Skip to content

A Games of Thrones – Eddard1

A Games of Thrones - Eddard 1

King Robert Baratheon visits Winterfell to offer Eddard Stark the role of Hand of the King and propose a union between their children

Chapter Summary

King Robert Baratheon and his entourage arrive at Winterfell. Eddard Stark recognizes familiar faces but finds Robert changed after nine years. Robert insists on paying respects to Lyanna Stark in the crypts. Eddard recalls Lyanna’s death and the promise he made to her. Robert reveals that Lord Jon Arryn suddenly fell ill and died. Lysa Arryn withdrew to the Eyrie, refusing to let her son be fostered elsewhere. Robert offers Eddard the position of Hand of the King. He also promises to wed his son Joffrey to Ned’s daughter Sansa. Eddard is hesitant and asks for time to consider the offer

Scene Setup

Even though this chapter was from the point of view of Eddard, it’s very much Robert centric. All other characters voices are subdued in the background. Even Cersei’s unhappiness was not given any form of dialogue but conveyed via active descriptions. It kind of shows how Ned can be blind and deaf to other warning in front of duty and honor.

Another thing in this chapter which caught my attention was the contrast of the north and south that was painted. The South is depicted as a land of plenty and joy, where life is savored amidst a bounty of nature’s gifts. In contrast, the North is characterized by its stern and solemn nature, where the starkness of the landscape mirrors the seriousness of life.

“You need a taste of summer before it flees. In Highgarden there are fields of golden roses that stretch away as far as the eye can see. The fruits are so ripe they explode in your mouth-melons, peaches, fireplums, you’ve never tasted such sweetness. You’ll see, I brought you some. Even at Storm’s End, with that good wind off the bay, the days are so hot you can barely move. And you ought to see the towns, Ned! Flowers everywhere, the markets bursting with food, the summerwines so cheap and so good that you can get drunk just breathing the air. Everyone is fat and drunk and rich.”


This chapter promises to introduces us with a lot of new character. But reading from Eddard’s point of view we only get to see Robert.

Robert Baratheon

The chapter started pointing the sharp contrast in Robert’s appearance. He has grown fat and unrecognizable, a stark contrast to the robust king who fought alongside Eddard in past wars. His physical transformation symbolizes the passage of time and perhaps the complacency that has come with his rule.

Despite the grandeur and authority that come with being the sovereign of the Seven Kingdoms, Robert’s interaction with Eddard and Catelyn Stark is touchingly genuine. It’s particularly moving when he requests Eddard to accompany him to the crypts before any other royal duties or rest.

Eddard Stark

Eddard continues to show up as a man of integrity, bound by honor, and weighted with the cares of his past and the well-being of his family and people. There is one interesting discussion on reddit about Eddard, which discuss his archetype as mentor rather than hero and I found it quite relevant.

Continuing from the previous chapter, we are documenting significant numerical details to grasp the scope and scale of the story. Few notable numbers popping in this chapter:

  • Age of wall – 8000 years
  • Sansa’s age – 13

Points to Note

Battle of Trident

This chapter again gave us a glimpse into the history of this world. Battle of Trident resurfaces again. In Catelyn’s chapter, we learnt that Lord Arryn led the battle against the Mad King when he demanded for the head of Eddard and Robert, who were his wards at that time. This chapter adds two more threads to the tapestry of conflict:

  1. The execution of Brandon witnessed by his own father
  2. Death of Lynna for which Robert blames Rhaegar

The full saga remains shrouded, yet with each page, we gather fragments, weaving together the whole story.

“I vowed to kill Rhaegar for what he did to her.”
“You did,” Ned reminded him.


What was Ned promising? For some reason her fear seems to be about something more than her burial site. Also, what could be the significance of the roses in the scene? From where she got it and why was she clutching it in her hand?  Yet again, too many questions and no answers for now.

Promise me, she had cried, in a room that smelled of blood and roses. Promise me, Ned. The fever had taken her strength and her voice had been faint as a whisper, but when he gave her his word, the fear had gone out of his sister’s eyes. Ned remembered the way she had smiled then, how tightly her fingers had clutched his as she gave up her hold on life, the rose petals spilling from her palm, dead and black.

Old Feuds

There definitely seems to a dislike between Starks and Lannister, even though Robert is married to one. It came as a passing remark in Catelyn’s chapter too. The reason is not yet revealed but I am curious to learn more about it.


A comment made as a passing remark, but with an emphasis on the world Snow. Could it mean anything deeper? Perhaps, or perhaps it’s simply a red herring. But therein lies the delight of reading a book with a fine comb—it’s about discovering subtle nuances and weaving your own narratives as you delve deeper.

“Kings are a rare sight in the north.” Robert snorted. “More likely they were hiding under the snow. Snow, Ned!”

Foul play at court

So far, our attention has been captivated by the shadows of history, yet we may be overlooking the perils that loom in the present. Jon’s sudden death definitely points to foul play here. Eddard’s ominous feelings, coupled with Robert’s confession of being encircled by fools and flatterers, foreshadow a looming malevolence in the narrative ahead.

Greyjoy Rebellion

We also discover the reason why Theon Greyjoy serves as a ward under Ned Stark—a fascinating detail worth noting.

Ned had last seen the king nine years before during Balon Greyjoy’s rebellion, when the stag and the direwolf had joined to end the pretensions of the self-proclaimed King of the Iron Islands. Since the night they had stood side by side in Greyjoy’s fallen stronghold, where Robert had accepted the rebel lord’s surrender and Ned had taken his son Theon as hostage and ward

Favorite Quote

“I swear to you, sitting a throne is a thousand times harder than winning one.

How was reading experience? Share any thoughts or any interesting thing you noticed in the comments

Published inA Song of Ice and FireGame of ThronesReadalong

Be First to Comment

Share your thoughts

Discover more from ThinkSync

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading