I do hereby command Eddard of House Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Hand of the King, to serve as Lord Regent and Protector of the Realm upon my...upon my death...to rule in my...in my stead, until my son Joffrey does come of age..."
Robert... Joffrey is not your son, he wanted to say, but the words would not come. The agony was written too plainly across Robert's face; he could not hurt him more. So Ned bent his head and wrote, but where the king had said "my son Joffrey," he scrawled "my heir" instead. The deceit made him feel soiled. The lies we tell for love, he thought. May the gods forgive me. "What else would you have me say?"
Say...whatever you need to. Protect and defend, gods old and new, you have the words. Write. I'll sign it. You give it to the council when I'm dead.
Robert, Ned said in a voice thick with grief, "you must not do this. Don't die on me. The realm needs you."
Robert took his hand, fingers squeezing hard. "You are...such a bad liar, Ned Stark," he said through his pain.