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Alexander Leonard

Is there romantic love between Ned and Catelyn?

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A lot of people believe that romantic love grows out of Ned and Catelyn's political marriage. I beg to disagree. In the book Ned always starts their conversation by asking "Where are the children?" This indicates they have trouble finding something else to talk about, and they don't have shared interests. I think it is honor, responsibility and children that bind them together, not romantic love.

Oberyn Martell and Ellaria Sand have four daughters, but they seldom talk about their children while they are together. They kiss and tease and find ease in each other's company. Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark had a lot of shared interests such as riding, jousting and singing. I could imagine that they would talk more about these things than their child. That is what romantic relationship looks like. Children are just by-products of a marriage and they should never take center stage in a couple's life.

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23 minutes ago, Alexander Leonard said:

A lot of people believe that romantic love grows out of Ned and Catelyn's political marriage. I beg to disagree. In the book Ned always starts their conversation by asking "Where are the children?" This indicates they have trouble finding something else to talk about, and they don't have shared interests. I think it is honor, responsibility and children that bind them together, not romantic love.

Oberyn Martell and Ellaria Sand have four daughters, but they seldom talk about their children while they are together. They kiss and tease and find ease in each other's company. Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark had a lot of shared interests such as riding, jousting and singing. I could imagine that they would talk more about these things than their child. That is what romantic relationship looks like. Children are just by-products of a marriage and they should never take center stage in a couple's life.

Sweet summer child...

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From Catelyn Pov we can cleary see that she loved Eddard.

“Bones, Catelyn thought. This is not Ned, this is not the man I loved, the father of my children. His hands were clasped together over his chest, skeletal fingers curled about the hilt of some longsword, but they were not Ned’s hands, so strong and full of life. They had dressed the bones in Ned’s surcoat, the fine white velvet with the direwolf badge over the heart, but nothing remained of the warm flesh that had pillowed her head so many nights, the arms that had held her.“

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4 hours ago, Alexander Leonard said:

Children are just by-products of a marriage and they should never take center stage in a couple's life.

They kind of do because of the incredible amount of love that the couple both have for the children. 

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They loved each other romantically . It was not a marriage like Stannis and his wife. 

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It's a bit absurd to limit romance to only the specific behaviors that you describe. There are as many ways of being romantic as there are couples.

People find ways to express their feelings in ways that are suitable to their own personalities. It's possible for people to express romance in very practical or even mundane ways, such as always keeping their partner's car gassed up. People can express romance in ways that may seem odd to others but are perfectly romantic to them. When I was on chemo for cancer, my husband shaved my head for me once my hair began to fall out. It was and still is the most romantic thing that has ever happened to me.

The last thing anybody needs in their lives are limits on how to be romantic with your partner.

 

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10 hours ago, Foot_Of_The_King said:

They kind of do because of the incredible amount of love that the couple both have for the children. 

It is unhealthy relationship when a wife or husband pays more attention to children than their spouse.

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1 hour ago, Alexander Leonard said:

It is unhealthy relationship when a wife or husband pays more attention to children than their spouse.

No, its not. To pay more attention to your spouse - or expect your spouse to pay more attention to you - than you pay to your child is horrible parenting. Your spouse is a grown adult, they don’t need a tenth the attention that a child does. Children are called dependents for a reason. I could go on, but this point shouldn’t need to be made.

As to the basic point, different couples love each other differently. Some are more affectionate, some are less. Some verbalize their love, some do it through actions. And so on, and so forth. For example, I have a pet name for my wife. The pet name is ‘wife,’ because I have an offbeat sense of humor. Every couple is unique. I’m sure if a random stranger heard me call her ‘wife’ they would think I’m oddly cold. Meanwhile, we have insight into their characters’ inner thoughts, and both Ned and Cat think they love each other, so I say its fair to assume they know better than we do.

Edited by DominusNovus

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4 hours ago, Alexander Leonard said:

It is unhealthy relationship when a wife or husband pays more attention to children than their spouse.

Honestly, this way of thinking is why we have neglected and/or abused children in the world. Your children should be way more important than your spouse, Ned can take care of himself, children need attention and caring. They both understood that and acted accordingly. There are millions of way of expressing love and we have to remember their children are the manifestation of their love.

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11 hours ago, DominusNovus said:

No, its not. To pay more attention to your spouse - or expect your spouse to pay more attention to you - than you pay to your child is horrible parenting. Your spouse is a grown adult, they don’t need a tenth the attention that a child does. Children are called dependents for a reason. I could go on, but this point shouldn’t need to be made

8 hours ago, BigBoss1 said:

Honestly, this way of thinking is why we have neglected and/or abused children in the world. Your children should be way more important than your spouse, Ned can take care of himself, children need attention and caring. They both understood that and acted accordingly. There are millions of way of expressing love and we have to remember their children are the manifestation of their love.

 

Thanks for coming to my defense. 

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11 hours ago, Foot_Of_The_King said:

Thanks for coming to my defense. 

No problem.

I will add a little nuance by clarifying that love for your children isn’t a replacement for love for your spouse, they should work in concert. 

