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redtree

Best and Worst Husband in ASOIAF series

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Roose Bolton? The man that married his wife simply for monetary gain?

Yes, The man that really seems to care about her as well as having her being happy about...basically everything

"I pray for you morn, noon, and night, my sweet lord, and count the days until you share my bed again. Return to me soon, and I will give you many trueborn sons to take the place of your dear Domeric and rule the Dreadfort after you"

"I have become oddly fond of my fat little wife."

""Everyone thought my lord would choose Fair Walda," Lady Walda Bolton told Ser Wendel, shouting to be heard above the music. Fat Walda was a round pink butterball of a girl with watery blue eyes, limp yellow hair, and a huge bosom, yet her voice was a fluttering squeak. It was hard to picture her in the Dreadfort in her pink lace and cape of vair. "My lord grandfather offered Roose his bride's weight in silver as a dowry, though, so my lord of Bolton picked me." The girl's chins jiggled when she laughed. "I weigh six stone more than Fair Walda, but that was the first time I was glad of it. I'm Lady Bolton now and my cousin's still a maid, and she'll be nineteen soon, poor thing.""

She does seem pretty happy to me.

 

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Wow. Some of you are surprisingly hard on Ned for keeping a secret from Cat that probably saved an innocent child's life. This really makes him a bad husband?

Yes!
It doesn´t matter if Ned saved an innocent child's life. We are measuring "best husband" not "best person in general" or "best towards Jon Snow". Catelyn did have a problem with Ned´s choice with Jon and it was a stain on their marriage according to her. Your ethical position on this is irrelevant - Cat was not happy about it and her opinion is the one who matters when it comes to Ned´s husbandry performance.

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She was literally the only highborn woman in the series that we know of who had to suffer her husband's "bastard" in the midst of her own family.

In the context of the series it isn't on Ned to please his wife. If he desires his bastards' presence at his table he can do it and it's her choice to either be pleasant and take it or be a hassle and make a big deal about it.

 

Relative to almost every other marriage with any amount of detail involved (sorry Tywin fans) Ned is on top. 

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Tywin? He may have loved Joanna, but that didn't stop him from whoring his way through half of KL when he was Hand.

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Tywin? He may have loved Joanna, but that didn't stop him from whoring his way through half of KL when he was Hand.

We don't know that. 

Tywin probably was a loyal husband to Joanna while she was alive. 

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We don't know that. 

Tywin probably was a loyal husband to Joanna while she was alive. 

She was alive for most of his tenure as Hand.

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She was alive for most of his tenure as Hand.

And?

We know that Tywin slept with one prostitute 15 years after she died, this is hardly evidence that he was constantly sleeping with prostitutes while she was alive.

Personally, I would not find it that surprising if he had done so, it is not like it is a wild accusation but no evidence really shows that he did so.

As husbands go he seems quite a good one by Westerosi standards, it seems like a genuine partnership and if he did cheat while he was hundreds of miles away from her he was incredibly discreet about it.

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...and then sure, he could have handed Jon to Robert, and watched while Robert took a hammer to the baby. He would have been the perfect husband, I guess. Would anyone consider him a decent human being?

Not relevant for the question we are discussing

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Yes!
It doesn´t matter if Ned saved an innocent child's life. we are measuring "best husband" not "best person in general" or "best towards Jon Snow". Catelyn did have a problem with Ned´s choice with Jon and it was a stain on their marriage according to Cat. Your ethical position on this is irrelevant - Cat was not happy about it and her opinion is the one who matters when it comes to Ned´s husbandry performance.

So by your standard the only thing we should look at in determining if someone is a good husband is if the wife is happy about every decision he makes. By that standard no one is a good husband. Never mind that he probably did what was best for Catelyn by not telling her. Never mind that she's seems as if she happy about every other thing about their relationship. She isn't happy about this one decision so Ned is a bad husband. Ok.

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So by your standard the only thing we should look at in determining if someone is a good husband is if the wife is happy about every decision he makes. By that standard no one is a good husband. Never mind that he probably did what was best for Catelyn by not telling her. Never mind that she's seems as if she happy about every other thing about their relationship. She isn't happy about this one decision so Ned is a bad husband. Ok.

As I wrote earlier - the main important factor is what the spouse actually think about her partner. You try to give Ned extra cookie-points because you find him to be a overall decent person. I agree on that, but it is not relevant for the topic at hand. I find it honestly a bit scary that you think the wife´s happiness is a bad standard. If your spouse beats you, but he/she knows it is for a "good reason" does that absolve your pain and make your opinion about it wrong? Really? Isn´t that the kind of logic that creates wife-beaters in the first place - they only do what they know is best for their partner after all...

