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Sansa + Ned: What’s the Difference?

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This is a very interesting thread.



The way I see it, both Ned & Sansa in aGoT

largely embody the ideals of their society. Ned administers his own justice, cares for his people, is faithful to his king, and just generally comes across as the best elements of noblesse oblige.



Sansa has been trained from birth to be a perfect lady from a fairy tale. Because she had an older brother securing the succession, she didn't need the practical training in ruling that Hoster Tully gave Cat, his firstborn (Edmure is much younger than his sisters). Instead, she learns music, literature, dance, etiquette, heraldry, genealogy. She easily identifies Ser Barristan and Lord Renly with no introduction, and knows how to address them correctly. She's very concerned with correctness and propriety. Really, she's been raised to be an ideal First Lady (think Jackie Kennedy or Pat Nixon), or a Princess Diana attending ceremonies and waving to the populace. She wouldn't have had any trouble doing like Margery Tyrell did, making the people love her, if she'd had the opportunity.



Unfortunately, in neither case does their training prepare them for the cesspit that is King's Landing. An honorable man and a genteel lady have no place there, and find themselves out of their depth and outmaneuvered. Ned realized his situation, even though he couldn't adapt to it quickly enough.



Sansa, on the other hand, is such a realistically portrayed tweenager that she never had a chance. At that point in adolescence, girls are all about self-dramatization. It's a natural part of finding one's self, no matter how annoying it is to one's parents, siblings, and teachers. Fortunately, most outgrow it. But it's an awful age to get thrown into such a dangerous environment. She can't see past her super-special-perfect-prince (with Bishie sparkles!). He's her Justin Bieber. Logic? Reality? Nope. Tune in after her brain starts to forcibly mature in the next book or two. If Joff had really been what she wanted and expected him to be, there'd have been no War of the Five Kings, and Westeros's very own Jackie would've been smiling graciously and doing a QE2 wave at the cheering crowds. GRRM's reality sure does bite, huh, Little bird?



So, if their downfalls were products of their ideals, why are these two characters often evaluated by different standards, as the OP suggests?



I suspect part of the problem is one of social class. Most of us now live in more-or-less egalitarian societies, with a fair amount of social mobility. While we can all admire honest, competent leadership and government, few of us relate to hereditary rulership these days. Ned's virtues remain admirable, but Sansa's class-specific accomplishments can cause contemporary readers to see her as snobby.



It's also a matter of gender. I'm not finding sexists under every bed and in every closet. It is a genuine phenomenon I continually encounter (as a knitter myself), that traditionally feminine pursuits (like Sansa's needlework) get devalued. Furthermore, being a "lady" is no longer seen as a valid goal. A young woman whose dream is to marry a handsome prince and bear his children will get told that she needs to prepare for a career and be able to support herself and her children, without a man's help. Sansa is seen as unambitious, passive, stupid, etc. These are actual words actual posters in other threads have used to describe her. I've even seen posters deride and dislike her because she likes pretty clothes! Not in this thread, of course. The level of discourse in this conversation has been exemplary overall.



Some posters have praised Ned for his actions being motivated by honor, while criticising Sansa for hers being motivated by selfishness. I think there is some validity to these evaluations. However, the poster who saw both of them as showing loyalty to family seems closest to the mark to me. Robert is, first and foremost, Ned's foster-brother, as much family to him as his own flesh and blood. Cersei and Joffrey are both to be Sansa's family by marriage, and as a highborn girl, she's known since she could talk that her marriage would mean her leaving her birth family and being united to her husband's family. She and her children would be "Baratheons", not Starks. Both Ned and Sansa trusted in their "Baratheon" family. Both were let down, with dire consequences.



I do see Ned and Sansa as more similar than different in terms of their character and ideals. Both make similar mistakes, but neither should be harshly condemned as idiots or whatever. Hindsight reveals their poor choices, but Ned was not a bad father, nor Sansa a traitor to her family. They're both just idealistic, fallible, and human.


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Ah, ok, my apologies, then-- I had thought you were referring to the OP, and the last thing I'd wanted was to set up a trashing session. That's what threw me off. Though I agree with some of the posts that were on the harsher side toward Ned (mainly about leaving Sansa in the dark and tacitly endorsing the Lannisters in front of her), I wouldn't condemn him or pass severe judgment (and on some of the harsher posts, I had the impression those posters were generally sympathetic toward Ned and just detaching a bit in the thread).

