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Was Ned's act of mercy towards Cersei smarter than we give it credit for?


Mladen

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Come on, that's not fair: The plan was never to arrest Cersei and the children; the plan was to tell Robert and avoid that confrontation, if it could be helped.

I wasn't talking about that part, but the part that came after, I was talking about the part where he gets Littlefinger to deliver the goldcloaks to him. What do you think he was planning to do with all those armed men when he went into the throne room to confront Joff and Cersei? If I remember correctly, this took place the very next day after he spurned Renly's offer too.

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Because traits can skip generations. Her not having silver hair doesn't prevent her child having it. Valarr's silver streak despite Baelor's pure dark hair is a good example. Also, the Daynes tend to have Valyrian-like features.

Daynes don't have Valyrian-like features, because they are not Valyrians. Their hair has been of all colors, from black and brown to blonde (no mention of silver forgot the Darkstar) and they have violet eyes... Simply, if Jon had Valyrian traits, no one would connect it to Ashara...

edit: correction

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I wasn't talking about that part, but the part that came after, I was talking about the part where he gets Littlefinger to deliver the goldcloaks to him. What do you think he was planning to do with all those armed men when he went into the throne room to confront Joff and Cersei? If I remember correctly, this took place the very next day after he spurned Renly's offer too.

At this point, Ned has given Cersei every opportunity to run, yet she remained, forcing the conflict. The honorable part lies in actually giving her time to flee, believing a conflict would inevitably have concluded in his favor and not hers. The point is that Ned actively sought to avoid an armed conflict by warning her, whereas Renly's plan was to facilitate the conflict by arresting them without warning.

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Daynes don't have Valyrian-like features, because they are not Valyrians. Their hair has been of all colors, from black and brown to blonde (no mention of silver) and they have violet eyes... Simply, if Jon had Valyrian traits, no one would connect it to Ashara...

Targayen hair is typically described as silver-blonde, probably similar to what we would call platinum-blonde. The Daynes absolutely have that type of coloring, hence Arianne's statement that if she were to have kids with Darkstar, they would be as beautiful as dragonlords. Even if it weren't an exact match, it would be close enough to where no one would really question it, especially in the North where people are much less likely to have seen any Targaryens.

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At this point, Ned has given Cersei every opportunity to run, yet she remained, forcing the conflict. The honorable part lies in actually giving her time to flee, believing a conflict would inevitably have concluded in his favor and not hers. The point is that Ned actively sought to avoid an armed conflict by warning her, whereas Renly's plan was to facilitate the conflict by arresting them without warning.

Renly's plan was correct and more importantly realistic. If Ned expected Cersie to give up everything and run away with the kids he was in dreamland.

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Stannis didn't act because Robert wouldn't believe him. The two people who Robert loved the most in the world was Jon Aryyn and Ned Stark. If either one of them had told him that, Robert would have believed him, Cersei knew this which is why she was scared of Ned in the beginning and didn't want him to be the Hand.


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Targayen hair is typically described as silver-blonde, probably similar to what we would call platinum-blonde. The Daynes absolutely have that type of coloring, hence Arianne's statement that if she were to have kids with Darkstar, they would be as beautiful as dragonlords. Even if it weren't an exact match, it would be close enough to where no one would really question it, especially in the North where people are much less likely to have seen any Targaryens.

Darkstar is one man, and all other members have variety of hair coloring, even the eyes coloring is somewhat different. Given that Valyrian traits are most likely recessive, I don't see how Jon would have Valyrian looks, but his dark hair is much better explanation for Ashara, then silver hair would ever be...

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Darkstar is one man, and all other members have variety of hair coloring, even the eyes coloring is somewhat different. Given that Valyrian traits are most likely recessive, I don't see how Jon would have Valyrian looks, but his dark hair is much better explanation for Ashara, then silver hair would ever be...

Also keep in mind that the northern physical traits seem to pass along far stronger for the mother than they do the father. Case in poitnt:

1. Out of the 5 children of Ned and Catelyn, 4 have distinctively Tully features. The only one who has northern features is Arya and she is said to look like Lyanna and Jon is said to look like Arya.

