Benjen Stark is a bit of a fling in the Stark family tree, but he is an important member of the family. The youngest child of Lord Rickard and Lady Lyarra Stark, he took part with his older siblings in the crucial Harrenhal Tournament that led to Robert’s Rebellion. There, he and Lyanna saved Howland Reed from attack and forged a bond of loyalty between their houses that would pay dividends throughout the war.
This was also the festival where Benjen first thought of joining the Night’s Watch. While he served at his older brother’s side during Robert’s rebellion and fought to avenge the rest of their family, he did not stay at Winterfell long afterward. After Ned returned north, Benjen made his way to the Wall and Castle Black, eventually rising to the prestigious rank of First Ranger with the Night’s Watch.
Of course, Benjen often returned to Winterfell. During a visit to a festival in honor of King Robert – the gathering at the very beginning of “Game of Thrones” – he speaks with Jon Snow about joining the Night’s Watch himself. Although he initially stops Jon from joining, he later helps him put on the black robes. During a mission north of the Wall, Benjen goes missing and is presumed dead. However, it is later revealed in Game of Thrones that he survived and aided Bran and Jon several times before sacrificially dying. This differs from the books in which Benjen has not reappeared.