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Warden is a military title in the Seven Kingdoms, carrying no connotations of suzerainty. Wardens act as supreme military leaders responsible for the defense of their region in the event of foreign invasion. This avoids any hesitation or power struggles between the high lords over command of the army.


In times of peace, this title is purely honorary. Their practical use has been rare since the Targaryen Conquest, with their most recent invocation being some four decades ago during the War of the Ninepenny Kings. Nonetheless, the title carries significant prestige and honor. Tradition holds that each title is given to the lord of a certain family, but the king retains the right to award it to another of his choosing. This typically only happens if the traditional holder dies and his heir is not yet of age, although in times of turbulence the office may be offered to those holding a monarch's favor.

Under the rule of Houses Targaryen and Baratheon, the title of Warden is traditionally hereditary, passing to the head of the Great House of the North, Vale, Westerlands, and the Reach.

The four major regional wardens are as follows:

Additionally there are also smaller-scale wardens:

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Lord Jon Arryn, the Warden of the East, dies unexpectedly. King Robert Baratheon bestows the title on Ser Jaime Lannister, which upsets the Vale of Arryn. Lady Lysa Tully refers to her son, Lord Robert Arryn, as the True Warden of the East.

Lord Eddard Stark, the Warden of the North, is executed upon the order of King Joffrey Baratheon. His son, Robb Stark, is declared King in the North by his bannermen in rebellion to the Iron Throne.

A Storm of Swords

Robb Stark, King in the North and King of the Trident, creates the new title of Warden of the Southern Marches for his uncle, Ser Brynden "Blackfish" Tully, in recognition of his prominent military role in the War of the Five Kings. Robb is murdered at the Red Wedding by Lord Roose Bolton. For his service to the Lannisters, the Iron Throne grants Roose the title of Warden of the North.

Lord Tywin Lannister restore the title of Warden of the East to Robert Arryn in order to regain the allegiance of House Arryn to the Iron Throne. Tywin, the Warden of the West, is slain by his son and lawful heir, Tyrion Lannister.

A Feast for Crows

Queen Regent Cersei Lannister grants the title of Warden of the West to Ser Daven Lannister in a deliberate slight against Tywin's brother, Ser Kevan Lannister.


Wardens are supposed to defend their regions against invaders. In theory, at least, they are each the supreme general for their region and therefore preventing any disunity of command.[1]
- George R. R. Martin

References and Notes

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