The question was not why the man had to die, but why I must do it.” Bran had no answer for that. “King Robert has a headsman,” he said, uncertainly. “He does,” his father admitted. “As did the Targaryen kings before him. Yet our way is the older way. The blood of the First Men still flows in the veins of the Starks, and we hold to the belief that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.
A ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon forgets what death is.”
Ned frowned. “He must learn to face his fears. He will not be three forever. And winter is coming.” “Yes,” Catelyn agreed. The words gave her a chill, as they always did. The Stark words. Every noble house had its words. Family mottoes, touchstones, prayers of sorts, they boasted of honor and glory, promised loyalty and truth, swore faith and courage. All but the Starks.
Winter is coming, said the Stark words.