Let’s Read A Game Of Thrones! Part 26: Eddard 5

Ugh…neck pain is painful…


Eddard 5 (25)

Eddard Stark is chatting with Grand Maester Pycelle, about the death of Jon Arryn. Pycelle tells him that, in retrospect, Lord Jon had seemed to be subtlety declining for some time. However, one day he came to borrow a certain book from Pycelle, and by the next day he had collapsed. He did not recover, but steadily weakened, and none of the attending doctors could help him. He died in the presence of his wife, Lady Lysa, as well as King Robert. His last words were “The seed is strong.” When Ned asks whether Jon Arryn’s death seemed unnatural, Pycelle says that he considers it fairly normal, but dodges Ned’s question about whether he had ever seen it before. When Ned suggests that he might have been poisoned, Pycelle claims that it would be unlikely, but at the same time tries to divert Ned’s suspicions onto the eunuch, Varys. Ned begins to leave, but on impulse asks to examine the book Lord Jon had asked to see before he collapsed. Pycelle promises to find the book and send it to him.

On his way back to his tower, Eddard encounters his daughter Arya. She is practicing balancing on one leg as practice for her sword style. Ned teases her a little, but then the girl asks him if Bran would be coming to live with them. He tells her that Bran still has to recover, but he is unable to answer her questions of what Bran would do in the future, though he makes a few suggestions. When Arya asks whether she would be able to pursue a similar path to Bran, he tells her that she would marry a king, and her children would become important people. She turns away from him, pointing out that that was Sansa’s future, and goes back to her practice. Ned sighs and leaves.

In his tower, he meets with Lord Petyr Baelish, who tells Ned that he has found a number of people from Lord Arryn’s household still in King’s Landing. Ned wants to charge out and question them immediately, but Littlefinger brings him over to the window and shows him people set to spy on him, from the queen and from Lord Varys. Ned realizes just how exposed he is, and Littlefinger suggests he send someone he trusts to question others on his behalf. Ned thanks Lord Baelish, and apologizes to him for the lack of trust he showed when they met. However, Littlefinger cautions him that that distrusting him was the smartest thing Eddard had done since he arrives.


And on that note, welcome back to A Game of Thrones: Ham-fisted Investigation Edition! I am the Dark Jackel, and these are my friends –



– the jackal puppies that wandered in from somewhere. However, since I’m not letting them read this book, they’re only here to play around a bit.


Yeah, let’s go play!

We will, we will. Just…let me get this done, it’s already kinda late.


You’ve been reading too much, you know.

Yes, I’m aware. I’m repenting, so please let it go.

Spydra: Hmph.

As you can see, Spydra is also joining me. Now, let’s take things in order. First, let’s take Eddard: he makes a lousy investigator.

Spydra: Oh, give me a break.

Hey, I understand that it isn’t really his job, but still. First of all, he completely failed to hide his suspicions from the Grand Maester. And even more importantly, he completely fails to question Pycelle’s testimony. I believe my own suspicions colored my summary above, but from my point of view Pycelle seemed very evasive about certain subjects, primarily about whether he had ever seen Jon Arryn’s illness before. But Eddard seems to trust his words, even if he isn’t sure where his loyalties truly lie.

Spydra: He doesn’t actually say that though. And you could say that the way he keeps pushing the old man for information is actually very distrustful.

Hm, maybe. And I’ll admit, asking to see the book Arryn had borrowed was slightly insightful. Well, from a realistic point of view, if Pycelle is lying about something, the chances of getting the correct book are low…but if Pycelle completely fails to deliver it, that would be interestingly suspicious as well.

Spydra: So you see? He isn’t doing too bad a job.

No, he still trusts Pycelle enough to complete reveal that he is actively looking into Lord Arryn’s death, despite not knowing who he answers to – and if he is connected to the perpetrator, Ned’s position is now totally exposed. Really, it’s easy to sympathize with Littlefinger’s continual criticisms; Ned is completely out of his element, and looks incredibly naive. Littlefinger can easily reveal his own untrustworthiness, because without his help, Ned will be extremely vulnerable. He literally can’t afford not to work with Littlefinger – which I’m sure is all part of Littlefinger’s master plan. Whatever that is.

Spydra: So you think that Littlefinger is up to something, then?

I don’t care what he says, he isn’t helping Ned out of the goodness of his heart, or Catelyn’s sake. You’ll notice that he glossed over the fact that he is keeping track of Ned as well. And he is quickly taking control of Ned’s actions, simply by revealing a couple of spies that, for all Ned knows, could belong to Littlefinger anyway. Well, not that I really care what happens to Ned. But I am starting to believe that any conclusion he actually manages to reach, will be fed to him.

Spydra: Hmmm.

Well. Setting the questionable competency of Eddard Stark aside, what else did we learn this chapter? Aside from his circumlocutious description of Jon Arryn’s death, Pycelle waxed lyrical about the weather, in the past and now; somehow it didn’t make it into my summary. Honestly, the chapter was a little short on content. Oh, but it’s good to see that Arya is seriously pursuing her sword training. I wish her the best.


Are you done now?

I guess so, it was kind of a light chapter. Fine, let’s go play. Spydra, you too.


What? No, leave me alone..!


Yay, let’s play tag!

Heh heh… Alright, as an apology for not getting this chapter up on time, I’ll complete another one for tomorrow Friday! Almost certainly!


Dark One! Come play!

Take it easy, my neck still hurts…later, all.


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