House Stark

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House Stark of Winterfell
House Stark.svg
Coat of arms A running grey direwolf, on an ice-white field
(Argent, a direwolf courant cendrée)
Words Winter is Coming
Seat Winterfell (formerly)
Current Lord Unknown; Bran Stark (de jure)
Region The North
Title King in the North/King of Winter (formerly)
Lord of Winterfell (formerly)
Warden of the North (formerly)
King of the Trident (formerly)
Heir Rickon Stark (de jure)
Overlord House Baratheon of King's Landing (AGOT)
House Bolton (ADWD)
Cadet Branch House Greystark
House Karstark
Ancestral Weapon Ice (destroyed)
Founder Bran the Builder
Founded Age of Heroes

House Stark of Winterfell is one of the Great Houses of Westeros and the principal noble house of the north. In days of old they ruled as Kings of Winter, but since Aegon's Conquest they have been Wardens of the North and ruled as Lords of Winterfell. Their seat, Winterfell, is an ancient castle renowned for its strength.

Their sigil is a grey direwolf racing across a field of white. Their words are "Winter is Coming", one of only a few house mottoes to be a warning rather than a boast.[1] Several of the POV characters of A Song of Ice and Fire are members of House Stark.

Aside from the Karstarks of Karhold, the Starks of Winterfell may have other, distant relatives in the north. White Harbor and Barrowton are considered to be likely options.[2] Some younger Starks have also held vassal holdfasts for the lords of Winterfell.[3]

Culture

Traits

The Stark look consists of a long face, a lean build, dark brown hair and grey eyes.[4][5][6][7][8]

In the current generation of Starks, several members (e.g., Arya and Bran Stark, and Jon Snow) have the ability to enter the minds of their direwolf pets as wargs, giving them the ability to experience the senses of their direwolves[9] and to see through their eyes. The latter occurs most frequently when the children sleep,[10][11] although they are able to do it at will when awake, once they are more practiced.[12][11]

Customs

House Stark traditionally buries deceased members of their family in the crypts below Winterfell.[13][14] The Kings of Winter and Lords of Winterfell are given a statue of their likeness, sitting by their tomb, whereas other normally family members do not.[15] The only exceptions are Brandon and Lyanna Stark, who have been given a statue by their brother, Lord Eddard Stark.[15] The statues of the kings and lords have stone wolves by their feet[16][14] and have swords placed upon their lap,[14] which are said to keep the spirits of the dead at rest, locked within their tombs.[17][13]

House Stark traditionally follows the old gods.[18][19][20][21] Following the marriage of Lord Eddard Stark to Lady Catelyn Tully, a follower of the Faith of the Seven, a small sept in honor of the seven gods from the Faith was constructed at Winterfell.[22]

The Starks have traditionally been friends of the Night's Watch.[15] The four youngest men to have served as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, including Osric Stark, were brothers, sons, or bastards of Kings in the North.[23]

History

Kings in the North

The Starks are an ancient house of First Men descent.[1] House Stark was founded by Brandon the Builder, a legendary figure who lived during the Age of Heroes. Bran the Builder is said to have raised Winterfell, the seat of the Starks, as well as the Wall.[24] The Starks were Kings of Winter in the north for eight thousand years[25] since the Age of Heroes, possibly beginning with Bran the Builder. The Night's King, the attainted thirteenth Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, has been suggested to have been a Stark.[26]

The ancient Starks gradually defeated rival kings, such as the Barrow Kings to their south and the Red Kings to their east.[27] For several millennia, the Starks were not the uncontested Kings in the North. However, their primary antagonists, the Red Kings from House Bolton of the Dreadfort, swore fealty some thousand years ago, ending their flesh-flaying ways. Meanwhile, King Jon Stark drove pirates from the White Knife, and the Wolf's Den was built at its mouth. This stronghold was often granted to sons and grandsons of the King in the North; one such branch, the Greystarks, was extinguished after allying with the Boltons against the Starks.[28] King Jon's son, Rickard, defeated the Marsh King and married his daughter, bringing the Neck into Winterfell's realm under the lordship of House Reed.[15]

When the Andals attempted to conquer the north, King Theon Stark made common cause with House Bolton and defeated Argos Sevenstar in the Battle of the Weeping Water, after which he raised a fleet and sailed to Andalos. There he took revenge by sacking and putting hundreds to death. He later conquered the Three Sisters, and battled against the ironborn, driving them away from Cape Kraken and Bear Island and slaying Ravos Hoare. Both places were later taken back by King Loron Greyjoy, and King Rodrik Stark took Bear Island back after Loron's death. It is said that he did so by winning a wrestling match, though some scholars doubt the truth of this tale.[29][15] Rodrik's sons and grandsons took back Cape Kraken.[27]) King Theon also smashed a rebellion in the Rills, and gave aid to the Night's Watch against wildlings.[27]

