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Burning down the House

What would happen to Ned if Brandon lived?

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He is a second son with nothing to inherit. He is not going to marry someone on a Cat Tully level. Does he become the Ser Kevin of Winterfell? Does he marry the heiress of some minor lord? What happens to Ned?

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He'd marry some northern lords daughter and live out his days in some castle in the north,occasionally visiting the stormlands to visit Bob.

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He might even marry some Lord in the Vale, given he spent his childhood as a ward of Jon Arryn and would have some connections to the Vale. That would help solidify an alliance between the North and the Vale like Brandon's marriage cemented the Stark-Tully alliance and Lyanna's marriage cemented the Stark-Baratheon alliance.

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I don't think Ned would have had to settle for Fat Walda or anything. He'd have been a second son, sure, but a second son of a Lord Paramount. That still makes him a 'catch' - he'd have inherited some lesser seat of power somewhere in the north.

Which makes me wonder. The Starks must have minor keeps that they've been ruling through cadet branches for centuries, but they're never mentioned. It actually seems a bit ludicrous that with Ned and Robb gone and Bran and Rickon thought dead there aren't a horde of cousins all squabbling over the inheritance. I know it explicitly say in "A Storm of Swords" that Rickard Stark had no siblings, but the family tree seems to have been over-pruned* in some manner over the last couple of generations.

* - (reminding me of Dolorous Edd's line, "Never trust a cook m'lord. They'll prune you when you least expect it." ) :lmao:

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He might even marry some Lord in the Vale, given he spent his childhood as a ward of Jon Arryn and would have some connections to the Vale. That would help solidify an alliance between the North and the Vale like Brandon's marriage cemented the Stark-Tully alliance and Lyanna's marriage cemented the Stark-Baratheon alliance.

I guess it's possible,though he wouldn't marry the Lord,but the Lords daughter or maybe sister.

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* - (reminding me of Dolorous Edd's line, "Never trust a cook m'lord. They'll prune you when you least expect it." ) :lmao:

You know the greatest thing about him is that when you read his comments you can just picture him with a completely straight face and meaning every single word he says.

As to OP, I thought maybe Eddard was supposed to be Bloodraven's recruit to begin with and fate decided otherwise.

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As to OP, I thought maybe Eddard was supposed to be Bloodraven's recruit to begin with and fate decided otherwise.

How do you figure that?

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He'd marry some northern lords daughter and live out his days in some castle in the north,occasionally visiting the stormlands to visit Bob.

This. Veeeery occasionally. Possibly never, given his distaste for tourneys.

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My guess is he would have married some powerful Lord's daughter and then rose in rebellion against Brandon in order to seize the North. However Brandon would have simply fucked his Red Priestess and Ned would have been killed by Shadow Brandon.

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How do you figure that?

Just from Bloodraven telling Bran he saw his birth, and his father's birth as well. And the fact that Ned points out that none of this was meant for him, it was Brandon's never his.

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This. Veeeery occasionally. Possibly never, given his distaste for tourneys.

His distaste for tourneys started at Harrenhall.

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I don't think Ned would have had to settle for Fat Walda or anything. He'd have been a second son, sure, but a second son of a Lord Paramount. That still makes him a 'catch' - he'd have inherited some lesser seat of power somewhere in the north.

Which makes me wonder. The Starks must have minor keeps that they've been ruling through cadet branches for centuries, but they're never mentioned. It actually seems a bit ludicrous that with Ned and Robb gone and Bran and Rickon thought dead there aren't a horde of cousins all squabbling over the inheritance. I know it explicitly say in "A Storm of Swords" that Rickard Stark had no siblings, but the family tree seems to have been over-pruned* in some manner over the last couple of generations.

It was. They had a wildling invasion, Dagmar Greyjoy raiding with the Targaryen literally looking another way, an Skagosi rebellion, the Mad King and, on top, the War of the Five Kings. All that in about a hundred years.

I think they didn't suffer casualties in the War of the Ninepenny Kings, though.

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Given Rickard Starks "southern ambitions", I don't see why Ned wouldn't be married off to someone outside the North to further solidify alliances. I bet Rickard really wished Robert had a sister.

