King in the North
King in the North and King of Winter are ancient titles held for thousands of years by House Stark of Winterfell. They were the last kingdom of the First Men and continued to rule the north after the Andals invaded and took over the southern kingdoms of Westeros. While the running direwolf is the sigil of House Stark, some Kings in the North had personal variants.
House Stark traces their descent from the legendary Bran the Builder, who is said to have lived in the Age of Heroes and built the Wall and Winterfell in the aftermath of the Long Night. Ballads claim the ancient Kings of Winter, the Lords of Winterfell, drove giants from the north and slew the skinchangers led by Gaven Greywolf in the War of the Wolves.
Over thousands of years, the Kings of Winter expanded from Winterfell, conquering and reducing to vassalage a number of rival kings, including Barrow Kings in the Thousand Years War, Red Kings of House Bolton, Flints, Slates, Umbers, Lockes, Glovers, Fishers, and Ryders. They defeated the Warg King and Marsh Kings, forced the Blackwoods to flee, and vanquished the Greenwoods, Towers, Ambers, and Frosts. Many of their defeated enemies were forced to yield their women as prizes or brides.
The Stark kings often warred with the ironborn from the Iron Islands and wildlings from beyond the Wall. After the Rape of the Three Sisters, the Starks battled with the Arryn Kings of Mountain and Vale for a thousand years over the Bite in the War Across the Water. The Starks also eventually conquered the troublesome island of Skagos.
While "King of Winter" was used by ancient Stark monarchs, "King in the North" was used in more recent centuries. The last King in the North was Torrhen Stark, who bent the knee to House Targaryen during Aegon's Conquest, thus making the north part of the Seven Kingdoms controlled by the Iron Throne. Since then Lord Stark has traditionally held the title Warden of the North for the Iron Throne.
The history of the Stark kings is described in Maester Childer's Winter's Kings, or the Legends and Lineages of the Starks of Winterfell.
A Game of Thrones
The title is revived during the War of the Five Kings after King Joffrey I Baratheon orders the execution of Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell. Rejecting House Baratheon of King's Landing and the Iron Throne, the northern and river lords assembled at Riverrun after the Battle of the Camps declare Eddard's son Robb to be the King in the North. Robb is also later known as the King of the Trident.
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
Because he is childless and his younger brothers, Bran and Rickon, are believed dead, King Robb worries that Tyrion Lannister will claim Winterfell through his marriage to Sansa Stark. According to a semi-canon source, Robb decides to legitimize his bastard half-brother, Jon Snow, and names him as heir in his will. Before Jon can be informed of Robb's decision, however, the king is murdered at the Twins during the Red Wedding. One of Robb's betrayers, Lord Roose Bolton, is named Warden of the North by the Iron Throne.
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons
|“||Bronze and iron are stronger than gold and silver. The old Kings of Winter wore such a sword-crown.||”|
- King Robb Stark
No precise lineage of Kings of Winter or Kings in the North is known, but the individuals listed below are supposed to be in rough chronological order.
- Bran the Builder, founder of house Stark and the first king, builder of Winterfell, Storm's End castles and the Wall.
- King Brandon the Breaker, allied with Joramun to defeat the Night's King.
- King Theon the Hungry Wolf.
- King Brandon the Shipwright, loved sailing and built up a mighty northern fleet.
- King Brandon the Burner, son of Brandon the Shipwright, burned the entire northern fleet after the disappearance of his father on the Sunset Sea.
- King Dorren Stark.
- King Jon Stark, built the Wolf's Den after driving away sea raiders.
- King Rickard Stark, son of Jon, defeated the Marsh King, extending their kingdom to include the Neck.
- King Rodrik Stark, son of Rickard, won Bear Island from the ironborn in a wrestling match and awarded it to House Mormont.
- King Edrick Snowbeard.
- King Brandon "Ice Eyes", great-grandson of Edrick.
- King Benjen the Bitter.
- King Benjen the Sweet.
- King Eyron Stark.
- King Edderion the Bridegroom.
- King Walton the Moonking.
- King Brandon the Bad.
- King Jorah Stark.
- King Jonos Stark.
- King Edwyn the Spring King.
- King Harlon Stark.
- King Brandon IX Stark, who destroyed the ships of the Skagosi.
- Torrhen the King Who Knelt, who bent the knee to Aegon the Conqueror, making the north part of the Seven Kingdoms subject to the Iron Throne.
- Robb the Young Wolf, the last King in the North and the first after Aegon's Conquest, who never lost a battle and died at the events of the Red Wedding. He was also King of the Trident.
References and Notes
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 69, Bran VII.
- ↑ So Spake Martin: Heraldry in Westeros, April 13, 1999
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 51, Jon VI.
- ↑ The World of Ice and Fire, The North: Winterfell.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 The World of Ice and Fire, The North: The Kings of Winter.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 8, Tyrion III.
- ↑ The World of Ice and Fire, The Vale.
- ↑ The World of Ice and Fire, The North: The Stoneborn of Skagos.
- ↑ The World of Ice and Fire, Ancient History: The Dawn Age.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 46, Bran VI.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 14, Catelyn II.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 49, Tyrion XI.
- ↑ George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Robb Stark.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 45, Catelyn V.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 51, Catelyn VII.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72, Jaime IX.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Appendix.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 29, The Reaver.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 37, The Prince of Winterfell.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 69, Jon XIII.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 49, Catelyn VI.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 17, Jon IV.