Bannen perishes while at Craster's Keep and a funeral is held by his sworn brothers. Grenn says he's surprised a broken foot could kill a man. Rast, however, points out that Craster functionally starved him to death by giving them as little food as possible.
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Bannen is one of survivors of the battle at the Fist of the First Men who make it to Craster's Keep. He and eleven others are critically wounded. Sam and Giant try to treat him and the other injured men, but the medicine bags have been lost during the battle, thus all they can do is keep the wounded dry and warm and feed them. The ranger Kedge Whiteye has taken Bannen's mangled foot, but it is too little and too late. Bannen keeps saying "I'm cold. I'm so cold". Sam tries to feed him onion broth, but he cannot swallow. Craster nastily comments "That one's dead. Be kinder to stick a knife in his chest than that spoon down his throat, you ask me".
After lying in agony at least nine days, Bannen dies of his injuries, much as he did in the TV series. In the book it is Dirk who blames Craster in Bannen's death.