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Ned put his honor above the safety and happiness of his family.


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#1 GGK1986

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 06:40 AM

Two points I would like to adress;

The first is Ned's choice to keep the secret about Jon from Catelyn. He knew this made her very uncomfortable and even ashamed, to have her Lord husband's bastard growing up before her eyes.
Assuming that R+L=J is true, he could have told his wife and made her swear to keep it a secret. This way Catelyn would not be miserable for all those years, and neither would Jon.
He chose to keep his promise to Lyanna, knowing the effects it would have/had on Catelyn and Jon.

I would like to point out that, in my honest opinion, I have just stated facts up untill now, and not given any judgement, just facts and possibilities.

The second is Ned's choice to refuse both Renly Baratheon and Littlefinger when he already confronted Cersei about her bastard-children. First he chose not to bother his friend Robert on his deathbed with the ugly truth, then he rejected Renly's offer to take the crown, saying that he does not want to frighten children in the night.
After Robert died, when he meant to overthrow Joffrey and Cersei and do 'the honorable thing', he rejected Littlefingers offer to leave things be for the moment and keep the peace.
During all this, he knew his daughters were closeby and especially Sansa was in Cersei's clutches.

Now, for my opinion: I think it is rather selfish to hold your own values and honor so highly, when you can see the effect it has or can have. Personally (regarding my first point) I think GRRM made Ned not tell Catelyn, is because she would have thought of the details in her POV, and therefore she had to be in the dark).

Regarding my second point; I can respect and even approve of his decision not to tell Robert about his non-children on his deathbed. It would not have made such a big difference, anyway, I think, with Cersei already rising to power.
However, I think Ned is a naive fool for turning down two opportunities to get out of King's Landing to bring his daughters to safety.
If he would have taken Renly's offer and overthrow Cersei and her children, sure; they would have to deal with Jaime (but I think ser Barristan would have been able to deal with him, or Ned himself) and later Tywin would have raised his banners, but they would have been able to beat an incoming Tywin Lannister with the full support of King's Landing, the Stormlands, Riverlands and the North, I reckon.
If he would have taken Littlefinger's offer and pledge fealty to Joffrey, he would ofcourse have done something that goes against everything he believed in. But it would have meant his daughters would be safe, it would have meant no war. The Lannisters would still be in charge, ofcourse, and his life would be in danger, but there would be ways to solve that.
I even think he and Cersei could have worked things out that he resigned as Hand, returned home as Warden of the North with both his daughters, Cersei would have made sure the betrothal would have been canceled in some way.

But.. Our dearest Ned chose to follow his sense of honor in both points, regardless of the consequenses..

Now my question to you; am I the only one to deem this naive, stupid and most of al: selfish?

Would love your thoughts.

#2 not in the face

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 06:49 AM

I think Ned was operating on a plan that we will not know about until Howland Reed shows up.

#3 hodor stark

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 06:49 AM

i dont know if it was selfish but definatley naive i mean he put honor above everything else if you want to play the game of thrones(wich ned was now playing wether he liked it or not) u need to do things that u dont really like doing but ned was an honorable fool he should of resigned and went north war would have come then he could of joined stannis cause the man he knew was rightful heir to the throne.

#4 Queen Daenerys

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 06:55 AM

I don't agree with the concept of honor above everything else, including family. What makes me like Ned is that I believe Ned put his family before his honor.

On your first point, you can see it that way, but I interpret the fact that Ned didn't tell Catelyn as a proof he valued the safety of his family more than his honor: By not telling Cat, he accepted to be seen by his wife as non honorable, bringing a bastard home, to protect Jon. (I believe he could have told her though, )

I kind of agree with your second point, but his naivety made him believe he could handle the situation without putting his family in danger. When he was put to jail and knew it was over though, he accepted to "admit" he was a traitor to save his daughter's lives, .

#5 GGK1986

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 06:59 AM

I don't agree with the concept of honor above everything else, including family. What makes me like Ned is that I believe Ned put his family before his honor.

On your first point, you can see it that way, but I interpret the fact that Ned didn't tell Catelyn as a proof he valued the safety of his family more than his honor: By not telling Cat, he accepted to be seen by his wife as non honorable, bringing a bastard home, to protect Jon. (I believe he could have told her though, )

I kind of agree with your second point, but his naivety made him believe he could handle the situation without putting his family in danger. When he was put to jail and knew it was over though, he accepted to "admit" he was a traitor to save his daughter's lives, .


