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northwesterner

How was Ned able to inspire loyalty even after death?

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Especially in a medieval society as Westeros. Ned seems like a decent and a nice man, but not particularly charming or someone to be afraid of. However in a medieval society if you are nice people might see it as potentially weak, especially if one of your bannermen is the House of Bolton.



I can understand why people were loyal to Tywin, if you were not, he might go ''Rains of Castemere'' on your ass.



Robert Baratheon is fearless but also charming and gregarious, that is why even his enemies bend their knees. I can understand why people followed him to remove a 300 year old dynasty



Stannis might be hard, but he is just man. He is always fair, so I can't understand why inspires loyalty, that they are willing to fight for him in a snowstorm.



Even Balon Greyjoy makes sense, someone who is fighting for the old way. He is uncompromising when it comes to the way of life of their ancestors, ironmen. That is why people were willing to fight a Rebellion for him. Unlike Ned, who married a southerner and even adapted some cultural southern character traits (probably because of being fostered by Jon Arryn and marrying a Southerner). He is probably the most ''Southern'' northern Paramount Lord.



But he was still able to inspire loyalty, why?



Is Ned just an anomaly?


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Doesn't it mention in Cat's POV that Ned spent an awful lot of his time touring the North, talking to his bannermen and no doubt building personal relationships? Bear in mind Ned also led the northern army south to victory in RR and is from a very famous family.


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Well, yeah, but unlike the others Ned had no traits that would inspire loyalty.

Plot convenience then.

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Ned wasn't that friendly, when it came time to be cutting heads off he couldn't wait to be out there, the sadistic bastard.


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It makes no sense alright

But GRRM had to conceivably write a way in which the Starks can come back into power. Maybe if he didn't destroy them so utterly it would make more sense, since the Northerners can atleast expect to be rewarded by a Stark revival. As it stands all I can do is roll my eyes when random Northerners talk of Ned and his family like they knew them personally and are willing to die for absolutely nothing.

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Makes sense from the mountain clans, they rose for Stannis because he got down and dirty with them, Ned is known for doing the same with the Mountain clans, the Manderlys made the promise, so that explains them.



And the competition is the Boltons, which makes the Starks a million times better in everyones eyes.



The rest of the Northmen seem like typical bannermen, Ned kept them under control by being a good lord, won their respect by being firm and fair, but their loyalty didn't run so deep that they didn't start testing his son as soon as Ned was locked up.


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Makes sense from the mountain clans, they rose for Stannis because he got down and dirty with them, Ned is known for doing the same with the Mountain clans, the Manderlys made the promise, so that explains them.

And the competition is the Boltons, which makes the Starks a million times better in everyones eyes.

The Boltons are not a force to be taken lightly though, and they're backed by the Iron Throne. Would anyone really take them on and risk their entire families (+ the lives of whatever captives the Freys have) all for a powerless house? I can understand they want revenge, but when they start the "I love the Starks!' stuff it strains believability. The Starks are just your typical Lords Paramount, and yet they have so much loyalty for some reason

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Makes sense from the mountain clans, they rose for Stannis because he got down and dirty with them, Ned is known for doing the same with the Mountain clans, the Manderlys made the promise, so that explains them.

And the competition is the Boltons, which makes the Starks a million times better in everyones eyes.

The rest of the Northmen seem like typical bannermen, Ned kept them under control by being a good lord, won their respect by being firm and fair, but their loyalty didn't run so deep that they didn't start testing his son as soon as Ned was locked up.

I am not even sure about the Manderlys, I think Wyman just want to use Rickon as a puppet

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Well, yeah, but unlike the others Ned had no traits that would inspire loyalty.

That's just plain wrong.

Ned is as just and fair as Stannis. You could even say more just, since Stannis pardoned some Lords for their crimes, but Ned went after Jorah with Ice when he committed a crime.

Ne is very successful, both in Robert's Rebellion and in the administration of the North. The Northmen comment that a naked maiden with a sack of gold could walk the Kingsroad alone and unmolested when Ned was Lord.

Ned did invest a lot of time in building relationships with his bannermen, touring the North doing PR.

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I think he was a just and honorable lord. Well respected for his role in Rob's Rebellion, not taking any shit when his father and older brother were unjustly murdered by the mad king. Rising to the occasion to be Lord of WF and warden of the North when Brandon was the one who was groomed. Squishing Balon's rebellion.

I am a Ned fanboy I don't see what is not to like or inspire loyalty. He's an all around honorable and just dude whose only fault was being to honorable and naive about how conniving and cunning all of the other players in the game of thrones were...

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I agree with everyone bringing his honorable and just qualities, and the fact that he put in the effort to visit or host all of his bannermen. It's also an institutional thing. The Starks are synonymous with the North. They've ruled for thousands of years, and their bannermen have prospered under their rule. All of that is a perfect recipe for Ned (alive and dead) inspiring loyalty in his men.


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1) The Starks were worshiped as rulers, with a legacy of honor and integrity Ned has a lot of that going for him.


2) He had a damn fine mind for warfare, The George has said repeatedly that although Ned was a poor swordsman he was an excellent strategist.


3) The entire realm respected his honesty. When the Queen of Thorns notes that Ned was known for being honest "He had that reputation." It's easy to understand how people can respect him.


4) Cult of personality back up to point 1, The Manderlys, the Karstarks, and the Mountain Clans have deep connections to House Stark, and Ned being the current Lord already had their unyielding loyalty and only needed to be honest and just to keep it.


5) Finally, The George likes wolves, the final book was originally going to be named A Time For Wolves, so if The George says Ned is awesome, then he's awesome.


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People get the wrong opinion of Ned. From all we know about the guy he was a quiet man, described as cold and distant by almost everyone. He was fair but firm and he did his own dirty work. There is nothing about him that leads me to believe he was soft or weak. If you needed help he was always there, and if you messed up he was always there. His people LOVED him and his family and they know that if they needed help Ned would have helped. THATS why he inspired loyalty. Because if they didn't respond in kind the next time they were in trouble there would be nobody to help them. If you have any doubt look at every other realm, lawless and rife with crime with Lords who don't care as much about them as Ned did his people. The North wasn't like that and as soon as the Starks went out of power that's where things were headed. Of course they'd want to put the Starks back in charge. Tywin always talked about maintaining the status quo but Ned lived by that motto.


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This thread is silly and extremely short sighted.

The loyalty Ned inspires goes beyond frattish charisma or a thousand yard stare.

Look at the setting of the books.

A feudal kingdom, where the people in power lie, betray and disregard anyone who don't further their own agendas.

Tywin wiped two houses out, children and all.

Robert gained the throne and neglected it and the people he swore to serve.

Balon.....lol, not even gonna dignify that with a response.

In a system of government where exploitation is so easy and commonplace, Ned was one of the few examples of a cool steady hand, whose first regard was for the people he was in charge of.

He meant what he said, and he tried his best to see it through in action.

That might not mean a lot to you, but in a broken and excessively top down power structure ala Westeros, that is everything.

You're loyal to people like Ned because people like Ned are loyal to you.

In a Westeros where everyone is a politician, Ned being a tried and true man makes him bad at the game but beloved in life.

Imagine Eddard Stark and Mace Tyrell switch places.

The youngest son of the extremely powerful Eddard Stark requests the honor of bringing Gregor Clegane to justice. Mace refuses, and in the process likely saves Rickon's life.

You think Ned Stark wouldn't try his best to return the good deed, even if they're on opposing sides in a war? Even if it wasn't politically the expedient move?

If people were able to see beyond their own desires, they'd wish more powerful men were like Ned Stark and less like Tywin Lannister or Robert Baratheon.

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