Do you think that Lady Barbery is going to get her way and feed Ned's bones to her dogs? It seems like a possibility to me since we have Catelyn's body was dumped in the river, Robb's and Grey Winds's bodies were mutilated, and Ice was destroyed by the Lannisters. The Starks don't seem to get any respect in that way, so wouldn't it be fitting for Ned's bones to also be destroyed in the continued mocking of the Starks?
I’m certain that Barbrey is not succeeding in her endeavor. Her success simply goes against the point GRRM is trying to make wrt Ned and the entire Northern plot in ADWD.
See, the mocking of the Starks isn’t a goal that the story aims to achieve; on the contrary, the story is actively going to bat for their ideals that were derived from Ned and his model of ruling. Yes, Robb and Catelyn’s bodies were desecrated in a clear attempt to humiliate and mock them even posthumously but this still happened in line with the narrative and to serve plot purposes, be them to set up Catelyn’s resurrection and return as Lady Stoneheart or to frame the breaking of the social structure of the Riverlands in reaction to the Red Wedding and how that affects the region as we transition into the next act of the story. The desecration of Robb’s body in particular is a pointed message about the obliteration of the Stark regime and a clear attempt from the Freys to destroy Robb’s memory and image and a continuing effort to defame him. When Robb’s name is mentioned, they don’t want people to remember the victorious Young Wolf that outmaneuvered Tywin Lannister, they want them to remember his bloody fate and his desecrated corpse so it can stand as a reminder to what happens when one crosses the Lannisters in a way similar to what the ruins of Castamere and Tarbeck Hall proclaim of the consequences of crossing the lions.
But when it comes to Ned’s bones, there is really no narrative or thematic sense for Barbrey to feed his bones to her dogs. What purpose does that serve? What does it mean within the story? We’re currently at a point where Stannis and the Stark loyalists are cracking down on the Boltons, where the narrative is making a point about how Ned’s legacy and memory are revered that so many people are fighting in his name and for his children. The wolves are coming again…. and I’m supposed to buy that Barbrey manages to satisfy her grudge by denying Ned respect when the book where we first hear of her plot is the same one that is going to bat for Ned Stark’s ruling ideology? No way.
ADWD is the book that explicitly rejects that claptrap Cersei Lannister said back in AGoT about how “when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground”. It is designed to prove Cersei - and with her, the entire Lannister ruling ideology- wrong. GRRM is rejecting that notion and rejecting all the claptrap expressed by several characters about the futility of honor and ideals. It’s where the narrative makes a clear statement about how Ned Stark won. His political theory and his ruling ideology won. Look back at the arc of the FeastDance and how it hammers the contrast between Tywin Lannister and Ned Stark. It’s not just that the two characters are foils to each other, even their legacy is. Tywin may have “won” the War of the Five Kings but he ultimately lost. Tywin’s legacy is his family imploding and his children turning on each other while the realm crumbles around them. Conversely, Ned may have lost his life early enough but he left behind a legacy that has the North rising and ready to fight and die for his children and their rights. Tywin’s legacy is decadent and decaying and stinking up the place just as much as his corpse did. Ned’s legacy is his honorable rule that earned him his bannermen’s deep and lasting loyalty. Tywin’s body stunk so bad it made his grandson retch, and everyone was mocking his corpse and the circumstances of his death. Ned’s bones will return home in honor to rest beside his family for his children to reunite and mourn him properly. There is no way Barbrey Dustin gets to deny Ned the respect he deserves by feeding his bones to her dogs, anon; the story will not let her.