Dominant Introverted Sensing [Si]: Ned is traditional and abides by established rules and customs. The king asked Ned to be his hand, so he must serve, even if that means leaving his wife and most of his children behind. It’s his duty and he’s loyal to Robert. Sansa’s remark about giving Joffrey golden-haired children gets Ned thinking, so he consults the records for the Baratheon family… all black of hair, indicating that this gene is dominant. This leads Ned to the belief that Robert’s children aren’t actually his. When Ned comes to the conclusion that Joffrey, Tommen, and Myrcella are actually Jaime’s and not Robert’s, he is unwilling to allow Joffrey to become king, because he’s not the true king. The crown should pass to Stannis, because that’s how it’s supposed to be. That’s the way it works. He’s the rightful heir, no “buts” about it. Ned is horrified to learn how much debt the kingdom is in. How could they all let that happen?! It’s irresponsible to have tournaments we can’t pay for when the kingdom owes so much money. Ned always wants to do things by the book, which often gets him into trouble, because he’s typically surrounded with schemers who will do whatever it takes to further their own agendas. Although he eventually comes around, Ned wants Arya to be a lady and stop playing with swords because she’s supposed to grow up, marry a lord and rule his castle. She can’t be a lord of holdfast. She’s a girl. The only thing that’s more important to Ned than his honor is his family. He is willing to die for his honor until Varys forces him to think about what will happen to his daughters if he doesn’t tell Cersei what she needs to hear. He’s unwilling to trade his honor for his life, but eventually decides that Sansa’s life is worth more to him than his honor. Ned trusts his own senses and only believes in what he can see or hear. He doesn’t believe the deserter’s story about the White Walkers, writing him off as mad. Ned uses his past experiences to make decisions in the present. He doesn’t trust Jorah’s word about Daenerys because Jorah’s a criminal. He’s not concerned with the Dothraki because they’ve never crossed the sea before. Why should he fear them?
Auxiliary Extroverted Thinking [Te]: As lord of Winterfell, Ned is often tasked with making decisions and he’s very good at leaving his emotions out of it. He beheads the deserter because what he did was against the rules and had to be done. Ned is responsible, practical, and he has respect for the chain of command. When he is charged with taking Robert’s place on the throne after he goes on a hunting trip, he decides to have Ser Gregor Clegane stripped of his titles, his land, and sentences him to death, a very drastic action. He also demands that Tywin Lannister presents himself in court to answer for the crimes of his bannermen. Ned cares about the facts of a situation. The Dothraki won’t cross the Narrow Sea. They don’t have any ships! All they have are horses and they’re not going to get the Dothraki across the water. Ned is comfortable with giving orders and commanding men. He instructs his men to take Cersei and Joffrey into custody, a very bold move, which doesn’t exactly pan out the way Ned had hoped. Ned needs proof before acting. He’s not going to have a girl killed based on gossip. He needs concrete evidence before making a move. Ned cares very much about rules and laws, and is quick to enforce them when necessary. He believes that “the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.” He doesn’t enjoy killing, but it’s his responsibility. It needs to be done.
Tertiary Introverted Feeling [Fi]: His values and his honor are everything to Ned. He always tries to do the “right” thing, no matter what the consequences. It’s wrong for Robert to have Daenerys killed. She’s practically a child. If you go through with this, you will lose your honor forever. Ned refuses to trust the word of those who he feels lack honor. He doesn’t believe what Jorah Mormont says because he’s a traitor. He won’t kill a girl based on what he says. “He broke the law, betrayed his family, fled our land. We commit murder on the word of this man?” Ned won’t be part of what Robert’s planning to do. He’s disappointed in Robert because he thought he was better than that. He used to be better than that. The Robert in front of him now is not the same Robert he once knew (Si-Fi). Ned confronts Cersei when he learns the truth about her children and refuses to accept Joffrey as the rightful king. When he finds out the truth, he knows that he must inform Robert, but he doesn’t want to endanger the lives of the children, and decides to warn Cersei to flee before he returns. Ned will not dishonor Robert’s last moments on Earth by “shedding blood in his halls and dragging frightened children from their beds.” Ned doesn’t typically discuss his feelings openly. He tends to keep things to himself and his morality comes from within. Nobody can tell Ned what’s right except Ned. Even though Ser Barristan is being tasked with taking Ned into custody, Ned doesn’t want his men to harm him because he’s good and loyal. He doesn’t trust Varys because he did nothing while Ned was being taken in. He just stood there. Even though Varys had no weapon, no armor, and isn’t a fighter by nature, he still should’ve done something.
