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What was Eddard's future before Robert's Rebellion??


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1 hour ago, James Steller said:

Brandon and Ned both made really irrational decisions motivated by emotion. But for my part, there's a world of difference between a man feeling guilty over potentially causing innocent children's deaths and a man who, to paraphrase what Floki said, seems to have travelled all the way to King's Landing in such a rage that he didn't give his actions a second thought. 

Because you find one action much more sympathetic than the other. Both decisions are still pretty irrational and proved to have disastrous consequences.

Brandon was under the impression that his sister was kidnapped, ofc he wasn't thinking about his actions.

 

2 hours ago, James Steller said:

Ned was agonising over the fact that Tommen and Myrcella didn't ask for the mess they were in, and he wanted to give them the mercy of a chance to escape being butchered like the Targaryen children. It's fear, guilty, and trauma on Ned's part. I think he was stupid, but I can understand where his stupidity came from.

Yeah, i know. So... 

 

 

2 hours ago, James Steller said:

Brandon, meanwhile, was convinced that he could threaten his prince with death in full view of hundreds of witnesses,

Doubtful, i thought he was convinced that he could actually  duel Rhaegar. As her words are code for duelling.

And there was the lessening factor of Lyanna actually being kidnapped.

 

 

2 hours ago, James Steller said:

including said prince's father, who was last seen by Brandon himself as a completely insane degenerate who wanted an anonymous knight executed because he thought the knight was a danger to him.

He wanted the knight brought to him and or defeated. 

Regardless there is being crazy with a random knight and there is executing highlords crazy. The latter no one expected it. Nor Brandon, nor Rockard, nor the Vale gang, nor the loyalist, no one. Hindsight is 20/20 tho, And given Rhaegar's and Aerys's relationship till then it was even more surprising. 

 

 

2 hours ago, James Steller said:

Brandon should have been able to have even a second's hesitation over what he was going to do

And Ned shouldn't?? 

 

 

2 hours ago, James Steller said:

I can't imagine a human being with rational thought spending weeks of travel to do something so completely dumb and not once consider the potential consequences.

Well. his sister was kidnapped so i doubt he was thinking and given that highlords had gone away with murder before, just ask Rpgar Baratheon, Lyonel Baratheon or all the lords who literally commited treason against Aegon 5. He could have expected a slap on the wrist, given the context, he should have gotten a slap on the wrist.

You have not answered me anyway, on why Ned would or wouldn't def be a better Lord, your argument can be sumed in "Brandon is an arrogant douche, so his mistakes are unforgivable  and he would never be a good lord",  "Ned is not an arrogant douche, he is honourable, he made mistakes but people are human". That's just bad faith.

Since i doubt your whole approach to this is going to change and we're derailing the thread, i'm happy to leave it at that.

 

 

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1 hour ago, ATaleofSalt&Onions said:

I can see how you can interpret "too shy to leave his bench" as "he wanted to ask Ashara, but was too shy to do it," but I think you can also read it as "Ned was too shy in general to dance and socialize, so his more outgoing older brother asked a pretty lady to dance with his square little brother."

On its own, maybe. But there are other textual references that suggest there was a general impression of an involvement between Ned and Ashara. Cat hears the Winterfell servants and guards gossiping about Ashara being Jon's mother, and Allyria Dayne appears to believe Ned was involved with Ashara too. 

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4 minutes ago, frenin said:

 

Well. his sister was kidnapped so i doubt he was thinking and given that highlords had gone away with murder before, just ask Rpgar Baratheon, Lyonel Baratheon or all the lords who literally commited treason against Aegon 5. He could have expected a slap on the wrist, given the context, he should have gotten a slap on the wrist.

You have not answered me anyway, on why Ned would or wouldn't def be a better Lord, your argument can be sumed in "Brandon is an arrogant douche, so his mistakes are unforgivable  and he would never be a good lord",  "Ned is not an arrogant douche, he is honourable, he made mistakes but people are human". That's just bad faith.

 

 

To be fair, Floki was the one who said Ned was worth twelve of Brandon. I don't think Ned was a saint, not at all, but I understand his stupidity more than I understand Brandon's stupidity.

We know that Ned was an effective warden of the North. That's been proven through the way everyone in the North talks about him (except Barbrey Dustin, of course). 

