House Stark

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House Stark of Winterfell is a Great House of Westeros and the royal house of the Kingdom of the North. They rule over the vast region known as the North from their seat in Winterfell. It is one of the oldest lines of Westeros nobility by far, claiming a line of descent stretching back over eight thousand years. Before the Targaryen conquest, as well as during the War of the Five Kings and early on in Daenerys Targaryen’s war for Westeros, the leaders of House Stark ruled over the region as the Kings in the North.

Their rule in the North seemingly ended after the events of the Red Wedding when House Frey and House Bolton betrayed House Stark after forming a secret alliance with House Lannister, during which Roose Bolton murdered King Robb Stark. Both the North and Winterfell were taken over by House Bolton. However, the Boltons’ hold was jeopardised when Sansa Stark escaped their clutches after learning her brothers Bran and Rickon Stark were still alive and reunited with her half-brother, Jon Snow, at Castle Black. Sansa and Jon marched on the Boltons to save their younger brother Rickon, who was later murdered by Ramsay Bolton, and retake Winterfell. House Stark was restored to their former stature after the Battle of the Bastards. The Stark victory led to House Stark’s return to royal status in the North with their banner men declaring Jon as the King in the North. He later abdicated his title as king in order to gain the full support of Daenerys Targaryen in the Great War, becoming the Warden of the North. Following the Battle of King’s Landing, Bran Stark was chosen as the new king of the Six Kingdoms, allowing the North to secede as an independent kingdom under Sansa.

House Stark’s sigil is a grey dire wolf on a white background, over a green escutcheon. They are one of the few noble Houses whose family motto is not a boast or threat. Instead, the House Stark family motto is a warning, one that, no matter the circumstances, will always be relevant: “Winter Is Coming.”

History

Background

Before the Targaryen conquest, the leaders of House Stark ruled over the region as the Kings in the North. The house traces its roots to Bran the Builder, a legendary First Man who lived during the Age of Heroes and founded House Stark. The Starks ruled as Kings of Winter over one of the many smaller, petty First Men kingdoms that were established in the North, with their chief rivals for domination being the Red Kings of House Bolton. Eventually the Starks united the North under them. They defeated the Boltons, drove pirates away from the White Knife, slew the last Marsh King and wed his daughter for the Neck, and, according to legend, King Rodrik Stark wrestled with an iron born for Bear Island and won. Several centuries before the Targaryen conquest, Karlon Stark, a younger son of the King in the North, was awarded lands in the eastern regions of the North after successfully putting down a rebellion led by House Bolton. Over time Karlon’s seat of Karl’s Hold came to be known as Karhold, and the Starks that descended from him became known as Karstarks.

King Torrhen Stark was on the throne at the time of the Targaryen conquest and marched his army south to face them. He surrendered when he saw the Targaryens’ greater host and their dragons, believing that fighting was futile. He was made Lord Paramount of the North and served the Targaryens as Warden of the North, thus escaping the fates of House Gardener of the Reach and House Hoare of the River lands whose lords refused to bend the knee and were rendered extinct after failing to resist the invaders. Thereafter, Torrhen was known as “the king who knelt”, though those who criticise him for this often forget that they are only alive to do so thanks to his surrender.

Season 1

Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark became Hand of the King to King Robert Baratheon after the death of Jon Arryn. Ned took his daughters Sansa and Arya Stark to King’s Landing. It was there that he discovered the true lineage of Robert’s assumed children. Upon Robert’s death, Ned publicly declared that Joffrey Baratheon was the product of incest between Queen Cersei Lannister and her twin brother, Jaime Lannister, and therefore was not the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. He was subsequently executed for treason. His firstborn son and heir Robb Stark was declared the King in the North by his banner men (the first in 300 years) and fought to secede from the Seven Kingdoms in what would become the War of the Five Kings. Sansa Stark becomes a political captive of House Lannister, while Arya escapes King’s Landing with Yoren of the Night’s Watch.

Season 2

Robb Stark continues his campaign against the Lannisters, winning a trio of victories in the River lands and a further three victories in the Wester lands at Oxcross, the Yellow Fork, and the Crag. Bran Stark and Rickon Stark leave Winterfell after a traitorous Theon Greyjoy takes control of Winterfell. Theon pursues them, but is unable to find them, and instead burns two farmer’s sons and declares that the bodies are those of Bran and Rickon Stark, leading the majority of Westeros believing that all the male Stark heirs are dead (as Jon Snow is a bastard son of Ned Stark and sworn to the Night’s Watch).

Season 3

Although Robb continues to win every battle that he fights, House Baratheon of King’s Landing secures an alliance with House Tyrell that effectively leads to victory over Stannis Baratheon at the Battle of the Blackwater. As Robb continues to march further in the Wester lands, many of his banner men, such as Rickard Karstark who lost two of his sons, begin to lose faith in King Robb and are aware that he broke his vow to marry one of the daughters of Lord Walder Frey when he married Talisa Maegyr. Robb and his host arrive at Harrenhal to discover that Ser Gregor Clegane has put 200 northern prisoners to the sword and left Harrenhal without a fight. King Robb received news at Harrenhal that his grandfather Hoster Tully has died, and Robb goes to Riverrun to attend the funeral, leaving Roose Bolton and his men in charge of Harrenhal.

