Varysblackfyre321

Is Ned Stark really that honorble?

115 posts in this topic

Note- what is honor in a feudal society is not synonymous with moral-especially our modern sense of it.

Tyrion isn't really honorble-but far be it me to say he is not moral. 

This has been discussed before in other threads:

Still I kinda wanted to share my thoughts and continue the discussion because I don't think it's one talked about enough:

I don't see Ned having particularly honorble given his social context.

Like, every major dilemma to which doing the honorble comes at the cost of what Ned personally feels is the right thing or looks to be something that looks to be a really bad idea(mostly for him or his loved ones) the majority of the time he buckled. For instance supporting Robert's skipping the line of succession while a male heir is still around-which would be a clear violation of the line of succession-keeping (if R+L=J is true), in total obliviousness of his true heritage and his potential rights to the throne(of course to protect the boy)-giving Cersi aheads up to flee with her abominations(after trying to murder the king and have planned to place her abominations shedon the thone).  Hell I wager if he'd been in the king's guard he would have slit  Aery's throat half-way in to Jaimie's tenure from the amount of evil stuff he'd seen-not because that is the "honorble" thing to do but because it would seem the right thing to do. 

I feel Ned was able to enjoy a reputation of being really honorble well because he didn't have to work especially hard to get it-being a Stark he'd be thought to be at the height of honor so it's easy to play it so long as he did not do anything especially bad-shake some lords hands here or there pay the proper respect and that's all there is to it. He isn't particularly ambitious(he's content with his place lord paramount) to which merely being normal  makes him great.

People who know only that reputation will take it as a given he is exceptionally honorble; hell even Jorah bought into it; though he was a slaver and he did bankrupt his house for his trophy wife -so what is honorble to him doesn't amount  for much

Hell  Ned  even for his reasons for why he cannot go along with Baelish's plan is less to do with as more of pride(not particularly worse or better imo), the Laninsters had tried to murder one of his boys, they took his dear friend, Ned will not settle for this ruse with that knowledge.

 

His downfall was because he had made some critical strategic blusters, took potentially worthwhile risks that didn't pay off and ultimately took a risk that didn't need to be taken (giving Cersi a heads up).

Giving heads up to Cersi(though it kinda seems pointless and partially a way to ease Ned's guilt given he should know Robert once he finds out this news will start a genocide on House Laninster and there won't be a place where Cersi and her children could hide).  He did something that corresponded with his own sense morality but failed to plan accordingly to ensure it doesn't backfire or recognize doing it would back. Which I really think is an example of a reoccurring sin.

 

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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Ned Stark died because he played the game poorly.  It's not because he was too honorable.  He was already in over his head before he told Cersei of his plans to reveal her secret to Robert.  It was just a matter of time.  Even if he made it back to Winterfell and wrote a letter to Robert to tell him about Jaime and Cersei.  Robert would call on him to raise an army and help him against Tywin soon after Cersei and Jaime gets executed.  If Tywin went to war for Tyrion, think what he would do to Robert if Cersei and Jaime gets executed.

I like Catelyn but she was a liability to Ned.  Sansa is another liability that Ned could have done without. 

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Robert skipped the line of succession by his sword. Jon and Viserys and Dany had no claims by then but a claim for death.

But yes, Ned's honor is marred with mercy. But that's not to say he won't do what is honorable if push comes to shove. It's why people know him by only the honorable reputation. He warns Cersei that he will tell Robert her reasons even if she doesn't for, child murders or not. But I also don't think he would have killed Aerys, because, as I said, that's push coming to shove. The same way he didn't take over the Red Keep when Renly offered. Now he did rebel against Aerys, but people judge situations with a rigged scanned when it comes to personal injustices, and it was Jon Arryn that raised the banners first.

But I still agree with you. Stannis, it seems to me, is better deserved for the seat of Honorable than Ned is. But I don't ever see him nominated. Stannis is Ned's honor without the stupid mercy. For him, everything is a shove, so if he were in charge, no pushes would have accumulate to shove the kingdom into the long night!

Ned died because he was unworthy for the office he held, and he broke his code of honor when he lied to the kingdom to save Sansa. Push came to shove and he chose wrong. That's what I think kills people in Westeros. It's why cruel people many times win, until someone becomes worthy enough to take vengeance against them. It's why Tywin died, because he treated Tyrion differently than he would have others.

