In the interview quoted in this answer, Anne Groell mentions a three step revelation strategy for plot elements employed by George R. R. Martin in the A Song of Ice and Fire series:
That said, now that I’ve realized his three-fold revelation strategy, I see it in play almost every time. The first, subtle hint for the really astute readers, followed later by the more blatant hint for the less attentive, followed by just spelling it out for everyone else.
But I can't say I'm familiar enough with the works to spot it. Can someone find, for example, the three steps of revelation for Eddard Stark's death near the end of A Game of Thrones?