At Riverrun, Robb chides his uncle, the new Lord Edmure Tully, for attacking Ser Gregor Clegane at the Stone Mill, forcing Gregor’s host to retreat to Casterly Rock and losing more than 200 men in the battle. Later Lord Rickard Karstark murders the two Lannister captives, Willem and Martyn Lannister, which causes Robb to execute Lord Rickard, making the Karstarks abandon King Robb. With his host diminished due to the Karstarks’ abandonment, Robb opts to have the support of House Frey but finds it difficult because of his broken vow. However, the Freys agree to support Robb if his uncle Edmure marries Roslin Frey. Robb and Edmure agree to the terms of the Freys and prepare to head to the Twins for the wedding.

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Robb and Talisa Stark lie dead at the Red Wedding.

Robb and all of his banner men arrive at the Twins where Lord Walder Frey begins preparations for the wedding. All the northern lords of Robb’s host attend the wedding while the northern army camps outside during the feast. After Edmure and Roslin are taken away for the bedding, the Freys and Boltons betray King Robb and massacre them in an event known as the Red Wedding, secretly orchestrated by Tywin Lannister. King Robb, Queen Talisa, Robb’s mother Catelyn, Robb’s dire wolf Grey Wind, the present Northern lords and most of the Northern army, are murdered during this event. In the aftermath of the Red Wedding, the Freys sew Grey Wind’s head to King Robb’s body as a final insult to the King in the North. House Stark is stripped of its lordship in the North and is given to House Bolton, making Roose Bolton Warden of the North for his contribution to Robb’s death.

Bran and Rickon, who have been travelling north along with Osha, Hodor, Jojen Reed and Meera Reed, as well as their two dire wolves, Summer and Shaggy dog, part ways, with Bran, Jojen, Hodor, Meera and Summer headed beyond the wall and Rickon, Shaggy dog and Osha headed to the Last Hearth to seek shelter from House Umber.

Season 4

Bolton has roughly half of his whole army trapped south of the Neck, since the iron born captured Moat Cailin, and cannot properly rule the North. His son Ramsay takes back the Moat and the Boltons ride to Winterfell in order to rule the North from there, as it is the ancient stronghold of House Stark and the capital of the North.

Tywin Lannister’s eventual plan was to return the North to the Starks under Lannister control via the possible son of Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark, but Tyrion and Sansa each escape King’s Landing and separate as the result of King Joffrey’s assassination. Tywin himself was killed before his plan could come to fruition.

Bran makes his way further north, eventually reaching the weir wood tree occupied by The Children of the Forest and the Three-Eyed Raven.

Season 5

Petyr “Little finger” Baelish secretly returns Sansa to Winterfell in the hopes of wedding her to Ramsay Bolton. The Boltons are eager to cement their control over the North, particularly since they are now living in a Westeros without solid Lannister support as Tywin Lannister is now deceased. Little finger tells Sansa that she is perfectly situated; Stannis Baratheon is likely to liberate Winterfell soon, and will likely declare her Wardeness of the North. Even if he doesn’t, Sansa will be perfectly placed to retake Winterfell from within House Bolton. Although Sansa doesn’t quite realise it, there are many in the North who are already taking heart from the fact that there is again a Stark in Winterfell.

Although Sansa’s attempt to contact her supporters (and unknown to her, Brienne of Tarth) ends in failure and the brutal death of a Winterfell servant, Sansa herself begins to have hope for her House after she forces a distressed Reek to admit that he killed two farm boys and not Bran and Rickon. She later flees Winterfell with Theon Greyjoy during the Battle of Winterfell.

Jon Snow, Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch at the time, is betrayed by his men and stabbed to death by Alliser Thorne, Olly, and several other Black Brothers.

Season 6

Sansa flees from Winterfell with Theon at her side; they ford a wide river at great risk and take shelter in an attempt to conceal themselves from Ramsay Bolton’s hounds. They are cornered and nearly caught despite Theon’s attempt to ward them off by revealing himself. However, they are saved by Brienne and a now-trained Pod, who eliminate Ramsay’s hunters. With the threat neutralised, Brienne again offers herself to serve Sansa in order to keep the oath she made to her mother. Unlike before, Sansa accepts, and the two recite the oath of service, with assistance from Pod. Sansa is heading to her resurrected half-brother Jon at Castle Black as he will protect her and keep her safe. However, Theon opts to leave Sansa’s side – with her blessing – to return home to Pyke, knowing that he could never make amends for his grave misdeeds against his former adoptive family.

Smalljon Umber trades Rickon Stark and Osha over to Ramsay Bolton, the new Warden of the North, in order to secure an alliance with House Bolton against the Free Folk.

Meanwhile, Bran Stark experiences a vision of his family while training with the Three-Eyed Raven. He witnesses several of his family members including his father Ned, uncle Benjen, and his aunt Lyanna Stark.

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Jon Snow and Sansa Stark reunite.

