“The girl,” the king said. “Daenerys. Let her live. If you can, if it … not too late … talk to them … Varys, Littlefinger … don’t let them kill her. And help my son, Ned. Make him be … better than me.”
I want to push back against this perception that GRRM kills off characters in ASOIAF for shock value. Or that he’s killing off characters willy-nilly to fuck with his audience.
We may find many of these deaths shocking, but we tend to be shocked because we’re accustomed to seeing characters live or die based on a particular moral framework, and GRRM is using a different moral framework. His moral framework isn’t cynical, or nihilistic. It’s pragmatic.
In particular, GRRM has NOT established a pattern of killing off POV characters for no good reason. Of those POV characters who are significant enough to have a presence on the show, the only ones who’ve died in the books are Ned, Cat, and Jon. That’s it. And Jon hasn’t even stayed dead. (Cat, I’m calling a real death. Everything good about Cat died at the Red Wedding and stayed dead.) Robb Stark was never a POV character. Robert Baratheon, Viserys Targaryen, Jeor Mormont, Tywin Lannister, Rodrik Cassel, Oberyn Martell? Not POV characters.
HUFFLEPUFF: “I never loved my brothers. Sad thing for a man to admit, but it’s true. You were the brother I chose.” –Jane Espenson + D.B. Weiss + David Benioff (Robert Baratheon: Game of Thrones: A Golden Crown)
Every girl in the Seven Kingdoms dreamed of him, but he was mine by oath. And when I finally saw him on my wedding day in the Sept of Baelor, lean and fierce and black bearded it was the happiest moment of my life. And that night he crawled into my bed, stinking of wine, and did he what he did, what little he could do. And whispered in my ear “Lyanna.” Your sister was a corpse and I was a living girl, and he loved her more than me.
Arya is like Lyanna, but she’s like a dark version of her (because of killings and faceless man’s talents she has) and Gendry is like better Robert (no whoring, less cruel).
And while Robert was attracted to Lyanna, who didn’t really like him because of whoring and things, Arya has a crush on Gendry, who probably considers her child.
And while Robert met Lyanna as a noble girl from Winterfell, Gendry met Arya as lowborn boy, and both Robert and Gendry met Ned first, and than the girls.
Robert and Lyanna lived like noble people, and Arya and Gendry lived in the forest for some time, hiding from the nobles (Lannisters).. Both couples visited Harrenhal, as you know for very different reasons. Robert and Lyanna were there because of the tournament, Arya and Gendry were captured by Lannister soldiers.
And LOL Robert was jealous of Rhaegar there, and guess what:
my favourite thing about jon possibly having a targaryen name is that when lyanna told ned he was probs like ‘… ok sis that’s cool but…. how the fuck am i meant to hide jahaerys jacarys jalapeno the third from robert with that name?’
Why did Robert dislike Stannis? I can't think of a reason that wouldn't also apply to Ned. The pros would be that they're both obedient and dutiful. The cons would be that Robert would find them too boring/serious. They're not the same character but I can't see what he loves about Ned that he hates about Stannis.
You’ve just put your finger on the main reason why Stannis resents Ned so much. Because yes, Stannis and Ned are not really that different which is exactly why Robert’s close friendship with Ned hurts Stannis tremendously. Ned is the brother Robert chose above Stannis which is something Stannis does not understand, he is just like me Robert, can’t you see? Why did you pick him and not me?
We don’t get an outright explanation to why Robert dislikes Stannis but considering all the talk about Stannis’ grim personality and how Stannis himself ruminates on how different he and Robert are, and how different they are viewed by others, it seems like a classic case of different personalities and temperament that created a rift between the brothers as the reserved and serious Stannis made for a disappointing prospect in companion to the lively and wild Robert. But it’s Robert’s fosterage at a young age that played a huge part in the chasm between the two Baratheons. The two brothers never really built a relationship because while it’s possible for fostered children to still have a good relationship with their siblings (hence Ned’s strong attachment to his own siblings), I don’t see Robert going out of his way to stay in touch and build a relationship with Stannis, and Stannis…. well, Stannis had trouble reaching out and showing vulnerability and the one time we hear about him doing so as a youth with Proudwing, he abruptly got smacked down by both Robert and their great uncle. So with distance, and no interest in forging a relationship, their disconnection grew.