House Stark attempted to conquer the Three Sisters, which began a conflict between the Starks and the Arryns from the Vale when the Sistermen, having been defeated by the Starks in the Rape of the Three Sisters, asked Mathos II Arryn, King of Mountain and Vale for help. This conflict, the War Across the Water, lasted for a thousand years, during which time the Starks trice landed on the Fingers.[30][31] During King Edric Stark's hundred-year long reign, the Wolf's Den, already torched by House Arryn, was captured by slavers from the Stepstones. Edric's great-grandson, King Brandon "Ice Eyes", took back the Wolf's Den.[28] After a thousand years of war, the Arryns were victorious over the Starks, and have ruled over the Three Sisters ever since.[30]

Several centuries before Aegon's Conquest,[N 1] House Manderly was driven into exile from the Mander by Lord Lorimar Peake during the reign of Perceon III Gardener, King of the Reach.[27] The Starks welcomed them to the north, and accepted oaths of fealthy from the Manderlys, giving them the Wolf's Den and the surrounding lands, leading to the creation of White Harbor around the Wolf's Den.[32][27][33]

Near 700 BC, Karlon Stark, a younger son of Winterfell, helped crush a rebel lord. As a reward, he was granted lands on which he built a keep named Karl's Hold. Over time, the keep became known as Karhold, and Karlon's descendents as House Karstark.[34]

King Brandon the Shipwright attempted to sail across the Sunset Sea, but never returned back home. His son, also named Brandon, burned the northern fleet in his grief.[15] The north has had no fleet since.[35]

The Starks helped repel several major wildling invasions, such as when they and their Umber bannermen defeated the brother Kings-Beyond-the-Wall Gendel and Gorne three thousand years ago.[36] Bael the Bard is said to have sired a son on the maiden daughter of Brandon the Daughterless. Bael was later slain by his own son, who was unaware of the fact that Bael was his father.[37]

Targaryen Dynasty

The last Stark King in the North was Torrhen, the King Who Knelt, who submitted to Aegon I Targaryen during Aegon's Conquest. Since that time the Starks have held the north for the Lords of the Seven Kingdoms as Wardens of the North.[38] Queen Rhaenys Targaryen arranged the marriage of Torrhen's daughter to Ronnel Arryn, the Lord of the Eyrie, in an attempt to knit the new realm together.[39][40] There are letters at the Citadel which suggest that Torrhen only agreed to this match after much protest, and that his sons had refused to attend the wedding.[39] Torrhen's sons did not agree with the rule of House Targaryen. Some spoke of rebelling and raising the Stark banner,[39] but it is unknown whether a rebellion took place.

During the reign of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, Lord Stark[N 2] donated land, which was renamed the New Gift, to the Night's Watch. While in current times it is said that Lord Stark was glad to do so, he in truth had been forced to do so by King Jaehaerys and Queen Alysanne. Lord Stark's brother sent letters to the Citadel, asking for precedents against forced donation of property. As such, it was said at the time that the Starks were bitter about having been forced to part with the land, and maester Yandel believes that this might have been the reason why Lord Ellard Stark supported the claim of Laenor Velaryon over the claim of Prince Viserys Targaryen during the Great Council of 101 AC.[39]

In 129 AC, as the Dance of the Dragons began, Prince Jacaerys Velaryon recruited Lord Cregan Stark's aid for his mother, Rhaenyra Targaryen, known as the Pact of Ice and Fire,[39] even though the north was considered to be too remote to be of much influence in the war.[41] Cregan delayed giving aid, as he wished to have as many men as possible to harvest crops before winter came.[42] After winter had begun, Cregan led a great army of men, childless, homeless, unwed, or old men, and younger sons, to King's Landing. He arrived after Aegon II Targaryen had been poisoned, however, and though he had hoped to punish those lords who had supported Aegon II, Lord Corlys Velaryon had already send out ravens sueing for peace. While court awaited the replies, Cregan held sway at court and arrested all those involved in Aegon II's death. Young King Aegon III Targaryen was cowed into naming Cregan his Hand of the King, and while Cregan served only a single day in that office, a time known as the Hour of the Wolf, he held trials for twenty-one out of twenty-two of his prisoners. The only one spared a trial was Lord Corlys; King Aegon III pardonned him and restored his titles to him, and Cregan agreed to allow it when Aly Blackwood offered him her hand in marriage. Cregan returned north the next day.[43]

