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How would have Ned reacted if Robert offered to take Jon as a squire or offered to help find someone in the South to take him as a squire?


Alex13
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If Robert would have travelled to Winterfell following the Greyjoy Rebellion and offered to help his friend Ned with Jon, by taking him as his squire or helping him find someone to take Jon as a squire, what would have been Ned's options? Would Ned have refused and state that he already has plans to squire/foster Jon and then work on that? Or would he have accepted, so as to not raise suspicion for refusing?
I imagine that Robert taking a bastard as a squire would have raised a lot of eyebrows, but i don't think that Robert would have cared how that looked, as he would have seen it as doing a favor to his best friend. Not to mention, Jon is said to look a lot like Ned, so that could have been a comfort for Robert and help him reminisce about his time in the Vale.
Or if Robert would not have taken him as a squire, then in what region would Ned and/or Robert be looking to squire Jon and with what knight or lord?
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12 minutes ago, Alex13 said:

If Robert would have travelled to Winterfell following the Greyjoy Rebellion and offered to help his friend Ned with Jon, by taking him as his squire or helping him find someone to take Jon as a squire, what would have been Ned's options? Would Ned have refused and state that he already has plans to squire/foster Jon and then work on that? Or would he have accepted, so as to not raise suspicion for refusing?

Safest option, right under his nose, if Jon is really Lyanna's son by Rhaegar or anyone else.

12 minutes ago, Alex13 said:
I imagine that Robert taking a bastard as a squire would have raised a lot of eyebrows, but i don't think that Robert would have cared how that looked, as he would have seen it as doing a favor to his best friend. Not to mention, Jon is said to look a lot like Ned, so that could have been a comfort for Robert and help him reminisce about his time in the Vale.

No eyebrows unless its his own baseborn child.

12 minutes ago, Alex13 said:
Or if Robert would not have taken him as a squire, then in what region would Ned and/or Robert be looking to squire Jon and with what knight or lord?

The Watch, no other option. Or Howland Reed or any of the loyal Northern Houses like Manderly (Bear Island no prospects, but if its anonymity he needs...). Or Blackwoods since the keep the old gods.

Edited by TheLastWolf
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Could have gone either way. Jon would have been a constant affront to Cersei though which may make Robert taking him on himself a poor decision but wouldn't have been a reason he couldn't have set him up with someone in the Stormlands. Maybe Jon might have been squired to Beric Dondarrion who seems to do a passable job at standing in for Ned when the story needs him to. I think 'dangerous' maybe a bit of an overstatement, but Ned would have to have his story in real good order if he was going to deny Robert especially if he was offering a favour.

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Given Robert's reputation, if he took Jon as a squire it would lead to the widespread conclusion that Jon was really Robert's son, possibly off Lyanna.  I can't even imagine what stories might metastasize from there, and once Lyanna is in the picture, Rhaegar isn't far behind. "Bad idea" does not begin to describe it.  Especially as Ned has a trueborn son the same age who is unspoken for.

I can see Robert offering to help get Jon a squire position but, let's face it, if Ned were so inclined, he can do that himself.

Edited by Nevets
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4 hours ago, Nevets said:

I can see Robert offering to help get Jon a squire position but, let's face it, if Ned were so inclined, he can do that himself.

Good point, it seems Ned wanted to "hide" Jon from the rest of the Realm, so people forgot about him.

I don't see Robert fostering Jon (if he would be open to the idea of fostering bastards, he could start with their own), but he could arrange to send it somewhere and I think the only possible places are to Storm's End and grow up with Renly (the latter being six years older), or with his namesake, Jon Arryn (either in the Red Keep, which I think Ned would refuse) or in the Vale with Nestor Royce (a safe place that Ned knows well, away from the gossips of the court and from Catelyn).

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Terror and dispair... The last thing Ned wants is Jon anywhere close to Robert.

The funny thing is that Ned draw more attention to Jon by treating him diferent from other bastards of lords. He managed to patch his relationship with Cat, and Robb became friends with Jon, but if he had send Jon to be fostered by other northem lord like usually happens, people might even forget that Jon exists.

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Ned would have shown gratitude but Robert dodged a bullet because this did not happen.  Jon is not going to be where he's needed because his heart and mind are in that drafty old castle in the north.  But yes, Jon is better squiring because he's not good at leading. 

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7 hours ago, Finley McLeod said:

Ned would have shown gratitude but Robert dodged a bullet because this did not happen.  Jon is not going to be where he's needed because his heart and mind are in that drafty old castle in the north.  But yes, Jon is better squiring because he's not good at leading. 

I respectfully disagree. If Jon were in the South, an exotic new location for him, surrounded by people and places he had never seen before, I don't believe he would think of Winterfell all that much, except as a comparison to his current circumstances. And perhaps he may feel a little homesick. But that is all.

I wouldn't say that Jon is no good at leading. He is perhaps not the best leader, but he was in a very difficult and tense situation and he made the best of it that he could. Yes he made mistakes. He sent his closest supporters away, for one. He also thought that everyone was more concerned with the massive existential threat that is trying to kill them all than their own prejudices. This is a mistake I would also make.

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21 hours ago, Rondo said:

A Stark bastard is no fit squire for a king.

That is ultimately Robert's decision to make.

Ned would be hard pressed to refuse such an offer. I imagine Jon would really like the chance to see more of the world, though I think his bastard status would continue to weigh on him and he would be plagued by doubts because of this, maybe more so than at the watch. Perhaps Robert or Renly could introduce him to Edric Storm, a fellow bastard, to help him feel less insecure about himself. I think that somewhere in the Stormlands or Crownlands would be the best place to squire if he wasn't with Robert, being close to the capital. Cersei wouldn't like it but I don't think she would go so far as to try and murder Jon, since he isn't Roberts own bastard.