Inferior Extroverted Intuition [Ne]: Because Ned tends to take things as they are, he can sometimes have trouble deciphering true motivations and intentions. He doesn’t anticipate that Littlefinger will betray him, and attempts to have Cersei and Joffrey taken in under guard, not realizing that people have been conspiring behind his back. When questioned as to why he would do something so foolish as to confront Cersei, he believed that she would give in to keep her children safe, but he was unable to foresee that she would refuse to surrender. He has trouble seeing the bigger picture, which usually leaves him uncertain in his conversations with intuitive types, such as Littlefinger and Varys.
Enneagram: 1w9 6w5 2w1 Sp/So
Ned: You understand why I did it?
Bran: Jon said he was a deserter.
Ned: But do you understand why I had to kill him?
Bran: “Our way is the old way”?
Ned: The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.
Ned: I will not believe Jon Arryn allowed Robert to bankrupt the realm.
Pycelle: Lord Arryn gave wise and prudent advice, but I fear His Grace doesn’t always listen.
Ned: This tournament is an extravagance we cannot afford.
Littlefinger: As you will. But still, we’d best make our plans.
Ned: There will be no plans… until I speak to Robert. Forgive me, my lords. I’m… I had a long ride.
Varys: You are the King’s Hand, Lord Stark. We serve at your pleasure.
Robert: Are you as good with a spear as you used to be?
Ned: No, but I’m still better than you.
Robert: I know what I’m putting you through. Thank you for saying yes. I only ask you because I need you. You’re a loyal friend. You hear me? A loyal friend. The last one I’ve got.
Ned: I hope I’ll serve you well.
Robert: You will. And I’ll make sure you don’t look so fucking grim all the time. Come on, boys, let’s go kill some boar!
Ned: This is no toy. Little ladies shouldn’t play with swords.
Arya: I wasn’t playing. And I don’t want to be a lady.
Ned: Come here. Now what do you want with this?
Arya: It’s called Needle.
Ned: Oh, a blade with a name. And who were you hoping to skewer with Needle? Your sister? Do you know the first thing about sword fighting?
Arya: Stick ’em with the pointy end.
Ned: That’s the essence of it.
Arya: I was trying to learn. I asked Mycah to practice with me. I asked him. It was my fault.
Ned: No, sweet girl. No, no, you didn’t kill the butcher’s boy.
Arya: I hate them. I hate all of them. The Hound, the queen and the king and Joffrey and Sansa.
Ned: Sansa was dragged before the king and queen… and asked to call the prince a liar.
Arya: So was I! He is a liar.
Ned: Shh, darling, listen to me. Sansa will be married to Joffrey someday. She cannot betray him. She must take his side even when he’s wrong.
Arya: But how you can let her marry someone like that?
Ned: Look at me. You’re a Stark of Winterfell. You know our words.
Arya: Winter is coming.
Ned: You were born in the long summer. You’ve never known anything else. But now winter is truly coming. And in the winter, we must protect ourselves, look after one another. Sansa is your sister.
Arya: I don’t hate her. Not really.
Ned: I don’t want to frighten you, but I won’t lie to you either. We’ve come to a dangerous place. We cannot fight a war amongst ourselves. All right? Go on. It’s yours.
Arya: I can keep it?
Ned: Try not to stab your sister with it. If you’re going to own a sword, you’d better know how to use it.
Catelyn: I know they did it, Ned. The Lannisters. In my bones, I know it.
Ned: Littlefinger’s right. I can’t do anything without proof.
Catelyn: And if you find the proof?
Ned: Then I bring it to Robert… and hope he’s still the man I once knew. You watch yourself on the road, huh? That temper of yours is a dangerous thing.
Catelyn: My temper? Gods be good, you nearly killed poor Littlefinger yesterday.
Ned: He still loves you.
Catelyn: Does he?
Arya: Can I be lord of a holdfast?
Ned: You will marry a high lord and rule his castle. And your sons shall be knights and princes and lords. Hmm?
Arya: No. That’s not me.
Ned: Daenerys Targaryen has wed some Dothraki horselord. What of it? Should we send her a wedding gift?
