Character Summary – Eddard Stark

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Our final character summary is on Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell.

Eddard “Ned” Stark is head of House Stark and Lord paramount of the North. Eddard and his wife Catelyn have five children, and Eddard has one bastard son, whom he took back home with him after Robert’s rebellion. He and King Robert Baratheon started as childhood friends when they were both fostered by Lord Jon Arryn, Robert Baratheon’s Hand at the start of the series.

In the beginning of Game of Thrones, Eddard has to deal with a deserter of the Night’s Watch by executing the young man, and brings his sons Robb, Jon, and 10-year-old Bran to accompany him and learn. He executes the man himself, and in teaching Bran about being dutiful, explains that the one who orders the execution should be the one to carry it out and take responsibility for his actions. Right away you can tell this man has earned his respect honestly and honorably.

After Jon Arryn’s death, King Baratheon goes to Winterfell, along with his court, to persuade Eddard to take on the position of Hand of the King. During the time of King Baratheon’s visit, it is revealed that Jon Arryn may have been assassinated so he reluctantly accepts the position of hand so he can investigate Jon Arryn’s death. Unfortunately, that means he has to leave Winterfell and his wife behind as she stays to keep watch over the now comatose Bran Stark, after he fell from one of the abandoned towers, supposedly by accident. Before he leaves, he sends his bastard son, Jon Snow, off to be part of the Night’s Watch, and reminds Jon that he is a Stark even though the Stark name was not given to him, and he also promises to tell Jon of his mother when they meet again.

He brings with him his two daughters, Sansa and Arya, to King’s Landing to have them introduced to the court, as Sansa is betrothed to Joffrey Baratheon, the King’s son and heir to the throne. Being sympathetic to Arya’s frustrations of being forced to act as a lady, he hires a swordmaster for Arya to learn proper swordfighting techniques.

Two things that Eddard finds upon arriving at King’s Landing is that the crown is majorly in debt, mostly to Lord Tywin Lannister, and that Jon Arryn had been inquiring around the city searching and finding King Baratheon’s bastard children. He is also forced to kill Lady, Sansa’s direwolf, after Joffrey accuses Arya and her own direwolf, Nymeria, of inflicting injury on him. Because Arya ran her direwolf off, Lady is killed in Nymeria’s place.

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Later, during a council meeting, King Baratheon wants to execute and order to have Daenerys Targaryen killed when he finds out that she is pregnant. Although Eddard has no love for the Targaryen’s, being that one Targaryen in particular was responsible for the capture, imprisonment, and death of his sister, Lyanna Stark, he refuses to agree to killing Daenerys and her unborn child, and steps down as Hand. As he is about to leave for Winterfell, he is stopped by Jaime Lannister, who is angered that Catelyn Stark has taken Jaime’s brother, Tyrion, prisoner for the attempted murder of Bran Stark. Their dispute turns deadly as Jaime’s men kill all of Eddard’s men and Eddard is injured. It is during this time of recovery that King Baratheon visits him and practically forces him to retake the position of Hand of the King, which Eddard does.

As he resumes his duties as Hand, he researches and discovers, after an offhand comment by Sansa, that Robert Baratheon’s children are not really his. Robert’s supposed children are actually the result of Robert’s wife Cersei and her incestuous affair with her twin brother Jaime Lannister. This is what Lord Jon Arryn had apparently discovered that got him assassinated. When Eddard confronts Cersei about this matter, he tells her that he will inform Robert of this, but gives Cersei a chance to flee with the children before he does. Unfortunately, Cersei plots to have Robert killed before he ever finds out. Also unfortunate is that her plan works.

Robert Baratheon comes back from his hunting party, severely wounded and has Eddard write down his will and put Joffrey’s name as heir to the throne, also naming Eddard as Protector of the Realm until Joffrey is of age to take the throne. Eddard writes down “rightful heir” instead of putting Joffrey’s name on the will. He also doesn’t have to the heart to inform Robert of Cersei’s children not being his.

When Robert dies, Joffrey takes the throne with his mother as part of the counsel. Eddard tries to overtake the throne and have both Cersei and Joffrey arrested, but Cersei rips up the will in front of all who are there and Eddard finds that he is betrayed. Eddard is taken prisoner for treason, while Sansa is held captive by the Lannisters and Arya escapes into the city.