Comparatively, and while Ned shares an introverted and reserved nature with Stannis, he was Robert’s childhood and teenage companion. It was Ned that shared Robert’s new exciting life in the Eyrie, Ned that he trained with in the yard and squired alongside, Ned that he built a brotherly bond with. It’s a given that Jon Arryn took great care in fostering friendship and kinship between his two wards, and Ned’s strong family values and good relationship with his siblings surely also appealed greatly to Robert whose relationship with his own brother was aloof and distant. Ned also had experience with a Robert-like character in his brother Brandon, and so probably was quite used to dealing with (and somewhat indulging) a wild and boisterous character Robert. And when you take into consideration Robert’s knack for romanticizing, I’m sure the Vale felt like a grand new adventure that he got to experience and Ned was the person he got to experience it with, which built a brotherly bond between them.
With how fosterage relationships is regarded as being equivalent to blood relationships, and with Robert building relationships there that he did not have back home, Robert all but replaced his blood family with his foster one, something he displayed repeatedly and made no secret of. Once Robert found a new family in Ned and Jon Arryn, and later zeroed in on the Starks as his chosen prospective family, his relationship with Stannis was doomed. He simply couldn’t be bothered. Robert is notoriously lazy, and he had a brother he liked in Ned, one that came with a family that
actually likes each other and that Robert can be a member of, so why should he exert himself to build a relationship with a brother he
did not like, especially since all of Stannis’ good qualities existed in
*breath in* …there is no canon evidence that Rhaegar/Lyanna’s relationship was not consensual beyond Robert Baratheon and fuckin Bran’s accounts. Look at Rob. Rob is biased as heck considering we know he was in love with Lyanna, almost possessive. He can not accept that Lyanna would love anyone other than him. On all other accounts he speaks favorably of Rhaegar. Look at Bran. He has no connection AT ALL to whatever happened- beyond hearing vaguely about it from other sources presumably. Even our pinnacle of Morality Ned talks highly of Rhaegar (i.e. thinks him the man above attending brothels). Why would he talk highly of the man who kidnapped his sister? Ser Barristan Selmy, who served three kings, thinks that Rhaegar would have been better then any of them! Daenerys is often compared to Rhaegar as a compliment! Cersei wanted to be married to him! Jon Connington was in love with him. The common people loved Rhaegar! Everyone loves Rhaegar! Rhaegar was a fuckin nerd. He loved reading and was often made fun of it as a child. Then he grew up into this badass and everyone was like ooOoOH but lemme remind you Rhaegar was a fuckin NERD. Rhaegar liked music ”loved his harp more than his lance). And he played all the time like a dweeb. His songs even made Lyanna cry because they were so beautiful. Rhaegar was sassy af. At the tournament at Harrenhal, he winter rose crown for the queen of love and beauty to Lyanna because she was Best Girl. Everyone was like “what abt your wife” and Rhaegar was like “fuck u lol.” When the rebellion started and whatever and Rhaegar was killed he diED WITH LYANNA’S NAME ON HIS LIPS. liKE– also LYANNA. This boss ass bitch wasn’t about to marry Robert aka Fuckboy #1. She had “the wolfblood” in her and was Arya v. 0. She was a good swordsman and horseman. Ned says that Rob never saw "the iron underneath.”and Lyanna new that Rob would cheat on her because he’s an Asshole. When Lyanna died, she was clutching her favorite blue winter roses like the ones Rhaegar gave to her. The symbolism here is obvious. Anyways Rhaegar and Lyanna are 2 badasses they deserve each other fuck Robert Baratheon and good day