At Castle Black, the Red Priestess Melisandre resurrects Jon Snow from the dead. Jon decides to leave the Night’s Watch on the grounds that his watch has ended through his death. Sansa, accompanied by Brienne and Podrick, reunites with her brother Jon. Sansa urges Jon to help her re-take Winterfell from the Boltons. Later, Jon finally agrees after receiving a letter from Ramsay stating he has their younger brother Rickon and demanding the return of Sansa. Jon resolves to march on the Boltons, leading an army of able-bodied Free Folk under Tormund and gathering forces he and Sansa plan to rally among the remaining loyal houses in order to save Rickon and reclaim Winterfell from the Boltons.

Jon and Sansa are rebuffed by House Glover and receive no response from Houses Cerwyn and Manderly. They recruit a few hundred soldiers from Houses Mormont, Hornwood, and Mazin. Sansa argues they need more men but Jon resolves to march on Winterfell with the forces they have, arguing there is no more time left. Sansa sends a further raven to an unknown party, likely Little finger.

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Rickon Stark is killed at the onset of the Battle of the Bastards.

During the Battle of the Bastards, Jon Snow attacks Winterfell with 2,405 men. Rickon Stark is killed by Ramsay Bolton as the battle begins. As Jon is on the verge of losing, the Knights of the Vale arrive to join the battle with Petyr Baelish. Jon and Sansa reclaim Winterfell after Jon beats Ramsay in a one-to-one combat, leaving Ramsay’s fate for Sansa to decide. Jon orders his brother Rickon to be buried in the crypt next to his father. Sansa visits the dog kennels and kills a bloodied Ramsay with his own dogs. With Ramsay’s death, House Bolton is rendered completely extinct, Winterfell finally returns to her rightful owners and the Red Wedding is partly avenged.

Jon Snow is declared King in The North Season 6 Episode 10 Preview.

Jon Snow is hailed King in the North.

After the battle, the Northern lords, along with the Lords of the Vale meet in the hall at Winterfell to treat with House Stark and discuss provisions for the Winter. Lord Cerwyn floats the idea of hiding behind castle walls, but Jon Snow rejects this, reminding the Northern houses of their true enemy and that this enemy “doesn’t wait out the storms, he brings the storm.” Lady Lyanna Mormont berates the Manderlys, the Cerwyns and the Glovers for not supporting House Stark in the Battle of the Bastards and declares Jon Snow the King in the North, despite his bastardy, as he has the blood of Eddard Stark, the last rightful Warden of The North, and Robb Stark, the last King in the North. Lyanna Mormont is then followed by Lord Wyman Manderly, Robett Glover, and the rest of the gathered lords, who all declare Jon their king. Meanwhile, in the River lands, Arya Stark personally slays Lord Walder Frey and every member of the house who participated in the Red Wedding massacre, finally avenging the North.

Season 7

At Winterfell, Jon Snow organises the defence of the North against the Night King and his army of the dead, whilst asking that all maesters start searching for dragon glass as it destroys White Walkers and wights. He orders all males – and females – between 10 and 60 years old to be trained and equipped.

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Jon Snow, the King in the North, at Winterfell.

Jon lets House Umber and House Karstark retain their holdings and titles despite Sansa’s insistence to the strip them of their status. In private, Jon chides Sansa for questioning his decisions in front of their banner men. She states that she wants him to be wiser than Ned and Robb. They receive a message from newly-crowned Queen Cersei Lannister demanding the North submit to the Iron Throne and Sansa warns him not to underestimate her. Elsewhere, Bran Stark and Meera Reed reach the Wall and are allowed passage by Lord Commander Eddison Tollett.

At Winterfell, Jon, Sansa, and Davos discuss a letter they received from Tyrion Lannister about a potential alliance with Daenerys. Sansa advises Jon against the alliance while Davos thinks it will be beneficial due to her dragons which can breath fire against wights. Some days later, Maester Wolkan brings Jon a message from Samwell Tarly in the Citadel regarding a vein of dragon glass beneath Dragon stone, which he shares with the other lords. Despite the objections of the lords and Sansa, Jon decides to sail to Dragon stone with Davos to negotiate with Daenerys, appointing Sansa as regent while he is away.

After meeting with her old friend Hot Pie at the Inn at the Crossroads, Arya decides to ride north to Winterfell instead of south to King’s Landing. Back at Winterfell, Sansa plans to keep their soldiers warm and the food reserves from running low during the coming winter. She later reunites with her brother Bran and states he deserves to be the Lord of Winterfell, being the last legitimate son of Ned Stark. He rejects it because of him becoming the Three-Eyed Raven.

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Jon negotiates with Daenerys.

Jon and Davos arrive at Dragon stone and are greeted by Tyrion and Missandei. There, he also encounters Daenerys’ dragons for the first time. In the throne room, Jon and Daenerys are introduced to each other, but he refuses to bend the knee to her. Jon however proposes they both help each other, informing her of the army of the undead coming for the Seven Kingdoms. She gets angered at him, seeing it as defiance but departs after receiving a message from Varys. She later allows them to mine the dragon glass beneath Dragon stone.

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The surviving Stark siblings are reunited.

Back at Winterfell, Little finger unsuccessfully tries to ingratiate himself with Bran, hoping to exploit the disunity among the Starks. Arya later returns to Winterfell and reunites with Sansa and Bran, but becomes upset when she realises that Rickon is dead. She also learns that Bran has visions now and is gifted the Valyrian steel dagger a cutthroat used to try to kill him.