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Depends how you view honor. Is it honorable to marry your dead brothers fiance? Is it honorable to defy your king? Is it honorable to lie to Robert his new king? Is it honorable to lie to Robert, his best friend? Is it honorable to keep secrets? Is it honorable he lets Cat thinks he cheated on her no matter the truth of it. Is it honorable to bring a supposed bastard home to your wife? Is it honorable to take your enemies son? Is it honorable to kill an honest man trying to warn you of the Others? I can go on.

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19 minutes ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Depends how you view honor. Is it honorable to marry your dead brothers fiance? Is it honorable to defy your king? Is it honorable to lie to Robert his new king? Is it honorable to lie to Robert, his best friend? Is it honorable to keep secrets? Is it honorable he lets Cat thinks he cheated on her no matter the truth of it. Is it honorable to bring a supposed bastard home to your wife? Is it honorable to take your enemies son? Is it honorable to kill an honest man trying to warn you of the Others? I can go on.

In his society-no it is dishonorble to defy his king, it is dishonorable to lie to his king, depends on the secret, Caitlyn is his property he needn't give justification to her, neutral I suppose, and he had executed a deserter who was clearly lying to save his own ass(from Ned POV). 

Yes honor is a thing that can vary from society.

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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10 minutes ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Depends how you view honor. Is it honorable to marry your dead brothers fiance?

In many cultures it is. A younger brother would step in to honour the agreement, Ned marrying Cat, someone he had never met before, was entirely the honourable thing to do. 

10 minutes ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Is it honorable to defy your king?

Sometimes it is. When he refused to go along with Robert's plan to execute he pregnant teenage Dany, that was entirely the honourable thing to do. 

10 minutes ago, AlaskanSandman said:

 

Is it honorable to lie to Robert his new king?

Like all things it depends on the context. Lying about Jon or his involvement in Tyrion's arrest were honourable actions. 

10 minutes ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Is it honorable to lie to Robert, his best friend? Is it honorable to keep secrets?

Context is King, but yeah, depending on the situation it can be. 

10 minutes ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Is it honorable he lets Cat thinks he cheated on her no matter the truth of it.

If (and it is still an if right now) he has promised his dead sister or he is worried about that child's life then, yeah. 

10 minutes ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Is it honorable to bring a supposed bastard home to your wife?

It is not dishonourable. He is bringing up his 'supposed' bastard the same way he is bringing up his legitimate children, there is an honour in that (for Jon) while there is a dishonour for Cat. They kind of balance each other out. 

10 minutes ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Is it honorable to take your enemies son?

In their society it was as the alternative may well be Balon being killed and Theon being sent to the Wall. 

10 minutes ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Is it honorable to kill an honest man trying to warn you of the Others? 

It is lawful and disobeying the law would be seen as behaving dishonourably.

 

By and large Ned was an honourable man, certainly when it comes to many of his peers (Tywin, Robert, Renly, Hoster and Mace) as well as many of his own fellow Northmen. Sure he did lie on occasion, he is only human, but when it comes to the characters in the series I can only think of a handful who were more honourable; Brienne, Davos, Aemon...

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16 minutes ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Depends how you view honor. Is it honorable to marry your dead brothers fiance? Is it honorable to defy your king? Is it honorable to lie to Robert his new king? Is it honorable to lie to Robert, his best friend? Is it honorable to keep secrets? Is it honorable he lets Cat thinks he cheated on her no matter the truth of it. Is it honorable to bring a supposed bastard home to your wife? Is it honorable to take your enemies son? Is it honorable to kill an honest man trying to warn you of the Others? I can go on.

Well, Aerys called for his head, so there's little choice but to defy him except to fall on your own sword. Maybe Hoster offered the marriage alliance because he wouldn't give the Riverlands' support without his daughters married off? And we don't know that he let Cat think he cheated on her. For all we know, he did, and Cat's instincts were right.

 

27 minutes ago, lAPPYc said:

Robert skipped the line of succession by his sword.

You mean his hammer. Which didn't pull him off.

