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.

  • 8
    Spam! Advertising Uncle Ben's! Just kidding ;-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 15:05
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    I sense a plot to endorse the Uncle Ben rice order. ;)
    – TLP
    Commented Mar 26, 2016 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. Commented Mar 27, 2016 at 12:24
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    Well whose to say Peter's uncle Ben will stay dead? Bucky and Jason are alive ... Commented Mar 28, 2016 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. Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 20:50

1 Answer 1


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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