“‘Do you understand why I did it?’
‘He was a wildling,’ Bran said. ‘They carry off women and sell them to the Others.’
His lord father smiled. ‘Old Nan has been telling you stories again. . . . 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. ‘. . . Yet our way is the older way . . . 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.'”
~ George R. R. Martin, Game of Thrones (pg. 16)