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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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Some of the replies have got me wondering what books you guys are reading. Ned Stark is the Lord of Winterfell, Warden of the North, and the personal best friend of Robert Baratheon. No one in the seven kingdoms, including Robert, would refuse if he asked. No one.

Now, Ned clearly never had an inclination to foster any of his children, anyways. Even Bran is of age, or nearly so, to consider. It would take a bannerman making an offer for Ned to go that route, and frankly, I think he’d say yes.

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39 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

All this makes me wonder what Ned intended for Jon. Did he want Jon to go to the Wall all the same?

I don't think he had thought about it.  Jon is only 14 at the start of the story.  It wasn't the Wall, though.  That was a surprise, even to Ned. 

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1 hour ago, Angel Eyes said:

All this makes me wonder what Ned intended for Jon. Did he want Jon to go to the Wall all the same?

Best case scenario to Ned is for Jon to become the next Karlon Stark, take a sit of his own and make a branch house of the Starks... There is a mention that Ned intended to ask Robert for the lands in the New Gift. Jon would probably get a part of it.

Worst case scenario is what Jon choose himself voluntary... I imagine that Ned would only force this choice on Jon if he felt that he and Robb were not getting along and that Jon could become the next Daemon Blackfyre.

 

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35 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

Best case scenario to Ned is for Jon to become the next Karlon Stark, take a sit of his own and make a branch house of the Starks... There is a mention that Ned intended to ask Robert for the lands in the New Gift. Jon would probably get a part of it.

Worst case scenario is what Jon choose himself voluntary... I imagine that Ned would only force this choice on Jon if he felt that he and Robb were not getting along and that Jon could become the next Daemon Blackfyre.

 

Just to present the quote I mentioned:

His lord father had once talked about raising new lords and settling them in the abandoned holdfasts as a shield against wildlings. The plan would have required the Watch to yield back a large part of the Gift, but his uncle Benjen believed the Lord Commander could be won around, so long as the new lordlings paid taxes to Castle Black rather than Winterfell. "It is a dream for spring, though," Lord Eddard had said. "Even the promise of land will not lure men north with a winter coming on." If winter had come and gone more quickly and spring had followed in its turn, I might have been chosen to hold one of these towers in my father's name. Lord Eddard was dead, however, his brother Benjen lost; the shield they dreamt together would never be forged. "This land belongs to the Watch," Jon said

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10 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

Just to present the quote I mentioned:

His lord father had once talked about raising new lords and settling them in the abandoned holdfasts as a shield against wildlings. The plan would have required the Watch to yield back a large part of the Gift, but his uncle Benjen believed the Lord Commander could be won around, so long as the new lordlings paid taxes to Castle Black rather than Winterfell. "It is a dream for spring, though," Lord Eddard had said. "Even the promise of land will not lure men north with a winter coming on." If winter had come and gone more quickly and spring had followed in its turn, I might have been chosen to hold one of these towers in my father's name. Lord Eddard was dead, however, his brother Benjen lost; the shield they dreamt together would never be forged. "This land belongs to the Watch," Jon said

That does make sense, but Ned kinda sucks at communication and he never told Jon that he was planning/thinking about giving him lands and letting him make his own house. 

Jon was at Winterfell his entire life and i don't think that Ned ever talked with him about his future and Jon did ask him about it, due to his bastard status and i'm guessing that Jon thought that Ned doesn't wish to help him setup for the future, so he saw the Night's Watch as his only alternative.

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8 hours ago, Alex13 said:

That does make sense, but Ned kinda sucks at communication and he never told Jon that he was planning/thinking about giving him lands and letting him make his own house. 

Jon was at Winterfell his entire life and i don't think that Ned ever talked with him about his future and Jon did ask him about it, due to his bastard status and i'm guessing that Jon thought that Ned doesn't wish to help him setup for the future, so he saw the Night's Watch as his only alternative.

