After a recent rewatch of the HBO TV series, Game of Thrones I realized that Eddard "Ned" Stark's mother, Lyarra Stark is never mentioned or shown during the course of the series [to date]. Not even in Bran's time traveling sequences! Rickard, Ned, Brandon, Lyanna, Benjin

In fact there is very little information about her on various Wikipedias and it seems her name was not even given until the publication of The World of Ice & Fire tie-in history book.

Now I can understand that perhaps she simply doesn't factor into the story, but George R. R. Martin tends to be a stickler for details and even in the books there isn't much, if anything about her.

My question is, is there any reason her character has been excluded? Has Martin ever publicly addressed this or have the HBO Showrunners?

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    The show doesn't mention her because the books don't. If you're wanting an answer from the books or GRRM himself SFF is more suited to that. M&TV is more for the show's reasoning. Apr 2, 2019 at 13:10
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    If you're interested in the motivations from the books and the show or mainly the books yes. Else I suggest you edit this to focus on the show specifically. Apr 2, 2019 at 13:37
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    Martin does work on the show and the show does go down different paths than the books and sometimes he and/or DB Weiss/David Benioff do talk about it. That was how I was going about it. There are plenty of times where TV/Movie series Q's do get answers in relation to source materials on this site, if no other in-universe content exists. Apr 2, 2019 at 13:39
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    Also My Q is not about character motivation, it's character exclusion - I'm basically asking for why a character that should bare some relevance, considering her children and husband are included and whose family is prominent, have been excluded. Is there an implied "secret" there or is this a red hearing?? Apr 2, 2019 at 13:47
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    Characters are talked about when they have an impact on the story. Ned's father's death illustrated the behavior of the 'mad king' and why Ned went to war against the Targaryens. The Lannister siblings mother is mentioned because her death giving birth to Tyrion is used against him by Cersei and others. Few other offscreen parents are mentioned. Ned's mother hasn't been used by GRRM for any plot point. Absence of mention of a character doesn't require much explanation.
    – iandotkelly
    Apr 2, 2019 at 13:59

1 Answer 1


GRRM doesn't think she's important, as shown in this excerpt from So Spake Martin:

Speaking about women there's is a hidden figure: Ned's mother, you only say "she was Lady Stark and she died". Nothing more? Nothing important or something too important? (please at least choose one hypothesis).

If there is anything important, I will reveal it in due time.

(Did Tolkien ever get letters asking about Aragorn's mother, I wonder?)

(I interpret the second line form his answer as showing he doesn't think the character is important.)

Alternatively, the books may reveal she is important. But it's unlikely the show will feature her.

  • Thanks, this is the kind of thing I was looking for. I will probably check yours off as the answer, but I will give others some time to answer before I do. Apr 2, 2019 at 14:57

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