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Character Development: Ned Resigns as the Hand of the King, Game of Thrones “The Wolf and the Lion” 

Photo Credit: HBO

It only takes Ned Stark one month to realize he doesn’t belong in King’s Landing. He doesn’t recognize the man he now calls his king as the same boy he grew up with. Ned refuses to take part in the murder of Daenerys Targaryen and her unborn child because they might pose a threat to Robert’s claim to the throne. There have been other things Ned has objected to since leaving Winterfell but nothing like this. On top of it all, he now has to watch his back because he’s just received word that Cate has taken Tyrion Lannister as her prisoner. Things just aren’t going his way.

I was glad to see Ned resign his position as Hand of the King. There was no way to reconcile his beliefs with what he’s observed at court. There was no way he could stay true to himself and take part in the murder of someone who’s only crime is being the daughter of the Mad King and pregnant with her husband’s child. Perhaps Ned’s spent too much time away from King’s Landing to deal with the machinations and back alley deals that are required in his position. He has managed to learn one or two juicy secrets since he’s been the Hand so he can’t be that far out of practice. I’m glad to see him go (if he ever gets to leave). King’s Landing isn’t for him, no matter his fealty to the King.

I guess the trials and tribulations of courtly life never change. There’s a lot of pomp and circumstance – that inevitably costs a lot of money – to distract the King, when he should be focusing on matters of state. But when Ned actually gets Robert to focus on the business of running his kingdom, Ned discovers just how different things are under Robert’s rule. Or are they the same as when the Mad King was in power? A lot has been said about Targaryen, but is Robert really doing such a great job now that he’s got the crown? I’m going to hazard a guess and say no. If Robert can be influenced by his advisors to undertake murder, what else has he been up to all these years? It’s not something Ned wants to stick around to find out. I don’t blame him.

Too bad he can’t get outside the castle walls before Jamie comes looking for him. I have to admit to being underwhelmed by their fight. I felt the tension but the execution was lacking for me. All that kept running through my head was that these two men are supposed to be legendary on the battlefield. I just didn’t feel it in this fight, and there was so much more at stake here. They were fighting for their honor and their families. Where was the passion?

Bonus: I know you’ve talked about it and you’re probably still thinking about it now. Wow, I literally just had a slip of the hand and typed “tit.” You know what I’m talking about. How incredibly uncomfortable and gross. I have no idea how old that child was but he’s way too old to be sucking on his mother’s teat. Gross. I’m having a hard time believing that woman is Cate’s sister. I do want to know what happened to drive her insane because it’s got to be more than having her husband killed.

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