|“||Winter is coming||„|
|~ House Stark words|
House Stark of Winterfell is one of the Great Houses of Westeros, and the main protagonist faction in the A Song of Ice and Fire books and the Game of Thrones TV show. Their sigi is that of a direwolf on biege(sometimes silver) and green background. Known for being very honorable, and fairly benevolent rulers(Though like all houses, the Starks have had their share of bad members), House Stark guards the realms of Westeros from invaders from beyond the wall, especially the White Walkers. Though the White Walkers are now deemed legends or extinct by the time the story starts... until they make their move.
House Stark is over 8000 years old and dates back to the age of Heroes. The founder of House Stark was Brandon the Builder who according legend, built the Wall to keep the White Walkers out of the North. He also built Winterfell and reigned as the first King of Winter. Over the years, House Stark gained several vassals, including House Mormont of Bear Island, given to them by House Stark after winning a "Arm wrestling match", House Karstark, a cadet branch of House Stark founded by Prince Karlon after putting down a rebellion, House Umber for fighting the Wildlings. But there was one house who refused to bend the knee to House Stark, House Bolton. The Boltons reigned as the Red Kings and were rumoured to wear their enemies skins as cloaks. House Stark fought countless wars against House Bolton, but eventually they were victorious. Thus the Kingdom of the North was founded. Another cadet branch were the Greystarks, who held the castle called the Wolf's Den, which defended the mouth of the river called the White Knife, for five centuries. They eventually rose in rebellion against the Starks, but were wiped out. When the Manderlys were driven out of the Reach by their rivals the Peakes on the orders of the King of the Reach, the Starks allowed them to settle in the North and gave them the Wolf's Den in exchange for the Manderlys swearing an oath of loyalty to forever be Stark men.
The North was the only realm that the Andal invaders failed to conquer and the Starks and their vassals held the line. But the Starks reign as kings ended with Aegon the Conqueror and his Dragons. King Torrhen Stark knew he could not defeat the Targeryans, and bent the knee to Aegon, becoming known as 'the King who knelt'. House Stark then became Wardens of the North.
During the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons Lord Cregan Stark supported Princess Rhaenyra. However he was delayed as he kept his men back to gather one last harvest before the winter. By the time his army was ready Rhaenyra had been fed to the dragon of her half-brother, Aegon II. Cregan marched on King's Landing, fighting in the name of Rhaenyra's eldest surviving son Aegon, and aided by the Lads, young Riverlands nobles led by Lord Kermit Tully, Lord Benjicot Blackwood and his aunt Alysanne Blackwood 'Black Aly'. However by the time he arrived Aegon II had been poisoned, leading to their nephew succeeding as Aegon III. However Cregan still believed justice should be done for a King's murder, even if he was fighting against them. He was made Hand of the King and held the office for a day. Cregan sent many members of the court to the Wall, and executed some, though freed Lord Corlys Velaryon, partially due to Alysanne Blackwood agreeing to marry him. He then returned to the North.
For 300 years House Stark were loyal vassals to the Targaryens until Roberts Rebellion. When the Mad King Aerys II burned to death Lord Rickard Stark and had Rickard's eldest son Brandon Stark strangled, then called for the heads of Rickard's second son Eddard Stark and Eddard's closest friend Robert Baratheon, this led to the rebellion. Though they helped the Baratheons seize the Iron Throne, House Stark maintained it's title, Warden of the North.
War of the Five Kings
15 years after Roberts Rebellion, House Stark became threatened when Lord Eddard Stark was beheaded after finding out that King Robert's children were not a real Baratheons, but a bastards born of incest between Cersei Lannister and her brother Jaime. He tried to make sure Robert's brother Lord Stannis Baratheon succeeded, but was betrayed by the treacherous Lord Petyr Baelish. Ned's daughter Sansa was held as a captive, though his other daughter Arya escaped King's Landing with the aid of the Night's Watch recruiter Yoren. Robb Stark called on his bannermen to rebel against the Iron Throne and support House Tully against Lord Tywin Lannister's invasion. After his father's execution at the hands of Joffrey and on the idea of his vassal Lord Jon Umber, Robb was proclaimed King in the North, still unaware about Joffrey's illegitimacy and that Stannis was Robert's true heir.
