Eddard was a trusted, dear friend and adviser of King Robert Baratheon. He supported Robert’s play for the power by serving as a general in several significant battles. Eddard’s sister Lyanna, who was pledged to Robert, was taken by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, sparking the struggle to come. Brandon protested the crime, but his effort to bring Rhaegar to justice failed. Lord Rickard was summoned to court in King’s Landing by Aerys, and both Brandon and Rickard were executed by the use of wildfire. Their ends left Eddard to receive Rickard’s duties, accepting King Robert instead. Brandon had been promised to Catelyn, and Eddard also inherited his brother’s mate. Died in Eddard’s arms during the conflict. Despite his wonderful family life, Eddard still felt the collapse of his family quite keenly, often visiting his sister’s mausoleum to light a candle for her as his daughter, Sansa, discovered. Eddard’s other younger sibling, Benjen, still breathes and is a member of the Night’s Watch, an order of which Eddard is a keen supporter. He also seemed to have problems keeping his bannermen in toe as Stannis Baratheon learned his brother, Robert, saying the Northmen were trying to control, even with Eddard on his side. Eddard handled a Valyrian greatsword named Ice (an heirloom of House Stark) which he applied on ceremonial occasions.

Littlefinger notifies Eddard that Catelyn has followed him to the capital. Eddard is angered when Littlefinger brings him to a brothel, imagining he is the victim of a bad joke. Catelyn intervenes as Eddard attacks Littlefinger. She informs Eddard that she has traveled south to state a murder attempt upon Bran. The assassin was dispatched but was carrying a Valyrian steel knife. Littlefinger realizes the blade as one that he spent in a bet with Tyrion Lannister, and they believe that the Lannisters were also responsible for Bran’s original injuries. Eddard grants to move forward try to determine the truth, and Catelyn invites him to trust Littlefinger, her girlhood familiar. Eddard grudgingly agrees, though he finds Littlefinger offensive and dishonorable.