Robert: A knife, perhaps. A good sharp one, and a bold man to wield it.
Ned: She’s little more than a child.
Robert: Soon enough that child will spread her legs and start breeding.
Ned: Tell me we’re not speaking of this.
Robert: Oh, it’s unspeakable to you? What her father did to your family… that was unspeakable. What Rhaegar Targaryen did to your sister… the woman I loved. I’ll kill every Targaryen I get my hands on.
Ned: But you can’t get your hands on this one, can you?
Robert: This Khal Drogo, it’s said he has 100,000 men in his horde.
Ned: Even a million Dothraki are no threat to the realm, as long as they remain on the other side of the Narrow Sea. They have no ships, Robert!
Robert: There are still those in the Seven Kingdoms who call me Usurper. If the Targaryen boy crosses with a Dothraki horde at his back, the scum will join him.
Ned: He will not cross! And if by chance he does, we’ll throw him back into the sea.
Robert: There’s a war coming, Ned. I don’t know when, I don’t know who we’ll be fighting, but it’s coming.
Robert: The whore is pregnant.
Ned: You’re speaking of murdering a child.
Robert: I warned you this would happen, back in the North. I warned you, but you didn’t care to hear. Well, hear it now. I want ’em dead, mother and child both. And that fool Viserys as well. Is that plain enough for you? I want them both dead.
Ned: You will dishonour yourself forever if you do this.
Robert: Honour?! I’ve got seven kingdoms to rule! One king, seven kingdoms. Do you think honour keeps them in line? Do you think it’s honour that’s keeping the peace? It’s fear- fear and blood.
Ned: Then we’re no better than the Mad King.
Robert: Careful, Ned. Careful now.
Ned: You want to assassinate a girl because the spider heard a rumour?
Varys: No rumour, my lord. The princess is with child.
Ned: Based on whose information?
Varys: Ser Jorah Mormont. He is serving as advisor to the Targaryens.
Ned: Mormont? You bring us the whispers of a traitor half a world away and call it fact?
Littlefinger: Jorah Mormont’s a slaver, not a traitor. Small difference, I know, to an honourable man.
Ned: He broke the law, betrayed his family, fled our land. We commit murder on the word of this man?
Robert: And if he’s right? If she has a son? A Targaryen at the head of a Dothraki army what then?
Ned: The Narrow Sea still lies between us. I’ll fear the Dothraki the day they teach their horses to run on water.
Robert: Do nothing? That’s your wise advice? Do nothing till our enemies are on our shores? You’re my council. Counsel! Speak sense to this honourable fool.
Varys: I understand your misgivings, my lord. Truly, I do. It is a terrible thing we must consider, a vile thing. Yet we who presume to rule must sometimes do vile things for the good of the realm.
Should the gods grant Daenerys a son, the realm will bleed.
Pycelle: I bear this girl no ill will, but should the Dothraki invade, how many innocents will die? How many towns will burn? Is it not wiser, kinder even, that she should die now so that tens of thousands might live?
Renly: We should have had them both killed years ago.
Littlefinger: When you find yourself in bed with an ugly woman, best close your eyes, get it over with. Cut her throat. Be done with it.
Ned: I followed you into war… twice, without doubts, without second thoughts. But I will not follow you now. The Robert I grew up with didn’t tremble at the shadow of an unborn child.
Robert: She dies.
Ned: I will have no part in it.
Robert: You’re the King’s Hand, Lord Stark. You’ll do as I command or I’ll find me a Hand who will.
Ned: And good luck to him. I thought you were a better man.
Robert: Out. Out, damn you. I’m done with you. Go, run back to Winterfell! I’ll have your head on a spike! I’ll put it there myself, you fool! You think you’re too good for this? Too proud and honourable? This is a war!
Joss: They burned most everything in the Riverlands – our fields, our granaries, our homes. They took our women, and then they took ‘em again. When they was done, they butchered them as if they was animals. They covered our children in pitch, and lit them on fire.
Pycelle: Brigands, most likely.
Joss: They weren’t thieves, they didn’t steal nothing. They even left something behind, your Grace.
Pycelle: It’s the King’s Hand you’re addressing, not the king. The king is hunting.
[Another man comes forward with a large bag. He dumps the contents out, and they are revealed to be a pile of dead fish.]
