My New Favorite Thing, Stupid Ned Stark

I’ve noticed a recent trend in TV heroes who confuse nobility with stupidity. I just watched Clark Kent exemplify that for ten seasons on Smallville, but now we have a new champion to take up the cause, Game of Thrones’ Ned Stark.

Being honorable doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be an idiot, but Ned has made some pretty piss poor decisions over the last seven episodes, and commenter Cube pointed me in the direction of a new internet meme that demonstrates that, “Stupid Ned Stark.” I believe it originated from the awesomely named fan blog “Winter is Coming Bitches,” and there are a whole host of these you can check out below.

If you’re not caught up, a few could be considered spoilers, but you should generally be OK. The Littlefinger one above for example was written weeks ago.

At the end, I included a template I made so you could fashion your own. Usually the font is all-caps Impact with a black border if you wanted to keep the same style.

The best “make your own” template I could fashion:

Post your own in the comments!

  • Hopton

    yeah he is a bit of a moron

  • Captain Qwert Jr

    Honor is not a pretty word.

    It’s a mean, brutal thing that governs life and death in places and times where the law is the guy who is better at Killing people than you are (at best!).

    Stark has Fantasy Honor, that strange, warmed-over, kitschy pseudo-Victorian, pseudo-Christian hodge-podge of sentiments and poses, that appeals to modern, secular readers.

    I wonder if all this contempt is what Martin wanted us to think about Stark.

  • MajorTool
  • Postal

    I think we can give him a pass on any genetic related issues. Even today about 1/3 of this country doesn’t believe in any form of science.

  • EarthThePlanet

    Eh, it’s a running joke of the series I think. Edard is not the only idiot, and down every road is misery. Very few happy times to be had in “A Song of Ice and Fire.”

  • Pretty awesome.

  • Postal

    Isn’t making protagonists gullibly noble an old method of making characters sympathetic and found in almost all stories with heroes and villains? Yes, I know… not ALL stories… but its a common tool writers use.

    My question is this: would we care about Ned Stark and want to see him win through all these conflicts if he behaved just like Jaime Lannister?

    Its like the D&D alignment chart for The Wire. We need some good characters, some evil characters, and some characters in between to create maximum drama and tension. It may not always seem realistic, but we don’t read or watch fantasy because its realistic.

  • arild

    The reason Ned Stark so “stupidly” believes in honour is that the Starks have, for millenia, been the (virtually) UN-contested “Kings of the North”. Absolutely no other Northern family can match the local wealth and power of the Starks, and the Northern hierarchy is extremely stable.

    They can accept, sort of, that the Stark-in-power isn’t “really” a King any longer, at least not officially.
    He is THEIR King, and if he chooses to regard himself a vassal of a more powerful southern Lord, well..the King of the North is surely right in doing so.

    So, even though Ned Stark led a rebellion against the Mad King, he hasn’t really understood that in the South, the hierarchy of power just isn’t that morally “self-evident” that it is in the North..

  • I think Ned is a great character and a great example of the premise that the best people don’t make the best rulers (and vice versa).

    He’s also a great character BECAUSE he makes the wrong choices for the “right” reasons, even though we’re yelling at him not to do it all the while.

  • Chris

    He’s not a dumb man in general, he’s just honorable to a fault. That is the whole point of his character, so complaining about it is counterproductive. People like this do exist, even in modern times, and they are usually the guys who come in last place if you know what I mean. So Ned’s predicament was foreseen.

    As a reader of the books, one of the keys to this story is it is about CHARACTERS. You made a comment that there are too many villains and not enough heroes. If this show gets far enough, you will change your mind a million times on characters. Guys you think are all right as of now you will come to hate, and guys you think are pure evil will become your biggest heroes. That is the crux of the story. Even then, most of the characters are morally grey- on purpose.

    The people are human; thus, inconsistent. And the only ones who are predictable are the ones who don’t get what they want as you have now found out.

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  • Crazy Horse

    Fuck, the internet has managed to turn one of the best fantasy TV series ever into a fucking meme.

    What’s next, lolcat stark?

    Fuck you, internet culture, you retarded piece of shit!!!

  • WheelsWithinWheels

    Stick with the series. Ned is not flawless. He provides a relatively appealing character to follow at the very beginning of the series but beware. No character is quite how they seem at first glance.

  • Anya

    Great meme’s, made me laugh. Yes the Ned Stark character is stupidly “honorable” and I think that is the point of the character that GRRM was trying to make, that if you blindly cling to some lofty ideal with no pragmatic wisdom involved that it can lead to a shitstorm. There’s a common saying: “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” and Ned Stark is an illustration of that concept.

    I’ve read the books so I know whats coming. This entire series is a study in how there is no black or white….right or wrong…there’s just a whole lot of many shades of grey and what shade you’re looking at depends on who’s perspective you’re looking from.

  • Mainer

    I’m banking on this fucker dying next episode anyway, so enjoy the meme while it’s relevant.

  • Alex Campbell

    Leave your ancestral home and your 16 year old in charge while you go 1000 leagues away to take a job where your predecessor died of mysterious causes?