I do think Floki was harsh with Brandon  - for all I know, he might have been a decent lord - but I do agree that Ned was a better personality type than Brandon when it came to ruling. Ned is cold rather than hot, which as the series shows, results in him being less destructive than someone who lashes out impulsively. We see what hot-bloodedness leads to in the series. Viserys Targaryen, Aegon Targaryen II and IV, Rickard Karstark, Brandon Stark, they're all that type of hothead who acts quickly and irrationally based on anger. Ned acts irrationally based on fear, and caution. He does a really stupid thing because he's worried about someone innocent getting hurt. Plus, as I said, he never got over those dead Targaryen kids, clearly. Having known people who've struggled with trauma, I'm more inclined to be generous to them than someone like Brandon who, as far as I know, never experienced such trauma. 

I'll own it, though, Ned made a colossally stupid decision, which partly led to the War of the Five Kings being fought. But the reason why he made such a decision makes more sense to me than Brandon's.

And I understand it's subjective. I'm not pretending like I'm unbiased. Subjectivity doesn't necessarily mean bad faith. 

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On 7/25/2021 at 3:48 PM, Maia said:

If you look at the Stark family tree from FaB, which encompasses the last 2 centuries or so, then it is evident that second sons of a lord didn't go to the Wall. At least not as young men, since they all had wives, etc. In fact, it seems that third and fourth sons also all married, with one possible exception - but then, he may have just died young. The North is huge and a lord Stark could use all the help that he can get from his brothers to rule it effectively. The travel time alone to reach the places where disputes needed solving or some shady stuff needed looking into requires weeks or months. Not to mention that a brother would pick up the pieces should a lord fail to produce heirs or die young. So, there should have been both power and prestige, as well as important function to carry out for Ned as a second son in the North. In fact, given Brandon's Robert-like traits, it wouldn't have surprised me if Ned ended up with all the nitty-gritty work of  ruling if his brother had lived.

It is actually highly unusual and a big exception compared to the other noble houses of the North depicted in the books that Benjen as an  only surviving brother of a lord joined the NW, and it certainly greatly contributed to the downfall of the Starks.

Lord Rickard may have also hoped for a southern career for Ned, maybe at court, perhaps as a member of the Small Council eventually. Or he may have just hoped that Ned's southern experience would help the Starks build up closer ties, political and economical ones, with the south.  Lyanna's betrothal to Robert was the result of his and Ned's friendship, for instance. There were certainly many different options available to him.

In general, second sons of powerful lords in ASoIaF don't seem to have any difficulties finding brides. There are even odder matches, like Ser Daven Lannister having been in negotions for the only daughter of Lord Redwyne when Tywin made his deal with the Freys or Ned's Stark great-aunt having been married to the second son of the junior (landless) Royce line.

I don't agree that Ned was romantically interested in Ashara Dayne, I think that it was Brandon and that he was the father of her allegedly stillborn daughter.

 

@Yaya:

I think that Robert and Brandon were too alike to be friends. They would have quarreled over women, competed too much, etc. Opposites attract and all that.

Well said, though all that does remind me how weird it is that there’s no cadet branches of House Stark. Or House Baratheon and Tully for that matter.

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Only George could answer for certain, but Ned been a second son he would have some limited prospects compared to his older brother, he could marry the daughter of some Northern lord (as Lady Dustin's father proposed) and got to hold some keep and lands on his brother's beehaf. But his connections in the Vale and with Robert could enhance his prospects giving him the oportunity to marry well in to some of Vale1s noble house.

Some people here already said he may be was set to marry Ashara Dayne, some very good match for a second son like him

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11 hours ago, Canon Claude said:

Well said, though all that does remind me how weird it is that there’s no cadet branches of House Stark. Or House Baratheon and Tully for that matter.

It is not really weird, though. Consider the transition from Capet-Valois to Capet-Bourbon branch of French kings. Very comparable to the Stark - Karstark situation. IIRC, there were only a couple of other cadet branches that lasted a few generations in the 700+ years of their holding the throne.

From the family tree it seems very likely that the combination of Robert's and Greyjoy Rebellions put an end to the Stark cadet branch of Artos the Implacable that still existed in Lord Rickard's generation.  

@Arrow of the Morning:

I really think that the Ashara Dayne thing was a misdirection, but even if it was real and there had been serious consideration of a marriage, it wouldn't necessarily have been a particularly exceptional match. In ASoIaF second sons make good marriages to daughters/sisters of lords all the time. 

