Game of Thrones Media Ned Stark

Video: “A Man of Honor” Celebrates Game of Thrones Original Hero Ned Stark

When A Game of Thrones, the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, was originally released in 1996, it put forth to fantasy lovers a concept that the genre had heretofore refused to consider: “What If The Hero Dies?” When Benioff and Weiss then brought the show to the small screen in 2011, book fans were incredibly nervous. The series would not be worth watching if they didn’t hold true to that premise.

What most people probably remember the Monday morning after “Baelor” (Season 1, Episode 9) aired was the shock and indignation of show-watchers who could not believe the show just killed off the honorable and good-hearted Ned Stark. What I remember is the exhale of relief among my fellow book readers. This was going to be good. This was going to be very good. (And if show watchers were upset now, just wait until we reach Season 3.)

Although Sean Bean was only in nine hours of the program, the ghost of Ned Stark has been ever-present. That been more true in recent years, as the drumbeat of R+L=J sounded louder and louder. The return of “Young Ned Stark” in Season 6 seemed to bring everything full circle. Bran and the audience learned many truths about Ned is a short time span, from the truth about his sister to the through about his honor. Perhaps there were times when honor made his “Stupid Ned Stark.” But there was a time, back in the past when Ned Stark was not so honorable as to get himself killed. And there was a promise he made that he took to the grave, never even telling his own wife.

This beautiful fan made video by TheGaroStudios celebrates the life and times of Ned Stark. Although he’s long gone, let us now doff our hats and remember the most honorable man in all of Westeros.

11 Comments

  • Nobody is perfect in this show or completely good. But Ned Stark is the standard to which everyone has to be compared. Sean Bean conveyed this perfectly. Ned’s influence lives on. It will be interesting to see what happens when Jon finds out that Ned is not his biological father. To paraphrase Theon, “Our real hero died in King’S Landing.”

    • I wonder how Jon Snow will react when the show finally reveals his true heritage?

      Will they just have him shocked that he’s a Targaryen, or will they go deeper in it?

      Ned risked everything to protect him. In some ways he put Jon before the welfare of his entire family.

      I’ll be disappointed if they don’t touch at least a little bit on that.

  • Honorable people win out sometimes; but, those tales don’t make for good misery-porn, do they?

  • Despite the fact that I learnt that Jon is the son of Lyanna, I still believe he is the son of Ned Stark. He grew up among his true children and that makes him Ned’s son as well. For instance, Robert mentions in AGOT that Ned was the brother he chose despite having two brothers. In a similar way, I believe Jon will choose Ned as his true father even if Rhaeagar is his biological one. In addition, Jon may have Targaryen blood but I don’t believe he will take any part in the politics of Westeros if he manages to defeat the Walkers.

    • True. Unless Dany dies at some point and then that huge army is looking for a new leader. In which point Jon would almost be forced to accept his Targaryen heritage.

      That would be an interesting twist, but I doubt GRRM would write it that way.

  • I don’t think Jon even wants to live. He will play his part in the battles to come, but I doubt very much he will care about this parentage in the end. Maybe, but it just doesn’t make sense. The desire of his youth: to be a true Stark, to be a Lord, will be replaced with the irony of his rightful kingship meaning next to nothing to him in the end. I think his youthful naivete about status will have been erased by the end of the story.

    Dany may want to marry Jon for political reasons, and they might even fall for each other, but his demeanor this season really makes me think he will seek a way out of life.

    Ayra returning might change that. He is broken hearted for many, many reasons. Coming back after his Night’s Watch brothers murdered him only broke his heart more. Can he even love again after losing Rose and enduring all these wars/battles? How much like Ned is Jon? He doesn’t seem to have much of his true parents in him. He isn’t all that impulsive or relatable. He certainly isn’t the life of the party. But his connection to Arya might help both of them. Jon could bring Arya back from her assassins obsessions. Arya could give Jon’s heart the healing balm it needs.

    Dany may die with Drogon after marrying Jon, and Jon may be the only one left with the gravitas to rule. He would be a very wise but sad King. He might will his Kingship to Bran or Arya’s children if they survive.

    But I honestly can’t see Jon and Dany together. That would be a happy ending. Bittersweet would be Dany loving him and he her, but Jon dying for real. Either way, can Dany and/or Jon have children? Can a reanimated corpse fertilize Dany’s cursed eggs?

    And don’t forget Dany wants to break the wheel. That means to me that she wants to end hereditary leadership. The Southerners will become more like the wildlings. The onion knight might be left standing with this as his goal after witnessing all the illusions of so many kings and their retinues.

    One or both of these characters will die. Stannis, however, is bullet proof.

    • “Can he even love again after losing Rose and enduring all these wars/battles?” Losing Rose? Did I miss some gossip? Don’t tell me they broke up? Noooooo!!!

      Sorry, I knew of course you meant Ygritte but I couldn’t help but do it! :)

      Seriously, you make some good points, I feel like you that Arya will have some part to play in Jon’s future. I both dread and anticipate that meeting. Sansa and Jon was something, but Jon and Arya will be something else…

      I wonder if at some point Bran will meet up with his siblings too?

  • I believe Jon found a new will to live when he was almost crushed to death beneath his own men in the Battle of the Bastards. He had to fight hard to get back up to where he could draw a breath. It was sort of described as a rebirth.

    I know we are headed for a heavy body count going forward as Kings Landing becomes less and less important to the overall story as a whole. Also, I believe that since the Night’s King has marked Bran as it were, it will allow the Night’s King to cross the wall as it allowed him to enter the cave that was warded with magic to keep him out. Possibly even bringing the wall down as he does so.

  • Oh, love, love, love that video! I’ve actually re-watched the first season several times because I miss Ned :(
    Now I know I’m not alone!