My name is Eddard Stark. I am the Lord Of Winterfell, Warden of The North, Hand of The King, Protector Of The Realm and The Regent of The Seven Kingdoms. I also happen to be the husband of the resplendent Catelyn, of House Tully. Father of Five Children(Six at one point of time, but we all know, R+L= J, right?), Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon. I also happen to be one of your favourite characters from the books and the show, right? The honourable and just Ned Stark. The man who couldn’t put a foot wrong. The Man whose honour stood stronger and higher than The Wall itself. However, I am not all of that any more, I am just a ghost now. Poor old Sean Bean had to die on screen again, to portray my fate. But do not worry, I might be a ghost, but I haven’t made my way through the ectoplasmic barriers to haunt you, I am only here to enlighten you, based on my own experience, as to why spending time with your family is so important. Power, position, financial gains, everything pales in comparison to the emotional wealth you can find within the hearts of your family members.
If you’ve ever been to a job interview and faced a question such as ‘What are your biggest weaknesses’, you’d have come up with some charming answers such as I am too loyal or too noble. Well, in my case, there was nothing charming about being too loyal to the King and not loyal enough to my family. Come, let’s take a journey into my life, see what I did wrong and learn from it.
1. I Placed My Boss’ Interests Over My Family’s
I convinced myself to leave my wife and sons behind and go thousands of miles South to help the King rule his kingdom. All because he asked me to. Even with my son in a coma, I chose to go ahead and be dutiful, instead of staying home with my wife to support her in a time of need. Look where that got me. There will be times in life when duty calls, but you always have to put family first and entertain their interests by putting them at the top of your priority list. Afterall, home is where the heart is.
2. I Was Afraid To Say No To My Boss
I agreed to marry my beloved and beautiful daughter Sansa off to the psychopath Joffrey, just because my boss, Robert Baratheon wanted to join our houses. Now, I agree that good old Bobby B was still a great man at heart(whenever he was sober at least), but that is still not a reason to just go ahead and feed through a fire hose, just because your boss is holding it to your mouth. I should’ve stepped in and stopped my hopelessly-in-love daughter from marrying Joffrey, but I didn’t, and look where that got me. You’ll face situations in which your boss might ask you to undertake some kind of project whose demanding working hours will cut you off from your family. Stand your ground and say no to that. Whatever your boss wants you to do, is not something you should do, if it hurts your family.
3. I Was More Loyal To My Firm(Westeros) Than My Family
My biggest problem as a whole, was that I was far too loyal to Westeros. Most of the time, at the expense of my family. Sure, as the Hand Of The King, it was my duty to be devoted and patriotic to the realm but as a father and a husband, it was also my duty to put family first. No matter which position you have in a firm, no matter how inexplicably large your scope of responsibility is, you can never put your work above family because your primary duty is to love and care for them. They deserve you at your hundred percent all the time, not the depleted husk of a person which stumbles back home from work, watches TV and falls asleep.
I can go on and on but my time on this plane of existence is short, and I must return to the realm of spirits. Before I leave, however, I’d like to leave you with the words of my wife’s original House, Tully. Family, Duty, Honour. Family first, before everything, forever and always.