Littlefinger: Fish. The sigil of House Tully. [to Ned, whispering] Isn’t that your wife’s House – Tully – my Lord Hand?
[Pycelle looks at Ned expectantly.]
Ned: These men, were they flying a sigil?
[Joss looks confused.]
Ned: A banner.
Joss: None, your…. Hand. The one who was leading them – taller by a foot than any man I’ve ever met. Saw him cut the blacksmith in two, saw him take the head off a horse with a single swing of his sword.
Littlefinger: [to Ned, whispering] That sounds like someone we know – the Mountain.
Ned: You’re describing Ser Gregor Clegane.
Pycelle: Why should Ser Gregor turn brigand? The man is an anointed knight.
Littlefinger: [to Pycelle] I’ve heard him called “Tywin Lannister’s mad dog.” I’m sure you have as well. [to Ned, whispering] Can you think of any reason the Lannisters might possibly have for being angry with your wife?
Pycelle: If the Lannisters were to order attacks on villages under the king’s protection, it would be –
Littlefinger: That would be almost as brazen as attacking the Hand of the King in the streets of the capital.
[Ned thinks for a moment.]
Ned: I cannot give you back your homes or restore your dead to life. But perhaps I can give you justice in the name of our king, Robert. Lord Beric Dondarrion.
[Beric Dondarrion steps forward.]
Ned: You shall have the command. Assemble one hundred men and ride to Ser Gregor’s keep.
Beric: As you command.
[Ned stands up, and we see he is now using a cane to walk due to the injury to his leg.]
Ned: In the name of Robert of the House Baratheon, the First of his Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, I charge you to bring the king’s justice to the false knight Gregor Clegane and all those who shared in his crimes. I denounce him and attaint him.
[Beric nods. The other peasants murmur amongst themselves.]
Ned: I strip him of all ranks and titles, of all lands and holdings, and sentence him to death.
[Pycelle stands up.]
Pycelle: My lord, this….this is a drastic action. It would be better to wait for King Robert’s return.
Ned: Grand Maester Pycelle.
Pycelle: My Lord?
Ned: Send a raven to Casterly Rock. Inform Tywin Lannister that he has been summoned to court to answer for the crimes of his bannermen. He will arrive within the fortnight, or be branded an enemy of the crown and a traitor to the realm.
[The murmuring continues. Ned dismisses the host, and both Beric and Joss bow. Ned slowly leaves the throne, and is followed by Littlefinger, while Pycelle watches from afar, looking somewhat worried.]
Littlefinger: A bold move, my Lord, and admirable. But is it wise to yank the lion’s tail? Tywin Lannister is the richest man in all the Seven Kingdoms. Gold wins wars, not soldiers.
Ned: Then how come Robert is king and not Tywin Lannister?
Sansa: He’ll be the greatest king that ever was, a golden lion, and I’ll give him sons with beautiful blonde hair!
[Ned does a double take when Sansa says ‘beautiful blond hair’.]
Arya: The lion’s not his sigil, idiot. He’s a stag, like his father.
Sansa: He is not. He’s nothing like that old drunk king!
[Pause while Ned seems lost in thought.]
Ned: Go on, girls. Get your septa and start packing your things.
Arya: [to Sansa] Come on!
[She begins dragging Sansa out of the room.]
Sansa: But it’s not fair!
[The two exit Ned’s room and close the door behind them. Ned slowly makes his way over to his desk, opening the book of lineages given to him by Grand Maester Pycelle. He turns to House Baratheon’s page.]
Ned: [reading] “Lord Orys Baratheon, black of hair. Axel Baratheon, black of hair. Lyonel Baratheon, black of hair. Steffon Baratheon, black of hair. Robert Baratheon, black of hair. Joffrey Baratheon… golden-haired.”
[Ned thinks for a moment before a look of shocked realization comes across his face as he closes the book.]
Cersei: You’re in pain.
[Ned uses his cane to slowly stand.]
Ned: I’ve had worse, my lady.
Cersei: Perhaps it’s time to go home. The South doesn’t seem to agree with you.
Ned: I know the truth Jon Arryn died for.
Cersei: Do you, Lord Stark? Is that why you called me here, to pose me riddles?
[Ned notices the bruise still on Cersei’s cheek.]
Ned: Has he done this before?
[He indicates the bruise.]
Cersei: Jaime would have killed him. My brother is worth a thousand of your friend.
Ned: [accusing] Your brother… or your lover?
