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Ser_not_appearing_yet

All-purpose TV nitpick extravaganza thread.

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Fair point. You can criticise Ned a little there. Lannister's reputation (and actions) ensured people didn't give Jaime the benefit of the doubt.

Yeah, it definitely looked like a big conspiracy between Tywin, Jaime, and possibly even Cersei - between tricking the Targaryens into opening the gates, murdering the king, and then Cersei's eventual marriage to Robert.

I don't think trusting the Lannisters was the problem. Trusting LF is what doomed him. And LF has fooled everyone.

More like it was the final blow - for example, if Ned had been a little more flexible or shown a bit more cunning, LF might not have betrayed him. I think its a bit simplistic to lay his doom down to any one decision - between his conversation with Cersei, his plans to name Stannis as heir, trusting LF, rejecting Renly's aid, refusing to take custody of the children ahead of time...

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More like it was the final blow
Let's not forget the real final blow was Jeoffry's decision to demand Ned's head, in front of anyone, quite unexpectedly. Nobody foresaw that. I think there was an unspoken thought that Ned's lordship over a major house would have protected him, and in fact, that was how it was all set up to work out until the little shit did his thing.

The Night's Watch would not have been a bad place for Ned, certainly not what he was shooting for, but a far cry from a beheading.

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Yes. That's very true. A man with an extreme form of honour would never have made that vow to Lyanna in the first place. Ned knew what was he was swearing to.

IMHO, ned's honor comes after his family to him.

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IMHO, ned's honor comes after his family to him.

I think Ned would believe that his family is wrapped up in his honour. They are not really seperable.

And I know I haven't answered your question on the NW. I actually don't know how they paid. Maybe some sort of barter system?

I think its a bit simplistic to lay his doom down to any one decision - between his conversation with Cersei, his plans to name Stannis as heir, trusting LF, rejecting Renly's aid, refusing to take custody of the children ahead of time.

True enough. If Ned had been a bit more ruthless he might have avoided his downfall. But then he wouldn't be the Ned a lot of us love. :) That's why I focus on LF's disloyalty. He probably would have survived otherwise.

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That's why I focus on LF's disloyalty. He probably would have survived otherwise.

LF was quite the chessmaster in that situation. He is the ultimate cause of everything, i hate (and love) him.

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True enough. If Ned had been a bit more ruthless he might have avoided his downfall. But then he wouldn't be the Ned a lot of us love. :) That's why I focus on LF's disloyalty. He probably would have survived otherwise.

Nah. Let's say LF didn't exist at all, and Ned went straight to Janos Slynt (or sent an intermediary). During the conversation, it comes up that Ned plans to install Stannis instead of Joffrey.

Bye, bye Ned. Another key mistake he made is not bothering to learn Stannis' history in KL, or the general background of the major players.

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Nah. Let's say LF didn't exist at all, and Ned went straight to Janos Slynt (or sent an intermediary). During the conversation, it comes up that Ned plans to install Stannis instead of Joffrey.

I don't understand the distinction. If Ned went to somebody else and they betrayed him then they'd be to blame. But Ned went to LF, so he is to blame. The only difference I can see is that Ned would have less reason to trust another person. I don't see the benefit of a hypothetical.

Ned knowing everyone that disliked Stannis would have made no difference to his decision. LF was never going to make clear how much he disliked Stannis.

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I don't understand the distinction.

The distinction is pretty clear, IMO. In order to dethrone Joffrey and install Stannis, Ned needs troops. Might makes right, after all. In part to some of his own mistakes (like sending off his men) and in part to being far from his power base, Ned has no armed men of his own. So he needs to buy off Janos Slynt and gain control of the goldcloaks - to prevent Cersei from controlling them and also to enforce the dethroning/installing of Joffrey/Stannis.

Problem? Stannis has collected evidence of crimes against Janos and attempted to have him beheaded. Yet Ned doesn't know this. For crying out loud, he doesn't understand the political climate or situation that he is interfering in. It may have made no difference to his ultimate decision that Stannis' first act would have been to shorten Janos, but it certainly should have made a significant difference to the way he went about attaining his goals (the installation of Stannis).

That is what I mean when I say that you can't blame any one decision for his downfall. If LF had backed him, would he have won? Probably? If he accepted Renly's offer, would he have won? Probably.

I recently reread his chapter where he meets with the small council and Cersei summons him to the throne room and was just blown away by his behavior. He sits there thinking that he has to step lightly until Stannis comes back to KL with his power as though Cersei is really going to leave him in power after their conversations! Is he crazy? His mistakes were far too many and too massive, in addition to that willful blindness that he decided to assume in his desire to feel superior to the denizens of KL, to blame one. Yeah, LF could have saved him from the disaster he created for himself. So could Renly. So could Cersei. So could Janos. So could...he himself!