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Panic.

Sheer and total panic.

 

Obviously Ned can't agree to this. It's way too risky...especially if my head-canon/pet theories about House Dayne and the Citadel knowing or having records of the truth about Jon are true. Ned would have had a very hard time keeping his cover because literally everyone would be saying it's an amazing idea and literally everyone would be extremely suspicious if he had refused.

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Why does anyone think Robert would make such an offer in the first place?  The only way I can see him, or any high lord, offering to make a bastard a squire would be if it's the only son of a loyal supporter he wishes to reward.  That's not the case here; Ned has Robb, a trueborn son the same age who is not spoken for.  If Robert took anyone, it would be Robb.  Plus, as I pointed out above, taking Jon as a squire would lead to speculation that Jon was really Robert's, possibly with Lyanna.  That leads to very dangerous waters.

In any event, Ned wouldn't want Jon anywhere near Robert.  He doesn't want Robert even thinking about Jon, much less seeing or hearing about him on a regular basis.  Out of sight, out of mind.  If Jon did go south, probably Dorne or maybe the Reach.

I suspect keeping Jon close was one of the promises Ned made to Lyanna.  In which case, Ned would keep him at Winterfell, and if not there, definitely in the North.  In fact, such a promise is probably why Jon wasn't fostered out in the first place, much less become a squire.

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19 hours ago, Finley McLeod said:

Ned would have shown gratitude but Robert dodged a bullet because this did not happen.  Jon is not going to be where he's needed because his heart and mind are in that drafty old castle in the north.  But yes, Jon is better squiring because he's not good at leading. 

Well, from what i know Jon wasn't given full lessons into leading or he wasn't given lessons about leading at all. If he is a squire, he could get leadership lessons and possibly be brought out of his shell and be made more confident. 

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4 hours ago, Nevets said:

Why does anyone think Robert would make such an offer in the first place?  The only way I can see him, or any high lord, offering to make a bastard a squire would be if it's the only son of a loyal supporter he wishes to reward.  That's not the case here; Ned has Robb, a trueborn son the same age who is not spoken for.  If Robert took anyone, it would be Robb.  Plus, as I pointed out above, taking Jon as a squire would lead to speculation that Jon was really Robert's, possibly with Lyanna.  That leads to very dangerous waters.

In any event, Ned wouldn't want Jon anywhere near Robert.  He doesn't want Robert even thinking about Jon, much less seeing or hearing about him on a regular basis.  Out of sight, out of mind.  If Jon did go south, probably Dorne or maybe the Reach.

I suspect keeping Jon close was one of the promises Ned made to Lyanna.  In which case, Ned would keep him at Winterfell, and if not there, definitely in the North.  In fact, such a promise is probably why Jon wasn't fostered out in the first place, much less become a squire.

I don't think that Ned would have squired Robb outside the North. If he would have squired/fostered Robb, he would have found someone in the North, the same way that Rickard did with Brandon. And after the Greyjoy Rebellion, Catelyn and Ned have Robb, Sansa and possibly Arya (she was born before or during the Greyjoy Rebellion). And why would people speculate that Jon is Robert's bastard with Lyanna, if Robert takes him as his squire? So far, no one has thought about Jon being Robert's bastard. 

Also, i can see Jon being squired in Dorne, especially with House Dayne, as that would re-enforce the rumors that Jon is Ned's son with Ashara. 

As for the Reach, who there do you think would agree to squire Jon? Either at Ned's request or because Robert is helping? 

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9 hours ago, BlackLightning said:

Randyll Tarly.

I don't know why his name popped in my head but yeah. The Lord of Horn Hill would do it.

 

Why would Randyll Tarly agree to foster/squire Jon, a bastard from the North? I know that House Tarly has First Men roots, but i can't really see Randyll agreeing to squire a northern, regardless of their birth status. 

If there is anyone from the Reach that would squire Jon, i would imagine that it is the Tyrell's, especially if Robert is helping Ned look for someone to take Jon. They would probably see Jon as a political tool through which they could get close to the king's best friend and then get closer to the king. Sure they have Loras squiring for Renly, but another access point would not hurt. The Tyrells would either have Garlan take Jon as a squire or squire Jon with the Fossoways of Cider Hall, as that is close to Highgarden. 

Plus, if they are in contact with Ned due to Jon squiring with them, they could also invest money in the North and get some control and influence there; and Ned could borrow money to invest in developing the North, provided that the Tyrells don't want a big interest rate.

 

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6 hours ago, Alex13 said:

Why would Randyll Tarly agree to foster/squire Jon, a bastard from the North? I know that House Tarly has First Men roots, but i can't really see Randyll agreeing to squire a northern, regardless of their birth status. 

Because Randyll Tarly is a military man. Those type of men tend to be into that kind of stuff. Especially when they have sons like Samwell.

 

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I don't think Ned would have been worried about offending Robert. After all, Catelyn's the one who's concerned about that when Robert offers Ned the Handship. Ned doesn't consider Robert a potential threat. I think Ned would just have said that he wants to keep his family together after what happened to his own father and siblings. Given that he hasn't fostered any of his trueborn kids, that's a plausible reason.

However, Robert would never offer to take Jon himself. It would be a serious affront to House Tully by ignoring Ned's trueborn kids by Catelyn. The Tullys (especially Catelyn) would wonder whether Robert would try to make Jon heir to Winterfell. That's also another reason Ned could give for refusing.

Ned might have been willing to foster Jon somewhere else in the south, though. That would be one way of getting him out of Catelyn's way and wouldn't have threatened his trueborn kids. It depends where, though. The Vale would probably have been Ned's preference.

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