Cregan's heir, Rickon, fought in the conquest of Dorne during the reign of King Daeron I Targaryen. He died during one of the final battles outside of Sunspear.[39] Lord Barthogan Stark, Cregan's younger son, died in the Skagosi rebellion during the reign of Daeron II Targaryen.[44] Early in the reign of Aerys I, Lord Beron Stark, Cregan's grandson, gathered swords to battle Lord Dagon Greyjoy.[45] He became fatally injured in battle, and as he slowly succumed of his wounds, his wife and several recent Stark widows struggled over the succession, as there were multiple potential heirs.[46][47]

In 226 AC, Raymun Redbeard, the King-Beyond-the-Wall, led a wildling invasion. On the shores of Long Lake Lord Willam Stark of Winterfell and Lord Harmond Umber of Last Hearth met the wildling host in battle. Lord William was killed by Raymun. His younger brother, Artos Stark, avenged him by slaying Raymun.[48][36]

Robert's Rebellion

Lord Rickard Stark, urged on by his maester, Walys, allegedly sought to further southron alliances.[49] He sent his second son, Eddard, to be fostered with Lord Jon Arryn at the Eyrie at the age of eight. There, Eddard befriended fellow ward Robert Baratheon.[22][50] Rickard betrothed his heir, Brandon, to Catelyn Tully, the daughter of Lord Hoster Tully of Riverrun,[50] and his only daughter, Lyanna, to Robert, Lord of Storm's End.[51][52] Rickard's four children attended the tourney at Harrenhal in 281 AC, where they met Howland Reed. After winning the jousting competition at the tourney, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen crowned Lyanna as his queen of love and beauty, passing over his own wife, Princess Elia Martell.[53]

In 282 AC, Brandon Stark was at Riverrun when the date of his wedding to Catelyn Tully was announced. Petyr Baelish, Lord Hoster's ward, had been in love with Catelyn for years, and challenged Brandon to a duel for Catelyn's hand. Brandon won.[54][55][56][6] After the duel, Brandon left Riverrun, promising his bride-to-be that he would return soon.[6] On his way back to Riverrun, however, Brandon heard about Lyanna's abduction by Prince Rhaegar, and rode for King's Landing, where he was arrested by Aerys II for threatening the life of the crown prince. Rickard, who had been on his way to Riverrun with the wedding party, was summoned to court to answer for Brandon's crime. Brandon and Rickard were executed by Aerys II; Rickard was burned alive, while Brandon strangled himself in his attempt to rescue his father.[57][18][58] After the executions, King Aerys demanded the heads of Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon from their former foster father, Jon Arryn. The Lord of the Eyrie refused, however, and raised his banners in revolt.[22][59] This act is seen as the start of Robert's Rebellion.[59]

During the war, Eddard travelled north to call his banners.[31] He marched south, and won an important victory during the Battle of the Bells, rescuing his friend Robert.[60] Next, he went to Riverrun, where he honored his late brother Brandon's betrothal by marrying Catelyn Tully as part of an alliance to bring House Tully into the rebel fold.[61][50] One of the principal commanders in the war, Ned took command of the rebel army after the Battle of the Trident, following the remnants of Rhaegar's army to King's Landing.

Ned arrived at the capital after the Sack of King's Landing by Lord Tywin Lannister, however, and Lord Stark found Aerys II dead and Ser Jaime Lannister sitting on the Iron Throne.[62] He had a falling out with Robert when Robert accepted the aid of House Lannister and condoned the murders of Rhaegar's wife, young daughter, and infant son. Eddard rode south the next day to relieve the siege of Storm's End.[62] Afterwards, Eddard and six companions went to retrieve Lyanna at the fortress Rhaegar had named the tower of joy.[63] They fought the three Kingsguard knights stationed there, who killed all but Eddard and Howland Reed.[63] Eddard found Lyanna dying in a bed of blood, clutching rose petals, dead and black, in her palm.[51] She forced him to make a promise to her, the contents of which are unknown, but which have haunted Eddard since. Eddard and Robert were reconciled in their shared grief over Lyanna's death.[62]

Eddard returned from the war with his bastard son, Jon Snow,[50] said to have been birthed by Wylla,[62] and Ned was presented with his trueborn son, Robb, by Catelyn when she arrived from Riverrun. Ned buried Lyanna's body in the crypt of Winterfell beside her father and brother.[51] Eddard's younger brother, Benjen, joined the Night's Watch within a few months of Eddard's return from the war.[64] A skilled ranger,[65] Benjen eventually became First Ranger.[66] Eddard fought in Greyjoy's Rebellion in 289 AC, and took Balon Greyjoy's son Theon with him to Winterfell, a hostage to ensure the loyalty of the Lord of the Iron Islands.[51] Eddard has ruled the north in Robert's name, keeping a distance from the intrigue-ridden politics of King's Landing.[67]