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2 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

In his society-no it is not honorble to defy his king, it is not honorble to lie to his king, depends on the secret, Caitlyn is his property he needn't give justification to her, neutral I suppose, and he had executed a deserter who was clearly lying to save his own ass(from Ned POV). 

Yes honor is a thing that can vary from society.

Agreed, except the two points above. We know he's lying to Robert about something, and we know he defied Aerys II. These are no no's in every culture. 

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1 minute ago, Bernie Mac said:

In many cultures it is. A younger brother would step in to honour the agreement, Ned marrying Cat, someone he had never met before, was entirely the honourable thing to do. 

Sometimes it is. When he refused to go along with Robert's plan to execute he pregnant teenage Dany, that was entirely the honourable thing to do. 

Like all things it depends on the context. Lying about Jon or his involvement in Tyrion's arrest were honourable actions. 

Context is King, but yeah, depending on the situation it can be. 

If (and it is still an if right now) he has promised his dead sister or he is worried about that child's life then, yeah. 

It is not dishonourable. He is bringing up his 'supposed' bastard the same way he is bringing up his legitimate children, there is an honour in that (for Jon) while there is a dishonour for Cat. They kind of balance each other out. 

In their society it was as the alternative may well be Balon being killed and Theon being sent to the Wall. 

It is lawful and disobeying the law would be seen as behaving dishonourably.

 

By and large Ned was an honourable man, certainly when it comes to many of his peers (Tywin, Robert, Renly, Hoster and Mace) as well as many of his own fellow Northmen. Sure he did lie on occasion, he is only human, but when it comes to the characters in the series I can only think of a handful who were more honourable; Brienne, Davos, Aemon...

 

1 minute ago, Angel Eyes said:

Well, Aerys called for his head, so there's little choice but to defy him except to fall on your own sword. Maybe Hoster offered the marriage alliance because he wouldn't give the Riverlands' support without his daughters married off? And we don't know that he let Cat think he cheated on her. For all we know, he did, and Cat's instincts were right.

 

You mean his hammer. Which didn't pull him off.

Hahaha glad to peak interest :) Point mostly though is that honor is a tough call. Ask Jamie Lannister.

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1 minute ago, Bernie Mac said:
Quote

 

Like all things it depends on the context. Lying about Jon or his involvement in Tyrion's arrest were honourable actions. 

Lying about Jon(assuming R+L=J), is a moral action. Lying about the scandal  Tyrion is simply pragmatic if not dis

 

4 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

It is not dishonourable. He is bringing up his 'supposed' bastard the same way he is bringing up his legitimate children, there is an honour in that (for Jon) while there is a dishonour for Cat. They kind of balance each other out. 

Eh? Like simply giving an honor or dishonoring a person doesn't give credence to the act of giving itself honoruble.

 

6 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

By and large Ned was an honourable man, certainly when it comes to many of his peers (Tywin, Robert, Renly, Hoster and Mace) as well as many of his own fellow Northmen. Sure he did lie on occasion, he is only human, but when it comes to the characters in the series I can only think of a handful who were more honourable; Brienne, Davos, Aem

Pretty sure Robert would say the opposite if he could be asked beyond the grave-and and aiding and abetting a woman who'd had committed treason to save her abominations would most likely tarnish the image of honor Ned had cultivated (albeit having not having to do much for it other than be civil and corrupt).

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13 minutes ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Agreed, except the two points above. We know he's lying to Robert about something, and we know he defied Aerys II. These are no no's in every culture. 

I'm sorry for the second point are you saying different cultures have the same view on what is and what isn't honorble? 

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3 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Lying about Jon(assuming R+L=J), is a moral action. Lying about the scandal  Tyrion is simply pragmatic if not dis

 

Eh? Like simply giving an honor or dishonoring a person doesn't give credence to the act of giving itself honoruble.

 

Pretty sure Robert would say the opposite if he could be asked beyond the grave-and and aiding and abetting a woman who'd had committed treason to save her abominations would most likely tarnish the image of honor Ned had cultivated (albeit having not having to do much for it other than be civil and corrupt).

