That massive reveal in Game of Thrones makes one character seem even greater
You'll never look at some scenes in the same way again.
Family, Duty, Honor. These are the words of House Tully in Game of Thrones, but they're equally applicable to a man whose stock has only risen since that massive revelation about Jon Snow's true destiny, Ned Stark.
Of course, we all knew just how honourable the former Warden of the North was following the events at The Tower of Joy in the final episode of Season 6.
In case you need a reminder, Ned flocked to rescue his sister Lyanna Stark. On her death bed, she made him swear to keep a promise.
To Ned's knowledge, Lyanna had been abducted and held prisoner by Rhaegar Targaryen - son of The Mad King and elder brother of Daenerys. Along with the help of Howland Reed, Ned defeated Ser Arthur Dayne and other Targaryen knights as he desperately came to the aid of his sister.
Unbeknownst to him, Lyanna had just given birth to a baby boy - Jon Snow. Now if Lyanna had told Ned that she was in fact married to Rhaegar - and this is an 'if' - his decision to keep Jon's true lineage a secret is even more commendable.
Jon is truly a Targaryen by rights. Ned took that secret to his grave.
Not only did Ned protect one of the last born sons of the Targaryen bloodline, but he is also protecting the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Bear in mind that Ned's older brother Brandon and his father Rickard were also executed in the most ghastly way possible by The Mad King.
"I will not punish a son for his father's sins," is what Jon Snow said this season. Where do you think he learned that strict moral code?
To compound matters, Ned's best friend and closest ally, Robert Baratheon, was screaming for every drop of Targaryen blood after he insisted that Rhaegar abducted the woman that he was betrothed to, Lyanna Stark.
Remember, the most recent episode stated that Lyanna and Rhaegar were married.
If Ned had lived, would a day arrive when the former Lord of Winterfell had to confesses the entire truth to Jon Snow and tell his nephew that he's the rightful heir to the Iron Throne?
After all, when Jon was heading to the Wall in Season 1, Ned did say "The Starks have manned the Wall for thousands of years, and you are a Stark. You may not have my name, but you have my blood," before adding "The next time we see each other, we'll talk about your mother. I promise."
As we've seen, Ned is truly a man of his word.
If Ned knew that Jon was the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, then the next time they would meet to discuss Jon's mother (Lyanna) would have been vastly different.
Why? Well, the Night's Watch vows state that "Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory."
No crowns. Jon's claim as King of the Seven Kingdoms would have been null and void.
After Jon's decision to 'take the black', he could no longer accept any crowns or titles.
By that logic, Jon would not longer be considered a threat to Robert Baratheon's tenure as king. Was Ned's decision to keep this secret born out of the respect that he held for his long-time friend? Did he make this decision to protect Jon, who he loved as a son, or did he he value the promise he made to his sister more than anything else.
Probably all of the above.
Ned wouldn't have wanted to see a situation where his best friend was obsessed with killing his own nephew.
If Ned did know about Jon's true lineage, it would make a whole load of sense in the context of the series. It explains why he was so opposed to the idea of Robert killing all the Targaryens and his decision to leave the small council after he refused to sanction the assassination of Daenerys.
It would explain why he stayed away from King's Landing for so long and why he sympathised with the family his sister had married into (Targaryen) and whose heir he was now raising as his own.
Take a look at the following two scenes, one involves Robert's small council meeting as they discuss their plans to kill Daenerys.
In a way, Robert's lust for blood vindicates Ned's decision to keep the promise that he made to his sister over his friendship with the King.
Clip via - Janice Liedl
Elsewhere, take a look at this scene as Robert and Ned reminisce on days gone by. The moment when Robert asks his friend about the identity of 'his bastards' mother takes on a whole new significance in lighht of Ned's moral dilemna.
As we know, Ned Stark's decency, honour and nobility ultimately cost him his head.
By deciding to protect Jon Snow and devalue his honourable reputation, he may have just saved Westeros.
Clip via - testchan555