House Umber

From A Wiki of Ice and Fire
Jump to: navigation, search
House Umber of the Last Hearth
House Umber.svg
Coat of arms A roaring giant, brown-haired and wearing a skin, with broken silver chains, on flame-red
(Gules, a giant roaring brunâtre habited with a skin proper wearing chains broken argent)
Seat Last Hearth
Head Lord Jon "Greatjon" Umber
Region The north
Title Lord of the Last Hearth[1]
Founded Before the coming of the Andals[2]

House Umber of the Last Hearth is a noble house from the Last Hearth in the north. Lord Jon Umber, called "the Greatjon", is sworn to House Stark of Winterfell. The Umber sigil is a roaring giant, brown-haired and wearing a skin, with broken silver chains, on flame-red.[3]



Umbers can be huge[4][5] and boisterous.[6][7]


Although the Umbers deny it, Roose Bolton claims they still practice the tradition of the lord's right to the first night, which was banned during the reign of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen.[8]


The Umbers control land along the Bay of Seals, south of the New Gift and extending west to the kingsroad. Their lands include the northern Last River and the Lonely Hills. The kingsroad runs along the western marches of Umber territory for a hundred leagues.[9] Most of their land is east of the kingsroad, but the Umbers graze their sheep in the high meadows of the northern mountains in summer.[10]

The Umbers control forests of tall pine and old oak.[6]


House Umber champion by Diego de Almeida © Fantasy Flight Games

House Umber is an ancient house who once ruled as First Men kings. After many struggles, the Umbers were reduced from royals to vassals of House Stark, the Kings of Winter.[11] Amongst other possibilities, the Night's King is rumored to have been an Umber.[12]

The Umbers joined the Starks in defeating Gendel and Gorne, brother Kings-Beyond-the-Wall,[13] three thousand years ago.[14]

Queen Alysanne Targaryen and Silverwing visited the Umbers at the Last Hearth in 58 AC.[15]

Lord Harmond Umber helped Lord Willam and Artos Stark defeat King Raymun Redbeard in a battle at Long Lake.[16] Lord Greatjon Umber's cousin, the daughter of Mors Umber, was carried off in a wildling raid.[9]

During Robert's Rebellion, the Umbers followed Lord Eddard Stark to war, with Mors's sons dying at the Battle of the Trident.[9]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

The Greatjon, by Jason Engle © Fantasy Flight Games

After Lord Eddard Stark's arrest in King's Landing, House Umber answers Robb Stark's call to arms, with Umber men led by the Greatjon following him south, leaving his uncles Mors Crowfood and Hother Whoresbane in command at the Last Hearth. Despite an initial row at Winterfell, the Greatjon becomes one of Robb's strongest supporters and fiercest battle commanders.[17] Lord Umber's eldest son, the Smalljon, rides as one of Robb's personal guard.[18]

When the Stark host quarters at Moat Cailin on their march south, the Last Hearth men garrison in the Children's Tower.[19] During the battle in the Whispering Wood, the Greatjon has an independent command,[18] and in the subsequent Battle of the Camps he rides in from the west with the Mallisters and sets fire to the Lannister siege towers.[20]

Following the death of Ned Stark, House Umber supports Robb as his heir, with the Greatjon proclaiming him the King in the North while they are at Riverrun.[21]

A Clash of Kings

The Umber men in the south accompany King Robb on his campaign in the westerlands. The Greatjon captures several gold mines after the Battle of Oxcross,[22] and the Smalljon leads men scaling the walls during the storming of the Crag.[23]

Lord Umber's uncles attend the harvest feast at Winterfell. Hother requests ships to fight wildlings in the Bay of Seals, and is told to work with Lord Wyman Manderly to build a fleet. Mors puts himself forward as a match for the widowed Lady Donella Hornwood, but is rejected.[6]

After Theon Greyjoy leads the capture of Winterfell by ironborn, he tells his sister Asha that the Umbers are gathering beyond the Last River to help liberate the Stark seat.[24] Theon does not see any Umbers in the army of Ser Rodrik Cassel prior to the battle at Winterfell, however.[25]

A Storm of Swords

The Greatjon and the Smalljon return with King Robb Stark's army to the riverlands from the westerlands. Lord Umber and his men subdue Lord Rickard Karstark after he murders two captive Lannister squires, Willem Lannister and Tion Frey, at Riverrun, with two Umber men being wounded in the process. The Greatjon punches Rickard when the other bannerman calls Robb "boy", and hangs the other seven Karhold men who took part.[26]

The Greatjon leads Robb's van during the journey from Riverrun to the Twins for the wedding of Lord Edmure Tully to Roslin Frey.[27] At the Red Wedding, the Greatjon becomes drunk, competing with Ser Whalen Frey and Merrett Frey. It takes eight men to subdue him, of whom he kills one, injures two others, and bites half an ear off Ser Leslyn Haigh.[28] The Greatjon is captured and imprisoned at the Twins, and his heir, the Smalljon, is murdered by Bolton or Karstark men while trying to protect Robb.[29] It is unknown who the current heir is.

