A Game of Thrones – Chapter Four: Eddard

Reminders:

  1. Page numbers based off Kindle edition.
  2. No spoiling me; I will edit/delete any.
  3. I don’t avoid spoilers.
  4. My citation format is not necessarily accurate, but it works for me.

I appreciate that some people may be turned off by this constant ‘pre-blog’ notification. I choose to respect that some people may not have read these books before, like I hadn’t and so make the effort to not spoil them unless they go to the post page. I figure if you really want to be here, reading, you’ll ignore it.

The Imp: Tyrion Lannister. Is this a joke on his size, or does it have some other meaning?

…will we see many cold/ice/etc type jokes in relation to the Starks, in reference to Robert’s “Ah, but it is good to see that frozen face of yours.”1 In a way, this stinks of lazy writing. Oh look the Starks are all about winter let’s make a pun on that… however, it could be argued that lazy writing or not, people would do that.

Hmm. Math problem!

If they won the throne fifteen years ago… I would take it this is the same event that was mentioned in Daenerys’ previous chapter, when Dany was specifically referenced as “only a quickening in their mother’s womb”2… and then born nine moons later. Dany is thirteen, though. Even with nine months added, that’s at best fourteen years. The conclusion, therefore, is that the war to take the throne took a year. Correct? Or, “Di, you’re nitpicking again, just enjoy the damn book?”

Ooh, so that’s where Theon came from. Nasty piece of business, that.

…Cersei seems rather… disinclined to proper conduct. Maybe the dead can wait under the circumstances—I get the impression this visit to the crypt is somewhat expected or part of a ritual, not necessarily just something Robert wants to do (although it appears he does want to do it given Ned’s reaction)—but under the culture of the apparent time, I would expect that if the king wanted to stop and have intercourse with his wife when it’s pouring rain, no one makes a protest. Ergo, Cersei should not protest a visit to the host’s crypt.

Snow in summer. Did Elsa freeze Winterfell as well?3

Methinks Robert has overindulged in these cheap summerwines. And fruits. And everything else. And maybe these immodest women.

Mmm, who has Robert come to see?

…oh dear. Cersei’s protest seems to make more sense now, however I stand by my ‘proper conduct’ paragraph.

But if Catelyn was to be married to Brandon Stark and is now married to Ned… it begs the question: was the marriage to Brandon to be one of love or politics? Because it seems like it was more politics than love to tie her to Ned, if Ned took his brother’s place as heir…

Well, Robert, why not resurrect Rhaegar and kill him again?

So the mother takes her son away. Not unexpected. But yes, problematic.

…and Ned is going to be suckered into taking Jon Arryn’s place. It’s blatantly obvious—Ned wasn’t wanted before Jon died; now he is. It might not be Jon’s exact place and all, but whatever place Ned has, it’s to replace Jon.

Robert might be his friend and brother… but he won’t take no for an answer. He’ll give Ned the requested time, but Ned has no choice of refusal.

1. Martin, George R. R. (2010-12-23). A Game of Thrones, page 36. HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

2. Martin, George R. R. (2010-12-23). A Game of Thrones, page 27. HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

3. If you don’t know that’s a Frozen reference, I don’t know what to tell you.

Comments

6 Responses to “A Game of Thrones – Chapter Four: Eddard”

  1. Anna says:

    Re: Imp – it’s mostly a joke on his size, but it is a reference to his deformity, as well as him being kind of… not the nicest guy in the world, by reputation. It plays into medieval beliefs about deformed children being changelings, etc.

    We will see SOME ice/cold/frost jokes about the Starks – and about the Northmen in general – but they’re mostly from Robert early on, and it is pretty clear that he cracks them because he’s the kind of man who would. And Ned gets the short end of that particular stick a lot, because he IS kind of cold and stiffnecked around strangers, so eh. I didn’t find it too lazy.

    And yes, the war began 15 years ago, and took about a year. Math, for once being fun!