Indeed if you read the full OP you saw this: "We're talking strictly about the character's treatment to their respective spouse" - yet you want to add him to the absolute top (not middle, not even mid-top, but the absolute best) simply because he protects other people (which have nothing to do with being a good husband in the first place).

I also think Ned is a pretty decent husband, but not the best and that's due to a choice of his, a choice you refuse to put any weight in out of principle irrelevant to the topic. It´s hard for me to see this as anything but bias.

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And?

We know that Tywin slept with one prostitute 15 years after she died, this is hardly evidence that he was constantly sleeping with prostitutes while she was alive.

Personally, I would not find it that surprising if he had done so, it is not like it is a wild accusation but no evidence really shows that he did so.

As husbands go he seems quite a good one by Westerosi standards, it seems like a genuine partnership and if he did cheat while he was hundreds of miles away from her he was incredibly discreet about it.

The problem is that we know too little about their marriage and Joannas happiness (Yes, we know Tywin was happy, but we know very little of Joannas feelings) in order to put Tywin on the top husbands. Sure, they had an understanding, but does that mean happiness for her?

I think it is likely he was a somewhat good husband, but I doubt Joanna approved of eventual cheating.

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As I wrote earlier - the main important factor is what the spouse actually think about her partner. You try to give Ned extra cookie-points because you find him to be a overall decent person. I agree on that, but it is not relevant for the topic at hand. I find it honestly a bit scary that you think the wife´s happiness is a bad standard. If your spouse beats you, but he/she knows it is for a "good reason" does that absolve your pain and make your opinion about it wrong? Really? Isn´t that the kind of logic that creates wife-beaters in the first place - they only do what they know is best for their partner after all...

Indeed if you read the full OP you saw this: "We're talking strictly about the character's treatment to their respective spouse" - yet you want to add him to the absolute top (not middle, not even mid-top, but the absolute best) simply because he protects other people (which have nothing to do with being a good husband in the first place).

I also think Ned is a pretty decent husband, but not the best and that's due to a choice of his, a choice you refuse to put any weight in out of principle irrelevant to the topic. It´s hard for me to see this as anything but bias.

We're dealing with a subjective thing. What is leading me to think of Ned as the best is that, unlike the others in contention here, we see him with Cat, at length. I believe that Tywin was a good husband, but we never see that. We hear about it, second hand. I'm assuming that Davos was a great husband, too, but again, we've never seen Davos with his wife.

Is Ned perfect? No. This is a novel of grey characters; no one is perfect. Should Ned have told Cat about Jon? I personally don't think so. If r+l=j, then discovery of the secret not only endangers Jon, but Starks and their standing with Robert. More people who know a secret, the more risk you're taking.

So (IMO!) Ned is justified in keeping Jon's parentage a secret. From what I can see of their marriage, it's very happy. These two love one another, and respect one another, and we see that, the way we don't, for Tywin and Joanna.

 

EDIT: please remember that Ned is not a wife beater. You can't compare keeping this particular secret, and hitting Cat.

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We're dealing with a subjective thing. What is leading me to think of Ned as the best is that, unlike the others in contention here, we see him with Cat, at length. I believe that Tywin was a good husband, but we never see that. We hear about it, second hand. I'm assuming that Davos was a great husband, too, but again, we've never seen Davos with his wife.

Is Ned perfect? No. This is a novel of grey characters; no one is perfect. Should Ned have told Cat about Jon? I personally don't think so. If r+l=j, then discovery of the secret not only endangers Jon, but Starks and their standing with Robert. More people who know a secret, the more risk you're taking.

So (IMO!) Ned is justified in keeping Jon's parentage a secret. From what I can see of their marriage, it's very happy. These two love one another, and respect one another, and we see that, the way we don't, for Tywin and Joanna.

Of course we are dealing with a subjective thing, since everything is subjective in the first place (which is why saying IMO in discussions are unnecessary). What I question is the willingness to award Ned as best husband despite an issue in the marriage that have caused discontent. Yes, we have more information about Ned and Cats marriage then most other marriages in aSoIaF but that is not an argument to assume other marriages are less perfect.

What doesn´t seem to hit home is that Cat is displeased about this. You have no idea if she would be happier not knowing, we only know she is not happy now about "Neds bastard". The secret might endanger Jon and the Starks more if she knew, but Ned are not doing Cat any favors then but himself and Jon by not telling (you can´t argue that it´s best she didn´t know when you clearly see a negative reaction because of Neds lie). It is not important if Ned is justified or not - that's not the matter at hand. We are talking about being a good husband and yet you refuse to accept that a decision, which might be a good moral one, have a negative drawback on their marriage (AKA The topic we are discussing). Sometimes good, moral decisions have drawbacks and those drawbacks still counts.

