In "Beyond the Wall" (Game of Thrones, S07E06) ...

... when Jon was in trouble, Benjen Stark came and rescued him and helped Jon escape on his horse.

Why didn't Benjen tag along on the same horse and escape?

Why did he choose to fight the wights, which is almost suicidal?

I suppose this is the same horse with which Benjen Stark saved Bran and Meera in "Blood of My Blood" (S06E06).

So why not do the same here?

  • 13
    Why did he chose to fight wights which is almost suicidal? Hm. He's already dead - suicidal is one of those things he isn't all that worried about, I'm sure. Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 7:25
  • 7
    The whole "capture an undead" plotline was clunky and ill-conceived. I wouldn't look too hard for logic and reason in it, beyond an excuse to show characters people like fighting zombies.
    – Steve
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 19:53
  • 2
    Because George RR Martin is no longer writing the story.
    – Chloe
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 22:30

1 Answer 1

  1. He can't cross the wall anyway

    BENJEN: This is where I leave you.

    BRAN: You're not coming with us?

    BENJEN: The Wall is not just ice and stone. Ancient spells were carved into its foundations. Strong magic to protect men from what lies beyond. And while it stands, the dead cannot pass. I cannot pass.
    —"Winds of Winter" (Game of Thrones, S06E10)

  2. He would slow Jon down on the horse, lowering his already tiny chance of survival

  3. This way he can distract the dead, increasing Jon's survival chance

    Benjen's distraction of the army of the dead for Jon Snow, "Beyond the Wall" (Game of Thrones, S07E06)

    BENJEN: You ride for the pass.

    JON: Come with me.

    BENJEN: There's no time. Go! (SLAPS HORSE)
    —"Beyond the Wall" (Game of Thrones, S07E06)

  4. Benjen probably wants to finally die, anyway

    As mentioned by show creator, writer and producer David Benioff in "Game of Thrones: Season 7 Episode 6: Inside the Episode (HBO)":

    DAVID BENIOFF: For Coldhands I think it's almost a relief in some ways because he's been trapped in this kind of purgatory state between life and death for quite some time.
    —Game of Thrones: Season 7 Episode 6: Inside the Episode (HBO)

    Benjen's "life" as a walking corpse must be quite miserable (being corpse-like, being stuck north of the Wall as a solitary being who exists only to do as the Three-eyed Raven instructed - which consists mainly of hunting zombies and saving Bran, for all we know), so this honourable ending to his miserable existence must be a satisfying way for his character to finally find peace (that is: assuming he doesn't now become a wight for the Army of the Dead and/or therefore miss his chance to find peace in death - somehow I feel that being less conscious, which the wights seem to be, is better)

  • 10
    If he could not pass - so they also cannot take undead with them to show Cersei?
    – Jan Ivan
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 11:16
  • 6
    @JanIvan That's an interesting point. You should ask it as a question. Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 11:26
  • 5
    The one that wakes up in Castle Black was not undead when the body came through, so it passed as a body, not as a wight. Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 11:59
  • 3
    @ThomasYates it's the same basic issue as the "rule of two" in Star Wars -- treated as inviolable because Yoda said it was a rule, but there seems to be no basis for it being anything other than something an ancient Sith made up, so it can be ignored just as easily. Same basic deal here - don't get hung up on the literal understanding.
    – Moo
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 13:00
  • 2
    @Taegost - probably the magic binds those created by ice magic, not fire magic. Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 16:26

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