After rescuing House Tully from the Lannister invasion, the rivermen bent the knee to House Stark, granting the new Kingdom of the North and the Trident. Robb fought and won countless battles against the Lannisters in the westerlands, while Roose Bolton managaed the war in the riverlands for him, but lost momentum when the ironborn of the Iron Islands seized Moat Cailin and Winterfell and when the Lannisters defeated King Stannis at the Battle of the Blackwater. Robb's foster-brother Theon Greyjoy was believed to have murdered Robb's brothers Bran and Rickon Stark, though they really hid in the crypts and Theon murdered two miller's boys to cover this up. In addition, Robb backed out of his arranged marriage with House Frey to marry Jeyne Westerling, a noblewoman from the Crag (changed in the TV series with Talisa Maegyr, a noblewoman from Volantis). He even lost the support of House Karstark when he beheaded their Lord for killing Tully guards and executing two prisoners without his permission: Willem Lannister and Tion Frey, both sons of Tywin's siblings, Kevan and Genna. He decided to march back to the North to reclaim it, but before he could reach Moat Cailin he was betrayed and murdered by House Frey, during his march back to north, during Lord Edmure Tully's wedding in what became known as the Red Wedding massacre. Houses Bolton and Karstark gave support to the Freys, along with other sellswords hired by Lord Walder.
With Robb's death, House Stark was attainted and exiled. Roose was made Warden of the North and Ramsay Bolton became Lord of Winterfell, both charged to restore the King's peace. But Arya and Sansa were able to escape King's Landing. Sansa escaped with the help of Petyr Baelish while Arya escapes pretending to be a boy leaving for the Night's Watch. Bran was taken beyond the Wall to learn his Greenseer abilities from the Children of the Forest, while Jon Snow was a member of the Night's Watch and learned of the coming White Walker invasion. Rickon escaped Winterfell and fled to Skagos with the wildling woman Osha. However House Bolton reign was threatened by Stannis who was marching on Winterfell and other Northern houses were rallying behind him. His Hand Davos Seaworth was apparently executed by Wyman Manderly, however Wyman reveals to Davos he is plotting to restore the Starks to rule of the North. He found out from Wex Pyke, Theon's former squire and only survivor from the Sack of Winterfell, that Bran and Rickon are not dead. He sends Davos to recover Rickon, saying he will declare for Stannis when Rickon is returned. With the Lannister-Tyrell armies busy to deal with the Tullys, the Brotherhood without Banners, the Brave Companions, and other criminals in the riverlands, as well as King Euron Greyjoy and House Florent in the Reach, King Stannis's forces in the stormlands and Dragonstone, and the High Septon in King's Landing, the Boltons and the Freys are left alone to deal with King Stannis in the north, as well as the remaining ironmen, the angry northmen, and the wildlings.
After a letter signed with Ramsay Bolton's name arrives at Castle Black, threatening the Night's Watch, Jon Snow decide to join with Stannis in the battle for Winterfell, but before he can depart with the wildlings, he's murdered by a group of mutineers who felt that Jon had forsaken them to the point that he was threatening the neutrality of the Night's Watch.
TV Show exile
On the TV Show, House Stark is still exiled and scattered after the Red Wedding, but eventually start reuniting. Sansa is brought back to the North and married of to Roose Bolton's cruel bastard son Ramsay by Littlefinger, in the hopes of granting Stannis a Wardeness of The North should he claim Winterfell. But Stannis is defeated by Ramsay's supply drain tactic. Sansa however escapes with the help of Theon Greyjoy. Shortly afterwords, Ramsay murders Roose. Rickon is captured by House Umber who have defected to the Boltons and presented to Ramsay. Bran learns of the White Walker invasion and is currently trying to return to the North to warn everyone. Jon is temporarily killed by mutineers of the Night's Watch for bringing Free Folk through the Wall and letting them live in the vast lands and mountains of the Gift, but is resurrected by Melisandre. Sansa arrives at Castle Black and after receiving a threat from Ramsay she and Jon plan to retake Winterfell. Meanwhile, Arya has been training at Braavos to be a Faceless Man assassin.
