Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Technofire

Why did Ned never tell Catelyn about Jon's real identity ?

Recommended Posts

Ned and Catelyn surely share a relationship of trust and honesty.

If Ned had told Catelyn, there is no doubt she would have kept it to herself, right ? Instead, Ned tarnished his image and created distrust in the couple. In addition Catelyn hates Jon. 

If I had to guess, I bet it was done only because it helps the storyline and it makes Jon's parentage more difficult to discover. If Catelyn did not care about Jon, or took care of him as an nephew, readers would have discovered the true story sooner. The fact that she hates him and suffers from Ned cheating on her makes the whole build-up more plausible. 

What do you all think ? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some secrets are safer kept hidden. Some secrets are too dangerous to share, even with those you love and trust. 

-Eddard VIII, AGOT


Ned thought, If it came to that, the life of some child I did not know, against Robb and Sansa and Arya and Bran and Rickon, what would I do? Even more so, what would Catelyn do, if it were Jon's life, against the children of her body? He did not know. He prayed he never would.

-Eddard XII, AGOT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Answer 1: He promised not to tell anyone.

Answer 2: Sharing this secret with Catelyn would make her accomplice to treason. If anyone found out and it could be proved that she knew, it would be punishable by death. Why would he want to put her in such a position?

Answer 3: Ned could not trust Catelyn, at least in the beginning of their relationship. The hardly knew each other when they married, and when they reunited again in Winterfell Jon was already there. NEd could not know what kind of woman was Cat back then. And even though both grow to love each other with time, what would be the point of revealing the truth to Cat a decade after?

Answer 4: The only good way of hiding an important secret is not telling anyone. Ned may have decided that Cat was completely trustworthy and tell her. And then Cat could feel that she needed to confide with Septa Mordane. Mordane could have told Septon Chayle, and he surely may have trusted maester Luwin, who in turn... when lives are at stake, it's better not to gamble.

Edited by The hairy bear

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Ned and Catelyn surely share a relationship of trust and honesty.

If Ned had told Catelyn, there is no doubt she would have kept it to herself, right ? Instead, Ned tarnished his image and created distrust in the couple. In addition Catelyn hates Jon. 

If I had to guess, I bet it was done only because it helps the storyline and it makes Jon's parentage more difficult to discover. If Catelyn did not care about Jon, or took care of him as an nephew, readers would have discovered the true story sooner. The fact that she hates him and suffers from Ned cheating on her makes the whole build-up more plausible. 

What do you all think ? 

Depends on whose child Jon is. We don't know if it's Lyanna's child or Ned's. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think, that Sansa is utterly stupid, egotistical and selfcentered person, and that she has inherited this traits from her mother. I think, that both of them are impulsive people, that first act and then think, if they think at all. And they think more about, what other people think about them, than about safety or consequences. For example when Sansa told Lannisters that her father is planning to escape from King's Landing, or when she told others that she and Tyrion didn't consummated their marriage.

So I think, that if Cat knew, that Ned didn't cheated, and she heard other people gossipping about Ned's bastard, then she would have been unable to keep her mouth shut, she would have told them, that it's not true, the boy is not Ned's. Which would have caused people to question, why does he keep the boy in his household, and why does the boy look so much like a Stark, if he isn't Ned's son. So eventually someone would have realised Jon's real parentage. Thus telling Cat the truth, was not an option. Because even if over time, Ned would have started to trust her enough, to share this secret with her, it would have been still too reckless, because of Cat's impulsive personality, and her egoism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  1. If the truth was revealed to Robert, Ned and Jon are dead. Putting Catelyn and possibly her children in that danger was something Ned did not want.
  2. It would seem suspicious for a woman to treat the (at least officially) bastard son of her husband well. So keeping Cat in the dark about the truth was the best cover.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/10/2018 at 10:43 AM, The hairy bear said:

Mordane could have told Septon Chayle, and he surely may have trusted maester Luwin, who in turn... when lives are at stake, it's better not to gamble.

Well put.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎5‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 4:55 PM, Megorova said:

So I think, that if Cat knew, that Ned didn't cheated, and she heard other people gossipping about Ned's bastard, then she would have been unable to keep her mouth shut, she would have told them, that it's not true, the boy is not Ned's. Which would have caused people to question, why does he keep the boy in his household, and why does the boy look so much like a Stark, if he isn't Ned's son. So eventually someone would have realised Jon's real parentage. Thus telling Cat the truth, was not an option. Because even if over time, Ned would have started to trust her enough, to share this secret with her, it would have been still too reckless, because of Cat's impulsive personality, and her egoism.

Nice. I never considered that angle: that Cat would have an interest in revealing Jon's identity as a way of removing the shame from Ned and, by extension, herself.