Thus starts the coming of a war as news of Eddard’s capture reaches Winterfell. Eddard at first refuses to admit to treason and does not want to swear fealty to King Joffrey, even if it means his death. However, because Sansa is still being kept by them, he realizes that may be the only way to save her. So, he reluctantly agrees, with the reassurance that his daughters will be released. This also ensures that he will not be executed, but exiled to the Wall instead, serving the Night’s Watch as punishment.

Unfortunately, as honorable and dutiful and even sympathetic as he has been to those around him, he is not treated with the same courtesies. After Eddard admits to treason and swears fealty to King Joffrey, Joffrey has him executed right then and there anyway, in public and with Sansa watching. Arya also watches from a distance, but Eddard can see that Yoren, an actual trustworthy man, will take care of Arya as he hides Arya from his beheading.

His death becomes the ultimate catalyst for the War of the Four Kings.

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Eddard is definitely one of the most honorable men in this series and the basic “good guy” as far as good guys go in Westeros. He is not without fault, though, seeming too trustworthy of people and even giving mercy to those who probably don’t deserve it. It is these faults that ultimately become part of his downfall.

Eddard Stark was played by Sean Bean. He is a well respected actor and best known in recent years as Boromir from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, a part in which is character dies most dramatically as well. The guy knows how to die honorably, I gotta say. He also played the King in the Snow White comedy movie, Mirror, Mirror, which just came out the Friday before the start of the second season of Game of Thrones on HBO. And he played the Greek God Zeus in Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. No word on if he’s going to reprise his role for the upcoming Sea of Monsters, though. I love this actor and I so wish his character hadn’t died just so I can see more of him in the series, but alas, the Game of Thrones isn’t about keeping all the good characters alive. Sean Bean will be missed!

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Character Summary – Arya Stark

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We continue with Day 8 of our Character Summary countdown with Arya Stark.

Arya is the third child of Eddard and Catelyn Stark, and she’s also the youngest daughter. She is a very feisty young girl, who does not really share the interests of being a “lady” in the court. Her half brother, Jon Snow, gives her a sword as a gift to her before he leaves for The Wall. Upon knowing that all great swords have names, she names her sword “Needle.”

 

 

 

 

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One day, Arya is practicing with a peasant friend, Mycah when Prince Joffrey and Sansa come across them.  Joffrey’s taunts leads to an altercation and soon Arya’s direwolf, Nymeria, attacks Joffrey.  Arya chases off Nymeria to save her from death, but Sansa’s direwolf, Lady is killed in Nymeria’s place.  Also, Arya’s friend, Mycah, who was accused of attacking Joffrey is killed by the Hound, Sandor Clegane.  Arya harbors a lasting enmity for the Lannisters and Clegane because of those incidents (quite frankly, understandable).

Arya later reveals to Eddard that she has a sword, and at first is hesitant for her to use bit, but soon changes his mind and hires a swordsman to train her, calling them her “dance lessons.” She learns quite a bit from Ferol.

Unfortunately, during the purge of the Stark loyalists, Arya is forced to escape and Ferol is killed.  She ends up killing a stable boy who tries to take her sword.  Her first kill.

Arya hides within the city, living on the streets, until the day of her father’s execution.  She witnesses her father’s fealty plea, but is kept from witnessing his execution.  A man named Yoren of the Night’s Watch shields her from that sight and takes her away.

Yoren begins the process of treating her as a boy as her true identity will have to be kept secret to keep her safe.  Yoren takes her and other recruits to The Wall, with her new name as Arry.

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Arya is played by Maisie Williams.  It seems this is her only acting credit and for that, she does brilliantly.  I’m excited to see how things progress with her character in the second season. Will she see her half-brother, Jon Snow again?  Will she see any of her family?  So far, Maisie has done well and I’m looking forward to seeing how she will handle her characters new developments.

 

Character Summary – Sansa Stark

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Day 6 of our Character Summary focuses on Sansa Stark.

Sansa is the elder of the two daughters of Eddard and Catelyn Stark.  She is betrothed to Joffrey Baratheon, son of King Robert Baratheon and Queen Cersei Lannister.  Raised to be a lady in every way, she delights in the prospects of living a life as the future queen with her betrothed.  She and her sister, Arya, join their father to King’s Landing, giving her a chance to spend time with Joffrey.