Sansa and Jon only successfully recruit Houses Mormont, Hornwood and Mazin, but like Stannis they receive only refusal of silence from the other houses, so they are still vastly outnumbered. However, Sansa sends a letter to Littlefinger requesting aid from the Vale. The Knights of the Vale arrive just as Jon, the smaller northern houses and free folk are about to be wiped out. The Stark loyalists reclaim Winterfell and kill Ramsay. Arya escapes from Braavos after refusing to shed her identity(A required trait of Faceless Men) and kills Walder Frey and all the Frey who were involved in the Red Wedding, avenging Robb, Catelyn, Talissa, and everyone else who died in the massacre. Jon, like Robb before him is proclaimed King in the North by the Northern bannermen, when unbeknowist to anyone but Bran, Jon is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen. The lords and knights of the Vale join with the northmen as well, but whatever they are following Jon as their king or it's just an alliance is yet to be seen.
White Walker invasion(TV Show only)
Knowing the Night King and his White Walker armies are marching on Westeros, King Jon ordered as many soldiers to be mobilized. To increase the manpower, he even ordered that children at least 10 years of age be conscripted and trained. But even so he was still undermanned and under supplied. Upon receiving word that Queen Daenarys Targaryean, and an army of Dothraki, Unsullied, Dornishmen, and Reachmen were launching their invasion of Westeros to seize the throne away from Cersei Lannister, who has recently usurped the Iron Throne via the destruction of the Sept of Baelor, Jon believed that if he successfully negotiated an alliance with the Dragon Queen, he would have the armies needed to defeat the White Walkers.
However, the Lords of the North and Vale were reluctant to side with a Targaryean after fighting against them in Robert's Rebellion years ago. Despite this, Jon and Davos Seaworth traveled to Dragonstone and despite tensions between the two houses. and Daenarys ordering Jon to bend the knee, managed to at least enter a friendly relationship. Eventually Jon decided that the other Westerosi armies were also needed. Hoping to convince Cersei to aid them, Jon, along with the Brotherhood without Banners and various other characters went beyond the wall to capture a Wight to reveal to Cersei. Despite nearly dying, and even losing one of Daenary's dragon while being rescued, the Wight Hunt was successful.
The Wight was revealed to Cersei and her allies in King's Landing. The Lannisters were naturally shocked by seeing a creature they had long believed was just a work of fiction. Cersei however still believed that Houses Stark and Targaryean were still more of a threat to her, and lied about sending soldiers to aid them, intending for the White Walkers, Starks and Targaryeans to wipe themselves out, or for the winning side to be weakened enough for Cersei to finish them off. However, Cersei's brother Jaimie believed the White Walkers were the most dire threat, and after realizing his sister was now utterly mad with power, left to help The North. As Jon and Daenary's headed north to prepare the defense, Jon bend the knee and swore House Stark to Daenary's.
At the same time, the White Walkers breached a portion of the wall and entered Westeros. Also at the same time, Sansa had been left in command of the North along with Arya. However, Lord Petyr Baelish who had aided in the Battle of the Bastards desired to seize the Iron Throne with Sansa as his queen and tried manipulating the two sisters against each other. Arya however, with her skills in assassination and espionage, and Sansa's gained experience of politics from her time as a political pawn and prisoner, managed to turn the tables on Baelish and tried him of treason(Especially since he betrayed their father in the first place), and executed him.