I don't see how bringing Jon home as his bastard could be providing safety for his family. Ofcourse, the secret had to be kept for the sake of his family, but surely he could have told Catelyn? Made her promise on her honor as a Tully and a Stark that she keeps it a secret.
Would have made Catelyn happy and Jon too.

I

#6 thelittledragonthatcould

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:10 AM

re: Ned and bastards. What I don't understand is not informing Robert while he is alive and can actually do something about it, whether its agree or disagree, but instead wait till after he's dead and make it look like a power grab against a family he is already at war with.

My second point is that after 2 decades of keeping the secret of the origins of his own bastard decides that it is now not noble when someone else has a bastard and decides to tell the world, a little too late, and screw the inevitable consequences(warwarwar) this will have on the general populace. Only when his own life and maybe Sansa's does he suddenly decide it is not the greater good.

Add in his whole deceiving the Kings last ever command to suit his own agenda and it makes Ned a little more gray. Which is excellent as it adds a lot more depth to a still good man.

#7 GCabot

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:12 AM

I agree that Ned made some stupid and naive choices, but IMO that Ned keeps his honor and integrity intact for so long in the faces of such terrible consequences is exactly why I find him, and the Starks generally, to be so admirable. If they acted just like the Lannisters, I wouldn't have any respect for them at all.

#8 Not a kneeler

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:12 AM

I think the promise Ned made to Lyanna was to keep Jon safe. He cooked up the plan to present Jon as his bastard in order to hide him behind a lie. Ned then lived the rest of his life to all appearances as completely honorable in order to cover up the lie. This was probably the only clever idea he had in his whole life and LF, if he ever hears about it, will probably be amazed.

As for telling Catelyn, Ned may well have made her promise, but that would have been futile. At one point, sooner or later, she would have wound up defending Ned's honor and let it slip.

#9 Blackfish Tully

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:13 AM

I don't see how bringing Jon home as his bastard could be providing safety for his family. Ofcourse, the secret had to be kept for the sake of his family, but surely he could have told Catelyn? Made her promise on her honor as a Tully and a Stark that she keeps it a secret.
Would have made Catelyn happy and Jon too.

I


What is the one way you guarantee a secret will be kept ? You tell no one. That is the only way.

#10 Harpo of House Trashcan

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:18 AM

Maybe he shouldnt have confronted Cersei and revealed all of his plans to her when she was the one he planned to overthrow...

#11 mrunderhill

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:20 AM

I agree that Ned made some stupid and naive choices, but IMO that Ned keeps his honor and integrity intact for so long in the faces of such terrible consequences is exactly why I find him, and the Starks generally, to be so admirable. If they acted just like the Lannisters, I wouldn't have any respect for them at all.

Ned has never put honour above family. He put honour above his own life, but never above family and Robert is included in that.

I don't see how bringing Jon home as his bastard could be providing safety for his family. Ofcourse, the secret had to be kept for the sake of his family, but surely he could have told Catelyn? Made her promise on her honor as a Tully and a Stark that she keeps it a secret.
Would have made Catelyn happy and Jon too.

I

When Ned first told the lie he did not know Catelyn. He had spent less than a couple of weeks with her. To risk the life of his nephew was asking too much. Not only that, but I don't think Catelyn could be trusted with the secret. Catelyn would never treat Jon equally with her own family. If the choice came between keeping Jon's secret and risking hurt to her family, or revealing the truth and saving her family, she would choose to sacrifice Jon every time.

For me Ned was right to refuse to acknowledge Joffrey. Stannis was Robert's true heir and you cannot start abusing your power whenever you want. Ned was stupid, but were it not for Sansa's betrayal his children probably still would have made it back to Winterfell. I also think he went against honour and decency when he did not tell Robert the truth. Once again he chose family over honour there.

#12 TheMysteriousOne

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:23 AM

Well, Ned was willing to be called a traitor and sent to the Wall to the black for his children. Ned doesn't always put his honor above the safety and happiness of his family. He's made naive decisions without thinking of the consequences, of course.

Edited by TheMysteriousOne, 19 July 2013 - 07:57 AM.


#13 GGK1986

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:26 AM

Ned has never put honour above family. He put honour above his own life, but never above family and Robert is included in that.