I think the blame for that is on Jon to be honest...It was Jon that ignored Benjen and he went into exile by his own will.

Ned gave him the same education he gave Robb, the two boys were always side by side. Jon's  best case scenario he would be a lord in his own name of a small holdfast, but he could also remain in Winterfell and take the place of someone like Rodrik Cassel or Jory, he could be a castellan, or master of arms.

Jon choose the worst path of all by himself.. Ned even oposed Catelyn demands of sending him away and was only conviced to let Jon go after being told that it was Jon's choice. Alternative Jon could simple go to White Harbor and be a guest there.

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2 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

I think the blame for that is on Jon to be honest...It was Jon that ignored Benjen and he went into exile by his own will.

Ned gave him the same education he gave Robb, the two boys were always side by side. Jon's  best case scenario he would be a lord in his own name of a small holdfast, but he could also remain in Winterfell and take the place of someone like Rodrik Cassel or Jory, he could be a castellan, or master of arms.

Jon choose the worst path of all by himself.. Ned even oposed Catelyn demands of sending him away and was only conviced to let Jon go after being told that it was Jon's choice. Alternative Jon could simple go to White Harbor and be a guest there.

Personally, i think that Jon choose the only option that he thought was open to him. Yes, Jon choose to join the Night's Watch, but he only choose that because he didn't see any other option for himself. I agree that he is the one that choose the Night's Watch and that he ignored what Benjen said, but it's not like he was presented with another option. When Ned talked with Jon, he did propose Jon learning from Rodrik or Jory, to one day replace them. Ned just asked him if he is sure and when Jon said yes, he didn't press on to ensure that Jon knows what he is signing up to for, possibly suggesting that he can go to the Wall in an inspection for House Stark, see the reality and then decide if he wishes to join or if he wishes to remain in Winterfell, where Ned and/or Robb would have found something for him to do. 

I imagine that it was hard for Jon to choose a future for himself, when no real options were presented to him. In his mind, joining the Night's Watch was a opportunity to wash away the shame of being a bastard and earn honor for himself and his father. 

And i don't think that Catelyn would have appreciated Jon staying at Winterfell, while Ned is in King's Landing. 

Plus, i don't think that Jon could have just shown up at White Harbor and expect to be a guest of House Manderly. Jon is at the end of the day a bastard, not true born. And i don't think that the Manderly's would have just housed and feed him, out of the kindness of their hears or because he is Ned's son. They would have done that if Ned or Robb would have sent him there in an official capacity, representing House Stark. Or if Ned would have talked with Wyman to foster/squire Jon with one of his sons. 

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14 minutes ago, Alex13 said:

I imagine that it was hard for Jon to choose a future for himself, when no real options were presented to him. In his mind, joining the Night's Watch was a opportunity to wash away the shame of being a bastard and earn honor for himself and his father. 

 

And this is on him, not Ned. The options were there and open for him. Neither Robb or Ned would ever cast him out.

15 minutes ago, Alex13 said:

And i don't think that Catelyn would have appreciated Jon staying at Winterfell, while Ned is in King's Landing. 

This is why he should have made a trip to White Harbor or any other northem vassal. He was still the son of Ned Stark and they would be more than happy to take him in.

16 minutes ago, Alex13 said:

Plus, i don't think that Jon could have just shown up at White Harbor and expect to be a guest of House Manderly. Jon is at the end of the day a bastard, not true born.

Being a bastard noble and staying on someone else castle is the custom, Ned is weird because he kept Jon close to him. We see this with the Hornwood bastard staying with the Glovers, Edric Storm staying with Renly, Mya Stone staying with the Royces, Daemon Sand with the Martells, and the list goes on and on.

 

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27 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

And this is on him, not Ned. The options were there and open for him. Neither Robb or Ned would ever cast him out.

This is why he should have made a trip to White Harbor or any other northem vassal. He was still the son of Ned Stark and they would be more than happy to take him in.