Recent Events

Eddard Stark ‎- © 2012 John Picacio

A Game of Thrones

Following the death of his Hand of the King, Lord Jon Arryn, King Robert I Baratheon journeys to Winterfell to offer Lord Eddard Stark the office.[22][51] A letter arrives from Lysa Arryn, Jon's widow and Eddard's wife Catelyn's sister, who claims the Lannisters were behind Lord Arryn's sudden death. At Catelyn's urging, Ned grudgingly accepts the Handship and a betrothal of their daughter Sansa to Prince Joffrey Baratheon.[50] During the royal party's stay, Eddard's second son, Bran, accidentally witnesses Queen Cersei Lannister having sex with her twin brother, Ser Jaime.[67] Jaime throws Bran out of the tower window, hoping to kill him to keep their relationship a secret.[67] Bran survives, but is crippled and comatose.[68][69] Eddard rides to King's Landing along with his daughters, Sansa and Arya, while Catelyn remains at Winterfell with their sons. Meanwhile, Ned's bastard son, Jon Snow, rides north with his uncle, Benjen, to join the Night's Watch. Catelyn is inconsolable in her worry for Bran, ignoring her duties as steward, but is jolted back to reality by an attempt on his life thwarted only by his direwolf. As Bran lies comatose, he begins to have visions of a three-eyed crow.

Near the ruby ford and the crossroads, Arya defends her friend Mycah from the aggressions of Prince Joffrey Baratheon, upsetting Sansa. This is exacerbated when Sansa's direwolf, Lady, is ordered dead in place of Arya's, Nymeria, which has escaped. In King's Landing, Eddard is outraged to find that the crown is heavily in debt (largely to Lord Tywin Lannister) and that Robert intends to throw a lavish tourney in his honor. After taking up his duties as Hand, Eddard assigns twenty of his household guard to assist the gold cloaks in keeping order in King's Landing.

Ned investigates the death of Jon Arryn, determining that he was looking into the king's bastard brood. When Robert holds a small council meeting to arrange the death of the exiled Daenerys Targaryen, who has wed a mighty Dothraki khal, Ned refuses to condone the assassination and resigns as Hand. In the streets of the capital, he is waylaid by Lannister men in retaliation for Catelyn's abduction of Tyrion Lannister, whom her foster-brother, Petyr Baelish, had told her was responsible for the attempt on Bran's life. Ned's leg is broken and his best men slain, but Ned survives and Robert re-confirms his appointment as Hand before going on a hunt and leaving Ned to sit the Iron Throne. In this capacity he sends men, including twenty Stark guards, to stop Ser Gregor Clegane from raiding the riverlands. Gregor's attacks were ordered by Lord Lannister; since Lord Stark was wounded he was not lured into the field and thus could not be captured and traded for Tyrion. The men sent after Gregor are ambushed and many are slain.

On the Wall, Jon Snow deals with the cruel tutelage of Ser Alliser Thorne while making friends such as Samwell Tarly and learning lessons from his elders. He also encounters a hint of the evil that supposedly lies beyond the Wall when the corpses of two of his uncle's men rise from the dead and go on the rampage at Castle Black; Jon saves the Watch's commander, Jeor Mormont, from being killed by one of the wights.

Eventually, Ned arrives at the same conclusion at which Jon Arryn did: that Queen Cersei's children are not Robert's, but bastards born of incest between the Lannister twins, and determines that it is this secret for which Jon was murdered. He approaches Cersei with this truth, warning her to flee the city. Enlisting Lord Baelish to recruit the gold cloaks, Ned confronts Cersei after Robert's death from a hunting accident, insisting that Stannis Baratheon is now king by rights. Baelish betrays Ned - his men are slaughtered by Janos Slynt's gold cloaks and he is thrown into a black cell. Sansa is held hostage in the Red Keep, but Arya manages to escape thanks to Syrio Forel, the fencing master Ned had hired to train her in swordplay.

Robb Stark, upon hearing this news, calls the banners of Winterfell and marches south. Catelyn arranges a marriage alliance with House Frey to negotiate a crossing of the Trident, and Robb breaks Lannister hegemony in the riverlands and captures the Kingslayer. Ned initially refuses to name Joffrey as the true king, but in the end agrees in order to ensure the safety of Sansa. When he publicly announces this support, however, the capricious boy king orders Ned's execution rather than allow him to join the Night's Watch. The lords at Robb's war council in Riverrun proclaim him King in the North and of the Trident, seceding from the realm of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, Benjen has gone missing beyond the Wall, and Jon Snow, after briefly contemplating deserting the Watch to join his half-brother's army, rides as part of the great ranging meant to determine his fate and the threats of the Others and wildlings.