At Dragon stone, Jon is unable to convince Daenerys of helping them because he refuses to bend the knee, but on Tyrion’s advise, she agrees to allow him to mine the dragon glass beneath Dragon stone. She later leaves after learning of the destruction of her allies in the Reach, Dorne, and the Iron Islands.

At Winterfell, some northern lords, upset over Jon riding south, suggest to Sansa that she take over the North which she rejects. Arya thinks the lords are committing treason by slandering Jon and should be executed. She goes on to accuse her sister of wanting the northern crown.

Arya later steals a letter from Petyr Baelish’s quarters and learns that Sansa had written to Robb to surrender to Joffrey, not knowing that it was Little finger’s plan all along that she find the letter. Jon meanwhile is introduced to Jorah Mormont after Daenrys returns and decides to head beyond the wall in order to catch a wight so he can convince Daenerys and Cersei of their existence.

At Winterfell, Arya and Sansa dispute over her letter to Robb even though she states that she had written it under duress. Fearful that the northern lords might turn on her, she talks about this with Petyr, who tells her to discuss this with Brienne of Tarth, being her sworn shield. She later receives a message from Cersei inviting her for a parley in King’s Landing and sends Brienne to attend in her place. Brienne warns Sansa not to trust Little finger.

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Benjen sacrifices himself to save Jon.

Beyond the Wall, Jon Snow and his ranging party hunt for wights but are ambushed by the undead army led by the Night King. Thoros of Myr is killed but they are rescued by Daenerys who arrives with her dragons, though Viserion is killed during the battle. Jon is injured during the battle but is rescued by his uncle Benjen Stark who is overwhelmed by the wights. While recovering, Jon pledges his allegiance to Daenerys as his queen.

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The Stark siblings execute Little finger for his crimes against their family.

At Winterfell, Little finger tries to manipulate Sansa against Arya but his plan backfires as she decides to have him tried and ultimately executed for his crimes instead of letting him destroy their family. Sometime later, Samwell Tarly, having arrived at Winterfell, meets with Bran, who tells Sam that Jon’s true parents are Rhaegar Targaryen and his aunt Lyanna Stark. Bran states that Jon is still a bastard, albeit a Dornish bastard named Sand, but Samwell informs Bran about Rhaegar’s wedding with Elia Martell being annulled by High Septon Maynard and his remarriage to someone else. Bran uses his green sight to confirm this as well as Jon’s true name being Aegon Targaryen. Meanwhile, Jon and Daenerys give into their feelings for each other

Season 8

Jon Snow arrives with Daenerys Targaryen and her army of Dothraki, Unsullied, and 2 dragons at Winterfell where Sansa promises allegiance to Daenerys. At a gathering of the Northern lords, however, Jon is scorned for bending the knee to Daenerys and giving up the Northern crown. Sansa later tells Jon that she doesn’t trust her and berates him for giving up the crown, but he replies that they need her army.

Sansa and Daenerys agree to let Jaime Lannister fight against the undead despite his actions. Later while talking, Sansa tells of the North’s wish to remain independent after seceding from the Iron Throne. At a war council, Bran Stark decides to use himself as bait to lure the Night King in order to kill him and destroy his army. Arya later has sex with Gendry.

The Stark forces fight alongside the Targaryen forces during the Battle of Winterfell against the undead. group of wights. Despite being nearly overwhelmed, the undead army is obliterated after Arya kills the Night King, ending the Great War and saving House Stark and the North.

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The last of the Starks.

After their victory, the Starks mourn the fallen during a mass funeral. They later celebrate their victory at a great feast, meanwhile Arya rejects the now legitimised Gendry’s proposal to marry him. Despite Daenerys urging Jon to never tell anyone about his parentage, Jon states he must tell his sisters. He swears Sansa and Arya to secrecy and has Bran reveal the truth to them. Sansa however later informs Tyrion about it, and he informs Varys. She and Bran remain at Winterfell while Jon leads the remaining Stark and Arryn troops and Dothraki screamers down the Kings road to meet with Daenerys and the Unsullied, at King’s Landing. Arya, however, rides south with Sandor Clegane, wanting to kill Cersei.

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Jon leads the Stark army into King’s Landing.

The Stark-Arryn army encamps outside King’s Landing alongside the Targaryen forces of Unsullied and Dothraki. When the Battle of King’s Landing begins, Jon Snow leads the forces besieging the city. After Daenerys destroys the city’s walls and part of the Golden Company guarding it, they charge into the city and fight its defenders. Coming to a standstill with the Lannister soldiers inside, the latter surrender after the city’s bells are rung. However, Daenerys refuses it and decides to raze the city. Their forces start attacking the Lannisters again, as well as the civilians, despite Jon trying to hold his men back.

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Arya Stark in a burning King’s Landing.

Arya meanwhile sneaks into the Red Keep with Sandor during the battle, but he convinces her to flee so she doesn’t end up like him. Jon has his forces evacuate the city as the wildfire caches placed by Aerys II long ago start erupting because of Drogon’s destruction. Arya tries to rescue the small folk but is unable to save anyone and is knocked unconscious. After reawakening in the city’s ruins, she leaves on a horse.

