House Stark is a major house of Westeros and principal house in the North. One of the most ancient and noble houses, House Stark trace their bloodline back to that of the First Men. For thousands of years, the head of House Stark ruled as King in the North, until Torrhen Stark, the last King in the North, bent his knee to Aegon. Today, House Stark are Lords of Winterfell and wardens of the North. The seat of House Stark is Winterfell, an ancient castle that is regarded as one of the strongest in all of the Seven Kingdoms. Winterfell was built by Brandon Stark, otherwise known as Brandon the Builder, who is regarded as the first Stark and founder of House Stark. He is also credited with building the Wall.
The sigil of House Stark is a grey direwolf upon a field of white. Their words are “Winter is coming.” Unlike most other house words, those of House Stark are a warning rather than a boast. To this day, the Starks still maintain the ancient traditions of their ancestors, the First Men, as they honor the Old Gods and the forests of the North.
For many thousands of years the Starks ruled as Kings in the North. Throughout this time period, House Bolton rose up against House Stark several times in an attempt to seize control of the North, but to no avail. It is interesting to note, that thousands of years later, it was Roose Bolton that betrayed Robb, the King in the North.
Ever since Brandon Stark built the wall nearly 10,000 years ago, the Starks have helped the Night’s Watch to man the wall and protect the realm. More so than any other house, the Starks respect the dangers that lie beyond the wall and constantly warn that winter is coming. Their reign as Kings in the North came to an end when the last King in the North, Torrhen Stark, bent his knee and pledged fealty of House Stark to Aegon the Conqueror. In exchange, Aegon made House Stark overlords and wardens of the North.
SIGNIFICANT STARK CHARACTERS
Brandon Stark, otherwise known as Brandon the Builder, is regarded as the first Stark, founder of House Stark and the first King in the North. He built the Wall as well as Winterfell. Some say that when he was just a young boy, he counseled Durran, the first Storm King, on how to build Storm’s End.
Torrhen Stark was the last King in the North after he bent the knee to Aegon the Conqueror.
Rickard Stark was Lord of Winterfell and father to Brandon, Ned, Benjen and Lyanna Stark. He arranged of his son Ned to Catelyn Tully. Lord Rickard was burned to death by the Mad King after demanding a trial by combat.
Brandon Stark was the eldest son of Lord Rickard and heir to Winterfell. After Lyanna Stark was captured by Prince Rhaegar, Brandon rode to King’s Landing demanding for Rhaegar’s death. Instead, the Mad King imprisoned Brandon and his company and demanded their father’s ride to King’s Landing to answer for their sons. When Lord Rickard arrived, he was sentenced to death without trial. After demanding trial by combat, Lord Rickard Stark was burned alive while his son Brandon was forced to watch, until he himself was strangled to death. This would be the ultimate catalyst of Robert’s Rebellion.
Benjen Stark is the younger brother of Ned Stark and his only remaining sibling. He is a Ranger of the Night’s Watch. After he is sent with a small party to seek out another brother of the Night’s Watch, Benjen never returns. It is unclear whether he is dead or alive.
Lord Eddard, also referred to as Ned, is head of House Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North. Alongside Robert Baratheon, he led the overthrow of the Mad King, which landed Robert on the Iron Throne. After Jon Arryn was murdered, Ned Stark left Winterfell for King’s Landing to become Hand of the King. After discovering the truth of incest between Cersei and Jaimie Lannister, as Jon Arryn previously had, Ned was declared a traitor. After admitting to his “treason” to save his own life, King Joffrey ordered Sir Ilyn Payne to execute Ned.
Robb is the oldest of the Stark children and heir to Winterfell and the North. After his father is executed, Robb proclaims himself King in the North. His direwolf is Grey Wolf, the largest of the litter, and it is said that he rides his wolf into battle, earning him the nickname the Young Wolf.
Jon Snow is the bastard son of Ned, and though he is not bare the Stark name, he possesses Stark blood and Ned brings him up like any of his other children. However, Catelyn is unable to do the same; as hard as she has tried, she was unable to treat him like a true soon, as he was a constant reminder of Ned’s affair with another woman. Jon leaves Winterfell to join the Night’s Watch. His direwolf is Ghost.
Sansa is the eldest Stark daughter and after her father’s execution, she is forced to wed King Joffrey, but does not end up doing so as the Lannisters decide to marry Joff to Margaery Tyrell. Her direwolf, Lady, was executed by King Joffrey, after Arya’s direwolf, Nymeria, attacked him. Because Arya’s direwolf could not be found, they killed Sansa’s instead.
Arya is the younger Stark daughter, who has no interest in girly things like her older sister, Sansa. Arya is more interested in training to become a fierce warrior. At the age of 9, she begins combat training with Syrio Forel, a masterful swordsman from Braavos. She later meets Jaqen H’gar, the Faceless Man, also from Braavos. In exchange for saving his life and the life of two others, Jaqen tells Arya that she owes three deaths to the Red God, and that he will kill any three men she names. Before going separate ways, Jaqen gives Arya a coin and tells her that if she is ever in trouble, to give the coin to any man in Braavos and say the words “valar morghulis“, which means “all men must die.” Like some of her siblings, Arya sometimes dreams that she is a wolf. Arya’s direwolf is Nymeria, whom she forces to run away after Nymeria attacks Joffrey in protection of Arya.
Brandon, also referred to as Bran, is the second son to Ned and Catelyn. His life is changed forever when Jaimie Lannister pushes him off a tower at Winterfell, crippling him and taking away his ability to walk. He is assisted by Hodor and his direwolf is Summer. Bran is skinchanger, giving him the ability to take over the mind of animals and control their actions. He also has prophetic visions, characteristic of a Greenseer.
Rickon is the youngest of the Stark children and his direwolf is named Shaggydog. At such a young age, it is generally difficult for him to understand the things that are happening around him.