Tag Archives: George R. R. Martin

Secondary Character Saturday: Sean Bean:Eddard “Ned” Stark

Alas today is the final Saturday in a month full of Sean Bean. Sorry ladies.

Click here to read about his work as Odysseus, Boromir, and as Ian Howe.

Winter Is Coming

Winter Is Coming (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHO: Eddark Stark

Bran’s father sat solemnly on his horse, long brown hair stirring in the wind. His closely trimmed beard was shot with white, making him look older than his thirty-five years. He had a grim cast to his grey eyes this day, and he seemed not at all the man who would sit before the fire in the evening and talk softly of the age of heroes and the children of the forest. He had taken off Father’s face, Bran thought and donned the face of Lord Stark of Winterfell. [A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin, Bantam Books, New York, New York]

Dust slipcase and title page of George R.r. Martin's A Game of Thrones.

Dust slipcase and title page of George R.r. Martin’s A Game of Thrones.

FROM: Game of Thrones

BY: George R. R. Martin

RELEASED: The book was released in 1996. The HBO mini series premiered in 2011

Game of Thrones (soundtrack)

Game of Thrones (soundtrack) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PROS: Ned Stark is a stand up guy. He loves his family deeply and would do anything for them. He’s a strong leader and has a highly defined set of morals. He is honorable and honest. He is a loyal friend. “Stoic, duty-bound and honorable, Ned Stark embodied the values of the north.” [HBO Game of Thrones viewer’s Guide]

Direwolf illustration from the book. Teh Direwolf is the symbol for House Stark.

Direwolf illustration from the book. Teh Direwolf is the symbol for House Stark.

CONS: He is too much of a stickler for the rules to get along in the political cest pool of Kings Landing. He is cold and unbending to those who don’t know him. He holds a grudge.

QUOTE: “Winter is coming

MOST SHINING MOMENT: Forced with the choice between honor and truth (and death) or saving his daughters and lying (thus condemning himself to a life in the Night Watch) he goes breaks his very moral code for the sake of the girls. Oh, that every one in Kings Landing were as honorable.

Direwolf illustration from the HBO miniseries

Direwolf illustration from the HBO miniseries

LEAST SHINING MOMENT: Lord Stark is both the strongest and most gullible character in the book. He’s an incredible role model for his family, but sadly, not every one is playing by his rules. So I guess Ned’s least shining moments happen when he assumes that other characters will act as nobly as he has acted toward them. Most notably when he tells Cersie that he knows none of her children are legitimate.

So his most shining moment and least shining moment result in the same thing… when asked what madness lead him to tell the queen that he’d unearthed the truth about Prince Joffrey’s birth, honorable Ned Stark replies “The madness of mercy. That she might save her children.” Oh, Ned, will you never learn?

End paper from A Game of Thrones showing a map of the North. The Starks live in Winterfell which is about center on the map.

End paper from A Game of Thrones showing a map of the North. The Starks live in Winterfell which is about center on the map.

This may just be Sean Bean’s most noble role to date. And he wears every minute of stress and responsiblity of leadership  on his weathered face. The range of interactions from how he treats his family to how he deals with the small council is a joy to watch. I  have other problems with the production (as usual with HBO there’s too much graphic…well everything) but I have no problem with the honorable Ned Stark… or the man who plays him.


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