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In both the A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones series we, the viewer and/or reader know that Ned Stark is lying when he claims Jon Snow is his illegitimate son.

Ned also refuses to tell King Robert the name of Jon's mother and allows Jon to be a figure of hate for Catelyn so he is lying to his King and his wife to protect Jon but is there any other instance of Ned lying, black or white lie, about something not relating to Jon or his true identity?

  • Not sure if should have put spoilers in, may the SE gods guide me. – Seamusthedog May 24 at 10:24
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    Someone needs to give Ned the Obi-Wan treatment! – Skooba May 24 at 12:08
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Ned only really lies about Jon's true parentage but he doesn't necessarily lie when he doesn't lie by refusing to tell Robert of his mother or letting Catelyn believe what she does. That's just withholding information rather than lying per se.

That said Ned does lie again when he is forced to "confess" before Joffrey has him executed.

Eddark Stark: I am Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Hand of the King. I come before you to confess my treason in the sight of Gods and men. I betrayed the faith of my King and the trust of my friend Robert. I swore to protect and defend his children, but before his blood was cold I plotted to murder his son and seize the Throne for myself. Let the High Septon and Baelor the Blessed bear witness to what I say: Joffrey Baratheon is the one true heir to the Iron Throne, by the grace of all the Gods, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm.

Game of Thrones, Season 1 Episode 9, "Baelor"

I count at least a few lies here from Ned's point of view.

  • "I come before you to confess my treason in the sight of Gods and men." He doesn't believe he is being treasonous in his actions but rather following the rightful procedures for who should be king.

  • "I betrayed the faith of my King and the trust of my friend Robert." If the King he is referring to here is Joffrey he doesn't believe him to be King so that's a lie. He also betrays Robert's trust but he believes he's acting in his interest so that could be a lie or not depending on how you look at it.

  • "I swore to protect and defend his children, but before his blood was cold I plotted to murder his son and seize the Throne for myself." He knows Joffrey isn't Robert's son and he wasn't seizing the Throne for himself.

  • "Joffrey Baratheon is the one true heir to the Iron Throne" He knows this isn't true as Joffrey isn't Robert's son so again a lie.

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    Can speaking of Baelor the blessed and High septon while he don't believe in faith of seven be considered as a lie? – Kepotx May 24 at 10:53
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    @TheLethalCarrot concerning Jon true lineage, he often says "You're of my blood", which is true, and he did have an affair with a woman, more supposed to be with Ashara (Wylla's mistress) who commited suicide after the death of their baby. He would however have lied about the identity of his lover to Robert. The article about this is sadly in french, I don't know where to find its equivalent in english : lagardedenuit.com/de-parente-de-jon-snow EDIT : these informations only stand for the books – Lyzvaleska May 24 at 12:08
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    @TheLethalCarrot, I don't actually recall any time that Ned explicitly said Jon is his bastard "on camera". Even in Cat's musings in the books, he is described as very close-mouthed about Jon's origins other than to say he's "my responsibility" and that "his mother is dead". I agree with your core assertion, but I'm not sure we can back up the opening statement that he liked about fathering Jon. – Paul May 24 at 12:30
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    The question is about lies other than Jon’s parentage that’s why I left that as a broad opening statement rather than diving into it. – TheLethalCarrot May 24 at 12:46
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    @Paul given what we've seen (haven't read the books yet) Ned seems to have played on the "you're my blood" line therefor avoiding having to lie direct. Honourable fool undead – Seamusthedog May 25 at 5:49
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He lies when he’s writing Robert’s will. When Robert names Ned as Lord Regant and Protector of the Realm until his son Joffrey comes of age. Ned couldn’t bear to tell Robert that Joffrey wasn’t his son.

So Ned bent his head and wrote, but where the king had said “my son Joffrey,” he scrawled “my heir” instead. The deceit made him feel soiled. The lies we tell for love, he thought. May the gods forgive me.

A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47 Eddard XIII — George R. R. Martin

“The lies we tell for love” is likely a reference to the other major lie he tells for Lyanna.

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