Eddard was a trusted, close friend and counselor of King Robert Baratheon. He supported Robert’s play for the throne by acting as a general in several major battles. Eddard’s sister Lyanna, who was betrothed to Robert, was kidnapped by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, sparking the war. Brandon protested the kidnapping, but his attempt to bring Rhaegar to justice failed. Lord Rickard was summoned to court in King’s Landing by Aerys, and both Brandon and Rickard were executed by the Mad King. Their deaths left Eddard to inherit Rickard’s responsibilities, serving King Robert instead.