This is somewhat shady genetics by our standards but based on the incest case against Cersei is being made on the hair color of her children, I think its pretty solid.

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Darkstar is one man, and all other members have variety of hair coloring, even the eyes coloring is somewhat different. Given that Valyrian traits are most likely recessive, I don't see how Jon would have Valyrian looks, but his dark hair is much better explanation for Ashara, then silver hair would ever be...

Genetics can be a tricky thing. Everyone on both sides of my family going back at least three generations has dark hair. My sister has blonde hair. It's almost never 100% dominant beating out recessive unless you're dealing with the Baratheon family apparently. Also, the Targs seem to have varying degrees of blondeness.

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At this point, Ned has given Cersei every opportunity to run, yet she remained, forcing the conflict. The honorable part lies in actually giving her time to flee, believing a conflict would inevitably have concluded in his favor and not hers. The point is that Ned actively sought to avoid an armed conflict by warning her, whereas Renly's plan was to facilitate the conflict by arresting them without warning.

That doesn't make any sense though.

Here's the timeline as I remember it.

First, Ned meets Cersei and gives her the opportunity to run.

Next, Cersei sticks around doesn't run.

Later, Robert is injured and dying. He gives Ned his will.

Renly meets Ned and says, "Hey, I heard you're Lord Protector. That's nice and all, but as soon as my brother dies Cersei's going to take you out. You had better arrest her now. I'll give you a hundred men,"

Ned balks, saying that it's a dishonorable plan.

Then later that day, Eddard goes to LF and says, "I'm Lord Protector, but I know that as soon as Robert dies Cersei is going to take me out. I need to be arrest her soon. I need some men."

What exactly changed in between the time when Ned rejects Renly's plan and the time when Ned devises an almost identical plan with Petyr? Nothing of any important in my opinion. Renly made his offer after Ned had warned Cersei. Honor was satisfied at this point. Ned gave her the opportunity to run and she clearly chose not to. Conflict was inevitable and no one really pretended otherwise, not even Ned -- that's why he went to LF for help. And if arresting Cersei was inherently dishonorable for whatever reason, why did it suddenly become OK a few hours later when Ned met with LF?

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Also keep in mind that the northern physical traits seem to pass along far stronger for the mother than they do the father. Case in poitnt:

1. Out of the 5 children of Ned and Catelyn, 4 have distinctively Tully features. The only one who has northern features is Arya and she is said to look like Lyanna and Jon is said to look like Arya.

This is somewhat shady genetics by our standards but based on the incest case against Cersei is being made on the hair color of her children, I think its pretty solid.

Genetics can be a tricky thing. Everyone on both sides of my family going back at least three generations has dark hair. My sister has blonde hair. It's almost never 100% dominant beating out recessive unless you're dealing with the Baratheon family apparently. Also, the Targs seem to have varying degrees of blondeness.

Genetics isn't tricky, as scientific branch of medicine, it has its own rules and is accurate. In this case, Jon would inherit silver hair. No one would connect it to dark-haired Ashara, it doesn't have to be scientifically possible, it's simply that everyone would think first about Targaryens. As for recessive genes, we all agreed that Targaryen traits can be considered recessive due to great amount of proofs... That is why Jon's looks and his parentage don't contradict each other.

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Genetics isn't tricky, as scientific branch of medicine, it has its own rules and is accurate. In this case, Jon would inherit silver hair. No one would connect it to dark-haired Ashara, it doesn't have to be scientifically possible, it's simply that everyone would think first about Targaryens. As for recessive genes, we all agreed that Targaryen traits can be considered recessive due to great amount of proofs... That is why Jon's looks and his parentage don't contradict each other.

I agree with you. I think the key lies in comparing Jon to Ned's male trueborn children who clearly take after their mother (implying that Northern features, which Jon cleary has), are passed along through the mother.

Edit: On the other hand, Targaryen traits seem to be easily diluted (case in point Valarr Targaryen who had clearly Martell features - from D&E). This could also explain why the Targaryens were so intent on marrying within the family.