Sansa, whose relationship with her sister, Arya, is already strained due to their current interests, further estranges herself from Arya when a circumstance that was clearly Joffrey’s fault leads Sansa to lie to the court about whose fault it was that Joffrey’s hand was injured.  Ironically, Sansa has to suffer the loss of her own direwolf because of it.  Still, her “love” for Joffrey is not deterred and she continues to try to gain his favor as well as the Queen’s.

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After her father suffers an injury, he tells both her and Arya that they are to go to back home, but Sansa is so infatuated with Joffrey and confesses her love for him.  Oh, teenagers!  Of course, it doesn’t help Eddard that Joffrey had apologized to Sansa earlier and gave her a necklace as a gift – something that Joffrey was forced to do by his mother.  Unfortunately for the Stark family, the King falls ill and dies, which leaves Eddard in a bad situation.

Sansa’s betrothed now claims the throne and the Cersei Lannister convinces Sansa to write a letter to her brother Robb, who has taken over as Lord of the North, to come to King’s Landing and swear fealty to King Joffrey Baratheon.  Sansa believes that she can make things better.  Unfortunately, it is already too late, and she is forced to watch her father executed upon the order of King Joffrey.  Her opinion of Joffrey is quite changed after this point.

But being that she’s held hostage for the most part, she cannot do much, although the thought of pushing Joffrey off a bridge came to mind, but only up until someone stopped her for her own safety.

It seems Joffrey still plans on marrying her?

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Sansa Stark is played by Sophie Turner.  This looks to be Sophie’s first major role in anything and she seems to be doing a fine job of playing a teenage girl with a mad crush.  I believe she plays the role quite convincingly, considering all the backlash that the character is getting, being that she clearly was infatuated with a psychotic spoiled brat.  But alas, Sophie is very understandable as well.  We have all been teenagers in love, I believe, and sometimes we fall for the wrong person only because they look handsome or beautiful in our eyes and we are quick to neglect the wrongdoings of their acts, if only they would just give us attention.  This is what I believe Sophie understands in her portrayal.  She’s not inherently bad, and Sophie plays Sansa that way, as it should be.

Character Summary – Petyr Baelish

Day 4 of our Character Summary Countdown to Season 2 of Game of Thrones.

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“Many things are not as they seem. The worst things in life never are.” Jim Butcher said that.  And the thought was something that flashed in my mind when Littlefinger betrayed Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell.  Okay I will admit that I haven’t read the books but what I gathered from the series which I absolutely love like you all is that life and the people around us surprise at every point and turn of the life’s events. In the beginning of season 1, I was not so sure about Baelish’s intentions, what side he was on. But as they say life is not black or white it has its shades of grey.

Feelings are strange. The ones caused by childhood love and affection and the disappointment arising out of losing one’s love make people to take different course of actions coming up earlier or later in life.Oh I am being so Oprah.  What I am saying is one may take the path similar to Professor Snape from the Harry Potter series, protecting the only child of his life’s love Lily even when she chose someone else over him, or take that of Baelish’s.  Petyr was hurt when Brandon Stark defeated him and took Catelyn with him. And the scars of the lost love remained deep inside his heart, hidden from everyone ,yes, but still there. And the scars lead him to feign a sort of friendship with Eddard (who later married Catelyn after his brother Brandon’s death) and later betray him when the opportunity presented itself, though there may be other political hidden agendas too.

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He possesses considerable skill in commerce and coin, and is a master of court intrigue, his brilliance matched only by his ambition and his gift for political improvisation. Born in a small insignificant house, he always tried to work his way up the status of higher families, and that he did. His skill with finances resulted in a series of appointments leading to his being named Master of Coin in King’s Landing under King Robert Baratheon. There his influence furnished him with many allies and contacts, including the City Watch. He also bought numerous brothels in the city.

“And thus I clothe my naked villainy
With odd old ends stolen out of holy writ
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.”
― William Shakespeare, Richard III

Petyr Baelish was a fine manipulator working his way out of all situations and proving himself loyal to all those with powers, and changing sides whenever the tables turned as well as when it suited his purpose.  His betrayal of Ned Stark at a time when we expected him to aid The King’s Hand speak volumes of what a man may or may not do when a situation arises.  And that ‘We Never Know.’

