Episodes: Season 1, Episode 9 “Baelor,” Season 2, Episode 6 “The Old Gods and the New,” Season 2, Episode 7 A Man Without Honor
The beloved Game of Thrones character Ned Stark, who was so cruelly taken from us in Episode 9 of Season 1, is a mixed cocktail of historical references. While George RR Martin appears to base Ned Stark on several different historic people, he doesn’t strictly use any one person’s life events as the basis for Ned’s storyline.
For Ned’s character, George RR Martin appears to draw from Richard III, Francis Lovell, William Hastings, and Richard of York. For the plot, Martin tweaks events from the lives of Richard of York and Richard III, such the ongoing conflicts with the Lancasters (the opposing side during the Wars of the Roses) and the succession crisis after Edward IV died (when Richard III became king).
If we draw a diagram of Ned’s historical inspiration and storylines, it might look something like this:
The next posts will discuss the people who may have inspired George RR Martin to create Ned Stark in more depth.