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There seems to be a trend of Uncles Ben who inspire a protagonist and then die (or at least appear to), inspiring them some more:

  • Spider-Man's Uncle Ben
  • Luke Skywalker's "uncle" Ben Kenobi (uncle in role even if not labeled such)
  • Jon Snow's Uncle Benjen (who may or may not be alive)

Are there more Uncles Ben we can add to this list?

And is there any evidence that any of the Bens were named by their writers in homage to earlier examples?

I suspect the Star Wars case is coincidental, but G.R.R. Martin could have done it on purpose; it would not be out of character for him.


There is a John Carter character called "uncle Ben" or "old Ben" which would precede all of the above cases. He, however, does not seem to inspire or tragically die, that we know of.

closed as off-topic by CBredlow, Blackwood, Möoz, Bamboo, Ward - Reinstate Monica Jan 24 '17 at 5:57

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    Spam! Advertising Uncle Ben's! Just kidding ;-) – Rand al'Thor Mar 26 '16 at 15:05
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    I sense a plot to endorse the Uncle Ben rice order. ;) – TLP Mar 26 '16 at 15:35
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    @JoshuaBigbee your words "who inspire a protagonist and then die". You might want to reword that because as I said we don't know what happened to him yet. – The Giant of Lannister Mar 27 '16 at 12:24
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    Well whose to say Peter's uncle Ben will stay dead? Bucky and Jason are alive ... – System Down Mar 28 '16 at 16:01
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    @Joshua: I didn’t intend to criticise you, although I do think I was a bit generous when I said “three” — Ben Kenobi isn’t an Uncle, and Uncle Benjen isn’t a Ben! I like the idea though. – Paul D. Waite Nov 24 '16 at 20:50
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Considering that Ben is the short for Benjamin, Bennett, Benedict... which are common names in english speaking countries, I would say is a coincidence.

Source : https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/popularnames.cgi

You could probably do the same with another name and find some similitudes if you want.

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