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 than 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 able to figure out the code on the back of the first book.
Mr. Benedict is a technological and strategic genius. His areas of specialties include acoustics, waveforms, hypnosis, puzzles, 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 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. To celebrate, Mr. Benedict had planned a surprise — a series of riddles and clues — for them, one that would lead them accross a few continents. However, when the children arrived at his home, they found out from Rhonda that Number Two and Mr. Benedict had been kidnapped by Mr. Curtain. Eventually, they manage to save Mr. Benedict, and return to his home safely.
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 narcolepsy.