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Slynt's crimes were related to corruption... which Ned knew about, given that he was depending on it (and hating the fact that he was depending on it, but still, depending on it). So I'm not certain he would have changed his course simply because Slynt was a corrupt official who could be bought. The fact that Slynt may have murdered people to hide his secrets might have given him a pause of disgust... but what else was he going to do? He was already compromising his principles. In for a penny, in for a stag, as Littlefinger says.

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So I'm not certain he would have changed his course simply because Slynt was a corrupt official who could be bought.

But that's not why he should have changed his course (and note that I say course, not goal). He should have known ahead of time that there is no way on God's green Earth or in all seven hells that Janos would support the installation of Stannis because Stannis would promptly kill him, had in fact previously expressed a desire to kill him.

Knowledge is power, and Ned doesn't even try to learn these sorts of key things. I think its because he prefers to feel superior to those who participate in KL politics (Exhibit A: conversation with Renly). There are a few other options open to him that could ultimately allow him to attain his goal such as deceiving Slynt of the ultimate purpose (i.e., we are neutralizing Cersei), quickly undercutting Slynt and getting one of his captains into control of the goldcloaks, et cetera.

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Damnit people, can’t we get this thread back on track by bitching about Drogo looking like the lost member of Good Charlotte?

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Nah. Let's say LF didn't exist at all, and Ned went straight to Janos Slynt (or sent an intermediary). During the conversation, it comes up that Ned plans to install Stannis instead of Joffrey.

Ned would never have gone to slynt to corrupt him.

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That is what I mean when I say that you can't blame any one decision for his downfall. If LF had backed him, would he have won? Probably? If he accepted Renly's offer, would he have won? Probably.

LF would have given him a lot more men than Renly. :) I think its pretty clear that LF's betrayal was a lot more significant than Renly's escape.

When you say things like "Cersei could have saved him"? How exactly? By not commiting incest?

And I don't understand your focus on Janos Slynt. It is almost a strawman. Ned didn't go to him and tell him he was installing Stannis. You are arguing as if he did. And I never liked this idea that Ned created his own problems. Cersei created the problem. Ned merely tried to solve it without killing children.

He sits there thinking that he has to step lightly until Stannis comes back to KL with his power as though Cersei is really going to leave him in power after their conversations!

It comes back to trusting LF. :P

I find the argument peculiar. Almost as if you are saying that LF is not the cause of Ned's downfall because Ned would have still fallen if he hadn't gone to LF? That might be true but he did go to LF. And LF caused his downfall. I don't see the point of hypothetical's. In a different universe it was somebody elses fault. So what?

I'm not sure what you mean that Ned didn't try to figure out what was going on. He spent most of his time in KL trying to find out what happened to Jon Arryn. As Ran said, he knew Slynt was corrupt. You seem to want him to know everything.

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I'm always confused as to what Sansa's role was in Ned's downfall. What did telling Cersei really matter? Wasn't it all Littlefinger? I never why Sansa got blamed for so much...

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LF would have given him a lot more men than Renly. :) I think its pretty clear that LF's betrayal was a lot more significant than Renly's escape.

If Ned had seized custody of the children in the middle of the night while the castle was asleep, he would have won the game in an instant with Renly's handful of men. Renly is right about one thing, Cersei would never have dared to move against him if he held her children.

Cersei could have saved him by judging him herself rather than delegating the job to Joffrey. :)

And I don't understand your focus on Janos Slynt.

Because the entire plan hinged on buying Janos Slynt! Because in the courtroom, he ordered Janos Slynt to take Cersei and her children into custody and Janos responded by killing Ned's men!

And I never liked this idea that Ned created his own problems. Cersei created the problem. Ned merely tried to solve it without killing children.
Cersei created the problem but Ned practically committed suicide. There were a multitude of ways in which he could have honorably dealt with Cersei and her children without killing children and I've listed them during our various discussions. He could have dragged Cersei and her children from their beds in the middle of the night and bundled them onto a boat before telling Robert. He could told Robert without speaking to Cersei first and begged for the children's lives. He could have partnered with Renly and taken custody of the children in the night. He could have contacted Stannis before going to Cersei and struck a bargain with Stannis that hinged on sparing the children's lives.

I find the argument peculiar. Almost as if you are saying that LF is not the cause of Ned's downfall because Ned would have still fallen if he hadn't gone to LF? That might be true but he did go to LF. And LF caused his downfall.

But I disagree. :) Ned caused his downfall and LF was one poor decision of many.

With all due respect, Padraig, it seems to me that because you like Ned you try to excuse him of the many mistakes he made by pinning everything to the most devious villain in the series, LF. And while I totally agree that LF played a part, a major part, I still don't think he takes the entire blame while Ned gets whitewashed of all the choices he made. I actually don't think LF was ready to betray Ned at that point - but the insistence on Stannis forced his hand. And then he manipulated Joffrey into killing Ned so that Catelyn wouldn't discover his perfidy...but all that aside, LF was the final decision in a long line of many poor decisions.