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12 hours ago, Arrow of the Morning said:

Only George could answer for certain, but Ned been a second son he would have some limited prospects compared to his older brother, he could marry the daughter of some Northern lord (as Lady Dustin's father proposed) and got to hold some keep and lands on his brother's beehaf. But his connections in the Vale and with Robert could enhance his prospects giving him the oportunity to marry well in to some of Vale1s noble house.

Some people here already said he may be was set to marry Ashara Dayne, some very good match for a second son like him

Plus Ned's aunt married into the Stormlands. Admittedly we don't hear anything from them...

Edited by Angel Eyes
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10 hours ago, Maia said:

 @Arrow of the Morning:

I really think that the Ashara Dayne thing was a misdirection, but even if it was real and there had been serious consideration of a marriage, it wouldn't necessarily have been a particularly exceptional match. In ASoIaF second sons make good marriages to daughters/sisters of lords all the time. 

Ashara and Ned romance might be a red herring regarding Jon's parentage, but it doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Second sons can marry well, but I would say it is more the exception rather than the norm. Second sons prospects are much lower than firstborns. Just look at some second sons like Kevan Lannister who married into House Swyft, a knightly house, much lower what a firstborn Lannister would marry and Lord Ryswell considering a marriage between his daughter and Brandon Stark as out of question, but considered Eddard a good enough match. 

I consider that Ashara Dayne is a very good match, born into a noble house that is one of the main vassals of House Martell, lady-in-waiting of the princess  and future queen and sister of one of the kingsguard. In addiction, she was a very attractive woman, what conunts a lot in Westeros when someone considers a match.

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On 7/24/2021 at 4:35 PM, Yaya said:

A Game of Thrones - Eddard II

A smile touched Ned's lips. "I do believe you mean it."

"I do, I do," the king said. "What do you say, Ned? Just you and me, two vagabond knights on the kingsroad, our swords at our sides and the gods know what in front of us, and maybe a farmer's daughter or a tavern wench to warm our beds tonight."

"Would that we could," Ned said, "but we have duties now, my liege … to the realm, to our children, I to my lady wife and you to your queen. We are not the boys we were."

People with a strong sense of duty don't always dream of growing up to be dutiful. Their general sense of responsibility tends to take over and shape their adult lives but that doesn't mean that's what they wanted when they were young. I'm sure Ned was never wild but might he very well have been more open and fun loving when he was growing up with Robert, especially if he was happily following young Robert's lead. The quote above might just be Ned humoring Robert but it might also be an insight into what younger Ned would have found appealing without all of his responsibilities. I don't think we can just look at adult Ned and use that to predict what we would have wanted for himself if Brandon hadn't died.

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Given that he was being fostered in the Vale of all places under the Lord Paramount & his other marriage plans, I think it’s fairly obvious. He saw his son as another pawn to get involved in the South.

Kingsguard, I do not think so. Marriage into one of the houses of the Vale or Stormlands (ala Robert, who was of Targaryen blood too)? Yes. Perhaps hoping that the quiet wolf might become more politically astute if mingling with members of important Southern houses as well.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/26/2021 at 12:41 PM, mormont said:

On its own, maybe. But there are other textual references that suggest there was a general impression of an involvement between Ned and Ashara. Cat hears the Winterfell servants and guards gossiping about Ashara being Jon's mother, and Allyria Dayne appears to believe Ned was involved with Ashara too. 

Apologies for this being a very delayed reply (haven't checked this board in a while), but I wanted to respond to this because I think a close examination of the evidence for N + A illustrates my point about how flimsy it actually is when subject to scrutiny, despite the multiple references.

Let's start off with Cat's recollections about the rumors she heard about Ashara being Jon's mother:

Quote

Ned would not speak of the mother, not so much as a word, but a castle has no secrets, and Catelyn heard her maids repeating tales they heard from the lips of her husband's soldiers. They whispered of Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, deadliest of the seven knights of Aerys's Kingsguard, and of how their young lord had slain him in single combat. And they told how afterward Ned had carried Ser Arthur's sword back to the beautiful young sister who awaited him in a castle called Starfall on the shores of the Summer Sea. The Lady Ashara Dayne, tall and fair, with haunting violet eyes. 