But wrt to the rest of what you said, I don't think we disagree that much. Though I do think that looking at Sansa's character in context necessitates that we understand her behavior as being in service to certain ideals and duties, I do appreciate that there's a difference between acting for a larger purpose versus acting for self. That is, Sansa and Ned perform similar actions, both motivated by idealism, but Ned is seeking something that we can understand as a "greater good," while Sansa has more of a personal agenda. (Though, that might open a whole new can of worms-- the extent to which overthrowing "impostors" truly is for the greater good. Maybe for another thread)

And, as you say, I don't think that there's anything inherently wrong with an 11 year old, raised on a certain trajectory, to act in her own self-interest. Especially when said 11 year old seems a bit neglected and unguided, and left nearly in the dark.

Fair enough. And "ha!" to the bold part, as I agree with that assessment.

Here's where we might disagree, though. I don't think Sansa fully understood the gravity of the situation when Ned talks about the attack by Jaime. Cersei and Jaime purposely do not seem close (they make a point of seeming disinterested in each other publicly), and to Sansa, Cersei seems far more aligned with Robert than "the Lannisters."

Further, the way Ned broke the news was in a way that was confusing for her. She and Arya were fighting, and in the midst of it, Ned made the announcement. Sansa's immediate thought is that it was her and Arya's fault. She tries bargaining with Ned-- "I'll be good!" Then Ned tells her about the attack on his men and Robert's hunting adventure. She doesn't understand and brings up her betrothal. Then Ned says it was a "mistake," and that he's going to break it off, with the only explanation being that Jof isn't a good person (no elaboration given).

Mordane carries her off crying. Three Ned chapters later, Sansa is still dejected and wants to say goodbye to Jof. Mordane offers to escort her, and Ned says no, without explanation. Arya, however, is allowed one last dancing lesson. It's a mixed message. Sansa asks for an explanation (Arya's going, so why can't she?) and runs off (I think this might be when she tells Cersei; if so, it's already after LF sold the watch to Cersei, and she was tipped off already). Ned admits that he hasn't given her sufficient explanation, and tells Mordane to stay and eat: “Let her go, Septa. I will try to make her understand when we are all safely back in Winterfell.

Ned's never explained how Jaime's attack was indicative of the danger to all of them, that Cersei could not be relied upon, that Cersei was working against the Starks, and that Sansa's quasi-Baratheon status would not render her immune. From her end, it looked like a series of misunderstandings between Ned, the king and Jaime. And Ned refused to elaborate the importance of leaving undetected-- it was largely a case of "because I said so," rather than emphasis on the danger and the connection between Cersei and said danger. I think, as ShadowCat said upthread, he expected her to unquestioningly obey, and sorely underestimated her will.

I'm not sure if I'd go so far as to say Ned was wrong from keeping most of the truth hidden from her, given how sensitive the information was. What I do think may have been an error, however, is not imparting just how dangerous the situation was and trying to level with her a bit more-- to explain that not turning back at the Trident, when Jof's true colors shone, was a mistake, and give more of an elaboration to make her comfortable with it. Especially in the context that Arya was not only allowed to keep seeing Syrio, but that Syrio would even be coming back with them. It felt very much like Sansa was being punished, and wasn't given an explanation on the why.

This is where I get a little uncomfortable, and where we disagree, but for a different reason than what you've written. The issue for me is that we're making the situation too complex. I will try to explain it and hope that you understand.

When I say "too complex" I mean it in the context of the story. Obviously, Martin can't go into such detail with regards to how Ned should have optimally handled the situation. But I also feel that it wasn't really a focus of his with regards to the entirety of the story. And so that's why I find that kind of analysis unfair. Not just for Ned, but for any character. I think Martin gave us enough to get the message across. If he intended for Sansa to come off as (innocently) disobedient and Ned as a responsible father then I think he succeeded.

I would feel more comfortable (and I'm not trying to make this about me, I'm only trying to explain my feelings on the experiment) if the discussion was one that was detached from the story and it's setting. Then we could use the Ned and Sansa story lines as examples and discuss how such a situation could/should be optimally handled.

I feel that a discussion about the intentions of these characters should always take into account the setting, environment, social mores, etc ... (But maybe I'm being too rigid myself.)

Now, I know that what I stated above is not what your OP is about. But you did (and again in the quote I'm responding to) attribute more intent to the actions of the characters, especially Ned, than what Martin intended us to have. And that's what rubs me wrong.