After the battle ends, Jon walks through the destroyed streets of King’s Landing with Ser Davos and Tyrion, looking in horror at the carnage. Tyrion later decides to go alone to the Red Keep. As they continue to walk toward the Red Keep, Jon, Davos, and several Stark soldiers run into Grey Worm and several Unsullied about to execute several surrendered Lannister troops. Jon tells him to stop, but Grey Worm states that the Queen has ordered execution of all who followed Cersei. The Stark soldiers and Unsullied almost come to blows, but Davos defuses the situation, advising Jon to take up the matter with the Queen.

As Jon is walking to the Red Keep, he makes his way through the remaining Dothraki and starts to walk up the steps to the castle. Arya watches him from behind the Dothraki. As Jon reaches the top, he sees Daenerys walking out of the castle to address her army, promising to “liberate” the whole world from tyrants. He also witnesses Tyrion being arrested for freeing his brother. As they are walking away, Arya sneaks up next to Jon. She warns him that Sansa will never accept Daenerys as queen and he’ll always be in danger due to his parentage.

Later, Jon goes and speaks to the imprisoned Tyrion who warns him of what Daenerys has become and that she is now the greatest threat. He reinforces Arya’s comments that he will always be in danger due to his parentage and suggests to Jon that he take action against the new Queen, warning that his “sisters” will be in danger due to Daenerys and he has to make a choice now.

Jon confronts Daenerys in the throne room about the massacre of innocent civilians, but she replies that it was necessary. He pleads for forgiveness for Tyrion and the people of King’s Landing, urging her to make them see they are mistaken about her, but Daenerys rejects this, believing she was right. She tries to convince Jon to help her realise her vision of a new world. Jon asks her how she knows any better than anyone else, to which she replies that others don’t get to choose. Jon states she will always be his queen and while they are kissing, reluctantly stabs her. Drogon witnesses him laying down her corpse and melts down the Iron Throne after realising Daenerys is dead, before flying away with her body.

After this, Jon is taken prisoner by the Unsullied. Sansa and Bran Stark travel south to King’s Landing with thousands of Northmen for trial of Jon and Tyrion. She threatens Grey Worm with war when he states that they will punish him and he responds in equal measure. Tyrion convinces Grey Worm to let the new king decide Jon’s fate. Bran is then elected king and allows Sansa to declare the North independent. He appoints Tyrion as the Hand of the King and decides to exile Jon to the Night’s Watch, in order to avoid a war between his supporters and the Unsullied. Tyrion visits Jon in his cell, where he informs him of his exile.

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Jon Snow bids farewell to his Stark family.

Jon bids farewell to his family before going into exile while Arya informs everyone that she has decided to explore the uncharted seas west of Westeros. After returning to Castle Back, Jon reunites with Ghost and the wildling’s led by Tormund. Meanwhile, Sansa is named Queen in the North and Arya sails for her voyage to the west of Westeros. After donning his Night’s Watch cloak, Jon leaves with the Free Folk for the lands beyond the Wall.

Current Status

The status of the surviving Starks and what political positions they held was not fully clear after Jon Snow was hailed as the new King in the North by not only the lords of the North but the Vale as well. The return of Bran and Arya Stark to Winterfell clarified the ambiguity of all of their political positions in the North.

While Jon ruled as the King in the North, his half-sister Sansa Stark attended court alongside him as the Lady of Winterfell. In his absence, Jon gave Sansa regency over the Kingdom of the North as both his sister and the only Stark (the highest ranking and ruling family in the North) in Winterfell used as precedent.

When Bran Stark, the rightful Lord of Winterfell, returned to Winterfell, he abdicated his lordship for his new role as the Three-Eyed Raven. Once Arya returned to Winterfell, Sansa and Petyr note Arya is next in the line of succession for the lordship of Winterfell. Jon Snow is believed to be Eddard Stark’s bastard son, which means would not be included in the line of succession, unless he were to be legitimised as a Stark

However, Jon pledged himself to Daenerys Targaryen, in order to gain her full support in the Great War, stepping down as king and accepted the title and role of Warden of the North. Presently, the North and Vale are reintegrated into the Seven Kingdoms. As of the end of Season 7, the current positions of the surviving members of House Stark are as follows: Jon is Warden of the North, Sansa is Lady of Winterfell, Arya is Sansa’s heir, and Bran abdicated his claim to any formal political position.

Jon Snow is actually the son of Eddard’s younger sister, Lyanna Stark, and according to the normal line of succession, would rank behind both Sansa and Arya. At the same time, as the true born son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, Jon is currently the heir to the Iron Throne. Samwell Tarly, with the help of Gilly, confirmed through High Septon Maynard’s personal diary that Rhaegar had his marriage to Elia Martell annulled and then was remarried to Lyanna.

At the Great Council of 305 AC, Bran Stark was chosen as the new Lord of the Six Kingdoms, with the king being elected by the lords of Westeros rather than inheriting the crown through a royal bloodline. The North has been granted independence with Sansa Stark being declared the Queen in the North as a hereditary monarch.