He was damned either way with Cersei. Tell Robert and he'll likely beat Cersei and the children to death (I think Ned has plenty of shell shock from seeing Rhaenys stabbed 50 times, Aegon with his head smashed, and Elia, raped, bisected and head squeezed). Remain silent and Joffrey will be on the throne, a bastard born of incest, and an utterly unworthy person both to sit on the Iron Throne and as a husband to Sansa. 

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Just now, Angel Eyes said:

He was damned either way with Cersei. Tell Robert and he'll likely beat Cersei and the children to death (I think Ned has plenty of shell shock from seeing Rhaenys stabbed 50 times, Aegon with his head smashed, and Elia, raped, bisected and head squeezed). Remain silent and Joffrey will be on the throne, a bastard born of incest, and an utterly unworthy person both to sit on the Iron Throne and as a husband to Sansa. 

But in his society informing Robert would have been the honorble action-regardles of the uglieness it would have brought.

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Just now, Varysblackfyre321 said:

I'm sorry for the second point are you saying different cultures have the same view on what is and what isn't honorble? 

It's not unprecedented for a man to marry his deceased elder brother's betrothed. Henry Tudor (later Henry VIII) married Catherine of Aragon after his elder brother Arthur died. 

There is this custom called levirate marriage.

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5 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Lying about Jon(assuming R+L=J), is a moral action. Lying about the scandal  Tyrion is simply pragmatic if not dis

It is honourable to protect his wife. 

5 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

 

Eh? Like simply giving an honor or dishonoring a person doesn't give credence to the act of giving itself honoruble.

Some actions can both be a positive and negative. Ned, we presume, has promised to raise and protect Jon. Him passing off that responsibility to someone else would be dishonourable. 

5 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

 

Pretty sure Robert would say the opposite if he could be asked beyond the grave

I'd disagree. Robert on his deathbed was giving up a lot of his anger, I can't see a deceased Robert blaming one of the two people he genuinely loved (the other being Jon Arryn). 

5 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

 

-and and aiding and abetting a woman who'd had committed treason to save her abominations would most likely tarnish the image of honor Ned had cultivated (albeit having not having to do much for it other than be civil and corrupt).

He hardly aided and abetted. For the most part he was still collecting evidence and it was only while Robert was away hunting did he have the truth revealed to him. Hindsight is a bitch, he should have acted differently but I really don't think his actions were dishonourable. 

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4 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

It is honourable to protect his wife. 

If Jon is indeed the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, it could be deemed honorable by protecting his wife. Not telling her means if Robert comes calling, she'd be a little safer because she doesn't know. Giving Jon up would not be an option because 1) Ned made that promise and 2) he'd be little better than a kinslayer, since Jon would be his nephew.

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16 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

It is honourable to protect his wife. 

It can be. In how he goes about it. Lying to his sovereign over his house's seizure of his wife's brother is not. It is pragmatic.

 

16 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Some actions can both be a positive and negative. Ned, we presume, has promised to raise and protect Jon. Him passing off that responsibility to someone else would be dishonourable. 

Yes. We can presume. We don't know what for sure Ned promised. 

 

16 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:
Quote

 

I'd disagree. Robert on his deathbed was giving up a lot of his anger, I can't see a deceased Robert blaming one of the two people he genuinely loved (the other being Jon Arryn). 

Yeah, I'm pretty sure having just learned he'd been made a cuck by his wife's own brother for 3 years-and Ned is at fault Cersi was able to kill him would get Robert even while he's in a forgiving mood to feel betrayed and hateful of Ned.

 

16 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

He hardly aided and abetted. For the most part he was still collecting evidence and it was only while Robert was away hunting did he have the truth revealed to him. Hindsight is a bitch, he should have acted differently but I really don't think his actions were dishonourable.

He allowed a woman who'd just confessed to him to have plotted to murder the king, whose planned on getting her inchest born bastards on the throne the chance to flee-the honorble thing would be to have locked her and her children up until his next confrontation   with Robert and allow him to decide what is to be done.

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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27 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

I'm sorry for the second point are you saying different cultures have the same view on what is and what isn't honorble? 

As far as lying to your king or rebelling against your king. On those yes, i think those are shared by every culture as wrong. Unless you win in the case of the rebellion. Then you can paint your self as a hero. 

Edited by AlaskanSandman

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