  • negative 1

    Yeah I’ll get flamed for this but here goes…
    I never read the books and don’t plan to, but this series is going nowhere. Everything that happened has been telegraphed to happen for like 3 episodes min. Lannisters take over the throne. Yeah, kind of expected and because of above. War brewing between Starks and Lannisters. They basically told you in episode 1. King’s brother wants to be king. Amazing, except he said it 3 episodes ago. What kills me is that the show then treats it like it’s a big plot twist. If a character says “I’m going to do X” and then 3 episodes later turns around and does it, it’s not shocking. You’re kind of waiting for it.
    So we’re now I think 7 episodes in, and nothing has changed. Lannisters making Starks look like a fool. Blonde chick orders around a bunch of shirtless extras from the 500 movies, says ‘Khaleesi’ a lot and is really pretty annoying. Silent petulant guy is cold, silent and petulant. Quick – which episode was I describing? The only good thing is Peter Dinklage, and he’s good in pretty much anything. Heck he was good in ‘Elf’ so that’s not saving this show.

  • anon

    Yeah, Ned Stark was a dumbass. But I can forgive him for taking credit for capturing Tyrion, since that was on his wife. When you think about it, Catelyn was really the one who stirred up all this shit.

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  • Tyrion

    @negative 1: “I never read the books and don’t plan to, but this series is going nowhere” AhahahahahahahahahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Yeah, it shows you haven’t.

    It’s obviously not for you. Stop watching, do something else with your time.

  • Rickon

    Best advice to people who watch the TV show:
    Read the books.
    The TV is utter shite compared to the books, it made everything cliche, banal, stripped away all the subtlety for LOLOBVIOUSHAMMER approach. All the characters have been stripped of two of their three dimensions so they’re a sad mockery of the actual human being Martin makes them in the books.
    In short, fuck HBO for taking one of the few high fantasy sagas worthy of the capital-L Literature title and turning it into your bog-standard by-the-numbers fantasy.

  • E

    I started reading the books, am 2/3 through with book one. I just read a line where Stark himself realizes he’s dressed in black, white & grey, all the shades of justice. If you haven’t figure out the good guys don’t always win, that sometimes people are principled not pragmatic, and that often good people do things in the name of love that have dire consequences (uh-oh I think I just described Farscape!)

    Anyhow, considering that the maternal figure thus far, Catelyn Stark, kidnapped a dwarf to avenge the near murder of her son (what mother wouldn’t do the same) thereby leading to a lot more bloodshed and consequences than she ever reckoned, you have to figure there are no absolutes.

    I still like the meme because it just reflects my general frustration with pig-headed overly principled people.

  • Ellis

    Ned isn’t a fool, and he certainly isn’t dumb. He’s just honorable to a fault, but honor kills. Especially in a world like this. After all look what happened to Dany when she tried to help someone, Drogo died. This isn’t a world that rewards the honorable hero, and Ned was out of his element. He definitely had zero political savvy, but that doesn’t make him stupid at all.

    I do like the meme’s though, and the way Ned went out won’t change the fact he’s my favorite character. My favorite characters from everything always end up being the ones that die. *Shrugs* I look forward to season two and A Dance with Dragons next month. I look forward to seeing more of these meme’s though.

  • Anonymous

    No, seriously guys, it has nothing to do with “He is too honourable” or “It’s just his fault, he is out of his element.” It is TERRIBLE WRITING. That’s about the sum of it. Read the first book and his character is terribly written, and completely changes within a single chapter. He goes from a brilliant well loved and /very/ smart King of the North to an idiot who can barely wipe his own drool off his mouth.

  • Ashley

    I’m not sure I’d say all those things were moronic but it was nuts that he didn’t accept Renly’s offer. If the king died, he would have been good to go. If the king lived he could have told him about Cersai and Robert would have approved of his decision.
    I’m wondering if Ned portrays the author’s opinion of a christian person, because of the way he behaved toward Renly’s offer, saying that sometimes the gods are merciful and Robert might live.

  • Linda

    I don’t think Ned is stupid. But I do have serious heartburn with his oldest daughter Sansa. I think she’s pure fluffy air between the ears. And his wife makes me sick. I would take a bullet for Ned.

  • blowfly

    I think Ned is a bonehead. The idea is that if you are honorable, you don’t take any precautions (e.g., take Cersei and Joffrey into custody before they kill everyone on the way to the throne). And look at the outcome – huge wars while all the higher ups vie for the throne and all the common people get raped and/or killed, and the Stark kids running around getting abused in various ways. That’s Ned’s idea of honorable behavior – burying his head in the sand.

    BUT. The truth is that a large proportion of movies and books don’t have any plot unless somebody does something stupid. Think of every horror movie. Think of every scary book. If Ned hadn’t been a dope there’d be no story. Stannis would be on the throne. There would still be a lot of death but since Stannis is so dull the deaths would be from boredom.

  • Ariston

    If you read the book, you will find out that all the Starks are stupid… alright, probably with the exception of Rickon… he has not yet reach the age of Stark stupidity… maybe in book 5?

    Order of Stupidity:
    1. Catelyn – for adbucting Tyrion
    2. Sansa – for telling on her father’s plan to Cersei
    3. Ned – you know…
    5. Arya – she had the power to get anyone killed & she killed who?
    4. Robb – you will find out soon enough…
    6. Bran – for climbing the stupid tower in the first place.