I respect honor, myself, but I just can't call what Ned did honorable. Foolish, yes. Naive, yes. But given the consequences for Sansa, Arya, and the rest of the family, I just can't call it honorable. Heck, I sit here struggling to find a way to respect his intentions, at the very least, and all I can think of is Sansa and Arya.

I'm not sure what you mean that Ned didn't try to figure out what was going on. He spent most of his time in KL trying to find out what happened to Jon Arryn. As Ran said, he knew Slynt was corrupt. You seem to want him to know everything.

Ned massively overestimated his position of power in KL. He stepped into a situation that was full of unknown players with unknown agendas and didn't actually care about them or their interests. He spent time trying to find out what happened to Jon Arryn, who he actually cared about, but he was too busy feeling superior to those nasty KL politicians to be interested in working with them. He completely dismissed Lord Renly, who had the potential and the desire to be a powerful ally of his. Lord Slynt commands a small army and I don't recall him getting an invitation for dinner (contrast with Tyrion's frequent meetings with Ser Jacelyn). Why didn't he get himself on a boat and travel to go see Stannis?

He had no power base, no friends, no voice outside of Robert, and a position that others would envy. Yet he has no desire to build coalitions or collaborations, to build a power base, to make friends who command armed men. This despite the fact that the Lannisters have an extremely strong power base in KL -- and he thinks that people will listen to him based on a title.

Ned makes no sense as a feudal lord. The only reason he hung onto Winterfell is because he went to war against the South for Northern honor and his life on the outset of his rule and thusly was able to establish himself.

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Ned makes no sense as a feudal lord.

It's one thing to say that Ned is a terrible political operator, but "makes no sense as a feudal lord" is a non sequitur. There's no reason to assume that most feudal lords are good at intrigue; in fact most of the ones we see in the series are not. The position normally involves staying on your own turf, collecting tributes, running a large household, and doing what your liege tells you to do. Conversely, I wouldn't expect that people like Littlefinger and Slynt would be very good at being Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North either.

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If Ned had seized custody of the children in the middle of the night while the castle was asleep, he would have won the game in an instant with Renly's handful of men.

Yes, Ned isn't that kind of man. You can call it a failing. It is to a degree (Ned regretted losing Renly but you don't behave at your best when your best friend is dieing). Cersei might even have half-expected an attack (she is paranoid enough) and had her men ready for a fight.

So do I whitewash Ned? I recognise that he should have dealt with Renly better. OTOH, Ned didn't have a choice but support Stannis. So I don't recognise that as a mistake.

Because the entire plan hinged on buying Janos Slynt!

Which LF was well capable of doing, if he cared to. If LF hadn't betrayed him, Ned would have arrested them. Ned can make all these bad decisions but he would have still won out if it wasn't for LF. Ned could have wined and dined LF to his heart's content but LF would have betrayed him in the end. Different morals.

I couldn't see Robert spare Cersei's childrens life. It's just not in Robert's nature. Stannis would never agree either, for different reasons.

I just can't call it honorable.

Lost me again. He isn't honourable because he failed? What do you think honour is? And he did his best to save Sansa's life at the end, if you are saying he doesn't care about his family.

Why didn't he get himself on a boat and travel to go see Stannis?

Probably because he didn't have the time? Kingdom to run and all that?

You are right to a degree. Ned wasn't a great Hand. Tyrion was a better one. But everyone knows that. At the same time, Ned would have done a lot better if KL wasn't hopelessly corrupted by the cancer in the heart of the kingdom that was the incest. He was respected as a honourable man. He did frequently meet Varys and LF. You may suggest that he should be meeting everyone else but he only has so many hours in the day. Tyrion didn't have to deal with Robert on top of everything else. :)

Ned was perfectly at home as a feudal lord in the North. Silly to say otherwise. He wasn't designed to be an arch-manipulator in KL.

I don't know...nobody likes a loser I suppose.

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Which is exactly why I can't wait for some delicious LF comeuppance. I know many readers think he'll be the last man standing, but I wouldn't be surprised if GRRM knocks him on his arse in some incredibly stunning, yet completely believable move. He's done it before. And I love the fact that no one is infallible in these books.

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On the subject of nitpicking, I think I can live with all of the actors I can recognize (there might be some in the trailers who are so off from their characters that I haven't realized who they are playing yet). Many of the hairstyles rub me the wrong way (especially Jaime's hair being too dark), but I think that's been covered well enough already. The other thing that disappoints me slightly are the accents. I know that there are many parallels between medieval England and Westeros, but, possibly because Martin is American, I have never pictured the characters as speaking with British accents when I read the books. I can get used to the accents, but I was hoping for an elevated manner of speaking, but not so clearly British.

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