Relationships

Members

  • Lord {Rickard Stark}, the former head of the family. Lord of Winterfell, Lord Paramount of the North, and Warden of the North. Burned alive with wildfire on the orders of Aerys II.
    • {Brandon Stark}, his eldest son and heir, called “the Wild Wolf”. Formerly betrothed to Catelyn Tully. Killed alongside his father on the orders of the Aerys II.
    • Lord {Eddard Stark}, his second son, commonly called “Ned Stark”, the former head of the family. Lord of Winterfell, Lord Paramount of the North, Warden of the North, Hand of the King to Robert I, and briefly Lord Regent of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm for Joffrey I. Executed under a false charge of treason by King Joffrey Baratheon.
      • Lady {Catelyn}, his wife of House Tully. Murdered by Walder Rivers at the Red Wedding.
        • King {Robb Stark}, their eldest son. Called “the Young Wolf” and “the King Who Lost the North”, Lord of Winterfell and King in the North. Betrayed and murdered by Roose Bolton at the Red Wedding.
          • Queen {Talisa}, his wife of the Maegyr family from the Free City of Volantis. Stabbed to death by Lothar Frey at the Red Wedding.
            • Their {unborn child}. Killed when Lothar Frey stabbed Talisa.
        • Queen Sansa I Stark, their oldest daughter, the current head of the family. Former wife of Tyrion Lannister and the widow of Lord Ramsay Bolton. Following the Battle of King’s Landing and the Assassination of Daenerys Targaryen at the hands of her cousin, Jon, Sansa declares the North independent once again, thereby making her head of the family. Queen in the North and Lady of Winterfell.
        • Princess Arya Stark, their youngest daughter, the current heir to the Kingdom of the North. Slew the Night King and thus ended the Great War. Following the Battle of King’s Landing, Arya sails to discover what lies westward, where the maps of the known world end. 
        • King Brandon I Stark, their second son, commonly known as “Bran”, and called “Bran the Broken”. Left paraplegic due to Jaime Lannister pushing him out of a tower, and gave up his claim to Winterfell after becoming the new Three-Eyed Raven. After the death of Daenerys Targaryen, Bran is elected as the King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, Lord of the Six Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm by the Great Council of 305 AC.
        • {Rickon Stark}, their youngest son. Shot with an arrow by Ramsay Bolton moments before the Battle of the Bastards.
    • {Lyanna Stark}, his only daughter. Once betrothed to {Robert Baratheon}, said to be abducted by Rhaegar Targaryen, though in reality eloped with him and was married to him in secret. Died at the Tower of Joy giving birth to her son Jon, whom she named “Aegon Targaryen”.
      • Jon Snow; her son. Born Prince Aegon Targaryen, called “the White Wolf”. Raised by Eddard Stark as his own, claiming Jon as his illegitimate son to protect him from being killed by Robert Baratheon. Jon volunteered to join the Night’s Watch and was later elected as the 998th Lord Commander. Stabbed to death in a mutiny but later resurrected by Melisandre and relieved of his vows. Named the King in the North by the banner men of House Stark and House Arryn after their victory at the Battle of the Bastards. Was the Warden of the North after bending the knee to Daenerys Targaryen following the Wight Hunt. After the Battle of King’s Landing, and Dany’s subsequent assassination in the throne room by Jon, Jon was exiled to the Night’s Watch by his cousin and new King, Bran, in order to appease the Unsullied, who held him prisoner.
    • {Benjen Stark}, his youngest son, former First Ranger of the Night’s Watch. Sacrificed himself to rescue his nephew Jon Snow from the army of the dead beyond the Wall.