So first off, we're talking about a thirdhand rumor whose ultimate source as far as we can tell is a bunch of nameless soldiers. Furthermore, unless Howland Reed started talking, we know that none of these soldiers actually have firsthand knowledge of the events at the ToJ and Starfall that they gossip about. IMO what likely happened is that soldiers started speculating when Ned brought a child home, someone suggested Ashara since Ned went to Starfall shortly before she (apparently) committed suicide and it spread from there. Unless you're clinging to N + A = J against all evidence, we also know that their speculation about her and Ned being Jon's parents is false. I don't think that's very solid evidence that there was actually a thing between Ned and Ashara. 

The next mention of Ashara is when Cersei throws her name at Ned as possibly being the mother of his bastard. This shows that she's aware of the rumor, but as this comes right after she accuses Ned of fathering Jon on a whore or a Dornish peasant he raped, she clearly has no firm belief on the matter, let alone any actual insight. Again, not exactly credible evidence that there's any truth to the Ned-Ashara rumors.

That brings us to Arya's chapter with Ned Dayne and Harwin. Harwin heard a story about Ned and Ashara at Harrenhal growing up, but this doesn't really add much beyond what we learned from Catelyn, that people at Winterfell gossiped about Ned and Ashara. Still nothing from anyone with any sort of credibility or firsthand (or even secondhand) knowledge. Ned Dayne's story that he heard from Allyria might seem to fulfill this at first glance, but not when you consider Allyria's likely age. She's been betrothed to Beric Dondarrion for years but they're still not married. If we assume she's 20 at the start of the story (which is a very conservative estimate, she's probably a few years younger than this) then she would have been about 3 when the Tourney at Harrenhal happened and about 5 when Ashara died. There's very little chance that she's old enough to be a credible direct source on her older sister's love life.

In light of all that, I don't think the line in Meera's story is by any means clear confirmation that Ned did have feelings for Ashara. There are a couple of other things that point against it IMO.

Ned literally never thinks about Ashara in AGOT, and has no internal or external reaction when Cersei throws her name in his face. He doesn't think about her or anything that could be associated with her when he dreams about Harrenhal. Pretty odd if they supposedly had this great love affair.

Barristan in ADWD. Barristan thinks about how Ashara was "dishonored" at Harrenhal (which he seems to think resulted in her getting pregnant), and wonders if she would have turned to him instead of "Stark" had he won the joust and crowned her queen of love and beauty. If "Stark" here is supposed to be Ned and Barristan believes they got together, it's pretty odd given his apparent respect for Ned. Furthermore, Barristan's thoughts elsewhere in ADWD about how young girls prefer "fire" to "mud" seems like a weird attitude for him to have if the one girl he'd ever crushed on in his life had gotten with the quintessential Mud Man despite being much better looking than him by all accounts.

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I don't see Rickard Stark for a second letting any of his sons go to the wall; regardless of intent, he was clearly showing ambition with his matches. Ned probably would have gotten more leeway than his first born son and daughter in regards to choosing a mate, but Rickard would still try for any of the big profile marriages he could. If Lyesse was allowed to marry Jorah, then Ned certainly would have been a suitable bachelor. He'd have made a good match with Ashara Dayne as well; Lysa Tully as well considering she's been 'spoiled' but with an alliance with the Tullys already in place it seems unlikely.

One of the Royce's would be a good match, or one of the Stark bannermen. I doubt benjen joins the NW, and Ned certainly wouldn't be allowed to unless he was 100% dead set.

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13 hours ago, Leonardo said:

 Lysa Tully as well considering she's been 'spoiled' but with an alliance with the Tullys already in place it seems unlikely.
 

Why would Rickard want his second son to marry a second daughter of House Tully? Where would they settle down? If anything, I figure Rickard would want to marry Eddard off to a house with a female heir, so that Eddard would take on her name and whatnot. That's the ideal for second sons, no?

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On 8/17/2021 at 12:14 PM, Widowmaker 811 said:

It depends on Rickard’s plan.  

Ned did get the plan for repopulating the New Gift with petty lords from Rickard, right? Establishing new holdfasts for the protection of smallfolk, which would have been a lightening rod for plural sons and noble bastards. 

 

Ned hinted at it twice. Once when he told Brandon he would hold a castle or keep in Robb's name, and again when Jon reveals he was aware of Ned's plan. Rickard might have had Southron Ambitions, but he was also looking north.

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On 8/17/2021 at 2:44 PM, James Steller said:

Why would Rickard want his second son to marry a second daughter of House Tully? Where would they settle down? If anything, I figure Rickard would want to marry Eddard off to a house with a female heir, so that Eddard would take on her name and whatnot. That's the ideal for second sons, no?