Yet, you want to discard this and give Ned full points, for being a swell guy, regardless of Cats own opinion on the matter. I very much disagree on this stance and I am baffled that so many in this thread buy such a flawed logic.

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Of course we are dealing with a subjective thing, since everything is subjective in the first place (which is why saying IMO in discussions are unnecessary). What I question is the willingness to award Ned as best husband despite an issue in the marriage that have caused discontent. Yes, we have more information about Ned and Cats marriage then most other marriages in aSoIaF but that is not an argument to assume other marriages are less perfect.

What doesn´t seem to hit home is that Cat is displeased about this. You have no idea if she would be happier not knowing, we only know she is not happy now about "Neds bastard". The secret might endanger Jon and the Starks more if she knew, but Ned are not doing Cat any favors then but himself and Jon by not telling (you can´t argue that it´s best she didn´t know when you clearly see a negative reaction because of Neds lie). It is not important if Ned is justified or not - that's not the matter at hand. We are talking about being a good husband and yet you refuse to accept that a decision, which might be a good moral one, have a negative drawback on their marriage (AKA The topic we are discussing). Sometimes good, moral decisions have drawbacks and those drawbacks still counts.

Yet, you want to discard this and give Ned full points, for being a swell guy, regardless of Cats own opinion on the matter. I very much disagree on this stance and I am baffled that so many in this thread buy such a flawed logic.

Admitting subjectivity in discussions like this one is crucial, as you're wrong. Not everything is subjective. For one, the fact that Ned's called Ned, is lord of Winterfell, and is married to Cat are not subjective; they're facts, from the text.

Then--no imo--you're demanding perfection where none can be found. No one's saying that Ned's perfect. From what I can gather, those people who put Ned on top of their lists are merely saying that in this world of grey people, Ned is better than most.

 

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Best

Edmure Tully - That man is willing to swallow his pride and hand over his ancestrial home to protect his pregnant wife, even after her father murdered his sister and nephew. Now that's a devoted husband!

Eddard Stark - He may not be exciting or incite passion, but at the end of the day he's kind and gentle. To Quote Shaggy: "Life is one big party when you're still young, But who's gonna have your back when it's all done, It's all good when you're little you have pure fun. Can't be a fool, son, what about the long run?"

Stannis Baratheon - You could be a fat, ugly, bigoted, selfish bearded lady, and Stannis still won't put you aside or divorce you. Not even if he becomes king and therefore gains a lot more marriage options (I bet some of your vassals have pretty daughters). Plus, he's a good father [I'm gonna preemptively say it: the show has NO relevance in discussions pertaining to the books].

Orys Baratheon - He's a true gentleman. If he sees you drunkenly stumbling naked in an alleyway, he'll give you his cloak to cover yourself.

Ageon I "the Conqueror" Targaryen - For every one day he spends with his sister Visenya, he'll spend ten with you. 

Mace Tyrell - He's a good father, and he seems to have the closest family in the kingdom.

Worst

Renly Baratheon - It does not matter how attractive you are, he won't feel anything for you and will cheat on you with your brother.

Ageon I "the Conqueror" Targaryen - For every one day he spends with you, he'll spend ten with his younger sister Rhaenys Targaryen.

Victorian Greyjoy - If his brother rapes you, then he'll beat you to death and feed you to the crabs. 

Eurion Greyjoy - He'll cut your tongue out and give you to his brother Victorian. 

Ramsay Snow - Ask Jeyne Poole how that marriage turned out.

Petyr Baelish - The last thing you'll hear before he pushes you to your death is that the only woman he loved was some girl named "Cat".

Cersei Lannister - No matter what you do, she will cheat on you with your twin brother. And she'll pass his bastard off as your children, and abort any children that are actually yours, and then she'll murder you. And any children you had with other children? She'll go out of her way to kill all of them. STAY AWAY!

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Orys Baratheon - He's a true gentleman. If he sees you drunkenly stumbling naked in an alleyway, he'll give you his cloak to cover yourself. 

You mean a woman whose bloodline is ancient and her family had ruled that kingdom for thousand of years and would add credibility to his rule. He was a selective gentleman that one

Renly Baratheon - It does not matter how attractive you are, he won't feel anything for you and will cheat on you with your brother.

Margaery knew from the start and Renly+Loras was already a couple before their marriage. There must be an agreement between them so i don't count that as cheating, it's just an open marriage

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