Although Benjen was just a 'pup', he may have made his mind up back then, being at an impressionable age.

And then there's the whole R+L=J thing.

edit:

SSM covers this too - GRRM is obviously not done with Benjen

[Why did Benjen join the Night's Watch?]

Good question. One day you will get an answer. But it will not be today.

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/2997/

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Great find HyacinthGirl

I guess we will just have to wait for the answer.

although im now certain that this will be an exciting and controversial reveal.

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When Meera and Jojen tell Bran the story about the wolves at the Tourney at Harrenhal, they said something about a Black Brother coming to speak to all the guests. Although Benjen was just a 'pup', he may have made his mind up back then, being at an impressionable age.

And then there's the whole R+L=J thing.

edit:

SSM covers this too - GRRM is obviously not done with Benjen

[Why did Benjen join the Night's Watch?]

Good question. One day you will get an answer. But it will not be today.

http://www.westeros....SSM/Entry/2997/

I'm so curious about this right now.

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