[Cersei realizes the implication Ned is making and smirks. Ned realizes he’s right.]
Cersei: [proudly] The Targaryens wed brothers and sisters for 300 years to keep bloodlines pure. Jaime and I are more than brother and sister. We shared a womb. We came into this world together. We belong together.
Ned: [still accusing] My son saw you with him.
[Long pause. Cersei regards Ned shrewdly.]
Cersei: Do you love your children?
Ned: With all my heart.
Cersei: No more than I love mine.
Ned: And they’re all Jaime’s.
Cersei: Thank the Gods. In the rare event that Robert leaves his whores for long enough to stumble drunk into my bed, I finish him off in other ways. In the morning, he doesn’t remember.
Ned: You’ve always hated him….
Cersei: Hated him? I worshiped him! Every girl in the Seven Kingdoms dreamed of him, but he was mine by oath. And when I finally saw him on our wedding day in the Sept of Baelor, lean and fierce and black-bearded, it was the happiest moment of my life. Then that night he crawled on top of me, stinking of wine and did 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.
Ned: When the King returns from his hunt, I’ll tell him the truth. You must be gone by then – you and your children. I will not have their blood on my hands. Go as far away as you can, with as many men as you can. Because wherever you go, Robert’s wrath will follow you.
Cersei: And what of my wrath, Lord Stark? You should have taken the realm for yourself. Jaime told me about the day King’s Landing fell: he was sitting in the Iron Throne and you made him give it up. All you needed to do was climb the steps yourself. Such a sad mistake.
Ned: I’ve made many mistakes in my life, but that wasn’t one of them.
Cersei: Oh, but it was. When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.
Robert: Paper and ink on the table, write down what I say. [Ned grabs the paper and quill and begins writing.] “In the name of Robert of the House Baratheon, first of…” you know how it goes. Fill in the damn titles. [Ned does so.] “I hereby command Eddard of House Stark” – titles, titles – “to serve as Lord Regent and Protector of the Realm upon my death to rule in my stead, until my son Joffrey comes of age”.
[Ned hesitates, then writes “my rightful heir” instead.]
Robert: Give it over. [Ned does so. Robert puts his signature down on the letter before handing it back.] Give it to the council after I’m dead. At least they’ll say I did this right, this one thing. You’ll rule now. You’ll hate it worse than I did, but you’ll do it well. The girl – Daenerys. You were right. Varys, Littlefinger, my brother – worthless. No one to tell me “no” but you. Only you. Let her live. Stop it, if it’s not too late.
Ned: I will.
Robert: And my son… help him, Ned. Make him better than me.
Ned: I’ll… I’ll do everything I can to honor your memory.
Robert: My memory? [He laughs feebly.] King Robert Baratheon, murdered by a pig…. [He laughs feebly again. Ned watches him sadly.] Give me something for the pain and let me die.
Renly: He named you Protector of the Realm.
Ned: He did.
Renly: [talking about Cersei, with contempt] She won’t care. Give me an hour and I can put a hundred swords at your command.
Ned: And what should I do with a hundred swords?
Renly: [obviously] Strike! Tonight while the castle sleeps. We must get Joffrey away from his mother and into our custody. Protector of the Realm or no, he who holds the King holds the Kingdom. Every moment you delay gives Cersei another moment to prepare. By the time Robert dies, it will be too late for the both of us.
Ned: What about Stannis?
Renly: Saving the Seven Kingdoms from Cersei and delivering them to Stannis? You have odd notions about protecting the realm.
[Ned looks frustrated.]
Ned: [somewhat sternly] Stannis is your older brother.
Renly: [urging] This isn’t about the bloody line of succession! That didn’t matter when you rebelled against the Mad King; it shouldn’t matter now. [Ned is slowly realizing what Renly is getting at.] What’s best for the Kingdoms? What’s best for the people we rule? We all know what Stannis is. He inspires no love or loyalty. He’s not a King. I am.
[Ned looks surprised. Renly stares at him expectantly.]
Ned: [losing his patience] Stannis is a commander. [Renly looks frustrated that Ned isn’t listening to reason.] He’s led men into war twice. He destroyed the Greyjoy fleet.
Renly: Yes, he’s a good soldier; everyone knows that. So was Robert. Tell me something: Do you still believe good soldiers make good kings?