So ultimately, you're trying to do a very tough thing; combining both in-story actions while adding the intentions you've arrived at through your own speculation to arrive at a conclusion. It's a fine line you're walking and I applaud you for attempting it. And I also think that your intent is genuinely good. But nevertheless, I can't get behind it. I think that there really are two examinations and that they don't necessarily merge.

These are the conclusions I've reached and they could be completely off. And if so, feel free to take me to task.

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But don't you think the bold part was coincidence and that no one could have predicted anything like that happening. Life is unpredictable and there's no way that you can shelter your kids from everything. And if Robert didn't support Ned whatsoever he would have ordered Arya's hand cut off. Robert ordered the wolf killed as a way of throwing a bone at Cersei.

I was using the first incident on the Trident to illustrate the point I'd made that a medieval court can be dangerous, even if you're NOT actively doing anything to investigate a murder done by the QUEEN of it. Ned and his kids have been accustomed to be the highest in the land they live in - his kids, in fact, have known no other life. They have no idea how to humble themselves and kowtow. Now, I don't blame Ned for the first incident on the Trident - he himself hadn't had any experience of court life, he had no idea what kind of court Robert kept, and at the time it was reasonable for him to suppose that Robert, his old friend, would actually BE the king and run his court in the manner of the decent, just guy he remembers him as.

The Trident served Ned as an education and a wake-up call. Joffrey likes to cut peasants' faces for his amusement, and to tell the kind of lies that could potentially get other people's hands cut off for his revenges. And the Queen backs him up to the hilt in this abuse of power, either believing him completely or (more likely) not caring if he's lying. The Queen also does not care what hostilities she causes among powerful lords as long as she gets her way. And Robert - gives it to her.

The most important thing Ned learned from the Trident is this: The Queen is dangerous, she wants what she wants, and Robert gives way to her and does not support his old friend in a clash with her, even if what she's asking for is petty and unjust. She doesn't care what enemies she makes in getting what she wants, even if they're Lords Paramount - and she's made an enemy of Eddard Stark. And all this happened BEFORE Ned even started investigating the murder. If she's this vicious in the face of a children's squabble, how much more dangerous will she be when he actually STARTS trying to find proof of her guilt of murder?

The Trident gave Ned a valuable first warning. He heard it...then he killed Lady obediently at the Queen's orders, continued the betrothal, and rode down to KL with his children. Everything that happened in KL after underlined what he already knew - the Queen and her kin were dangerous, and King Bob refused to stand against them OR listen to any of Ned's advice that went against his whims. Everything he learned worsened the danger they ALL were in. The warnings became ever more pointed and deadly, but Ned grimly kept on in KL - and kept his kids with him. He is responsible for that decision.

Having decided to do so, it was his responsibility to warn his children about the danger they all were in due to this decision. He could do this WITHOUT telling his kids anything specific about his murder investigation - he could warn his kids adequately about the dangers and treachery of the court using the Trident as an illustration, and explaining the perils of dealing with the Lannisters and what he truly thinks of them and how his kids should behave around them, without going into details. He actually did a fair job of this with Arya.

"You did not kill the butcher's boy. That murder lies at the Hound's door, him and the cruel woman he serves."..."Arya, sit down. I need to try to explain some things to you...We have come to a dark dangerous place, child. This is not Winterfell. We have enemies who mean us ill. We cannot fight a war among ourselves."

Ned had no trouble clarifying to Arya who he laid blame on for the Trident, calling the Queen cruel, and explaining that KL is a place of danger to the Starks, with enemies (plural) and warning her to be cautious. But he doesn't do the same for Sansa.

IMO, if you kill your daughter's beloved pet, you kind of OWE her an honest explanation of what you have done, an admission that what you did was unjust, and a clarification that you'd needed to do it anyway due to the dangers involved - the cruel queen and her son, who you think is also cruel and an unsuitable bridegroom. You also owe her a warning about the wariness and caution she MUST maintain with those people due to those ongoing dangers. Of course, this warning requires an uncomfortable acknowledgment that Sansa is going to have to STAY betrothed to these cruel and dangerous people, because of that danger - but HE betrothed her to Joffrey, so he owes her that truth, and the warning is too important to dodge that truth.

But he gives her no explanation, certainly no warning. Left without an explanation, Sansa evolves her own. Her father killed Lady at the Queen's order and never said anything was wrong with it, or the Queen, or Joffrey (she is still betrothed to him, isn't she? Dad must be okay with him) because what the Royals did, though unpleasant, was acceptable for Royals, therefore NBD. So really, the fault was Arya's, whose unladylike behavior provoked the unpleasantness. Now Sansa's thought process is both wrong and ungenerous to her sister. But it's understandable - it's falling into an old behavior pattern that's familiar and not frightening - she and Arya have always squabbled. The alternative is to believe the truth - the queen is cruel, Joffrey is cruel, and she has to marry them and live in KL anyway. How many girls her age WOULDN'T prefer to believe something less scary?