A Clash of Kings

King Robb launched a successful invasion of the westerlands – by Tomasz Jedruszek. © Fantasy Flight Games

Leaving Lord Roose Bolton in command of the northmen around the Trident, King Robb launches a successful invasion of the westerlands, winning a string of victories against Lannister bannermen. In an effort to gain allies, he sends his father's ward, Theon Greyjoy, and his mother, Catelyn, as envoys to Balon Greyjoy and Renly Baratheon, respectively. However, Theon joins his family, House Greyjoy, in attacking the north, while Catelyn's diplomatic progress is shattered when Renly is killed by Melisandre's shadow assassin. Renly's sworn shield, Brienne of Tarth, takes up service with Catelyn.

Arya journeys north with Yoren and his new recruits for the Night's Watch, including King Robert's bastard Gendry, but their band is attacked by westermen at a Gods Eye town and she is taken into captivity. At Harrenhal, she is witness to myriad atrocities, but remains strong, orchestrating several deaths of her tormentors via the assassin Jaqen H'ghar and freeing a band of northmen prisoners. When the castle is taken by Roose Bolton, the incognito Arya is named his cupbearer, but she does not trust her father's bannerman and flees the castle when Roose intends to give it to Vargo Hoat. Meanwhile, Sansa remains in custody at the Red Keep, betrothed to King Joffrey. She suffers abuse at his hands, but makes tenuous relationships with Sandor Clegane and Dontos Hollard.

At Winterfell, Bran enjoys titular reign while Maester Luwin and Ser Rodrik Cassel deal with such issues as the harvest feast, the Hornwood inheritance, and the atrocities of Ramsay Snow, the Bastard of Bolton. With the guidance of the Reed children, Jojen and Meera, Bran hones his gift for greensight and skinchanging. When Ser Rodrik Cassel leads six hundred Winterfell men, among others, to battle the ironborn under Dagmer Cleftjaw, Theon Greyjoy seizes Winterfell. On his return to Winterfell, Rodrik and his men mean to liberate the castle from Theon, but are betrayed and routed by Ramsay. Luwin and Rodrik are mortally wounded by Ramsay's men, and Theon is captured during the sack of Winterfell.[70] Bran and Rickon, thought to have been killed by Theon, leave the crypts of Winterfell after the Boltons depart. The Starks boys split up and flee towards remote northern havens.[13]

Benjen remains lost beyond the Wall. Jon Snow joins Qhorin Halfhand on a scouting mission in the Skirling Pass, during which he refuses an order to execute a spearwife named Ygritte. On their return to Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, the pair encounter a wildling band led by Rattleshirt. Jon, on orders from Qhorin, joins the wildlings as a double agent, and is forced to kill the Halfhand to prove his earnestness. Ygritte, now with Rattleshirt, vouches for Jon.

A Storm of Swords

The Freys murdered Robb Stark and sewed his wolf's head on his body (by Zippo514 ©)

With Stannis Baratheon's power broken by the Battle of the Blackwater and the Tyrells and Martells allied with the Lannisters, the Stark-Tully forces stand alone against their foes in the south, and the Greyjoys threaten the north.

Ramsay blames the slaughter at Winterfell on Theon and his ironborn.[71] News of Bran's and Rickon's alleged deaths drive two fateful decisions. Catelyn is confined to Riverrun for freeing Jaime Lannister in a desperate attempt to trade him for her daughters, sending Brienne to accompany him to King's Landing. Robb returns from his westerlands campaign having wed the daughter of a minor Lannister bannerman, Jeyne Westerling, who had comforted him in his grief. This brings House Stark's alliance with the Freys into question.

Meanwhile, Lord Rickard Karstark kills two Lannister prisoners in place of Jaime, and is in turn executed by Robb, alienating a loyal bannerhouse. Lord Walder Frey accepts Robb's offer to forgive his breach of marriage contract by having Robb's uncle, Lord Edmure Tully, stand in his place. Robb and Catelyn ride with 3,500 veteran northmen to attend the wedding at the Twins.

Bran journeys north with Hodor, Jojen and Meera Reed, and his direwolf Summer. They pass through the Wall at the Nightfort with the aid of Sam Tarly and Coldhands.

Further north, Jon Snow ingratiates himself with the free folk, beginning a romance with Ygritte and befriending Mance Rayder, the King-beyond-the-Wall, and other wildling leaders. He scales the Wall with Styr, the Magnar of Thenn, and escapes to Castle Black in time to help prepare for the assault. When it comes, command falls to Jon after the death of Donal Noye. Ygritte is killed during the fighting. Jon does well until his rivals, Alliser Thorne and Janos Slynt, arrive and imprison him for allegedly betraying his vows. They send him to assassinate Mance Rayder under a flag of parley, but Stannis Baratheon's arrival breaks the wildling host before the deed is carried out. After the battle, Jon is elected Lord Commander of the Night's Watch thanks to the maneuverings of his friend, Sam Tarly.

