One of the glorious parts of the A Song Of Ice and Fire series, the books that inspired Game of Thrones, is the mysteries. It’s part of what has kept fans engaged after all these years. While we’ve gotten the answers to some of these (Jon Snow’s parentage, Did Gendry stop rowing?), there are a few mysteries left unsolved. Who is the Valonqar in Cersei’s prophecy? Will Dany go dark? Who will sit on the Iron Throne? Why does no one listen to Sansa Stark? What were Ned Stark’s final words?
Well, we now have one less mystery for the list. We finally know what Ned Stark’s final words were before he died. Thanks to the Huffington Post and to Nerdist, we now know those crucial words.
Not a Promise but Something Else
To people who aren’t fans of the show, or even to casual watchers (Do those exist for Game of Thrones? If so, I salute you.) this might be a weird thing to obsess about. But we’re Game of Thrones fans, we do nothing by halves. It might have happened seven years ago, but Ned Stark’s death is still one of the major upsets in both the books and the show. I remember just sitting there in silence reading because Ned Stark is the main character. You can’t just kill your main character like that, right? It’s a moment that changed storytelling. In Game of Thrones’ case? It changed television.
One of the prevalent theories was that he’d muttered “I kept my promise,” obviously in regards to Lyanna his sister and Jon. I loved that theory because I have a soft spot for that generation of Starks but it never really sat right with me. Because, while we know he did keep his promise, Ned himself never believed that. In his last chapters, he is always thinking of his broken promises so, while it was a show-only theory, it didn’t go with the character.
In a recent interview with Huffington Post, Sean Bean finally told us those long-awaited words:
“I couldn’t be too specific because I don’t know if religion [like that] was around in those days, whatever they were. I just thought, ‘What would you do if this were really gonna happen?’ You probably would pray. You probably would murmur some words and you’d keep it quiet. You’d keep it to yourself.”
So, Ned Stark’s last words were a prayer. This might seem like a letdown for some but I thought it was very fitting. Even if it was just something Sean Bean came up with, it still fits. Because, in the books, Ned Stark is a very devout believer in the old gods. Him saying a prayer makes sense.
What about you? Did you enjoy learning Ned Stark’s final words? Tell us in the comments below. The final season of Game of Thrones will air next year.