My problem with the character of Ned Stark:
He is an very honourable man and believes strongly in standing up to corruption and defending the weak. During Robert’s Rebellion Lannister men killed Prince Rhaegar’s children and brought them wrapped in cloth to Robert so that he knew their bloodline was broken. Ned was disgusted by what had happened and thought Robert had shamed himself in the process. After the passing of Jon Arryn (Roberts Hand), Ned knows Robert will come and ask him to be the Hand of the King. He does not deny Robert because “he gets what he wants” but he still remembers the orders that Robert had given during the rebellion.
Fast forward some of Ned’s time in King’s Landing. Ned discovers the incest between Cersei and Jaime and their illegitimate children (Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella). After finding this, he calls Cersei to the Godswood to warn her. He tells her to flee King’s Landing with her children and the rest of her family. His goal was to prevent the death of the children for he is an honourable man. Which I get, but did he not understand what would happen?
Ned would have known that even if Cersei had fled there still would have been a war. Cersei leaving King’s Landing with her offspring of incest would have angered Robert (we know this because Ned wanted Cersei to flee with her children for fear of his wrath being brought down on them). This would most definitely have led to Robert wanting their treasonous lives. Tywin being the richest man in all of Westeros would not willingly give up his two eldest children (leaving the dwarf as his heir). After Tywin denies his request, war would ensue. With a war comes death, not just to soldiers, but to the common folk and their children (shown in Clash of Kings, Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows).
Here’s a link to an interview of G.R.R.M talking about this
(Sorry I don’t know how to embed it)
Thanks for the read. I’m working on a short(ish) story at the moment and I hope to have a chapter out by this weekend. If you’re interested in fantasy/short stories I’ll be posting the first parts of my books gradually, when my drafts aren’t so rough.