Sansa's engagement to King Joffrey is ended by his betrothal to Margaery Tyrell. She begins to mingle with the Tyrell women in King's Landing and is nearly betrothed to Willas Tyrell, but is wed to Tyrion Lannister instead; they never consummate their match. The pair are blamed for Joffrey's murder at his wedding feast; in truth it was orchestrated by Petyr Baelish and Olenna Tyrell. Petyr smuggles Sansa out of the capitol, murdering his pawn and her friend, Dontos Hollard. He brings Sansa to the Eyrie, where he marries her aunt, Lysa Tully. Littlefinger keeps her hidden by presenting her as his natural daughter, Alayne; when Lysa drunkenly accuses Sansa of trying to steal Petyr, and reveals that she and Baelish had in fact killed Jon Arryn, Petyr throws her from the Moon Door.[72]

Arya traverses the riverlands, unknowingly entering the mind of her lost direwolf, Nymeria, and killing several sellswords of the Brave Companions chasing her. She joins with the brotherhood without banners, whose founding members included the Winterfell guards Alyn and Harwin. However, Arya is abducted by the Hound, Sandor Clegane, who hopes to ransom her at Edmure's wedding. Robb designates his heir (believed to be Jon Snow, in spite of the Night's Watch vows) and resolves to march north to reclaim his homeland from the Greyjoys and attend Edmure's wedding at the Twins along the way. Lord Frey, however, has been conspiring with Tywin Lannister and the traitorous Roose Bolton - Robb, Catelyn, and many of their bannermen are murdered under guest right in the Red Wedding at the Twins.[73]

With Bran and Rickon thought dead and Sansa and Arya missing, House Stark is all but extinguished in the eyes of the world. They are supplanted as Wardens of the North by House Bolton. Most rivermen return to the king's peace, and most northern lords grudgingly accept Dreadfort authority. The Hound brings Arya toward the Eyrie in an attempt to ransom her to Lady Lysa, but they are attacked by the Mountain's men and Sandor is stabbed. Arya leaves the Hound to die and uses the iron coin given to her by Jaqen H'ghar, and books passage across the narrow sea on the galleas Titan's Daughter.[74]

A Feast for Crows

Sansa remains in the Vale, where she takes on a maternal role for her cousin, Lord Robert Arryn. Littlefinger plots to reveal her identity, wed her to Robert's heir, Harrold Hardyng, and use the knights of the Vale to retake the north in her name.[75][76]

Arya arrives in Braavos, where she takes up training at the House of Black and White to become a Faceless Man.[77]

Soldiers bearing the colors of House Stark have washed up on the shores of the Quiet Isle. According to the Elder Brother, they are buried alongside their enemies.[78]

A Dance with Dragons

Lord Commander Jon Snow begins an uneasy alliance with the free folk, executes the recalcitrant Janos Slynt, and tactfully deals with the imperious Stannis Baratheon. While refusing the king's offer to be legitimized as Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell, and wed the "wildling princess", Val, Jon offers Stannis advice that helps him in his campaign against the Boltons and Greyjoys.

At Winterfell, Sansa's friend Jeyne Poole is wed to Ramsay Bolton in the guise of "Arya Stark" in an effort to legitimize Bolton overlordship, with Ramsay claiming to be Lord of Winterfell.[49] A disguised Mance Rayder, sent by Jon Snow, recruits a broken-willed Theon Greyjoy to rescue the girl and deliver her to Stannis.[79] When Jon gives orders to retake Winterfell from Ramsay after receiving an inflammatory letter, the senior officers of the Watch turn on Jon in the mutiny at Castle Black for allying with wildlings and meddling in the affairs of the realm.[80]

Bran arrives at the cave of the three-eyed crow, where he meets the last greenseer and children of the forest and begins perfecting the advanced arts of greensight.[81] Rickon, Osha, and Shaggydog are said to be on Skagos, where Lord Wyman Manderly has requested that Davos Seaworth search for Rickon, so that Stannis can rally the northmen to fight in his name.[28]

House Stark at the end of the third century

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

Household

Historical Members

No precise lineage of House Stark is known before approximately 100 AC, but the individuals listed below are supposed to be in rough chronological order.

Kings of Winter/Kings in the North

The following is a possible chronology of known Kings in the North; no precise lineage is known and some published information may be contradictory.

