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Ned x Catelyn - Game of Thrones Meta

Gifs courtesy of @ryanranalds

This exchange between Ned and Catelyn is one of my absolute favorites. Just outside of Littlefinger’s brothel, as they’re about to say goodbye, Ned feels it’s important enough to take part of this moment to tell Catelyn Littlefinger “still loves” her.

Ned fidgets. He looks up at her shyly. Almost as if, even after all these years, he remembers he was her second choice. That Petyr fought his brother Brandon for her hand. That Catelyn could, still, be moved by the gesture. It’s an apology, of sorts, for being quiet, and reserved. For not being everything she might have wanted. 

“He still loves you” is, I think, a question as well as a statement. Do you still love him? Is this all right, Cat, this marriage we’ve built? Have I made you happy? 

And Catelyn just gazes at him with love built on a rock-solid foundation. Years and years of brick by brick and stone by stone.  She cares for Ned, loves him in a profound and nuanced way that’s a far cry from the romantic passion she had as a girl for Brandon.

The way she tilts her head down as she says “Does he?” transforms her words into an answer as well as a question. She’s telling him I love you, and you only, Ned. There is nothing you need to fear. You have my heart, completely.   

“Does he?“ could have come out so many other way. Catelyn could have waved Ned’s declaration away, but still been secretly intrigued. Catelyn could have been angry. We know she has a temper. But the deep peace that’s evident on her face gives Ned all the reassurance he needs. 

It’s also heartbreaking to me that this is the last time they see each other alive.