Because teenagerdom is a mess, but some people handle it better than others.
10 Good Guys Who Are Major-League Jerks
by Rebecca Pahle | 12:30 pm, October 10th, 2012
Catelyn Stark from Game of Thrones
I do not like Catelyn Stark. I understand why people do; she’s brave, fiercely loyal, and is one of the few in Westeros who A) doesn’t like war and B) genuinely wants to and tries to stop it.
But Cat. C’mon. Everything you’ve done has gotten a whole bunch of people killed. Kidnapping Tyrion, the king’s brother-in-law and son of the most powerful man in Westeros, based on circumstantial evidence. Bad move. Setting Jaime Lannister free when it’s a good bet that doing so will turn at least some of your son’s most powerful bannermen against him. Bad move. Just stop. Catelyn’s intentions are better than everyone else’s, but she’s operating under a whole different set of rules than the rest of the Westeros power players, and her refusal to compromise hurts more than it helps. She’s not naive; she knows full well the sort of murder-filled world she lives in. She’s just going to keep going what she does, and if it results in people dying—well it’s not her fault if everyone else can’t live up to her high ideals!
What’s more, as attached as Catelyn is to her position of moral authority, she sure does treat Jon Snow, her husband’s bastard son, pretty badly. I can understand not wanting to adopt the guy and raise him as her own, but holding a grudge against someone for 14 years (or 16 years, in the series) for being born is a little much.
What I like most about George R.R. Martin is how well he writes complex, well-rounded, and realistically flawed characters. My favorite characters are awful people, too—this is Westeros, after all. Who isn’t? (Hodor, maybe.) But it’s Cat’s lack of self-awareness about her own shortcomings—a trait she shares with her husband Ned—that really makes her grate on my nerves.
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