BeardedDork wrote:In your example you are going to be saying that a member of Lord Starl's household did this, if that is the household of the local lord. If a person is not highborn themselves they'll probably want to be careful before accusing a member of a lords household of impropriety. The lord is responsible for the actions of his underlings good and bad.
No, in my example the mother was simply saying some noble was the father, and she herself lives in the North. The bastard's last name has nothing to do with where the noble parent (mother or father) is from, only where the bastard was born (note that a few of Aegon the Unworthy's Great Bastards, such as Aegon Rivers, dispite being bastards of a the King, took the bastard name of the Riverlands).
* Jon Snow being one obvious exception.
BeardedDork wrote:People talk, and before long the mother will have to name someone, then rumors would spread and reputations would be tarnished, in the end it's easier to just kill mother and babe. Clearly that's not generally speaking what happens, though I'm sure it does now and again.
Reputations would not really be that tarnished. Generally speaking, for male nobles, having bastards is a sign of virility. Typically, the disdain is more from having broken an oath of marriage (ie, sleeping with someone not your spouse) rather than the birth of a bastard itself. For women, like all sexist cultures, it is a little worse, but generally for them, the shame is more on their husband (if married, because it's like something being 'stolen' from the husband') or their father (because he's seen as too weak to get a good match for his daughter now).
Heck, remember that Westeros used to have the Lord's right of "first night" - clearly, getting it on outside of marriage isn't that frowned upon.
In no way would it rise to the level of needing to kill parent or babe, except in extreme circumstances. Remember, without the say of the King himself, the noble has absolutely no responsibilities towards the bastard (although some do offer aid), and the bastard has absolutely no rights of inheritance.
The only time we seeing bastards being killed is Cersei's hunt for Robert's brood. In her case though, while she didn't love Robert, she wasn't killing them because they shamed her, she was having them killed because they looked like Robert while Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen didn't, and that led credibility to Stannis' claims of Cersei and Jaime's incest.
In fact, it's quite useful to keep bastards around; Roose Bolton cares not a whit for Ramsay Snow, until his last trueborn son dies. With Dominic's death, the Bolton line looks at its end, until Roose arranges to have his bastard legitimized, and thus, House Bolton can continue (even if he doesn't particularly like his (ex-)bastard sons actions). And being remembered as the guy who let his house die out because he couldn't have one more child is a far worse reputation than having a kid on the wrong side of the sheets.
BeardedDork wrote:But you did hit on the point of the bastard name, you aren't saying anything about the father, could be anybody, lord or baker.
No, not anybody. It has to be a noble, and unless the baker, porter, of stableboy is also a noble, the babe may be a bastard, but doesn't get the name.
Note too, it doesn't have to be the father that's a noble. A bastard born of a noblewoman to a commoner father would also get the regional bastard name.
BeardedDork wrote:Edit: reviewing the Bastards on A wiki of Ice and Fire we can see that if a Bastard's father can be narrowed down to belonging t a single house which is usually going to be the case if only highborn sire bastards with Bastard's names, they are often but not always styled as "The Bastard of _____"
I don't know if we can read a whole lot from those. Sure, it might be useful as a way to clarify who Ser Daemon Sand or Ser Rollard Storm are affiliated with, but I don't know if just having that sort of stylization means anything, except convenience. That said, those bastards probably are more accepted, given that they have some position of importance in their houses, but they are ones they earned by knighthood, rather than blood.
Note too, that those aren't titles to be earned, just nicknames, akin to "The Mountain That Rides" or "The Bold".
BeardedDork wrote:We also see at least one example of a bastard with a Bastard's name not sired by a highborn, Walys Flowers .
Walys' mother was a Hightower. Again, only one parent need be noble, not just the father.