When Ned first told the lie he did not know Catelyn. He had spent less than a couple of weeks with her. To risk the life of his nephew was asking too much. Not only that, but I don't think Catelyn could be trusted with the secret. Catelyn would never treat Jon equally with her own family. If the choice came between keeping Jon's secret and risking hurt to her family, or revealing the truth and saving her family, she would choose to sacrifice Jon every time.

For me Ned was right to refuse to acknowledge Joffrey. Stannis was Robert's true heir and you cannot start abusing your power whenever you want. Ned was stupid, but were it not for Sansa's betrayal his children probably still would have made it back to Winterfell. I also think he went against honour and decency when he did not tell Robert the truth. Once again he chose family over honour there.


Regarding your first points; I have to agree with you. Never looked at it like that. But I still feel that he could have told Catelyn when he first realised the difficulties she had accepting Jon and how this effected Jon. If he made Catelyn swear it, she would have kept her oath, knowing her.

#14 Queen Daenerys

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:26 AM

I don't see how bringing Jon home as his bastard could be providing safety for his family. Ofcourse, the secret had to be kept for the sake of his family, but surely he could have told Catelyn? Made her promise on her honor as a Tully and a Stark that she keeps it a secret.
Would have made Catelyn happy and Jon too.

I


I understand your point. But to make sure nobody would ever find out and protect Jon (not the entire family) it was wise not to tell Cat. After all, when he came back with Jon, he barely knew her; and didn't know if he could trust her. Even after, she could have let it slip.

#15 GGK1986

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:27 AM

Well, Ned was willing to be called a traitor and sent to the Wall to the black for his children. Ned doesn't put his honor above the safety and happiness of his family. He's made naive decisions without thinking of the consequences, but that's the worst.


Well, he did when he made those naive decisions without thinking of the consequenses.

#16 Harpo of House Trashcan

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:28 AM

Well, Ned was willing to be called a traitor and sent to the Wall to the black for his children. Ned doesn't put his honor above the safety and happiness of his family. He's made naive decisions without thinking of the consequences, but that's the worst.

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#17 Blackfish Tully

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:29 AM

If he would have taken Littlefinger's offer and pledge fealty to Joffrey, he would ofcourse have done something that goes against everything he believed in. But it would have meant his daughters would be safe, it would have meant no war. The Lannisters would still be in charge, ofcourse, and his life would be in danger, but there would be ways to solve that.
I even think he and Cersei could have worked things out that he resigned as Hand, returned home as Warden of the North with both his daughters, Cersei would have made sure the betrothal would have been canceled in some way.

But.. Our dearest Ned chose to follow his sense of honor in both points, regardless of the consequenses..

Now my question to you; am I the only one to deem this naive, stupid and most of al: selfish?

Would love your thoughts.


Do you think that Littlefinger would have not screwed Ned over? Don't forget that Littlefinger is the one that had Jon Arryn killed and sent the letter to Cat blaming the Lannisters, he wanted Ned Stark dead and the Lannisters at war with the Starks so he would be able to grab power.
If he trusted Littlefinger then he would have been just as bad off but maybe Arya does not get a chance to escape.The Lannisters would have never allowed him to take his daughters back north , they were hostages and they would have remained hostages until the were married to Lannisters or their allies and never allowed back to Winterfell.

#18 svareff

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:33 AM

I don't think things would have been easier with Cat if she had known Jon's true identity. She would have seen Jon as a greater danger to her family, which is the very reason she dislikes him. It's even more true if Jon is a legitimate son of Rhaegar.

Edited by svareff, 19 July 2013 - 07:34 AM.


#19 KingInTheCave

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:42 AM

Now my question to you; am I the only one to deem this naive, stupid and most of al: selfish?


No, you're not the only one. But what's even worse is the fact that he was willing to risk his life and the safety of his children to make sure that Cersei and her children are safe.

#20 GCabot

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:45 AM

Ned has never put honour above family. He put honour above his own life, but never above family and Robert is included in that.


I'm not sure how you justify that statement. For example by working to expose Cersei's incest and declaring Stannis the true heir, he both endangered his family and destroyed their opportunity to become royalty. He knew that declaring Joffrey and co. illegitimate would cause serious conflict if not outright war, yet he did so anyway out of principle. He knew that in doing so, any chances that Sansa would become queen evaporated, yet he continued regardless. That is putting honor over family.

Contrast that to the Lannisters, who famously put family above all else. Tywin would have done whatever was necessary to advance his family position, including lying about Joffrey's sire and supporting the status quo without scruples.