The Twinslayer Posted February 26, 2017 Share Posted February 26, 2017 The "too long, didn't read" version is this. Ned's preferred method of fighting was to sit on his horse and ride down men who were on foot. Barristan tells us this is unchivalrous. Does that make Ned a dishonorable combatant? Or does it just mean he was clever? The quote from Barristan is in ASOS, when Strong Belwas (on foot) faces the Meereenese champion (who is mounted). When Meereen's champion rides out, Barristan (in his Arstan disguise) says: "A chivalrous man would dismount." Dany also notices this: "Oznak zo Pahl charged a third time, and now Dany could see plainly that he was riding past Belwas, the way a Westerosi knight might ride at an opponent in a tilt, rather than at him, like a Dothraki riding down a foe." Ned seems to prefer the Dothraki method. He describes it when he fights Jaime's men in the streets of King's Landing. "His party was mounted, the Lannisters on foot save for Jaime himself." And when the fighting starts, "A steel-shod hoof caught a Lannister guardsman in the face with a sickening crunch." That could be put down to the fact that Ned and his men were outnumbered. Except that Ned also fights this way when the numbers are on his side. Consider the encounter at the tower of joy. There is a vivid description of his party: "In the dream his friends rode with him, as they had in life. Proud Martyn Cassel, Jory's father; faithful Theo Wull; Ethan Glover, who had been Brandon's squire; Ser Mark Ryswell, soft of speech and gentle of heart; the crannogman, Howland Reed; Lord Dustin on his great red stallion." That is how Ned's party approaches the three KG at the toj. And, "They were seven, facing three. In the dream as it had been in life." It is clear the 3 KGs were not mounted. "Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, had a sad smile on his lips. The hilt of the greatsword Dawn poked up over his right shoulder. Ser Oswell Whent was on one knee, sharpening his blade with a whetstone. Between them stood fierce old Ser Gerold Hightower..." And of course, there is no indication that Ned's seven dismounted before "Ned's wraiths moved up beside him, with shadow swords in hand. They were seven against three." And there is a third example. During the Sack of King's Landing, Ned went to the throne room to find Aerys and to kill him. He knows he is probably going to have to cut down Jaime Lannister (and maybe thinks there will be some other KGs there, too). He expects Jaime and any others there to fight to the death. So Ned takes a large force. "My men were filling the room behind me." And does he dismount? No. "I was still mounted. I rode the length of the hall in silence." So it is safe to conclude that he expected to find Jaime (and maybe more KGs) guarding Aerys in the throne room. He planned to kill, or at least arrest, Aerys, which meant he would have to kill Jaime and any other KGs. He would have expected any guards to be on foot, in front of the Iron Throne. So he followed his usual fighting method and went in to ride them down. So the question is whether Ned's style was dishonorable? Or just clever? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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