    Theon. Theon, Theon, Theon. My opinions of him changed wildly from when he was first introduced to where he is in the fifth book, oh boy. I spent a lot of time early in the series being seriously annoyed with him – but I think I was supposed to. He’s not very sympathetically written. To be fair, a lot of his character traits are understandable, considering his background and the situation he ends up in, but I did want to smack him a lot of the time.

    Re: Cersei being snooty and Robert’s visit to the crypt. The crypt-visit is… not exactly standard procedure. It would have been perfectly acceptable for Robert to wait until later – but he goes ahead anyway, because he’s… Robert. It’s complicated. His relationship with Lyanna is expanded a bit upon later on, but it remains kind of vague, and you have to piece it together from hints from several people – suffice to say that it’s not exactly cut and dried.

    Ned’s marriage to Catelyn was political, yes – as was her previous arrangement with Brandon Stark, which never got off the ground. The vast majority of marriages among the highborn of the books are political, for good reason – marriage is a tool of alliance, and in the game of thrones (ahahaha), alliances *count*.

    …. Believe me, if Robert could, he would kill Rhaegar a hundred times over, just for the joy of crunching his little silver-haired skull.

    … Robert is far from my favourite character, but I can appreciate how he’s written. It’s been 15 years since the war, and nearly as long since Ned saw him last – I appreciate that GRRM has let Robert change in the invervening time – and not for the better, either. It becomes clear rather early on that while Robert may be a decent war leader, he is not the best ruler of men. And while both he and Ned claim to be bosom friends, he’s not exactly good friend material either – at least not any more. He’s… manipulative, to say the least. Perhaps not consciously so, but still.

    • Dianna says:

      …oh dear.

      And that is pretty much my reaction to what you’ve said, all of it. *shakes head* I’m really enjoying this series so far, though!

  2. Siri Paulson says:

    Theon. ICK BLECK GET AWAY. *makes faces* (He doesn’t come off as all that bad now, but he has a POV in a later book. Being in his head is…not pleasant.)

    Re: Robert and Lyanna – Definitely one of those read-between-the-lines backstory things. Which is tricky because the mentions may be chapters apart, or even whole books…. Nice crypt, though, even if Robert doesn’t like it.

    Re: Jon Arryn and Lysa and (the other Robert) – I thought at first that it was confusing when several characters have the same name, but really the only confusion is in discussions like this one. When reading, it’s okay because they all show up in very different contexts, so it’s not hard to keep them straight. And really, why shouldn’t other worlds have popular names? I also appreciate that most of the names are very straightforward to read, and often just plain English. It helps a bit with the problem of remembering the bazillions of characters….

    Poor Ned. He might not want to leave Winterfell, and Catelyn might think it’s a bad idea, but when your king commands…what are you going to do? At least Robert did him the courtesy of asking in person. (Or maybe he thought it’d be harder for Ned to refuse. I can’t remember if the book gives a reason for Robert to have come all the way up there.)

    I wonder how they became friends? Sure, they’ve changed since they parted, but I have a feeling they haven’t changed all that much, just solidified and maybe gotten more extreme in their differences. Or maybe they balanced each other out when they were young. *imagines Robert dragging “frozen” Ned out drinking, and Ned dragging Robert away some hours later, before he makes an utter fool of himself*

    • Anna says:

      I think Ned and Robert became friends by circumstance – they were both squires in the Eyrie, AFAIK, and when you spend that much time cooped up with someone, you either get along, or you kill each other. Ned and Robert obviously chose the former!

      And I can easily see Robert nagging Ned to go out and have fun, and just as easily see Ned dragging a hungover Robert out of bed in the morning and chasing him around the yard with training swords, and being completely unsympathetic to Robert’s plight.

      • Dianna says:

        “Ned, we must go out drinking.”

        “Oh, no. You remember what happened last time?”

        “…nope.”

        “Exactly.”

        “Ned, you are far too serious. There is a comely wench with a sister that would be interested in you.”

        “A sister, eh? Well… maybe for a couple of hours…”

        The next morning…

        “Robert, I do not care that you are hungover and naked, we must go back now.”

        “At least let a man find his clothes!”

        “Very well, if only because I do not want to see your… little sword.”

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