[Ned is at a loss for words. Renly regards him shrewdly as he thinks for a moment.]
Ned: I will not dishonor Robert’s last hours by shedding blood in his halls and dragging frightened children from their beds.
[Ned walks off, leaving Renly looking agitated.]
Ned: The King has no true born sons. Joffrey and Tommen are Jaime Lannister’s bastards.
Littlefinger: So when the King dies…
Ned: The throne passes to his brother, Lord Stannis.
[Littlefinger begins pacing around the office.]
Littlefinger: So it would seem. Unless-
Ned: There is no “unless”. He is the rightful heir. Nothing can change that.
Littlefinger: And he cannot take the throne without your help; you would be wise to deny it to him and to make sure Joffrey succeeds.
[Pause while Ned regards Littlefinger with disgust.]
Ned: Do you have a shred of honor?
Littlefinger: You are now Hand of the King and Protector of the Realm. All of the power is yours; you need only reach out and take it. Make peace with the Lannisters. Release the Imp. Wed your daughter to Joffrey. We have plenty of time to get rid of Stannis, and if Joffrey seems likely to cause problems when he comes into his throne, we simply reveal his little secret and seat Lord Renly there instead.
Littlefinger: You’ll need someone to share these burdens. I assure you, my price would be modest.
Ned: What you suggest is treason.
Littlefinger: Only if we lose.
Ned: Make peace with the Lannisters, you say.
[Ned takes out the dagger used to kill Bran and looks at it reflectingly.] With the people who tried to murder my boy.
[He sets the dagger down.]
Littlefinger: We only make peace with our enemies, my lord. That’s why it’s called “making peace”.
Ned: No. I won’t do it.
Littlefinger: So it will be Stannis and war?
Ned: There is no other choice. He is the heir.
[Littlefinger is clearly disappointed.]
Littlefinger: So why did you call me here? Not for my wisdom, clearly.
Ned: You promised Catelyn you would help me. The Queen has a dozen knights and a hundred men-at-arms – enough to overwhelm what remains of my household guard. I need the Gold Cloaks. The City Watch is 2,000 strong and sworn to defend the King’s peace.
[A grin slowly forms on Littlefinger’s face.]
Littlefinger: Look at you – you know what you want me to do.
[He sits down.] You know it has to be done, but it’s not honorable so the words stick in your throat. When the Queen proclaims one King and the Hand proclaims another, whose peace do the Gold Cloaks protect? Who do they follow? [He slowly turns the dagger on Ned’s desk towards him.] The man who pays them.
Cersei: Protector of the Realm. Is this meant to be your shield, Lord Stark? A piece of paper? [Cersei tears the letter to pieces.]
Barristan: [startled] Those were the King’s words.
Cersei: [to Barristan] We have a new king now. [to Ned] Lord Eddard, when we last spoke you offered me some counsel. Allow me to return the courtesy: bend the knee, My Lord. Bend the knee and swear loyalty to my son and we shall allow you to live out your days in the gray waste you call home.
Ned: Your son has no claim to the throne.
Cersei: You condemn yourself with your own mouth, Lord Stark. Ser Barristan, seize this traitor.
[Barristan looks confused, but nonetheless advances on Ned. Several of Ned’s guards move in.]
Ned: Ser Barristan is a good man, a loyal man. Do him no harm.
[Barristan seemingly backs off.]
Cersei: You think he stands alone?
[The Hound draws his sword.]
Joffrey: Kill him! Kill all of them, I command it!
[The other Lannister guards draw their swords.]
Ned: [to Janos] Commander! Take the Queen and her children into custody. Escort them back to the royal apartments and keep them there, under guard.
Janos: Men of the Watch!
[The Gold Cloaks all draw their swords and point their spears up at Cersei and Joffrey. Barristan looks forlorn, but The Hound still looks ready to fight.]
Ned: [to his men] I want no bloodshed. [to Cersei] Tell your men to lay down their swords. No one needs to die.
[Cersei briefly makes eye contact with Janos.]
[The Gold Cloaks suddenly start attacking and killing Ned’s guards. Ned is shocked and realized he’s been betrayed. Ned starts to draw his sword, but Littlefinger suddenly sweeps up behind him and puts a knife to his throat.]
Littlefinger: I did warn you not to trust me.
Varys: Lord Stark, you must be thirsty. [He kneels beside Ned and offers him a skin of water.]