Ned SEES Sansa's self-deception, hears her quarrel with Arya and blame her. He's annoyed at the spats, but he NEVER sits Sansa down and gives her the talk he gave Arya, explaining how she's unfair to her sister, wrong about the royals, and needs to be more critical and cautious in her own mind about them. He sees that Sansa adores KL, its alluring surface, and he never warns her of its dangers as he did Arya. It's understandable that he wouldn't - he wants her to enjoy herself and not be worried - but some fear is NECESSARY here. By keeping silent, he strengthens her false sense of security and trust in her surroundings. In fact, he fosters her DENIAL - which ends up biting him in the ass.

Along with his own denial. I was rereading AGoT just now, and there is a darkly hilarious scene in which Robert reassures Ned while he shows himself in all his defects to the reader - and Ned is filled with hope that Bob's going to go back to being the admirable man of long past, while GRRM tosses the readers clues that Bob's full of shit, which Ned resolutely ignores. Classic denial.

All I can say at this point is that you would have written the story differently.

I like the story as it is. AFAIK, all the events I've written about in my posts HAPPENED in the books - only my interpretation of what they mean is different than yours.

And my statement about Sansa and Arya not being in danger was with regards to harm coming from Cersei. Nice pivot.

Well, if Arya HAD been punished on the Trident, the harm would ultimately have come from Cersei, wouldn't it?

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I feel Ned didn't talk to Sansa because after her actions at the Trident Ned couldn't trust her any longer.

So after the eleven year old daughter who's ALWAYS been a good girl commits ONE act of wrongdoing - which she apparently doesn't fully understand IS an act of wrongdoing - it's okay for her dad to give up on her? He can abdicate his responsibility as a father to teach her right from wrong and correct her faults, and tell her what the proper thing to do is in these unfamiliar circumstances? And he can also abdicate his duty as a father to warn his child that the ground she's walking on is dangerous - and explain to her how she maneuver on it without hurting herself and others?

I don't think that badly of Ned. I think that he was so upset at the idea that he'd gotten his daughter into such an unsuitable betrothal with such a dangerous family that he shied away from the whole painful idea of explaining to Sansa what a perilous situation she was in, and decided to just let her enjoy KL as it was while relying on his faith in his own skills to keep her and the whole family safe - a faith which turned out to be tragically misplaced.

Besides, if Ned really didn't trust Sansa, he would never have let her wander freely around the palace after telling her she was supposed to leave KL - information he wanted kept secret. So your theory that he didn't trust her has nothing backing it.

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I was using the first incident on the Trident to illustrate the point I'd made that a medieval court can be dangerous, even if you're NOT actively doing anything to investigate a murder done by the QUEEN of it. Ned and his kids have been accustomed to be the highest in the land they live in - his kids, in fact, have known no other life. They have no idea how to humble themselves and kowtow. Now, I don't blame Ned for the first incident on the Trident - he himself hadn't had any experience of court life, he had no idea what kind of court Robert kept, and at the time it was reasonable for him to suppose that Robert, his old friend, would actually BE the king and run his court in the manner of the decent, just guy he remembers him as.



But Cersei didn´t even murder Jon Arryn, did she?



The Trident served Ned as an education and a wake-up call. Joffrey likes to cut peasants' faces for his amusement, and to tell the kind of lies that could potentially get other people's hands cut off for his revenges. And the Queen backs him up to the hilt in this abuse of power, either believing him completely or (more likely) not caring if he's lying. The Queen also does not care what hostilities she causes among powerful lords as long as she gets her way. And Robert - gives it to her.



The most important thing Ned learned from the Trident is this: The Queen is dangerous, she wants what she wants, and Robert gives way to her and does not support his old friend in a clash with her, even if what she's asking for is petty and unjust. She doesn't care what enemies she makes in getting what she wants, even if they're Lords Paramount - and she's made an enemy of Eddard Stark. And all this happened BEFORE Ned even started investigating the murder. If she's this vicious in the face of a children's squabble, how much more dangerous will she be when he actually STARTS trying to find proof of her guilt of murder?