All I am saying is that I am not at all surprised Jon would exhibit more Northern features than Targ features and that does not conflict with R+L = J being true.

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I agree with you. I think the key lies in comparing Jon to Ned's male trueborn children who clearly take after their mother (implying that Northern features, which Jon cleary has), are passed along through the mother.

Edit: On the other hand, Targaryen traits seem to be easily diluted (case in point Valarr Targaryen who had clearly Martell features - from D&E). This could also explain why the Targaryens were so intent on marrying within the family.

All I am saying is that I am not at all surprised Jon would exhibit more Northern features than Targ features and that does not conflict with R+L = J being true.

The same happens with the Baratheon bros, who are 25% Targaryens.
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Genetics isn't tricky, as scientific branch of medicine, it has its own rules and is accurate. In this case, Jon would inherit silver hair. No one would connect it to dark-haired Ashara, it doesn't have to be scientifically possible, it's simply that everyone would think first about Targaryens. As for recessive genes, we all agreed that Targaryen traits can be considered recessive due to great amount of proofs... That is why Jon's looks and his parentage don't contradict each other.

When I say it's tricky, I mean that the dominant traits don't always win out and the recessive traits don't always lose out. There's no way to tell until it happens. As far as this case, it was fairly common knowledge that Ned and Ashara Dayne had a connection and the Daynes were known to have purple eyes and the possibility of very blonde hair. Ashara's nephew Edric has these features. If Ned is claiming that Jon is his son and everyone knows about his connection with a Dayne, they would more likely make the Ned-Ashara connection than to assume that he was really hiding Rhaegar's son were Jon to display Targaryen features. Also, as I mentioned before, the Targaryens don't have a uniform color, just a general color scheme. The stereotypical Targaryen look has varying degrees of blondeness and runs the spectrum of purple in eye color. (On a side note, I'm still not convinced that Jon doesn't have very dark purple eyes that appear darker due to his dark hair. To my best recollection, his actual eye color is never given and is only described as dark. That's another argument, though).

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He was the King's hand + lord of WF and could have done the anything, for example:



1 Send a bird to Robert stating: 'Cersei's children are not yours' Only say that you have crushing evidence, don't mention twincest, he won't buy it.



2 Send a bird to Stannis: 'I know of the bastards and have proof to sway the king, come with all your strength'



3 Hold Renly close but send loyal men to raise the Stormlands.



4 Imprison Cersei and children with the hand's guard and Renly's guys. This atomaticly means the city watch is actually his, promise them ten thousend dragons each or something. Torture Cersei to admitting her abomination to the nation.



5 Send word to Manderly to assemble all the mounted men he can get in two days and ride hard for KL. Ask Rob to call the banners and make for Riverrun.



6 Send Renly to Robert with some gold cloaks, to kill all the Lannisters.



7 Kill Cersei and the children.



8 Assemble the gold cloaks+ the crownland banners and make a swit march to the Golden Tooth, let Edmure join you with the army of the Riverlands. Days and days before you reach your destination Robert+ Renly will return to the city, the king actually being a prisoner, Renly will show him Cersei's declaration and offer him the hand of Margeory Tyrell. A shortage of armed loyal men is at hand, but hey are that sails on the blackwather?! STANNIS STANNIS STANNIS (maybe he is there first if you send the bird right away but whatever).



9 Gold Cloaks and Crownland banners + Riverlands army are probably not enough to deal with the Lannisters, so Robert sends Stannis with the Stormlanders. Epic victory, Tywin and Jaime's head on a pole. Kill every single Lannister but a certain girl, wed Renly to her, give Stannis Storm's End.



10 Note you don't even actually need Wyman or Rob, but if things get hard you have another 20000 northmen at your back. Note also that Robert might still be killed, whatever, same plan but Stannis king (kill Renly+ Selyse let Stan wed Marg)



End they all lived hapily ever after.

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Ned never thought he lacked proof to convince Robert.


