game of thrones 1x09

Eddard Stark at The Tower of Joy

Most of us had some inkling that Jon Snow was not Eddard Stark’s son. Now on 6x10, we have confirmation. Jon Snow is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. 

We read the scene in the books, learned how the Tower of Joy went, knew Lyanna made him promise her something, knew she died in a bed of blood with her brother beside her. We knew it pained Ned to think of it. 

But to have it acted out, to see Ned’s raw emotion play out on his face, holding his sister’s child, watching her as she plead with her dying breath for her brother to protect her baby…it’s powerful. 

He lost his sister after just getting her back, and gained a child all within a few short moments. 

He took a child that was not his, and loved it, and raised it as his own. He chose to become Jon’s father. He protected him and defended him and loved him fiercely, even at the expense of his own honor, reputation and even, for a time, his own marriage.  

He lied to the man who he considered a brother, risked his life to commit treason against the king he fought to crown. He lied to his own wife, even though he probably knew he could trust her. He lied to everyone. Because he made a promise to his sister, and wouldn’t let Jon come to harm, not for anyone. 

Because Eddard Stark was a good man, a man who loved his family selflessly. And this episode made me remember how good of a man he was, and how revolting his death was.