The Trident gave Ned a valuable first warning. He heard it...then he killed Lady obediently at the Queen's orders, continued the betrothal, and rode down to KL with his children. Everything that happened in KL after underlined what he already knew - the Queen and her kin were dangerous, and King Bob refused to stand against them OR listen to any of Ned's advice that went against his whims. Everything he learned worsened the danger they ALL were in. The warnings became ever more pointed and deadly, but Ned grimly kept on in KL - and kept his kids with him. He is responsible for that decision.



Nothing would happen to him or his children as long as Robert was alive. Robert didn´t let Cersei cut off Arya's hands now did he? He just let her kill a pet half-wild super wolf.



Having decided to do so, it was his responsibility to warn his children about the danger they all were in due to this decision. He could do this WITHOUT telling his kids anything specific about his murder investigation - he could warn his kids adequately about the dangers and treachery of the court using the Trident as an illustration, and explaining the perils of dealing with the Lannisters and what he truly thinks of them and how his kids should behave around them, without going into details. He actually did a fair job of this with Arya.



Ned had no trouble clarifying to Arya who he laid blame on for the Trident, calling the Queen cruel, and explaining that KL is a place of danger to the Starks, with enemies (plural) and warning her to be cautious. But he doesn't do the same for Sansa.



Can we know this with absolute certainty? He tells her that the situation is dangerous and that Joffrey isn´t suitable at the end and she doesn´t pay any attention, how do we know the same hasn´t happened before?


Regardless, Robert is always the key, Ned feels safe as long is Robert is around, and rightly so, so why upset Sansa any earlier before he can really do anything about it. There isn´t even an organized plot to kill Robert on Cersei's behalf, just a half-assed, lets get him drunk and hope he screws himself over plot, that is a total Hail Mary, that removes the one iron clad guarantee that Ned had at one stroke. AND it is at that point that Ned knows that he needs to get the heck out of town.



IMO, if you kill your daughter's beloved pet, you kind of OWE her an honest explanation of what you have done, an admission that what you did was unjust, and a clarification that you'd needed to do it anyway due to the dangers involved - the cruel queen and her son, who you think is also cruel and an unsuitable bridegroom. You also owe her a warning about the wariness and caution she MUST maintain with those people due to those ongoing dangers. Of course, this warning requires an uncomfortable acknowledgment that Sansa is going to have to STAY betrothed to these cruel and dangerous people, because of that danger - but HE betrothed her to Joffrey, so he owes her that truth, and the warning is too important to dodge that truth.



But he gives her no explanation, certainly no warning. Left without an explanation, Sansa evolves her own. Her father killed Lady at the Queen's order and never said anything was wrong with it, or the Queen, or Joffrey (she is still betrothed to him, isn't she? Dad must be okay with him) because what the Royals did, though unpleasant, was acceptable for Royals, therefore NBD. So really, the fault was Arya's, whose unladylike behavior provoked the unpleasantness. Now Sansa's thought process is both wrong and ungenerous to her sister. But it's understandable - it's falling into an old behavior pattern that's familiar and not frightening - she and Arya have always squabbled. The alternative is to believe the truth - the queen is cruel, Joffrey is cruel, and she has to marry them and live in KL anyway. How many girls her age WOULDN'T prefer to believe something less scary?



Ned SEES Sansa's self-deception, hears her quarrel with Arya and blame her. He's annoyed at the spats, but he NEVER sits Sansa down and gives her the talk he gave Arya, explaining how she's unfair to her sister, wrong about the royals, and needs to be more critical and cautious in her own mind about them. He sees that Sansa adores KL, its alluring surface, and he never warns her of its dangers as he did Arya. It's understandable that he wouldn't - he wants her to enjoy herself and not be worried - but some fear is NECESSARY here. By keeping silent, he strengthens her false sense of security and trust in her surroundings. In fact, he fosters her DENIAL - which ends up biting him in the ass.



Agree



Along with his own denial. I was rereading AGoT just now, and there is a darkly hilarious scene in which Robert reassures Ned while he shows himself in all his defects to the reader - and Ned is filled with hope that Bob's going to go back to being the admirable man of long past, while GRRM tosses the readers clues that Bob's full of shit, which Ned resolutely ignores. Classic denial.



I like the story as it is. AFAIK, all the events I've written about in my posts HAPPENED in the books - only my interpretation of what they mean is different than yours.



Well, if Arya HAD been punished on the Trident, the harm would ultimately have come from Cersei, wouldn't it?






