Benjen Stark is the First Ranger of the Night's Watch. He embarks on a ranging north of the Wall, and does not return.
Benjen Stark is the youngest son of Lord Rickard Stark. Rickard was the head of House Stark and Lord Paramount of the North. The North is one of the constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms and House Stark is one of the Great Houses of the realm. House Stark rule the region from their seat of Winterfell and Rickard also held the title Lord of Winterfell.
Benjen is the younger brother of Brandon, Eddard and Lyanna. Rickard, Brandon and Lyanna were all killed in the civil war known as Robert's Rebellion. Eddard inherited his father's titles and responsibilities.
Benjen joined the Night's Watch, the military force which patrols the Wall and guards the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms. He earned the rank of First Ranger. Benjen is a hero to Eddard's bastard son Jon Snow.
Benjen travels south from the Wall to join in the feast welcoming King Robert Baratheon to Winterfell. He brings news about ill omens from beyond the Wall. Benjen tells Eddard that the young deserter he executed was a good and loyal man, a true ranger who would not desert his post lightly. He invites his nephew Jon Snow to join the Night's Watch; Jon agrees despite Benjen's warning that it is a hard life. Eddard agrees to become the Hand of the King. A few days later, the royal party heads south. Benjen accompanies them to the Kingsroad and then escorts Jon and Tyrion Lannister north to Castle Black. Along the way they are joined by fresh recruits, including a rapist named Rast. Jon begins to realize that the Watch may not be the noble institution he thought it was.
Upon arriving at Castle Black Jon begins his training. Benjen tells Jon that he is going north of the Wall on a ranging. Jon asks to go with him, but Benjen tells him that he is not ready and cautions that on the Wall a man only gets what he earns, not what his birth entitles him to. Benjen says farewell to his friend Yoren, a recruiter for the Watch. He also exchanges words with Tyrion, who is about to head south with Yoren. Benjen feels that Tyrion holds the Watch in disregard despite Tyrion's protests to the contrary.
Catelyn Stark takes Tyrion prisoner at the Crossroads Inn believing he attempted to kill her son, Bran. Because of his friendship with Benjen, Yoren rides on to King's Landing and reports Catelyn's actions to Eddard.
Benjen's horse returns to Castle Black, but there is no sign of Benjen himself. Shortly afterwards, two of the rangers who accompanied Benjen, Othor and Jafer Flowers, are found dead in the forest beyond the Wall. They are brought back to Castle Black for Maester Aemon to study, but in the middle of the night they reanimate as wights. Both are killed again and their bodies are burned. Lord Commander Jeor Mormont vows to take the Watch beyond the Wall in force to investigate what's going on and promises Jon that they will find Benjen alive or dead.
Benjen appears in a vision experienced by Bran Stark. Benjen is shown training with Ned under a young Rodrik Cassel in the courtyard of Winterfell, though his skills are far inferior to Ned's. Lyanna appears and playfully teases Benjen about not having a sparring partner after Ned goes to the Eyrie, and suggests that Hodor, then known as Wylis, take up swordplay. Benjen almost has a match with Hodor, who is led away by Old Nan.
Benjen is seen later in another of Bran's visions saying goodbye to Ned shortly before the latter heads off to the Vale.
Beyond the Wall, when Bran and Meera Reed are being chased by an army of wights, a hooded figure with a concealed face arrives atop a horse, wielding a flaming chain, to burn the wights and rescue the pair. When the wights become too numerous to fight off, he pulls Bran and Meera onto his horse and rides away. The next day, the hooded man feeds Bran the blood of a dead rabbit, and says he arrived to help because the three-eyed raven requested it. When questioned on his identity, he pulls down his scarf and hood, revealing himself as Benjen Stark. Benjen explains that, during his fateful ranging beyond the wall, he was attacked by White Walkers, one of whom shoved an ice spear into his gut and left him for dead. He was discovered by the Children of the Forest, who saved him and stopped him from becoming a wight by shoving a piece of dragonglass into his chest.
Ned's younger brother and First Ranger of the Night's Watch, Benjen Stark is also a hero of Jon Snow's. While on a ranging expedition, he was attacked by White Walkers and left to die. The Children of the Forest found Benjen and stopped the dark magic from fully taking hold. Years later, Benjen saved Bran and Meera from a wight attack after they fled from the Night King. He escorted them to the wall but could not pass through it, and vowed to help their fight in other ways.