Antiquity
Wolf's Den
Centuries before the Conquest
Uncertain era
Crypts

Traveling in the crypt of Winterfell in Chapter 66 of A Game of Thrones, Bran Stark sees the statues of Kings Jon, Rickard, Theon, Brandon the Shipwright, Brandon the Burner, Rodrik, and Torrhen.[15] It is unconfirmed if this is a chronological listing.

While leaving the crypt in Chapter 69 of A Clash of Kings, Bran sees the statues of Kings Torrhen, Edwyn, Theon, Brandon the Burner, Brandon the Shipwright, Jorah, Jonos, Brandon the Bad, Walton, Edderion, Eyron, Benjen the Sweet, Benjen the Bitter, and Edrick.[13] It is unconfirmed if this is a reverse chronological listing.

In Chapter 41 of A Dance with Dragons, Theon Greyjoy recalls the names of some statues in the crypt, mentioning Kings Edrick, Brandon the Shipwright, and Theon.[17]

Lords Commander of the Night's Watch

Wardens of the North

Descendants of Cregan

Descendants of Beron

Descendants of Rickard

Family Tree

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Benjen
 
Lysa Locke
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gilliane Glover
 
Rickon
 
 
 
Bennard
 
Margaret Karstark
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Benjen
 
Brandon
 
Elric
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Arra Norrey
 
 
 
 
 
Cregan
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lynara
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alysanne Blackwood
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jeyne Manderly
 
Rickon
 
Sarra
 
Alys
 
Raya
 
Mariah
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sansa
 
Jonnel
 
 
Lyanna
 
Barthogan
 
Wylla Fenn
 
Brandon
 
Alys Karstark
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jon Umber
 
Serena
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Edric
 
 
 
 
 
Lonnel Snow
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cregard
 
Torrhen
 
Aregelle
 
Robard Cerwyn
 
Arrana
 
Osric Umber
 
Rodwell
 
Myriame Manderly
 
Beron
 
Lorra Royce
 
Arsa
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
House Cerwyn
 
 
 
 
 
House Umber
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
House Stark
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Beron
 
Lorra Royce
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Donnor
 
Lyanne Glover
 
Willam
 
Melantha Blackwood
 
Artos
 
Lysara Karstark
 
Berena
 
Alysanne
 
Errold
 
Rodrik
 
Arya Flint
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Brandon
 
 
Edwyle
 
Marna Locke
 
Jocelyn
 
Benedict Royce
 
Brandon
 
Benjen
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
House Royce
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rickard
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lyarra
 
Branda
 
Harrold Rogers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Brandon
 
Unknown
 
Eddard
"Ned"
 
Catelyn
Tully
 
Lyanna
 
Benjen
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jon Snow
 
Robb
 
Jeyne
Westerling
 
Sansa
 
Tyrion
Lannister
 
Arya
 
Brandon
"Bran"
 
Rickon
 
 
 
 


Sworn Houses

Quotes

The winters are hard, but the Starks will endure. We always have.[51]
- Eddard Stark to Robert Baratheon


I should have thought that heat ill suits you Starks. Here in the south, they say you are all made of ice, and melt when you ride below the Neck.[90]
- Petyr Baelish to Eddard Stark


Tyrion: You Starks are hard to kill.

Robb: You Lannisters had best remember that.[24]

Robb Stark to Tyrion Lannister


As the Starks are wont to remind us, winter is coming.[91]
- Roose Bolton to one of his men


Liddle: When there was a Stark in Winterfell, a maiden girl could walk down the kingsroad in her name-day gown and still go unmolested, and travelers could find fire, bread, and salt at many an inn and holdfast. But the nights are colder now, and doors are closed ... It was different when there was a Stark in Winterfell. But the old wolf's dead and young one's gone south to play the game of thrones, and all that's left us is the ghosts.

Jojen: The wolves will come again.[92]

– a Liddle and Jojen Reed


Bear Island knows no king but the King in the North, whose name is STARK.[93]
Lyanna Mormont to Stannis Baratheon


Maester Theomore, tell them! A thousand years before the Conquest, a promise was made, and oaths were sworn in the Wolf's Den before the old gods and the new. When we were sore beset and friendless, hounded from our homes and in peril of our lives, the wolves took us in and nourished us and protected us against our enemies. The city is built upon the land they gave us. In return we swore that we should always be their men. Stark men![32]
Wylla Manderly to the Merman's Court