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The part of Littlefinger is played by Aidan Gillen in the series.  Aidan certainly has the look of someone who you think you can trust, but still can seem like someone who has a hidden agenda, though you may not know for sure, so you keep listening to him.  Aidan definitely has that quality in his portrayal of Petyr, giving us a sense of conceivability and not something of a caricature that this character could have been done as.

– written in collaboration with artyslife

Character Summary – Joffrey Baratheon

Day 3 of our Character Summary Countdown to Season 2 of Game of Thrones.

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Joffrey Baratheon is proclaimed son and heir of King Robert Baratheon and Queen Cersei Lannister, however, he was not treated kindly by the king, to whom he tried to gain favor from, even if he didn’t quite know the best way to go about doing it.

Joffrey is labeled as a handsome prince, however, his spoiled attitude and ruthless, sadistic trait was something to loathe and fear.  At one point, he cruelly challenges a young boy into swordfighting, knowing that the boy will not respond due to Joffrey’s standing, but ends up getting his hand injured by Arya Stark’s direwolf, Nymeria.  Unfortunately, he lied his way through it stating that he was attacked by Arya, the boy and the direwolf.  Although Sansa Stark, betrothed to Joffrey, was a witness during the fight, she claims to have no recollection of the incident and thus protects Joffrey’s lie.  The boy ends up getting killed and the direwolf escapes, and Sansa Stark’s direwolf is executed in Nymeria’s place.

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The prince’s sadistic side becomes much more apparent when he is placed as King after King Robert’s death.  Once on the throne, he’s even worse than before with much more power that he even defies his mother’s advice and has Sansa’s father, Eddard Stark, executed for treason even though he promised that he would not do so if Eddard confesses to treason and swears fealty to Joffrey, which Eddard did.

It was also realized by Eddard that Joffrey, along with his siblings, are not the true heirs to the throne since they were not Robert Baratheon’s biological children, since Robert and his line were all of black-hair.  Joffrey and his siblings are all blond.  It comes out that the blond-haired children are the children of Cersei Lannister and her brother Jaime Lannister.  Ew!

No wonder this kid is all messed up!

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Joffrey Baratheon is played by Jack Gleeson.  Not much is known about the actor, even his age is not listed, but this kid knows how to act and he does an amazingly excellent job of being every parents’ nightmare of a son.  Handsome, sly, yet sadistic, you wonder what Jack is like in real life and you hope that he’s quite the antithesis of his character.  I actually like to think that he is, because when thinking about some actors that I’ve met, the ones who have the baddest roles also seem to be the ones that have the sweetest disposition.

Character Summary – Theon Greyjoy

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We continue on Day 2 of our Character Summaries and Countdown to the Season 2 premiere of A Game of Thrones with Theon Greyjoy.

Theon Greyjoy, son of Balon Greyjoy, became ward of Eddard Stark after he was taken hostage after the Greyjoy Rebellion, which took place before the start of the when the series takes place.  He became the only surviving son of Balon after the rebellion as well, making him the heir to his house. Despite being a hostage, he seems to have been well looked after in the Stark house and was taught and trained with the Stark children.  He thus became a very close friend of Robb Stark, but not so much with Jon Snow.   He even assumed the position of Hand during Ned Stark’s absence.

He apparently is very good with a bow and arrows.  He was able to use his ability to save Bran Stark’s life during an encounter with some wildings (outsiders) in the woods, but was reprimanded by Robb for his carelessness, seeing as Theon’s arrow could’ve also killed Bran in the process.

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Theon is quite the arrogant one, often commenting to others (not the Starks, of course) of his rightful place as heir to the throne of the Greyjoy House.  He’s considered a very handsome man and definitely has a strong sexual appetite, even trying to make advances towards Osha, one of the wildings that attacked Bran and the only wildling left alive.

In the Season 1 finale, he claims has become even more loyal to Robb Stark, proclaiming him along with the other followers as “King of the North.”

Alfie Allen plays Theon Greyjoy on the show.  You can see he understands the character as a bit of a pompous boy trying to make a name for himself, yet feeling a bit out of place.  You kind of feel sorry for him at times, until he starts off on one of his rants about his lineage and his little arguments with Jon Snow, whom, he probably takes his character to think of as someone in a worse position than himself, someone beneath him because there is no place in the Stark House for a bastard son.  Alfie has done a fine job so far with Theon – allowing me to like some traits about him as much as I don’t like other traits about him.

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What do you think about Theon?  Comment below.