Maester Aemon sends a raven to the Last Hearth in a plea for help to defend Castle Black from wildlings.[30]

A Feast for Crows

House Umber Berserkers by Felicia Cano © Fantasy Flight Games

Queen Regent Cersei Lannister informs the small council of King Tommen I Baratheon that Umbers have joined Ramsay Bolton in the effort to remove ironborn from Moat Cailin. Ramsay's father, Lord Roose Bolton, has been named Warden of the North in House Stark's stead.[31]

After resolving the siege of Riverrun, Ser Jaime Lannister informs Ser Walder Rivers that Tommen requires that House Frey relinquish all prisoners taken in the Red Wedding.[32]

A Dance with Dragons

With the Greatjon still imprisoned at the Twins,[33] Hother Whoresbane leads half the remaining Umber men under the Bolton banner, although Roose considers them untrustworthy.[34] Mors Crowfood has joined the cause of Stannis Baratheon, who is liberating the north from Bolton and Greyjoy alike.[35] Mors makes it clear that Umber will not fight Umber for any cause.[9]

Hother leads three hundred spears and a hundred archers south to Moat Cailin.[36] He later commands the Umber contingent at Winterfell for the wedding of Ramsay Bolton to "Arya Stark" (actually Jeyne Poole).[37]

The Umber men with Mors camp outside of Winterfell and blow horns to disorient Roose's forces. After they escape from Winterfell, Theon Greyjoy and Jeyne are brought by Mors to the crofters' village.[35]

The Winds of Winter

This information has thus far been released in a sample chapter for The Winds of Winter, and might therefore not be in finalized form. Keep in mind that the content as described below is still subject to change.

Theon reveals to Stannis that Ser Aenys Frey was killed when Frey forces rode into pits dug by Mors Crowfood's men. The troops with Mors are green boys while those with Hother are greybeards.[5]

House Umber at the end of the third century

The known Umbers during the timespan of the events described in A Song of Ice and Fire are:


At least
two daughters

Historical Members


The blast of horns woke him. Bran pushed himself onto his side, grateful for the reprieve. He heard horses and boisterous shouting. More guests have come, and half-drunk by the noise of them. Grasping his bars he pulled himself from the bed and over to the window seat. On their banner was a giant in shattered chains that told him that these were Umber men, down from the northlands beyond the Last River.[6]

—thoughts of Bran Stark

The Greatjon's the Young Wolf's strong right hand, all know that to be true. Who better to protect the widow's lands than an Umber, and what Umber better than me?[6]

The Umbers may seem simple, but they are not without a certain low cunning.[8]

Jon: Your Grace, might I know if the Umbers have declared for you?

Stannis: Half of them, and only if I meet this Crowfood's price. He wants Mance Rayder's skull for a drinking cup, and he wants a pardon for his brother, who has ridden south to join Bolton. Whoresbane, he's called.

Godry: What names these northmen have![9]

Behind the Scenes

George R. R. Martin may have been inspired by Northumbria when creating House Umber. Northumbria was located in the north of England between the Humber and Hadrian's Wall, the same way the Umber lands are located in the north of Westeros between the Last River and the Wall.


  1. A Feast for Crows, Appendix.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The North.
  3. The Citadel. Heraldry: the North
  4. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 49, Catelyn VI.
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Winds of Winter, Theon I
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 16, Bran II.
  7. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 21, Bran III.
  8. 8.0 8.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 32, Reek III.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 17, Jon IV.
  10. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 24, Bran II.
  11. The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Kings of Winter.
  12. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 56, Bran IV.
  13. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 26, Jon III.
  14. The World of Ice & Fire, The Wall and Beyond: The Wildlings.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Triumphs and Tragedies.
  16. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 7, Jon II.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 53, Bran VI.
  18. 18.0 18.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 63, Catelyn X.
  19. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 55, Catelyn VIII.
  20. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
  21. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
  22. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 39, Catelyn V.
  23. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 14, Catelyn II.
  24. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 56, Theon V.
  25. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 66, Theon VI.
  26. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 20, Catelyn III.
  27. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 45, Catelyn V.
  28. A Storm of Swords, Epilogue.
  29. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 51, Catelyn VII.
  30. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 55, Jon VII.
  31. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 17, Cersei IV.
  32. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 44, Jaime VII.
  33. A Dance with Dragons, Appendix.
  34. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 46, A Ghost in Winterfell.
  35. 35.0 35.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 62, The Sacrifice.
  36. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 15, Davos II.
  37. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 41, The Turncloak.
  38. So Spake Martin: ConJose (San Jose, CA; August 29-September 2), August 29, 2002
  39. 39.0 39.1 The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Stark Lineage.