I think you're a little harsh on Cat and Sansa overall, but in this case you're probably right: the temptation to reveal the truth would be much harder for Cat to resist than Ned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Catelyn might not like Jon anyways, since his father’s impulsive actions led to her first betrothed getting killed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/10/2018 at 9:32 AM, Shmedricko said:

Some secrets are safer kept hidden. Some secrets are too dangerous to share, even with those you love and trust. 

-Eddard VIII, AGOT


Ned thought, If it came to that, the life of some child I did not know, against Robb and Sansa and Arya and Bran and Rickon, what would I do? Even more so, what would Catelyn do, if it were Jon's life, against the children of her body? He did not know. He prayed he never would.

-Eddard XII, AGOT

I alway read this as Jon taking precedence over Catelyn's children in some way and that he couldn't trust her to know the truth.  Even if Jon is a bastard;  she might do what Cersei had done and have him murdered and Ned didn't want to put that to the test.  Cersei herself says that  having Jon is assassinated is something that Catelyn should have done long ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/10/2018 at 6:43 AM, The hairy bear said:

Answer 1: He promised not to tell anyone.

Answer 2: Sharing this secret with Catelyn would make her accomplice to treason. If anyone found out and it could be proved that she knew, it would be punishable by death. Why would he want to put her in such a position?

Answer 3: Ned could not trust Catelyn, at least in the beginning of their relationship. The hardly knew each other when they married, and when they reunited again in Winterfell Jon was already there. NEd could not know what kind of woman was Cat back then. And even though both grow to love each other with time, what would be the point of revealing the truth to Cat a decade after?

Answer 4: The only good way of hiding an important secret is not telling anyone. Ned may have decided that Cat was completely trustworthy and tell her. And then Cat could feel that she needed to confide with Septa Mordane. Mordane could have told Septon Chayle, and he surely may have trusted maester Luwin, who in turn... when lives are at stake, it's better not to gamble.

 

On 5/10/2018 at 6:32 AM, Shmedricko said:

Some secrets are safer kept hidden. Some secrets are too dangerous to share, even with those you love and trust. 

-Eddard VIII, AGOT


Ned thought, If it came to that, the life of some child I did not know, against Robb and Sansa and Arya and Bran and Rickon, what would I do? Even more so, what would Catelyn do, if it were Jon's life, against the children of her body? He did not know. He prayed he never would.

-Eddard XII, AGOT

 

@The hairy bear breaks it down brilliantly and @Shmedricko provides the textual evidence. There is no reason to doubt Ned's thoughts on why he did what he did. He is not lying to himself. Does that mean R+L=J is true? No, it doesn't. It means there is some secret about Jon that is too dangerous to share with others, even Jon himself and Catelyn. It is up to the reader to come to the conclusion what that secret is and why it is so dangerous to others. I think most of us figured this out a long time ago, but we will have to wait until The Winds of Winter to be sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 5/10/2018 at 3:32 PM, Shmedricko said:

Some secrets are safer kept hidden. Some secrets are too dangerous to share, even with those you love and trust. 

-Eddard VIII, AGOT


Ned thought, If it came to that, the life of some child I did not know, against Robb and Sansa and Arya and Bran and Rickon, what would I do? Even more so, what would Catelyn do, if it were Jon's life, against the children of her body? He did not know. He prayed he never would.

-Eddard XII, AGOT

The most beautiful answer. If someone like Cat is the subject, no one can trust her. Cat hates Jon, but it's not what we thought. She sees him threatening her own children. He's a bastard, but he's a threat. If she knows that Jon is the king of Westeros? Robert and the others ... Cat surely could do something bad for her kids. In fact, we see that Ned knows it. He does not completely trust her. "Even more so, what would Catelyn do, if it were Jon's life, against the children of her body? "

Edited by YeniAy_Ottoman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/29/2018 at 5:04 PM, YeniAy_Ottoman said:

The most beautiful answer. If someone like Cat is the subject, no one can trust her. Cat hates Jon, but it's not what we thought. She sees him threatening her own children. He's a bastard, but he's a threat. If she knows that Jon is the king of Westeros? Robert and the others ... Cat surely could do something bad for her kids. In fact, we see that Ned knows it. He does not completely trust her. "Even more so, what would Catelyn do, if it were Jon's life, against the children of her body? "

It's got nothing to do with his potential status as a royal heir (he's not, by the way) threatening her kids.  The threat is more visceral and more immediate; if word gets out that Jon is Rhaegar's kid, Robert will kill him.  He may very well kill Ned for hiding it.  And that would directly, physically, endanger Catelyn's children.  Cat is already self-conscious about Jon's ability to keep her own kids from inheriting, which Ned knows.  If he spills the beans to Cat to assuage her as to his fidelity, she might betray that secret for the sake of her children.  Even if she doesn't do it willingly, it still threatens Ned's entire family, the one thought he cannot abide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/10/2018 at 4:55 PM, Megorova said:

I think, that Sansa is utterly stupid, egotistical and selfcentered person, and that she has inherited this traits from her mother. I think, that both of them are impulsive people, that first act and then think,

That's nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×