SerArthurHeath, on 11 May 2011 - 06:27 PM, said:
As long as Jaime kicks Ned's butt. As much as I like Ned and his new, more badass threats etc, if they try to make him equal or beat Jaime in swordplay, it will effectively ruin later story where Jaime being amazing as a swordsman and losing to Brienne and then losing it all is incredibly important to his character and he needs to be established in the TV show as excellent to make this fly. Plus then all the new viewers (who have been guessing that Ned will beat him and that his whole "I don't do tourneys so that when I fight a man he doesn't know what I can do" spiel means he is amazing) will get a lovely shock in discovering that Jaime may be arrogant but that's because he is the best
When I watched Episode 4 on HBO GO, one of the extras was a clip from David Benioff called "A Warrior at Court" about how Ned is a soldier (or a general), not a politician, and he says something to the effect of "Ned is the best soldier in the land." Now I suppose that's different from saying that he's best swordsman in the land, but it's definitely a different characterization of Ned than in the book.