House Stark

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House Stark of Wintefell
House Stark.PNG
Words "Winter is Coming"
Seat Winterfell
Region The North
Title Warden of the North
Heir Rickon Stark
Overlord House Baratheon of King's Landing
Cadet Branch House Greystark
House Karstark
Ancestral Weapon Ice
Founder Bran "the Builder"
Founded 9000 years ago

House Stark of Winterfell is the principal noble house in North; many lesser houses are sworn to them. Their seat is Winterfell. Their sigil is a grey direwolf on a field of white, and their words are "Winter Is Coming." [1] Several of the main point of view characters of the series are members of this house.


The Starks is an ancient house, descended from Brandon the Builder, a legendary figure from the Age of Heroes, thousands of years in the past, who built Winterfell and the Wall. They are descendants of the First Men[1] and still follow some of their ancient traditions and the Old Gods of the forest. The Starks were Kings of Winter in the North from the Age of Heroes beginning with Bran the Builder and until Torrhen Stark submitted to Aegon the Conqueror at the end of the War of Conquest. Since that time the Starks have held the North for the kings of the Seven Kingdoms as Lords of Winterfell and Wardens of the North.[2] Later the Starks have played a key role in Robert's Rebellion against the Targaryens, after which the Starks have become a relatively small Great House. They share a common ancestor with the Karstarks, and may have distant relatives elsewhere in the North, possibly in White Harbor and Barrowton. [3]

Recent Events

During the War of the Five Kings, Shortly after Eddard's death in King's Landing, both Bran and Rickon shared a vision of their father's spirit in the crypts. As the turmoil of Eddard's death shakes his family, Rickon became largely unsupervised as his eldest brother and mother left to war, and his sisters were held captive at King's Landing. Alone with his crippled brother Bran at Winterfell, Rickon developed an unruly, often violent temper. His fear and rage were reflected in his direwolf, Shaggydog, who turned largely feral and attacked several people before being restrained. Several times, Bran's direwolf Summer was forced to fight Shaggydog into submission. Rickon hid with Bran in the crypts during Theon Greyjoy's brief reign at Winterfell. When Winterfell was sacked and burned by Ramsay Bolton, the brothers were separated for their safety. The wildling woman Osha took Rickon and Shaggydog to parts unknown.

When King Robert visited the Starks at Winterfell, Benjen was invited back to the castle. At the feast held in honor of the king, Benjen's talk with his nephew Jon Snow ultimately prompted the young bastard boy to join the Night's Watch. Benjen took Jon north with him after the visit. However, Benjen disappeared while ranging beyond the Wall shortly after he and Jon Snow arrived at Castle Black. Lord Commander Jeor Mormont refused to name a new First Ranger until Benjen was recovered, dead, alive or otherwise, but he has not been seen or heard from since.

House genealogy

Jon Snow

Current members

  • Robb Stark, is Lord Eddard's eldest legitimate son and heir. He took his father's position as lord of the house and later crowned himself King in the North before his death during the War of the Five Kings.
  • Jeyne Westerling, was the wife of Robb Stark.
  • Sansa Stark, is Eddard and Catelyn's elder daughter, raised to be a perfect lady. She is now the lady of the house.
  • Arya Stark, is Eddard and Catelyn's younger daughter, a fiercely independent tomboy.
  • Bran Stark is Eddard and Catelyn's second son, who becomes crippled and learns to warg. He is believed to be dead.
  • Rickon Stark, is Eddard and Catelyn's youngest child, only three years old when the series begins. Rickon is a naturally aggressive and strong-willed child, but his youth makes it difficult for him to cope with the terrible changes that come to his family and life. His direwolf companion is named Shaggydog. He is believed to be dead.
  • Jon Snow is Eddard's bastard son, who was raised at Winterfell alongside his Stark half-sibilings. He recently joined the Night's Watch.
  • Benjen Stark, Benjen Stark is Eddard Stark's younger brother and his last surviving sibling, He is First Ranger of the Night's Watch and brought Jon Snow there when he wanted to join the order.

Notable Starks from history


Eddard's elder brother, would have been Lord of Winterfell if he and his father had not been killed by the Mad King Aerys which led to the War of the Usurper. He is described by those who knew him as taller, more handsome, and more passionate than Eddard. He was also an excellent swordsman and jouster.

Brandon was betrothed to Catelyn Tully of Riverrun, but Petyr Baelish, a ward of Catelyn's father, loved Catelyn and challenged Brandon to a duel for her hand. Brandon won their duel, but did not kill him in concession to Catelyn's pleas. Brandon was on his way to Riverrun to wed Catelyn when word reached him of his sister Lyanna's supposed abduction by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. Brandon and four companions rode to King's Landing and threatened Rhaegar's life. They were arrested by King Aerys and charged with plotting Rhaegar's murder. Their fathers were called to court to answer the charges; instead, both fathers and sons were murdered on Aerys' orders. Brandon died while trying to save his father from being burned to death by King Aerys.


Eddard's only sister, Lyanna died at the end of Robert's Rebellion. She is described by many people who knew her as a spirited young woman and an excellent rider. She was said to exhibit the same Stark coloring as her brother Ned, and was regarded as beautiful (comparisons are often made between Lyanna and her niece Arya).

Lyanna was betrothed to Robert Baratheon, who was infatuated with her. Lyanna, however, was not as ardent in her love for Robert, and was fully aware of his philandering ways. However, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen after winning the Harrenhal tourney, crowned her Queen of Love and Beauty, passing over his wife, the Dornish princess Elia, in her favor. The exact nature of her relationship with Rhaegar is not presently clear, but shortly thereafter she disappeared in Rhaegar's company and Robert and her brother Brandon Stark believed that Lyanna had been taken against her will. Their anger over the event triggered Robert's Rebellion. After the sack of King's Landing, Eddard and six companions went to retrieve Lyanna at the fortress Rhaegar had named the Tower of Joy. They fought three Kingsguard knights stationed there, who killed all but Eddard and Howland Reed. Eddard found Lyanna dying in a "bed of blood" and clutching a withered wreath of blue roses. She forced him to make a promise to her, the contents of which are unknown, but which haunted Eddard for the rest of his life. She was sixteen years old at the time of her death and was buried in the Stark family crypt in Winterfell beside her father and brother.

Other Starks from history

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

References in the books

A Song of Ice and Fire

  • 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.<

Sworn Houses

References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 1, Bran I.
  2. A Game of Thrones, Appendix
  3. The Stark Family. (June 10, 2003) So Spake Martin
  4. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 45, Catelyn

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