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"Romantic" love? I should hope not. As depicted in song and lit throughout history, "romantic love" is greedy, selfish, possessive, jealous, short-tempered, often violent, and seems to emanate from the "naughty bits." Small wonder that history's romantic lovers are almost exclusively young (and apparently also foolish).

Ned and Cat share a mature, understanding, considerate kind of love. Honestly, the whole deal with pregnancy and children is as un"romantic" as one can imagine.

This kind of mature love seems to be generally ignored, if not discounted or even denigrated. B O O O O O R ing! Where are the sword fights, the rescues, the passionate kisses (etc), the sitting at the window, pining for his return? Let's not get into the suicides. Dumb, teenage love. It's too bad we (maybe not you in particular) idolize it so much.

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38 minutes ago, zandru said:

"Romantic" love? I should hope not. As depicted in song and lit throughout history, "romantic love" is greedy, selfish, possessive, jealous, short-tempered, often violent, and seems to emanate from the "naughty bits." Small wonder that history's romantic lovers are almost exclusively young (and apparently also foolish).

Ned and Cat share a mature, understanding, considerate kind of love. Honestly, the whole deal with pregnancy and children is as un"romantic" as one can imagine.

This kind of mature love seems to be generally ignored, if not discounted or even denigrated. B O O O O O R ing! Where are the sword fights, the rescues, the passionate kisses (etc), the sitting at the window, pining for his return? Let's not get into the suicides. Dumb, teenage love. It's too bad we (maybe not you in particular) idolize it so much.

There's some truth in here, though the overall gist is a bit over the top. There is a valid place for romantic love in a relationship, but that type of love is elevated - at the expense of other types - to an improper degree in our culture. It doesn't help that, in English, we use one word for multiple related concepts. Of course, in the Greek, there's much more nuance:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_words_for_love

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I really can't fathom someone reading Ned and Cat's POVs and came away without seeing romantic love. They aren't written as dutiful or merely affectionate. I mean....

Ned and Cat seem to think so:

Inside, Catelyn was waiting. She cried out when she saw him, ran to him, and embraced him fiercely.

Ned was lost. "Then how? Why are you here, my love? What is this place?"

"As you say, my lord." Catelyn lifted her face, and Ned kissed her. Her maimed fingers clutched against his back with a desperate strength, as if to hold him safe forever in the shelter of her arms.

He felt Catelyn tremble in his arms. Her scarred hands clung to him. "If," she said, "what then, my love?"

He wanted to drift off to a dreamless sleep in his own bed with his arms wrapped tight around his lady, Catelyn.

There was no way to soften the blow, so she told him straight. "I am so sorry, my love. Jon Arryn is dead."

So when they had finished, Ned rolled off and climbed from her bed, as he had a thousand times before.

Ned kissed the tears from her eyes before they could fall. "Thank you, my lady," he whispered. "This is hard, I know."

 It was a stirring sight, yet it did not lift her heart. She wondered if indeed her heart would ever lift again. Oh, Ned....

. I have lost my Ned, the rock my life was built on

Winter comes for all of us, Catelyn thought. For me, it came when Ned died.

 She told herself that there had been no time, but the truth was that food had lost its savor in a world without Ned. When they took his head off, they killed me too.

Bones, Catelyn thought. This is not Ned, this is not the man I loved, the father of my children. His hands were clasped together over his chest, skeletal fingers curled about the hilt of some longsword, but they were not Ned's hands, so strong and full of life. They had dressed the bones in Ned's surcoat, the fine white velvet with the direwolf badge over the heart, but nothing remained of the warm flesh that had pillowed her head so many nights, the arms that had held her. 

They could do as they wished with her; imprison her, rape her, kill her, it made no matter. She had lived too long, and Ned was waiting

 Our children, Ned,, all our sweet babes. Rickon, Bran, Arya, Sansa, Robb . . . Robb . . . please, Ned please, make it stop, make it stop hurting . . . 

No, don't, don't cut my hair, Ned loves my hair. 

Edited by Kittykatknits

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55 minutes ago, Kittykatknits said:

I really can't fathom someone reading Ned and Cat's POVs and came away without seeing romantic love.

Well, it depends on what you call "romantic", I guess. I would never dispute that these two are in love.

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On 2/20/2019 at 7:36 PM, Arthur Peres said:

From Catelyn Pov we can cleary see that she loved Eddard.

“Bones, Catelyn thought. This is not Ned, this is not the man I loved, the father of my children. His hands were clasped together over his chest, skeletal fingers curled about the hilt of some longsword, but they were not Ned’s hands, so strong and full of life. They had dressed the bones in Ned’s surcoat, the fine white velvet with the direwolf badge over the heart, but nothing remained of the warm flesh that had pillowed her head so many nights, the arms that had held her.“

Agreed.

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2 hours ago, zandru said:

Well, it depends on what you call "romantic", I guess. I would never dispute that these two are in love.

They sleep in each other's arms with her head resting on his chest. He kisses her tears away and they repeatedly refer to each other as "my love." We wouldn't expect this behavior between siblings or parent and child. It's all clear-cut romantic gestures between lovers. 

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