When the Game of Thrones Season 6 finale confirmed R+L=J (Rhaegar + Lyanna = Jon Snow), fans all over the world punched the air in vindication and got a bit teary about Ned Stark's promise to his dying sister... but did Ned Stark reference Lyanna Stark and R+L=J with his last words?
Steel yourself to watch that gutwrenching scene from 'Baelor' and skip to 6:03 to see if you can work out what Ned Stark's last words were.
I've listened to the Ned's Last Words portion of the clip at ear-bleeding volume many, many times now, and have come to the conclusion that I can't hear a bastard thing. However, attempting a horribly amateur approach to lip-reading, here's a few options.
What were Ned Stark's Last Words at his Execution?
Option 1: Ned's Promise to Lyanna in the Tower of Joy
Realizing that his time is up, Ned thinks of the sister he lost, who he can finally go and join in death. Ned promised Lyanna Stark that he'd keep her secret — that little baby Jon Snow was actually her and Rhaegar Targaryen's child — and can take comfort in the fact that he kept his promise to his beloved sister. Ned's last words:
*Shivers* By Game of Thrones Season 6 we're used to a lot of death, but back in Season 1, we weren't expecting main character Ned Stark to get his freaking head cut off by episode 9! 'Baelor' shocked us in a way that fans haven't really felt since the Red Wedding, and the idea that Ned's shocking death scene hid such a deep reference right from Season 1 is pretty cool. Keeping his promise to Lyanna would have been even more important to him considering the promise he was unable to keep to Jon Snow.
Option 2: Ned Stark's Family Loyalty
We're always being told in Game of Thrones how dutiful Ned Stark is. For all of his goodness and honesty, he is not the most imaginative of characters. A great wit like Tyrion Lannister or Olenna Martell would have some choice sass to give at their execution, but Ned — and this is no criticism of him — doesn't think in the same way. He thinks only of the family he leaves behind. Ned's Last Words:
A simple prayer to the old gods — the Starks pray in a Weirwood, remember — to protect his children after his death seemed likely. Ned loved his family, his house and his lands. Devoting his last words to them is simple, but also starkly beautiful. Also, one Redditor pointed out that the Spanish subtitled version gives Proteger a mi familia — protect my family.
Option 3: Game of Thrones is Trolling Us... Hard.
In shows and movies where a low buzz of chatter is required, the extras aren't given scripts: they just babble some nonsense to each other. Maybe Game of Thrones bosses David Benioff and Dan Weiss just told Sean Bean to go wild and say whatever gobbledegook he wanted to fuel fan speculation... Or there's a whole bunch of joke options (via Reddit) for those of you who've given up entirely:
- "This doesn't make any sense, I'm supposed to be the main character."
- "Wait, I demand a trial by combat!"
- "At least I'm not Olly"
- ''I'm sorry I tried to steal the ring from Frodo.''