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Well I think the differnece between them are their motives.Ned did everything for the sake of non-selfish reasons, Sansa did ll she did for selfish reasons.ALso I don't agree with some of your ideas.Ned didn't broke Jof and Sansas deal in Trident because he really can't do that at that moment.Also about Ned not stepping up in the trial because he can't step up.If Ned says Sansa is lying then it is bad for both Sansa and Ned, it could have created the notion of Ned being a liar because he wasn't there, it could have created that Sansa is a liar which is a very bad thing for a future queen.


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But Cersei didn´t even murder Jon Arryn, did she?

We know that now. But Ned thought it was the Lannisters - specifically the Queen, as per Lysa's warning letter. So he left Winterfell intent on investigating the truth of the accusation that Cersei was a murderess. Now as I said, I don't blame Ned for what happened on the Trident. Usually, the Queen Consort is a powerless position, so Ned had no reason before the Trident to know how much real power Cersei wielded in Robert's court. After the Trident, after he'd seen Robert give in to her petty demands, he absolutely DID know she was not afraid of making an enemy of a Lord Paramount to get her own way about a children's squabble - and that Robert refused to stand against her. Imagine what she might do if her survival was at stake. Ned saw her dangerousness - and resolved to go on with investigation, betrothal and appointment to King's Hand.

Nothing would happen to him or his children as long as Robert was alive. Robert didn´t let Cersei cut off Arya's hands now did he? He just let her kill a pet half-wild super wolf.

We happen to know that's wrong. If Jaime had found Arya before Ned's men had, the fact that Robert was alive would not have preventing him from doing something horrible to her. I wouldn't have blamed Ned for this if it had happened either; he had no way of knowing at the time just HOW reckless Cersei had become. I do think, however, that Cersei DID make it abundantly clear to Ned after the Trident that she was dangerous.

But he doesn't do the same for Sansa.

----

Can we know this with absolute certainty? He tells her that the situation is dangerous and that Joffrey isn´t suitable at the end and she doesn´t pay any attention, how do we know the same hasn´t happened before?

Well, IIRC, no such conversation took place during Ned's POVs or Sansa's, or was recalled as previously having happened during any of their chapters - so there's no direct evidence of Ned having tried to tell Sansa any such thing 'offstage'. And IMO, if Ned HAD tried to tell Sansa again and again how wrong she was about how she'd behaved on the Trident, how wrong she was about Joffrey and unjust to her sister and she had stubbornly closed her ears and refused to hear reason, became furious and called him a liar, it's odd that when Ned tells her Joffrey is an unworthy fiance he doesn't say anything like "...as I told you before..." It's odd that he thought of her as an innocent child unknowingly revealing the truth about Joffrey instead of a disobedient, disrespectful chit who rudely rejects her father's counsel - a cardinal sin to Sansa's ladylike upbringing. Above all, if Ned had tried many times to tell Sansa the whole truth about how wrong she was about the Royals and how dangerous KL was and she foolishly flung his reasons in his face in a tantrum repeatedly, it's odd that he trusted her not to do anything foolish when he said it "wouldn't be wise" for her to say goodbye to Joffrey, when even her own Septa could see nothing wrong with such a thing, and even offered to accompany Sansa.

And if he has tried to get her to understand how wrong she is before, it's odd that he says "Let her go, Septa. I will try to make her understand when we are all safely back in Winterfell," which certainly doesn't have any reference to any time he's tried to "make her understand" before.

And if Sansa has been repeatedly ignoring her father as a liar when he's tried to tell her the truth about the Queen, Joffrey and KL, and she's been picking fights with her sister to her father's explicit displeasure based on an understanding of the Royals that he's already repeatedly told her is flat-out wrong, it's also odd that when Sansa thinks about her actions in going to the queen, she thinks it's the FIRST time she'd ever been disobedient, when IMO refusing to listen to your father and engendering family discord explicitly against your father's will and with the assumption that he's a liar certainly qualifies.

In short (too late, I know) there is no INDIRECT evidence either that Ned ever tried to enlighten Sansa about the dangerousness of Joffrey and the Queen and KL, and quite a bit of indirect evidence to the contrary.

I think it's as one poster said earlier...Ned felt the need to explain to Arya carefully about the dangers facing them because he KNEW Arya's obedience could not be assured unless she had an understanding of WHY she should obey...while Sansa has ALWAYS obeyed, so he didn't really see the need to secure her understanding to get her obedience...he counted on it as a given. I don't think that's evil of him. And I don't think it was evil of Sansa to disobey that ONE TIME when she's never been given a clear understanding of WHY it was dangerous to disobey just then, and even her own septa doesn't understand the danger. Both Ned and Sansa tragically miscalculated.

