What an awful responsibility!

To see a man, soul to soul, and give him

what he deserves, what his deeds have earned him.

To hear his last words, the next to last

human sounds, besides the final wet roll

of his crown, to give sentence and take life.

What an awful responsibility!


This is another poem inspired by A Song of Ice and Fire. This one is based on Ned Stark’s words to his children about the responsibility of a King: “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.”

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