[Varys continued to offer the water, but Ned does not take it.]
Varys: I promise you, it isn’t poisoned. Why is it no one ever trusts the eunuch? [He drinks from it to prove himself. Afterwards he again offers it to Ned. Ned, who is handcuffed by the wrists, takes the skin and drinks from it rather quickly.] Not so much, My Lord. I would save the rest, if I were you. Hide it; men have been known to die of thirst in these cells.
Ned: What about my daughters?
Varys: The younger one seems to have escaped the castle. Even my little birds cannot find her.
[Ned looks relieved that ARYA is seemingly safe for the time being.]
Ned: And Sansa?
Varys: Still engaged to Joffrey. Cersei will keep her close. The rest of your household, though… all dead, it grieves me to say. I do so hate the sight of blood.
Ned: You watched my men being slaughtered and did nothing.
Varys: And would again, My Lord. I was unarmed, unarmored and surrounded by Lannister swords. When you look at me, do you see a hero? What madness led you to tell the Queen you had learned the truth about Joffrey’s birth?
Ned: The madness of mercy. That she might save her children.
Varys: Ah, the children. It’s always the innocents who suffer. It wasn’t the wine that killed Robert, nor the boar. The wine slowed him down and the boar ripped him open, but it was your mercy that killed the King. I trust you know you’re a dead man, Lord Eddard?
Ned: The Queen can’t kill me. Cat holds her brother.
Varys: The wrong brother, sadly. And lost to her. Your wife has let the Imp slip through her fingers.
Ned: If that’s true, then slit my throat and be done with it.
Varys: Not today, My Lord.
Ned: Tell me something, Varys. who do you truly serve?
Varys: The realm, My Lord. Someone must.
Varys: You’ve seen better days, my lord.
Ned: Another visit? lt seems you’re my last friend.
Varys: No, no, many still love you. [Varys once again has the skin of water. Ned takes it. As he starts to drink from it, Varys pulls down his hood.] Sansa came to court this morning to plead for your life.
[Pause as Ned continues to drink from the skin.]
Ned: On her knees begging for me. Hmm… did you laugh with the others?
Varys: You do me wrong, my lord; your blood is the last thing l want.
Ned: l don’t know what you want. I’ve given up trying to guess.
[He takes a drink from the skin. Varys thinks for a moment about what to say next.]
Varys: When I was still a boy – before they cut my balls off with a hot knife – I traveled with a group of actors through the Free Cities. They taught me that each man has a role to play. The same is true at court. I am the Master of Whisperers. My role is to be sly, obsequious and without scruples. I’m a good actor, my lord.
Ned: Huh. Can you free me from this pit?
Varys: I could… But will I? No.
[Ned laughs sarcastically.]
Varys: As I said, I’m no hero.
Ned: What do you want? Tell me. No riddles, no stories – tell me, what do you want?
[Varys kneels down beside Ned.]
Varys: Peace. [Ned looks skeptical.] Did you know that your son is marching south with an army of northmen? Loyal lad, fighting for his father’s freedom.
Ned: Robb? He’s just a boy…
Varys: Boys have been conquerors before. But the man giving Cersei sleepless nights is the king’s – the late king’s brother. Lord Stannis has the best claim to throne. He is a proven battle commander and he is utterly without mercy.
Ned: Stannis Baratheon is Robert’s true heir. The throne is his by rights.
Varys: Sansa pleaded so sweetly for your life; it would be such a shame to throw it away. Cersei is no fool. She knows a tame wolf is more use to her than a dead one.
Ned: You want me to serve the woman who murdered my king, who butchered my men, who crippled my son?!
Varys: I want you to serve the realm! Tell the queen you will confess your vile treason, tell your son to lay down his sword and proclaim Joffrey as the true heir! Cersei knows you as a man of honor. If you give her the peace she needs, and promise to carry her secret to your grave, I believe she will allow you to take the black and live out your days on the Wall with your brother and your bastard son.
Ned: You think my life is some precious thing to me? That I would trade my honor for a few more years of – of what?!You grew up with actors. You learned their craft and you learnt it well. But I grew up with soldiers. I learned how to die a long time ago.
Varys: Pity. Such a pity.
[He stands up and starts to leave, but briefly turns back for a moment, a look of disappointment still on his face.]
Varys: What of your daughter’s life, my Lord? Is that a precious thing to you?