Household and retainers

  • Maester {Luwin}, counsellor, healer, and tutor of Robb Stark, Bran Stark, Rickon Stark and Jon Snow. Injured by Dagmer Cleft jaw prior to the Sack of Winterfell and mercy-killed by Osha shortly after.
  • {Theon Greyjoy}, former ward and hostage of Lord Eddard. Betrayed House Stark for his father Balon and took over Winterfell in the name of House Greyjoy. Named himself the Prince of Winterfell shortly after this attack. Betrayed in turn by his men and delivered to Ramsay Snow, who tortured him into submission and called him “Reek”. Fled Winterfell with Sansa Stark and is now a follower of Daenerys Targaryen alongside his sister, Yara Greyjoy. Killed by the Night King during the Battle of Winterfell while protecting Bran in the Gods wood.
  • {Vayon Poole}, steward of Winterfell. Executed during the purge of the Stark household.
    • Jeyne Poole, his daughter. Whereabouts unknown.
  • Ser {Rodrik Cassel}, master-at-arms of Winterfell. Executed by Theon Greyjoy.
    • Captain {Jory Cassel}, his nephew and Lord Stark’s captain of the guards. Killed by Ser Jaime Lannister with a dagger through his left eye.
  • Septa {Mordane}, tutor of Sansa and Arya Stark. Beheaded on the orders of Joffrey Baratheon during the purge of the Stark household in King’s Landing.
  • {Nan}, called “Old Nan”, a former wet nurse turned storyteller and a great-grandmother to Hodor. Died of old age.
  • {Hodor}, a simple-minded stable boy, went with Bran beyond the Wall. Torn apart by wights while protecting Bran Stark and Meera Reed from wights by holding the door.
  • {Osha}, a captive wildling spear wife made kitchen wench, was a captive of Ramsay Bolton when handed over by {Small jon Umber}, however mortally wounded and murdered by Ramsay.
  • Farlen, the kennel master at Winterfell. Possibly killed during the Sack of Winterfell.
    • Palla, his daughter. Possibly killed during the Sack of Winterfell.
  • Mikken, a smith. Possibly killed during the Sack of Winterfell.
  • {Shae}, a former whore and Lady Sansa’s handmaiden and confidante until Sansa’s flight from King’s Landing. Betrayed Sansa and Tyrion Lannister, later killed by Tyrion.
  • {Jojen Reed}, son of Howland Reed, Lord of Grey water Watch, and ruler of the crannog men. Escorted Lord Bran beyond the Wall. Mortally wounded by a wight and then mercy-killed by Meera.
  • Meera Reed, daughter and heir of Howland Reed, Lord of Grey water Watch, and ruler of the crannog men. Returned back to the Neck after they traveled south of the wall.
  • Ser Brienne Tarth, commonly called “Brienne of Tarth”, a skilled female warrior and heir of Lord Selwyn Tarth, formerly the sworn sword of Lady Catelyn, currently Sansa’s sworn sword and advisor. Becomes the first female Knight in the Seven Kingdoms when she was knighted before the Battle of Winterfell by Ser Jaime Lannister. Made Lord Commander of the Kings guard following Bran Stark’s accession to the throne.
  • Ser Podrick Payne, knighted following the Battle of King’s Landing and made Kings guard to King Bran I Stark.
  • Ser Davos Seaworth, known as “the Onion Knight” and head of House Seaworth, former claimant Hand of the King to Stannis Baratheon, was the principal advisor and right-hand man of Jon Snow. Following Jon’s exile to the Night’s watch, Davos is made Master of Ships on King Bran I Stark’s Small Council.
  • {Melisandre}, a red priestess of the Lord of Light, known “the Red Woman”, former advisor and lover of {Stannis Baratheon}, now a follower of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen in the belief that they are both Azor Ahai reborn in two bodies. Exiled from the North for the murder of Shireen Baratheon. Died when she succumbed to old age by taking her necklace off after the Battle of Winterfell.
  • Lord Gendry Baratheon, was the unacknowledged son of King Robert Baratheon. Went with Jon on the Wight Hunt, worked in the forges at Winterfell, lover to Arya Stark, and legitimised by Queen Daenerys Targaryen as the Lord of Storm’s End, and Lord of House Baratheon after the Battle of Winterfell.

Ancestors

  • King {Brandon Stark}, called “Bran the Builder”, legendary founder of House Stark, built Winterfell and erected the Wall, established the Night’s Watch, rumoured first King in the North.
  • King {Brandon Stark}, King in the North, called “Bran the Breaker”, united with King {Joramun} to defeat the Night’s King and Queen and free the Night’s Watch.
  • King {Rodrik Stark}, King in the North, wrestled the Iron born for the control of Bear Island and gave it to House Mormont.
  • Lord {Karlon Stark}, founder of House Karstark (then called House Stark of Karlon’s Hold) after putting down a rebellion of House Bolton of the Dread fort.
  • {Osric Stark}, elected Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch at the age of 10.
  • King {Torrhen Stark}, called “The King Who Knelt”, the last King in the North, who bent the knee to King {Aegon Targaryen}.
  • Lord {Cregan Stark}, Lord of Winterfell, Lord Paramount of the North and Warden of the North. Fought Prince{Aemon the Dragon knight}.
  • An {unnamed member}, buried in the crypts beneath Winterfell. Raised as wight during the Battle of Winterfell.

Sworn to House Stark

House Stark tapestry

The sigil of House Stark on a tapestry in Winterfell.

Vassal houses

  • {House Bolton of the Dread fort}. Usurped House Stark after the Red Wedding, but was later defeated at the Battle of the Bastards. Now extinct.
    • House Whitehill of Highpoint
  • House Cassel
  • House Cerwyn of Castle Cerwyn
  • House Dustin of Barrowton
  • House Glover of Deep wood Motte
    • House Forrester of Ironrath
  • House Hornwood of Hornwood
  • {House Karstark of Karhold}. Extinct after the Battle of Winterfell.
  • House Manderly of White Harbor
  • House Mazin
  • House Mollen
  • {House Mormont of Bear Island}. Extinct after the Battle of Winterfell.
  • House Reed of Greywater Watch
    • House Marsh
  • House Poole
  • House Ryswell of the Rills
    • House Glenmore of Rillwater Crossing
  • House Seaworth
  • House Tallhart of Torrhen’s Square
  • {House Umber of Last Hearth}. Extinct after the Fall of Last Hearth.

Prominent allies

The Lords of the North

  • Lord {Roose Bolton}, Lord of the Dread fort. Betrayer of House Stark, former Lord Paramount and Warden of the North. Killed by a knife in the heart by his son Ramsay Bolton.
  • Lord {Jon Umber}, called “The Greatjon”, Lord of Last Hearth. Died during the War of the Five Kings.
  • {Galbart Glover}, Lord of Deep wood Motte.
    • Robett Glover, his brother and new Lord of Deep wood Motte.
  • Lord {Gregor Forrester}, Lord of Ironrath. Murdered by Frey soldiers at the Red Wedding.
  • Lady {Maege Mormont}, Lady of Bear Island. Died during the War of the Five Kings.
    • Lady {Lyanna Mormont}, her daughter and Lady of Bear Island. Killed when a wight giant crushes but not before killing the wight giant first during the Battle of Winterfell.
  • Lord {Rickard Karstark}, Lord of Karhold. Executed by King Robb Stark for treason and merciless killing of two Lannister hostages.
    • {Torrhen} and {Harrion Karstark}, his sons. Killed by Jaime Lannister during the War of the Five Kings.
  • Lord Wyman Manderly, Lord of White Harbor.
    • Ser {Wendel Manderly}, his son. Slain at the Red Wedding
  • Lady Barbrey Dustin, Lady of Barrowton.
  • Lord Howland Reed, Lord of Greywater Watch.

