Game of Thrones fans know that one of the first in the series many shocking plot twists came at the end of season one, when Lord Eddard - Stark family patriarch and pretty much the only stand-up guy in King's Landing - had his head lopped off in a public execution.

Up until then, it seemed as though Ned Stark was to serve as the show's main protagonist, and viewers assumed he would go on to play the role of the grounded (though not always particularly bright) moral compass of the show for years to come.

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