To Kill A Direwolf

In the last three seasons Game of Thrones has established that in Westeros you will certainly die if you are Sean Bean or Sean Bean’s wife or Sean Bean’s son or Sean Bean’s daughter-in-law or Sean Bean’s family dog or Sean Bean’s unborn grandchild. In the first episode it was crystal clear that the Starks of Winterfell were honourable, trustworthy and loyal- surely the good guys. In a Kingdom where men are ruthlessly amputated, women are savagely raped and children are pointlessly murdered- Winterfell was a safe heaven where any honest man could survive. That was until the Lannisters arrived. So today we will discuss all the Starks and how their dignity led to their destruction. (Excluding Jon Snow because spoilers)

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Ned Stark was never able to forgive himself for betraying his wife and giving birth toJon (Spoilers: Although that wasn’t his blame to bear) which is what shaped our opinion of him- a brave, strong, courageous man who had fought many battles and killed many men could not face the idea of disappointing his family or himself. For him, his word was of the highest regard and it was his word that beheaded him. The reason why Ned Stark died (apart from Joffrey’s rampant arrogance) is that he refused to change with time, he stuck to upholding his morality in a Kingdom of selfish and greed. But refusing to let go of his principles is exactly what made him the hero and the reason behind the rebellion.

Catelyn Stark has been through a lot and remains to this day one of the best characters in the storyline. She was forced to see the face of her husband’s foul actions everyday, Jon’s existence meant that she had failed as a wife. Then she had to suffer through the paralysis of her youngest child, the separation from her daughters, the public beheading of her mighty husband and the murder of her beloved son. In King Robb’s north which was led by emotions and impulsiveness, Catelyn’s was a vice of logic and strategy. Yet, in spite of these magnificent qualities she had a treacherous end- but it’s not the end, is it?

Then there is the man who would have been the best King Westeros had ever seen if her had managed to keep his pants on around Talisa. If he was Robb Stark, Lord of Winterfell, any heart-felt decision which was wrong in the eyes of the public would have been forgiven over time. But when you rebel against the south, intend to capture King’s Landing and declare yourself as ‘King in the North’ you have sacrificed whatever personal life you had for revenge. For a King who chooses to let his heart rule over his head cannot rule the Seven Kingdoms. Also I believe Robb’s death was not a final stroke in the war against Winterfell, it was a message to all the enemies of the Lannisters- if Winter is Coming, bring it on!

The two daughters could not be more different from each other but deep down both have the best qualities of their parents. Sansa has Catelyn’s strength and Arya has Ned’s bravery but though Sansa has refused to adapt to changing times, Arya has transformed from a naive caterpillar to  butterfly. Maybe the writers will keep Sansa alive just to keep the story moving forward but her existence is not going to do the Houe of Stark much good. But Arya on the other hand, will kick some serious Lannister ass one day!

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Also the progressing storyline of Bran’s powers could mean that one day when swords are broken and shields are cracked, it is the supernatural that will rule. I personally as a tragedy and twisted comedy lover, would love to see Bran Stark on the Iron Throne. A crippled King ruling seven broken kingdoms- how appropriate. If there is going to be a big war between the Houses of Westeros on two sides- Arya’s skills could give the Lannisters a run for their money and Bran’s powers could be the answer to Baratheon’s black magic. But for the house of Stark to be powerful again they have to come together and fight as one, but with the grown ups dead and the children too young, who will lead them?

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