Notes

  1. When exactly House Manderly came north is unknown. In 211 AC, Lady Rohanne Webber dated the flight of the Manderlys as having occurred "a thousand years" ago (The Sworn Sword). Lord Godric Borrell defines the time period to "no more than nine hundred years" before 300 AC (A Dance with Dragons, Davos I). However, both Wylla Manderly, as well as Maester Yandel date the arrival of the Manderlys in the north back a bit further, "a thousand years before the Conquest" (A Dance with Dragons, Davos III) and "some thousand years before the Conquest",(The World of Ice and Fire, The North: The Kings of Winter) respectively. A semi-canon source lists "a thousand years before the Conquest" as well (A World of Ice and Fire, White Harbor) These accounts thus place the arrival of the Manderlys in the north between 1000 BC and 600 BC.
  2. Earlier prints of The World of Ice and Fire state that Lord Ellard Stark was the lord who had been forced to give up the New Gift. However, it has been confirmed that this is an error, and that the statement would be replaced by "the Starks were glad" in later prints, leaving it unknown for the time being which Stark had been the lord in question.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 1, Bran I.
  2. So Spake Martin: The Stark Family (June 10, 2003)
  3. So Spake Martin: Land Ownership and Marriage in Westeros? (December 19, 1999)
  4. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 13, Tyrion II.
  5. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15, Sansa I.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 40, Catelyn VII.
  7. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 12, Reek I.
  8. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 20, Reek II.
  9. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 79, Jon XII.
  10. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 53, Jon VII.
  11. 11.0 11.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 45, The Blind Girl.
  12. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 40, Bran III.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 69, Bran VII.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 50, Arya IV.
  15. 15.00 15.01 15.02 15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06 15.07 15.08 15.09 15.10 15.11 15.12 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 66, Bran VII.
  16. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 35, Bran V.
  17. 17.0 17.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 41, The Turncloak.
  18. 18.0 18.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 53, Bran VI.
  19. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
  20. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 70, Jon IX.
  21. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 43, Jon V.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
  23. 23.0 23.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 5, Samwell I.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 24, Bran IV.
  25. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 21, Bran III.
  26. 26.0 26.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 56, Bran IV.
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 27.5 27.6 27.7 27.8 The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Kings of Winter.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 29, Davos IV.
  29. The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Mountain Clans.
  30. 30.0 30.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale.
  31. 31.0 31.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 9, Davos I.
  32. 32.0 32.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 19, Davos III.
  33. George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Wolf's Den.
  34. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 20, Catelyn III.
  35. 35.0 35.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 16, Bran II.
  36. 36.0 36.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Wall and Beyond: The Wildlings.
  37. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 51, Jon VI.
  38. A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 39.4 39.5 The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Lords of Winterfell.
  40. The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale: House Arryn.
  41. The Princess and the Queen.
  42. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
  43. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.
  44. 44.0 44.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Stoneborn of Skagos.
  45. The Mystery Knight.
  46. So Spake Martin: Boskone (February 17, 2006), report 1
  47. So Spake Martin: Boskone (February 17, 2006), report 2
  48. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 7, Jon II.
  49. 49.0 49.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 37, The Prince of Winterfell.
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 50.3 50.4 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn II.
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 51.3 51.4 51.5 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
  52. The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring.
  53. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
  54. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
  55. George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Petyr Baelish.
  56. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 18, Catelyn IV.
  57. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 5, Arya II.
  58. George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Catelyn Tully.
  59. 59.0 59.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: Robert's Rebellion.
  60. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 29, Arya V.
  61. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
  62. 62.0 62.1 62.2 62.3 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 12, Eddard II.
  63. 63.0 63.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 39, Eddard X.
  64. So Spake Martin: ConQuest (Kansas City, MO; May 27-29) (May 27, 2005)
  65. So Spake Martin: About Benjen Stark (December 15, 2000)
  66. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 19, Jon III.
  67. 67.0 67.1 67.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 8, Bran II.
  68. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 9, Tyrion I.
  69. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 10, Jon II.
  70. 70.0 70.1 70.2 70.3 70.4 70.5 70.6 70.7 70.8 70.9 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 66, Theon VI.
  71. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 35, Catelyn IV.
  72. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 80, Sansa VII.
  73. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 51, Catelyn VII.
  74. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 74, Arya XIII.
  75. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 23, Alayne I.
  76. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 41, Alayne II.
  77. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 6, Arya I.
  78. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 31, Brienne VI.
  79. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 51, Theon I.
  80. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 69, Jon XIII.
  81. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 13, Bran II.
  82. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 31, Catelyn III.
  83. The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: Oldtown.
  84. The World of Ice & Fire, The Wall and Beyond: The Night's Watch.
  85. The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Crannogmen of the Neck.
  86. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
  87. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 1, The Prophet.
  88. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 17, Jon IV.
  89. AMAA w/ Elio & Linda of Westeros.org ANSWERS /r/asoiaf's top TWENTY Questions
  90. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
  91. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 64, Arya X.
  92. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 24, Bran II.
  93. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 3, Jon I.

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