Well, Tywin wasn’t afraid to try and have his eldest son and heir Jaime marry the second daughter (that would be Lysa). Plus Rickard himself married a younger daughter.

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12 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

Well, Tywin wasn’t afraid to try and have his eldest son and heir Jaime marry the second daughter (that would be Lysa). Plus Rickard himself married a younger daughter.

That's not the same thing. Jaime, as Tywin's heir, was set to inherit Casterly Rock. It makes sense that he'd marry (a) the daughter of a loyal bannerman, or (b) the daughter of a great house. Catelyn was presumably taken already, so Lysa was thrown his way instead.

Tyrion, by contrast, is the second son of Tywin, and he stood to inherit nothing in terms of land or titles. While it's true that his dwarfism was a big reason why people turned him down, what also came into play was the aforementioned status of 'second son'.

Regardless of whether the heir is male or female, the heir is set to inherit the title and land of their predecessor. That is what adds attraction as a potential spouse. That also means their spouse will move in with them and live in their castle. Lysa was going to move in with Jaime, and if Edmure wasn't around, Catelyn would be staying in Riverrun to continue as the new Lady of Riverrun, and whoever married her would become its Lord and take her surname. 

Marrying two second children to each other means that neither of them inherits anything unless specifically stated by their parents, or if something happens to their older brother/sister. Brandon was a fit, healthy, and presumably sane young man, so there was no reason to assume he'd die young. So unless Rickard was planning to give Eddard some small holdfast in the Gift, or unless Eddard was going to live in Winterfell as Brandon's master-at-arms or steward or whatever, Eddard was doomed to make his own way in the world, as Robar Royce pointed out. Why would Hoster marry either of his daughters to him? He didn't, not until Brandon and Rickard were killed and Eddard became Lord of Winterfell.

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19 minutes ago, James Steller said:

That's not the same thing. Jaime, as Tywin's heir, was set to inherit Casterly Rock. It makes sense that he'd marry (a) the daughter of a loyal bannerman, or (b) the daughter of a great house. Catelyn was presumably taken already, so Lysa was thrown his way instead.

Tyrion, by contrast, is the second son of Tywin, and he stood to inherit nothing in terms of land or titles. While it's true that his dwarfism was a big reason why people turned him down, what also came into play was the aforementioned status of 'second son'.

Regardless of whether the heir is male or female, the heir is set to inherit the title and land of their predecessor. That is what adds attraction as a potential spouse. That also means their spouse will move in with them and live in their castle. Lysa was going to move in with Jaime, and if Edmure wasn't around, Catelyn would be staying in Riverrun to continue as the new Lady of Riverrun, and whoever married her would become its Lord and take her surname. 

Marrying two second children to each other means that neither of them inherits anything unless specifically stated by their parents, or if something happens to their older brother/sister. Brandon was a fit, healthy, and presumably sane young man, so there was no reason to assume he'd die young. So unless Rickard was planning to give Eddard some small holdfast in the Gift, or unless Eddard was going to live in Winterfell as Brandon's master-at-arms or steward or whatever, Eddard was doomed to make his own way in the world, as Robar Royce pointed out. Why would Hoster marry either of his daughters to him? He didn't, not until Brandon and Rickard were killed and Eddard became Lord of Winterfell.

Then how do you explain the Glover situation? Galbart's an unmarried childless man, while his brother is married with two kids. Garlan Tyrell was married long before Willas was even engaged, and certainly before Garlan was set to inherit any titles of his own.

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1 hour ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Then how do you explain the Glover situation? Galbart's an unmarried childless man, while his brother is married with two kids. Garlan Tyrell was married long before Willas was even engaged, and certainly before Garlan was set to inherit any titles of his own.

I wouldn't go as far as the other person in terms of second sons being worthless in marriage alliances, but there is definitely reduced value. For a Great House like the Tullys, marrying a daughter to a second son would generally be pretty disappointing (also, in this specific case it would be essentially useless since it would be extremely redundant in light of Brandon and Catelyn's betrothal). I think the other person goes a bit off track in emphasizing that Rickard would be opposed to it, which I think would only be true because of the existing alliance through Brandon and Catelyn. In the case of Garlan, marrying the child of a liege confers benefits even if they are a second son. As for why Willas isn't married yet, some of that could be due to his disability, but it's probably more the Tyrells being more selective with the heir.

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