There isn´t even an organized plot to kill Robert on Cersei's behalf, just a half-assed, lets get him drunk and hope he screws himself over plot, that is a total Hail Mary, that removes the one iron clad guarantee that Ned had at one stroke.

FWIW, Varys told Ned in the dungeon that if the "let's get Robert drunk" didn't work, Cersei had backup plans of an arrow gone astray, and others in reserve. He said "The forest is the abattoir of the gods." So basically, Cersei was lucky that her most easily deniable plan worked - but if it had failed, she wasn't just relying on her luck.

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We know that now. But Ned thought it was the Lannisters - specifically the Queen, as per Lysa's warning letter. So he left Winterfell intent on investigating the truth of the accusation that Cersei was a murderess. Now as I said, I don't blame Ned for what happened on the Trident. Usually, the Queen Consort is a powerless position, so Ned had no reason before the Trident to know how much real power Cersei wielded in Robert's court. After the Trident, after he'd seen Robert give in to her petty demands, he absolutely DID know she was not afraid of making an enemy of a Lord Paramount to get her own way about a children's squabble - and that Robert refused to stand against her. Imagine what she might do if her survival was at stake. Ned saw her dangerousness - and resolved to go on with investigation, betrothal and appointment to King's Hand.

But my point is why does Cersei care if Ned is 'investigating' her for a crime she knows she didn't commit???? Where is the danger in that? Ned never finds any proof (because there isn´t any) just a possible motive.

We happen to know that's wrong. If Jaime had found Arya before Ned's men had, the fact that Robert was alive would not have preventing him from doing something horrible to her. I wouldn't have blamed Ned for this if it had happened either; he had no way of knowing at the time just HOW reckless Cersei had become. I do think, however, that Cersei DID make it abundantly clear to Ned after the Trident that she was dangerous.

How do we know that's wrong? You are saying Robert would have stood for Cersei hurting Ned or his family?

But if Jaimie does find her and hurt her, Robert raises all kinds of hell and if he doesn't Ned raises the North.

Cersei is playing with fire threatening Ned. Which we see come to fruition when Ned is finally beheaded and Robb brings the North down on them.

Well, IIRC, no such conversation took place during Ned's POVs or Sansa's, or was recalled as previously having happened during any of their chapters - so there's no direct evidence of Ned having tried to tell Sansa any such thing 'offstage'. And IMO, if Ned HAD tried to tell Sansa again and again how wrong she was about how she'd behaved on the Trident, how wrong she was about Joffrey and unjust to her sister and she had stubbornly closed her ears and refused to hear reason, became furious and called him a liar, it's odd that when Ned tells her Joffrey is an unworthy fiance he doesn't say anything like "...as I told you before..." It's odd that he thought of her as an innocent child unknowingly revealing the truth about Joffrey instead of a disobedient, disrespectful chit who rudely rejects her father's counsel - a cardinal sin to Sansa's ladylike upbringing. Above all, if Ned had tried many times to tell Sansa the whole truth about how wrong she was about the Royals and how dangerous KL was and she foolishly flung his reasons in his face in a tantrum repeatedly, it's odd that he trusted her not to do anything foolish when he said it "wouldn't be wise" for her to say goodbye to Joffrey, when even her own Septa could see nothing wrong with such a thing, and even offered to accompany Sansa.

And if he has tried to get her to understand how wrong she is before, it's odd that he says "Let her go, Septa. I will try to make her understand when we are all safely back in Winterfell," which certainly doesn't have any reference to any time he's tried to "make her understand" before.

And if Sansa has been repeatedly ignoring her father as a liar when he's tried to tell her the truth about the Queen, Joffrey and KL, and she's been picking fights with her sister to her father's explicit displeasure based on an understanding of the Royals that he's already repeatedly told her is flat-out wrong, it's also odd that when Sansa thinks about her actions in going to the queen, she thinks it's the FIRST time she'd ever been disobedient, when IMO refusing to listen to your father and engendering family discord explicitly against your father's will and with the assumption that he's a liar certainly qualifies.

In short (too late, I know) there is no INDIRECT evidence either that Ned ever tried to enlighten Sansa about the dangerousness of Joffrey and the Queen and KL, and quite a bit of indirect evidence to the contrary.

A lack of evidence for something is not proof if its non-existence but okay this is part of the fun of limited jumping POVs.

