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The North and the location of Karhold
The North and the location of Karhold
Location Westeros, North
Government House Karstark , Feudal Lord.
Religion Old gods
Named for Karlon Stark, its founder.

Karhold is a strong castle[1] and the seat of House Karstark in the North. It is located in the eastern half of the North, south of the Bay of Seals, while further to the east are the Grey Cliffs.[2]


The castle was built by Karlon Stark, a younger son of Winterfell, who was awarded land after defeating a rebel lord a thousand years ago. The castle was named Karl's Hold after Karlon, but over centuries the name developed into Karhold and the Karhold Starks became the Karstarks.[3]

Full-length Karhold.
Karhold - Battle of Westeros, by Franz Miklis. © Fantasy Flight Games©

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Lord Rickard Karstark and his sons Harrion, Eddard, and Torrhen lead three hundred horsemen and near two thousand foot from Karhold to Winterfell when Robb Stark calls the northern banners.[4] The combined northern host marches south during the War of the Five Kings.

A Storm of Swords

Lord Rickard promises his daughter Alys's hand to whomever would bring him Jaime Lannister, the killer of two of his sons, Eddard and Torrhen.[3] Vargo Hoat maims and captures Jaime with the hopes of gaining Alys in marriage, which would give him the chance to become Lord of Karhold,[5] but King Robb Stark executes Alys's father Rickard for treason.[3] Roose Bolton considers Karhold to be smaller and meaner than Harrenhal.[6]

Maester Aemon sends a raven to Karhold in a plea for help to defend Castle Black from wildlings.[7]

A Feast for Crows

Stannis Baratheon has ravens sent from Castle Black with messages seeking allegiance from the northern lords. Karhold is the only seat to pledge support.[8]

A Dance with Dragons

Arnolf Karstark, the castellan of Karhold and uncle of late Lord Rickard Karstark, declares for Stannis Baratheon. Lord Commander Jon Snow thinks Arnolf's support is only because House Karstark has damaged its relations too badly with House Stark and House Lannister.[9] However, Arnolf plots to make his son, Cregan, Lord of Karhold by forcing Alys to marry Cregan and also declaring for Stannis to goad the Iron Throne to execute the rightful heir of Karhold, captive Harrion.[10]

To avoid the planned marriage, Alys flees from Karhold and seeks protection from Lord Commander Jon Snow at Castle Black.[10] Jon arranges for Melisandre to marry Alys to Sigorn, Magnar of Thenn, thus creating a new noble house that would claim Karhold should Harrion perish.

The Winds of Winter

After receiving a message from Jon Snow that Arnolf plans to betray the king, Stannis Baratheon has the castellan of Karhold arrested.[11]

References and Notes

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