What we do know of Ned's belief system is that he judges people based on their body. Essentially, if they are able warriors or not. We see this when he meets the Small Council. So I think it's safe to assume he tells Cersei because in his view, it's unthinkable that a woman, who's clearly not a warrior, would present battle (because that's what it was) instead of fleeing like a damsel in distress. With that in mind, the stupidity wasn't in warning Cersei out of honour and mercy, but in warning Cersei out of underestimating her due her lack of martial training and a hanging organ between her legs.



As for Ned's refusal to kill children, it's likely related to the PSTD like symptoms he exhibits, consequence of RR. We should also notice the consequence of letting Daennerys have a merry life with Khal Drogo likely means the dead of plenty of children, either at the docks of Pentos when the Westerosi fleet launches a pre-emptive attack against the Dokrathi preparing for invasion or in Westeros as the Westerosi armies fight them in their home soil. The same applies to Ned's hawkish behaviour when asked by LF that Stannis means war and he doesn't care. In other words, I'd say Ned is against the killing of high born children, but doesn't care much about commoners. Otherwise, both Littlefinger and Pycelle words would have affected him.



As for rejecting Renly's plan, Ned regrets doing that later that day.


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What would happen if Robert returned from hunt Ned told him all the proofs he had? Let me tell you, Although Robert was a changed man as Ned noticed, he would believe Ned firstly because



1. He knew Ned would not lie,


2. The evidences are compelling,


2. He despises the Lannisters and their schemes,


3. He is eager to fight another war (he is a warrior, he needs to spot his enemy and strike)



Therefore, even if he perceives Ned's proofs were somewhat vague, he would be willing to make war with the Lannisters if necessary. And in this, he would have the support of all the great houses against the Lannisters. Robert would gladly marry Margaery and the Tyrells were all his. Even Dorne would join his campaign. Tywin was smart enough to know he had no hope against all the other houses.


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It wasn't smart. But, then again, when Varys suggested they'd kill Sansa. He proclaimed Joff the rightful king, thus making Robb + Co, rebels, not 'freedom fighters'. He'd have gone to the wall and the realm could've had peace, for some time, until Stannis. IF Joff didn't behead him, with a suggestion by LF I believe it was.


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What would happen if Robert returned from hunt Ned told him all the proofs he had? Let me tell you, Although Robert was a changed man as Ned noticed, he would believe Ned firstly because

1. He knew Ned would not lie,

2. The evidences are compelling,

2. He despises the Lannisters and their schemes,

3. He is eager to fight another war (he is a warrior, he needs to spot his enemy and strike)

Therefore, even if he perceives Ned's proofs were somewhat vague, he would be willing to make war with the Lannisters if necessary. And in this, he would have the support of all the great houses against the Lannisters. Robert would gladly marry Margaery and the Tyrells were all his. Even Dorne would join his campaign. Tywin was smart enough to know he had no hope against all the other houses.

I am not sure whether Robert would believe so easily:

1. Although he knew Ned, he also knew that Ned didn't like Lannisters

2. Pieces of evidence Ned had are far from compelling, none of them actually proves anything

3. He despises them, but it is one thing to dislike his wife and completely another to kill her on baseless accusations

4. What war are you talking about? Robert would kill Cersei, Jaime and kids, and Tywin would, in that situation, bend the knee, given that Robert could muster entire Kingdom against him.

No, Ned's accusations are too serious, and pieces of evidence he had was too circumstantial. If Jon Arryn who was with Robert for the past 2 decades, couldn't just have told him like that, I doubt Ned could have too. Obviously Ned planned to do that, but I am certain that his word in this, isn't enough.

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To be fair, that's because Renly had the sneaky, cheating, evil, no-good, dirty, vile plan of arresting Joffrey and Cersei at night.

Ned Stark, of course, could never do such a vile thing. His own plan, arresting Joffrey and Cersei the next morning, was completely different from Renly's because.

Ned didn't take Renly's help because doing so would have crowned Renly King and Ned was very clear that next in line was Stannis. He wasn't about to throw in against Stannis' rightful claim.

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