Being a bastard noble and staying on someone else castle is the custom, Ned is weird because he kept Jon close to him. We see this with the Hornwood bastard staying with the Glovers, Edric Storm staying with Renly, Mya Stone staying with the Royces, Daemon Sand with the Martells, and the list goes on and on.

 

How is that on Jon and not also on Ned? Jon was raised a bastard and although he was raised in Winterfell and received the same lessons as Robb, he knew from an early age that he is a bastard and can't inherit anything. Him going and asking to get something, would have looked to Jon, as his bastard tendencies coming to light and making demands.

Jon can't just show up to another lords castle and expect them to house and feed him. Ned would have had to foster or squire him with a lord or send Jon at another lords castle in an official capacity for House Stark. 

The Hornwood bastard, Edric Storm Mya Stone and Daemon Sand are staying with other people because they were sent there, not because they decided to leave home for better prospects.

Larence Snow (the Hornwood bastard) was also sent to Deepwood Motte to be raised by Galbart Glover, by either his father or his grandfather. 

Mya Stone was given to the Royce's of the Gates of the Moon, because Jon Arryn decided to either pressured Robert into ensuring her future or asked Nestor Royce to take her and in the future give her a job. 

Edric Storm is with Renly, because Robert conceived him with Delena Florent (a noblewoman, from a historical and prestigious house) during his brother's wedding. Due to the magnitude of Robert's fuck up and that Edric is noble on both sides of his parents and because of pressure, Robert sent Edric to be raised at Storm's End. 

And Daemon Sand is from Dorne, where they have a far more liberal view of bastards, then anywhere else in the Seven Kingdoms and he is from House Allyrion, whose seat of Godsgrace is close to Sunspear. And he also squired for Prince Oberyn.

But in all 4 cases, the children's parents, either through pressure or because they wanted to, were the ones that sent them to be raised someplace else. The bastards didn't turn 15-16 years old and just left their homes and travelled to Deepwood Motte, the Gates of the Moon, Storm's End or Sunspear and demand housing, food and a work place from the lords of the castles. Their family ensured that they will be sent and received to the places where they currently are. 

Ned never did any of that for Jon. He kept him at Winterfell and thus (inadvertently) limited the options that Jon thought he had. Ned could have sent him to foster/squire with the Glover's, Umber's, Manderly's or others, but choose to keep him close and watch over him. And at 16 years old and without a letter from Ned or Robb, Jon can't just show up at White Harbor and expect to be treated like a true born son. 

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I’d like to add that Jon joining the watch bailed out Eddard. He couldn’t take Jon to King’s Landing, and fucking Catelyn refused to let Jon remain in Winterfell in Ned’s absence. Joining the Watch let Catelyn off the hook for being an evil bitch, and Ned off the hook for having to explain Jon’s real parentage to Catelyn.

As long as she was in Winterfell, Jon was never going to be welcome, as an adult. The idea that he would be the next Jory or someone similar couldn’t happen. 

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If Jon had not indicated an interest in the Nights Watch, I have no doubt Ned could have found him a place, even on short notice.  Ned's bannermen love him and would do just about anything for him.  Jon had visited every castle in the North, and if his current personality is any indication, was well-behaved and well-liked on those visits.  There would probably be Northerners fighting for the opportunity to take Jon in.

However, GRRM needed someone for the Watch, and Jon was it.  Tough luck, kid.

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Ned might have consented… Though I don’t think finding a place for your bastard son (especially as Lord Stark) is something with which you need the king’s help. A bastard daughter, maybe. But even that, I mean, Ned is the Warden of the North. There are no shortage of landed knights or even lords with too many sons looking to curry favour with the lord of Winterfell. 

I suspect Ned wanted to keep Jon close to raise him, but given how easily he consented to him joining the watch he obviously knew Jon would seek his own way at some point. 
 
I guess if I had to bet, he would have declined Robert’s offer siting Catelyn’s sore spot over Jon. He probably would have sought a less conspicuous station for Jon. 

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