The Riverlords

  • Lord {Hoster Tully}, Lord of Riverrun and Lord Paramount of the Trident, now deceased.
    • Lord Edmure Tully, his only son and heir, former Lord of Riverrun and Lord Paramount of the Trident, currently prisoner of war.
    • Ser {Brynden Tully}, called “the Blackfish”, his brother. Killed during the Second Siege of Riverrun.
  • Lord {Walder Frey}, called “the Late Lord Frey”, Lord of the Crossing. Betrayer of House Stark, rewarded with the titles Lord of Riverrun and Lord Paramount of the Trident. Throat slit by Arya Stark for his role in the Red Wedding.
  • Lord Jonos Bracken, Lord of Stone Hedge.
  • Lord Jason Mallister, Lord of Seagard.
    • Ser {Jaremy Mallister}, executed along the prisoners at Harrenhal.

The Vale of Arryn

  • Lord Robin Arryn, the Lord of the Eyrie, Defender of the Vale and Warden of the East under House Targaryen.
  • Lord Yohn Royce, the Lord of Runestone. A powerful banner man of House Arryn, declared Jon Snow the King in the North after the Battle of the Bastards.
  • Lord {Petyr Baelish}, Lord of Harrenhal, Lord of Baelish Castle and Lord Protector of the Vale. Sentenced to death by Sansa Stark and executed by Arya Stark.

Military strength

Robb-stark-richard-madden-helen-sloan

Robb Stark in Northern cavalry armour.

Due to the North’s vast size, gathering the full military strength of the Starks and their vassals is a difficult process, requiring months of travel time and the ability to supply and feed the host even before it sets out. The total force of the north is 45,000.

For this reason, the 18,000 men Robb Stark takes south to confront the army of the Wester lands is not the full strength of the North, only what could be assembled at relatively short notice.

By the time of the Battle of the Yellow Fork, however, the Stark force is allied with House Tully and their vassals, including House Frey, so it is estimated that their force is even or greater than the Lannister force, which would place it at around 30,000-35,000 soldiers at least in the Wester lands/River lands, with at least 1,000 further soldiers left to guard The North.

Stark guard (The Pointy End)

A Stark guardsman.

The average Stark soldier wears a brown or dark blue coat with green or grey sleeves, with chainmail worn under it and a suit of studded leather armour worn over it, also wears a pair of grey or brown leather boots. The soldiers are often equipped with helmets and rounded shields of steel or iron, both grey in colour and the shields emblazoned with the Stark dire wolf. Warriors in the Northern heavy cavalry or heavy infantry wear relatively cheap brigandine armour, with many choosing to wear mail underneath as well, as compared with the expensive plate armour of the well-equipped Lannister troops.

During the Red Wedding, almost the entire army sworn to House Stark present at the Twins is annihilated, with anyone who managed to escape the massacre being hunted by House Frey. While Houses Bolton and Karstark remain mostly unscathed and possess the largest armies in the North, the only possibility of military support to the scattered heirs of House Stark comes from the remaining garrison and levies of other northern houses, provided they do not bend the knee to the new Warden of the North, Roose Bolton.

During the Conflict Beyond the Wall Jon Snow establishes an alliance between the Night’s Watch and at least 2000 Free Folk. With his temporary death freeing him from his vows, and the Wildling’s still loyal to him, the Wildling’s are now unofficial Stark soldiers. Jon and Sansa are able to convince some of the smaller houses to unite around them, giving them 2,405 men. During the Battle of the Bastards, the Starks and their limited allied forces came close to total destruction; they were saved by the intervention of a sizeable force from The Vale. It is unknown how many Stark loyalists survived the battle, but they likely number no more than 800.

Shortly after The Battle of the Bastards, Jon and Sansa treat with all the Northern Lords and the Lords of the Vale of Arryn. Lyanna Mormont declares Jon the King in the North and is soon followed by Wyman Manderly, Robett Glover, Cley Cerwyn and the rest of the Northern Lords. With all of the Northern Houses and wildling’s combined, they have around 16,000 men, backed by further 20,000 men from The Vale, which declares for the Starks.

However, the forces of House Stark are decimated during the Battle of Winterfell, leaving it currently unclear just how many men the Starks have left.

When Jon travels as an envoy to Dragon stone, he laments to Davos that the entire combined strength of arms in the North at this point (including old men and green boys) is probably fewer than 10,000 men at this point (apparently not including the Vale’s armies in that count, or perhaps counting just the Vale armies positioned in the North). While it is not specified, it is possible that the north possesses several ships, as Jon Snow uses one for his voyage from White Harbor to Dragon stone.

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