Nicholas Benedict is a distinguished man with narcolepsy, a condition which causes him to fall asleep whenever he experiences strong emotion, especially laughter.
He is an important character in the Mysterious Benedict Society trilogy.
Mr. Benedict is the main character of The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict. In this novel he is nine years old.
Mr. Benedict has white hair and a very bulbous nose that is desribed more then once as a vegetable. He is generally unshaven or, when he remembers to shave, is covered in cuts because of his haste. He is an average looking man, but his wit is high above average. He is always wearing a green plaid suit, or something else green plaid, because it supposedly calms down his narcolepsy. In The Prisoner's Dilemma, after his narcolepsy was cured by Constance, he supposedly wears several other outfits.
In the Mysterious Benedict Society's companion book, Mr. Benedict is revealed to have blonde hair when he was younger.
Mr. Benedict is a very fun-loving, yet serious man who enjoys laughing a great deal. He believes that all children should learn and play in safety and is a very decent person, vaguely reminiscent of Lemony Snicket's Uncle Monty. He is a technical genius and the adopted father of Constance Contraire, Rhonda Kazembe, and Number Two. He is an excellent chess player, wise mentor, and wonderful friend who is very trustworthy. He would rather give his own life than let someone he loves be hurt. Mr. Benedict is an honorable character.
Mr. Benedict's first name is not revealed until the second book, unless you are very smart and figure out the code on the back of the first book (-. .. -.-. .... --- .-.. .- ...) which spells out "Nicholas".
Mr. Benedict is a technological and strategic genius. His areas of specialties include acoustics, waveforms, hypnosis and the human brain. He is also skilled at predicting the behavior of children such as Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance.
The Mysterious Benedict Society Edit
- Mr. Benedict makes a series of tests to find gifted children to assist him in stopping Ledroptha Curtain, who is carefully plotting to rule the world. He puts an ad in the newspaper, and he gets four very gifted children that he could have only hoped for - Reynie Muldoon, Sticky Washington, Kate Wetherall, and Constance Contraire. He explains to the children that he has narcolepsy, and falls asleep when he feels a strong wave of emotion. Mr. Benedict also tells them their job; to go to the Institute and stop Ledroptha Curtain.
- While the children are at the Institute, they tell him that Ledroptha Curtain is his twin brother. They keep sending him messages updating him on the situation, and eventually he gives them the advice to make their final move to stop Mr. Curtain - leaving it up to the children to decide what that move actually is. At the end he comes swooping in with Rhonda Kazembe and Number 2 to help disable the Whisperer, staying behind to terminate it. The others are forced to leave without him, but take a sleeping Mr. Curtain with them. Mr. Benedict follows them disguised as his brother, misleading his brother's henchmen to join his friends, though Mr. Curtain has escaped. He was grateful that Reynie could discern him from Mr. Curtain and therefore avoided getting a tranquilizer dart to the shoulder. Our heroes go home without a hitch and stay at Mr. Benedict's home for a while. He eventually adopts Constance, for she was the only child of the four without parents. The children are split up with their families sometime between the first book and the sequel.
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey Edit
In this book, Mr. Benedict and Number Two were kidnapped by Ledroptha Curtain (Mr. Benedict's twin brother).Before this, he set up a treasure hunt for Constance Contraire, Sticky Washington, Reynie Muldoon, and Kate Wetherall.
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's DilemmaEdit
The children are starting to feel oppressed in Mr. Benedict's home because they are rarely allowed in the fenced in backyard and never are allowed to run errands with the adults. This is for their own safety, of course, but they still feel trapped. Mr. Benedict provides challenges to keep their minds sharp, including the prisoner's dilemma scenario, which is where the book starts.He loses narcolopsy.
- In The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, the children come together on their one year anniversary of the events of the first novel to visit Mr. Benedict and his family. The children suspect that Mr. Benedict has set up some sort of surprise for them to celebrate. They get to his home only to find out from Rhonda that Number Two and Mr. Benedict have been kidnapped by Mr. Curtain. It is revealed that Mr. Benedict had been planning a series of riddles and clues leading the children across a few continents and testing their clever minds once more. Mr. Curtain apprehended them at the final meeting point and captured them. The children quickly decide that they will follow the clues and go to Mr. Benedict's aid in secret. They sneak out of the house and solve the first clue - to take The Shortcut, the new cargo ship captained by Mr. Benedict's old Navy friend, Phil Noland. Within a few days they land in Portugal, where the children are dismayed to find that Ten Men are stationed on the journey's trail to catch them. At the destination of the next clue a couple Ten Men catch up with them, and Kate holds them off long enough for Milligan to suddenly arrive (his first appearance thus far) and whisk them away to safety. He accompanies them to a remote island in the middle of the ocean where Mr. Curtain has Mr. Benedict and Number Two held. The children are baffled by one of the last clues, and stay at the village where they were supposed to meet their mentors. At night they keep watch at the top of the silo in the middle of the village, and Number Two is revealed to have escaped. However, she is malnourished and injured, and cannot give much information as to what's going on. After getting captured by Ten Men and making an escape, the children get to the mountain cave where Mr. Curtain is stationed. The villainous man tricks the children into thinking he's Mr. Benedict and quickly handcuffs them to the cave wall. Mr. Benedict is brought out and calmly attempts to negotiate with his brother, but then McCraken appears to report that Milligan jumped off a cliff to avoid capture. Kate bursts into tears, and when Mr. Benedict tries to comfort her he falls asleep in his grief. Later, when the children are left alone, Kate is optimistic as usual and tells her friends that Milligan would never have jumped to his death - not if they were still in danger. So when Mr. Benedict hypnotizes S.Q. to give them the key, the children and he makes their escape. They make their way to the edge of the island and discover Milligan, who is terribly injured but had been trying to crawl back to save them. He says he'd been to that cliff before and saw the bottom was all mud and about a 50 foot drop. He sheepishly admits he'd made a slight misjudgement in the darkness and ended up hurting himself. Against his wishes they bring him with them, and when they get to the beach Captain Noland grounds his ship to distract Curtain and the Ten Men. All the passengers and our heroes hide in the hold at the bottom of the ship to protect themselves from the villains. When their location is discovered Constance cries out that they've set an explosive to dislodge the door just as the Coast Guard arrives. Kate takes the explosive and almost throws it at Mr. Curtain, who's on the shore, but instead throws it into the ocean, reasoning that to kill them would bring her as low as them. Mr. Curtain therefore goes uncaptured and escapes, but everyone is safe and sound. When they return home Mr. Benedict insists that they all stay at his home to ensure everyone's safety.