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He quite possibly could have stayed on at King's landing, on the small council.

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I don't think Ned would have had to settle for Fat Walda or anything. He'd have been a second son, sure, but a second son of a Lord Paramount. That still makes him a 'catch' - he'd have inherited some lesser seat of power somewhere in the north.

Which makes me wonder. The Starks must have minor keeps that they've been ruling through cadet branches for centuries, but they're never mentioned. It actually seems a bit ludicrous that with Ned and Robb gone and Bran and Rickon thought dead there aren't a horde of cousins all squabbling over the inheritance. I know it explicitly say in "A Storm of Swords" that Rickard Stark had no siblings, but the family tree seems to have been over-pruned* in some manner over the last couple of generations.

* - (reminding me of Dolorous Edd's line, "Never trust a cook m'lord. They'll prune you when you least expect it." ) :lmao:

The cousins they did have died out i.e a cadet branch called Grey Starks and the KarStarks still exist.

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I guess it's possible,though he wouldn't marry the Lord,but the Lords daughter or maybe sister.

Yes of course, I meant Lord's daughter.

That said, given Aerys threw Tywin's marriage proposal between Rhaegar and Cersei in his face, and given the only other young Lord Paramount/heir available for marriage was Robert who was betrothed to Lyanna, perhaps Tywin would've had to settle for Rickard's second son.

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That said, given Aerys threw Tywin's marriage proposal between Rhaegar and Cersei in his face, and given the only other young Lord Paramount/heir available for marriage was Robert who was betrothed to Lyanna, perhaps Tywin would've had to settle for Rickard's second son.

Tywin marrying his daughter to a politically null family which would gain him no power foot hold and that too to a second son is almost impossible,If a Second son is the only option Oberyn would have been his choice.

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Tywin marrying his daughter to a politically null family which would gain him no power foot hold and that too to a second son is almost impossible,If a Second son is the only option Oberyn would have been his choice.

Hmm going through the choices...

Royal family - no options

Vale - Jon Arryn married to Tully and old. No heir (Elbert Arryn I suppose, but if Jon has a son that's a waste of a marriage)

Riverlands - Edmure Tully, but he's only 9-10 years old at the time of Robert's Rebellion, whereas Cersei is 16. I guess this may work.

Reach - Mace would be married and I'm not sure how old Willas would be but we can guess that he'd be too young

Stormlands - Robert was betrothed and Stannis was married at the time of the rebellion

Iron Islands - Yeah he's not going to marry her to a Greyjoy

Dorne - Oberyn developed, by age 16 (which would be before the rebellion), a reputation, but sure maybe. He's 8 years older than Cersei.

North - eldest son is betrothed, but Eddard Stark is an appropriate age (3 years Cersei's senior).

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It was. They had a wildling invasion, Dagmar Greyjoy raiding with the Targaryen literally looking another way, an Skagosi rebellion, the Mad King and, on top, the War of the Five Kings. All that in about a hundred years.

I think they didn't suffer casualties in the War of the Ninepenny Kings, though.

Still, when you compare them to any other family of Lords Paramount*, they're really quite thin on the ground as far as having any cousins or potential matches to form alliance marriages with other houses. They were already in a bit of trouble in that regard, and the deaths of Rickard and Brandon made the situation much worse. It's a good thing that Eddard and Catelyn were so fecund.

The cousins they did have died out i.e a cadet branch called Grey Starks and the KarStarks still exist.

The Karstarks branched off many generations, centuries ago in fact. They're more of a candidate for a marriage of alliance than a source for matches.

* - House Baratheon was also hurting in this regard, and the fact that Robert and Renly were killed within a year of each other, and that Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella are illegitimate puts them well into the red zone. Which makes Stannis' pigheaded bid for the Iron Throne an act of supreme folly as well as an enormous disservice to the realm. If he attains the throne and then dies without an heir, it will just spark another war of succession.

The Lannisters are on the opposite end of the spectrum, with a goodly supply of brothers, sisters and cousins. It really is one of the keys to keeping a dynasty going for generations.

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