I think it's as one poster said earlier...Ned felt the need to explain to Arya carefully about the dangers facing them because he KNEW Arya's obedience could not be assured unless she had an understanding of WHY she should obey...while Sansa has ALWAYS obeyed, so he didn't really see the need to secure her understanding to get her obedience...he counted on it as a given. I don't think that's evil of him. And I don't think it was evil of Sansa to disobey that ONE TIME when she's never been given a clear understanding of WHY it was dangerous to disobey just then, and even her own septa doesn't understand the danger. Both Ned and Sansa tragically miscalculated.

. Totally agree.

FWIW, Varys told Ned in the dungeon that if the "let's get Robert drunk" didn't work, Cersei had backup plans of an arrow gone astray, and others in reserve. He said "The forest is the abattoir of the gods." So basically, Cersei was lucky that her most easily deniable plan worked - but if it had failed, she wasn't just relying on her luck.

I suppose she organized the hunt as well?? My whole point with this is, as I've said before, that Ned gets branded as a dunce playing the game. When it really took a perfect storm of really good luck for his rivals and really bad luck for Ned for events to play out as they did. What if there is no report of white stags in the wood? What if Robert dies before Ned knows about the incest? Then he doesn't have his little talk with Cersei? What if he had enough time to get the girls out? What if Sansa doesn't rat him out? What if Littlefinger decides helping Ned might get him closer to Sansa? (Betcha never thought of that one!). A lot of things went wrong for Ned that could have gone right (not to mention Joffrey's di$& move). And if just one of them pans out things could have been very different.

Edited for clarity

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But my point is why does Cersei care if Ned is 'investigating' her for a crime she knows she didn't commit???? Where is the danger in that? Ned never finds any proof (because there isn´t any) just a possible motive.

I'm not really sure what you're getting at. We were discussing the danger of Cersei and KL to Ned and the kids, and whether Ned acted appropriately in exposing the children to the danger.

Ned knows a series of facts about the possible danger. Jon Arryn WAS murdered, that is a fact, and he knows it. Ned is taking the position of King's Hand. Without any understanding of WHY Jon was murdered, he may be exposing himself and anyone with him to the danger of the same happening.

Another fact - Cersei and the Lannisters are dangerous. Ned knows this too. Granted, his reason for believing in the danger is wrong - he thinks Cersei and the Lannisters murdered Jon Arryn, and this is not true. But even faulty reasoning can lead to a correct conclusion, and it is an absolute fact that Cersei and the Lannisters ARE dangerous. Ned thought that Cersei was a murderess, and he started with absolutely NO understanding of her motives. Now if you think that someone you plan to spend a lot of time nearby with your kids has killed someone, and you have no idea WHY they killed someone, it is wise to treat that person with the utmost caution and a healthy dose of fear - because you have NO IDEA what set them off to commit their crime, and NO IDEA what they think is a good reason to kill someone. If that person then shows themselves willing to self-indulgently victimize your children and incur an important political enemy to get their own way for perfectly petty reasons - then, IMO, it is even clearer that this person poses an acute danger.

What I'm saying is that there is no justification after the Trident trial for assuming that Cersei and KL are harmless and perfectly safe for the Stark kids, either from the facts as Ned knew them OR from the facts as we know them now and Ned wasn't privy to.

I suppose she organized the hunt as well?? My whole point with this is, as I've said before, that Ned gets branded as a dunce playing the game. When it really took a perfect storm of really good luck for his rivals and really bad luck for Ned for events to play out as they did.

No, Cersei didn't organize the hunt. But (as Ned noticed) she HAD organized a whole lot of Lannisters and Lannister allies into the king's staff over the years. And judging from what Varys told Ned, she'd been planning the hit on Robert for awhile, and the growing crisis precipitated her attempt: In his words:

"A hunter lives a perilous life. If the boar had not done for Robert, it would have been a fall from a horse, the bite of a wood adder, an arrow gone astray...the forest is the abbatoir of the gods. It was not wine that killed the king. It was your mercy."

"...The queen would not have waited long in any case. Robert was becoming unruly, and she needed to be rid of him to free her hands to deal with his brothers."

Of course, it was luck that Rob decided to go on that fateful hunt right before Ned confronted Cersei. But OTOH, it wasn't a big stretch - Robert was always going on hunts. I believe Varys when he says that Cersei had several alternate plans available to make sure Robert didn't come back. It seems to me a lot more likely than to think that if drunken Robert managed to kill the boar without killing himself, Cersei would have just folded her hands in resignation and either accepted hunted exile or the beheading of her children without demur.

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