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The north and the location of the Neck
The north and the location of the Neck
The Neck
The north and the location of the Neck
Swamps of the Neck. © FFG

The Neck is one of the southernmost regions of the north. Covered in swamp and bog, it divides the north from the rest of the Seven Kingdoms.[1] West of the Neck is a large forest and a peninsula containing Flint's Finger, the Flint Cliffs, and Cape Kraken, while to the east is the Bite. North of the Neck are the barrowlands, while to the south are the Twins, Seagard, and the Cape of Eagles in the riverlands. The Green Fork of the Trident originates in the Neck.[2]


The Neck is inhabited by crannogmen, who are led by House Reed of Greywater Watch. It contains huge flowers, lizard-lions, and many snakes. The trees are half-drowned and covered in fungus, and beneath the water, quicksand will drown anyone who attempts to walk the waters.[3] The Neck is considered the key to any assault on the north.[4]

The kingsroad passes through the Neck. Due to the difficult terrain it becomes the narrow causeway, which is the only safe route to travel through the swamps of the Neck during times of peace. At the northern end of the causeway stand the formidable ruins of Moat Cailin.


According to legend, the Neck turned into a swamp when greenseers used the hammer of the waters. Some maesters instead believe the landscape was caused by a natural event.[5]

The Neck was originally an independent realm ruled by the Marsh Kings, until King Rickard Stark of Winterfell defeated the last Marsh King and married his daughter, annexing the Neck to the domain of the Kings of Winter.[6] House Stark was able to preserve northern independence by holding the Neck and Moat Cailin. Some children of the forest may have fled to the Neck during the Andal invasion.[7]

King Benedict the Just, founder of House Justman, extended his domains to border the Neck during his long reign.[8]

During Aegon's Conquest, King Torrhen Stark marched an army south through the Neck to the Trident, but he ultimately choose to kneel in submission to Aegon I Targaryen.[9]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

The retinue of King Robert I Baratheon traverses the Neck by taking the causeway; the southern leg takes twelve days of travel.[3]

Robb Stark sends word to Lord Howland Reed to have the crannogmen defend the Neck against the Lannisters.[10]

A Clash of Kings

Avoiding the Neck, the Iron Fleet under Victarion Greyjoy sail the Fever River and seize Moat Cailin from the north, claiming it for Balon Greyjoy, King of the Isles and the North.[11][12]

A Storm of Swords

As part of his plan to retake Moat Cailin after the death of Balon, Robb orders Galbart Glover and Maege Mormont to Seagard. They are then to sail up the Neck on Malliser longships to find Greywater Watch so that the crannogmen can direct Robb's army around the rear of the ancient fortress.[13] Robb's plan is ruined by the Red Wedding, however.

A Feast for Crows

Black Walder Frey tracks a hooded woman's outlaws north of Hag's Mire until they disappear into the Neck.[14]

A Dance with Dragons

The ironborn garrison at Moat Cailin is weakened by guerrilla warfare conducted by the crannogmen. The host of Lord Roose Bolton travels through the Neck and past Moat Cailin after it is surrendered to his son, Ramsay.[15]


When we were crossing the Neck, I counted thirty-six flowers I never saw before, and Mycah showed me a lizard-lion.[3]

Two hundred determined archers can hold the Neck against an army.[16]}

The Neck is the key to the kingdom.[17]

A dozen streams drain the wetwood, all shallow, silty, and uncharted. I would not even call them rivers. The channels are ever drifting and changing. There are endless sandbars, deadfalls, and tangles of rotting trees. And Greywater Watch moves.[13]


  1. A Dance with Dragons, Map of the North
  2. The Lands of Ice and Fire.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15, Sansa I.
  4. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 24, Theon II.
  5. The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Coming of the First Men.
  6. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 66, Bran VII.
  7. The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Arrival of the Andals.
  8. The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands.
  9. The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
  10. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 55, Catelyn VIII.
  11. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 46, Bran VI.
  12. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 66, Theon VI.
  13. 13.0 13.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 45, Catelyn V.
  14. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 30, Jaime IV.
  15. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 20, Reek II.
  16. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
  17. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 24, Theon II, p 395.