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Lord Eddard Stark, A Character Sketch

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I’m three years late in getting into the pretty terrific Game Of Thrones saga.  I’ve read none of the books, but they are more or less heading my way.  I did watch all 30 episodes, roughly 60 hours worth of video, in about six days; and now I’m watching them all again, and finding it all makes much more sense the second go round.  Of course, and as a rule, reading the books is a preferable thing, but if you are like me; you also loved LOTR in film because Peter Jackson had it done so well.

The Game Of Thrones books were written by George R.R. Martin, but that isn’t what they were called, “Game Of Thrones” was merely what the HBO people decided to call the thing; and it comes from a line in the first season of the films involving major character Lord Eddard Stark and the vicious queen of the seven kingdoms of Westeros.  While this medieval fantasy is somewhat comparable to Tolkien, I’m really finding the major connection here to be that of character Eddard Stark, and Tolkien character Boromir, as both are played extremely well by actor Sean Bean.

 

 

Again, I don’t want to lead on here as if I’ve read the books when I have not; and also I should warn that somewhere or another on this page there could be a spoiler or two if you are like me, living three years behind everyone else who’s already become enamoured of this Game Of Thrones business.  So WHO is Lord Eddard Stark?  Well, Eddard Stark is “Lord Of The North,” he’s the head of a loose semi-state simply called “the North,” and he is great friends with the King of the Seven Kingdoms at the start of the tale.  These seven kingdoms are all part of a continent known as “Westeros,” and of those seven kingdoms virtually the only nobleman with any sort of ethical code is Eddard Stark.  It’s safe to say the rest of the nobles in the land consider morals and ethics to be whatever they can get away with; but not Ned Stark, he’s a man with integrity; and he believes right is right regardless of whether or not he can get away with doing right; he’ll die for doing what is right should the circumstance arise; and everyone everywhere knows this about him.

Sadly for Lord Stark, it is well known he’s a man of integrity; and so he’s left open to manipulation for it.  Despite others telling him repeatedly they’ll get away with whatever they can, he seems to somehow believe they’ll simply come to some sort of sense of honor, and do what is right; or maybe he simply doesn’t care, he just has it inside of him that he MUST do what is right and honorable, regardless the costs.  Also called “Ned Stark,” he is a great warrior, and while peoples from outside his Northern lands are mostly treacherous sorts, the men of the North all honor Lord Stark and would gladly die for him.  Leadership flows in that sort of way, when you’ve a leader who forever says one thing and does another thing; the people under the leader know that morality is whatever they can get away with; but this often as not ends up in loads of death and destruction.  Coincidentally, doing what is right in the not so make believe lands of Westeros can also lead one into death and destruction; but at least the dying is done with dignity.

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Now the Dire Wolf is the symbol for House Stark, and the Stark family resides in a city called Winterfell.  North of Winterfell is a 700 foot high wall that stretches 500 or so miles; and the wall was created thousands of years before this tale begins, and was created to keep out some very specific demonic powers, demons known as “white walkers.”  The problem with all of this is very few people even believe these demonic things exist, or at least they think they don’t exist anymore.  Near the beginning of the first episode of Game Of Thrones, Ned Stark feels it is his virtuous duty to behead a man who’d left his post at the wall, the man had run for having seen an actual white walker, some undead wights, and two of his compatriots murdered by the demonic thing.  The man knows his desertion means his death; but he does it anyway, and he seems to do this because he wishes to warn the people of Winterfell the white walker threat is real again.  Stark beheads the man, and well, should the same sort of thing happen to Ned, and Ned think he’s doing the exact right thing too; well, that’s a full circle for you.

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  • Article by Wesman Todd Shaw

    avatar A Texas native, I love music, history, science, and good food. More than any of that, I love good friends and good conversation. I'm a bit overly into debating on the web, it's just irresistible to me sometimes. I have a long history with acoustic guitars, and love those things above most others. If you also love acoustic guitars, then I am a resource you should enjoy, but I also would like to prove myself useful to you, and in other ways still.
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