With Jon's oath of allegiance to House Targaryean, The Kingdom of the North has once again lost its independence, but since Jon, unbeknowst to anyone but Bran Stark and Sam Tarly, is really a Taragaryean and not a Stark, it is likely that House Stark could regain or maintain it's independence.
The White Walkers wiped out House Umbar and took Last Hearth, and from there they marched on Winterfell. The combined armies of Stark, Targaryean, and Arryn all put up a valiant defense, but the undead breached Winterfell with the intention of killing Bran. The Night King marched into the Weirwood forest in Winterfell after killing Theon, marched straight to Bran. But just as it seemed all hope was lost, Arya struck the Night King with a Dragonglass dagger, destroying him and the Undead once and for all.
Invasion of Kings Landing
Following the White Walkers defeat, Daenarys ordered that the war against the Lannisters continue, Jon, with his oath, reluctantly oblidged. However, the Targaryean fleet was nearly destroyed by Euron Greyjoy's fleet, and Missandei, one of Daenary's servants, cand closest friends was captured and executed. At the same time, Danearys learned of Jon's true heritage, and realized he had a greater claim to the throne then she. Years of emotional and phsyical trauma and abuse finally caught up with Daenarys, and she succumbed to Targaryean Madness.
She ordered Lord Varys killed, believing him to be planning to betray her, then proceeded to march on King's Landing, with the army of House Stark joining her. Despite Jon's, and the other commnders insiting that Cersei be taken prisoner if the city should surrender, Danaerys proceeded to destroy King's Landing with Drogon, and the army of House Stark was forced to fight in a massacre, some Stark soldiers, wanting revenge for the Iron Throne's crimes against their people, began massacring civilians despite Jon's attempts to stop them. In the end, House Stark finally defeated House Lannister, but at the cost of their honor. However, Jon assiasinated Daenarys as it became clear she had lost her sense of morality. Jon however was imprisoned for this crime, but the lords of Westeros agreed to exile him back to Night's Watch rather than die. Due to his immense knowledge of the past and present due to being the 3 eyed raven, Bran was chosen to be the next King of the Andals and the First men, albiet in a more elective position as he cannot father children. Sansa however, decided that the North had too many painful memories of being part of the Seven Kingdoms, and once again, declared the North an indpendent realm. Bran acknolwedged the North's freedom, and Sansa was crowned Queen in the North, finally finishing what Robb had started. Arya sailed west, looking to to find her own place in the world, and Jon went beyond the wall to live among the Free Folk.
- Lord Edmure Tully (captive of House Lannister, later freed)
- Ser Brynden Tully (status dependent on version)
- Lord Hoster Tully (indirectly, deceased)
- Ser Robin Ryger (formerly, Night's Watch recruit)
- Ser Desmond Grell (formerly, Night's Watch recruit)
- Maester Vyman (formerly)
- Brienne Tarth (only through Catelyn Stark and sworn to House Tully, directly sworn to the Starks in the TV series)
- Lord Robert/Robin Arryn (indirectly, TV show only)
- Lord Yohn Royce (TV show only)
- Lord Petyr Baelish (TV show only, traitorous, status dependent on version)
- Lord Roose Bolton (formerly, defected, status dependent on version)
- Lord Greatjon Umber (captive of House Frey soon to be delivered to the Iron Throne in the novels/deceased in the TV series)
- Lord Rickard Karstark (defected, deceased)
- Lord Harrion Karstark (captive of the Iron Throne)
- Eddard Karstark (deceased)
- Lord Harald Karstark (TV show only, defected, deceased)
- Torrhen Karstark (deceased)
- Alys Karstark (status depending on version)
- Lord Wyman Manderly
- Ser Wylis Manderly
- Ser Wendel Manderly (deceased)
- Lord Galbart Glover (status unknown in the books, deceased in the TV show)
- Lord Robett Glover
- Lord Gregor Forrester(Telltale Game only, deceased)
- Lady Maege Mormont (status unknown in the books, deceased in the TV show)
- Dacey Mormont (deceased)
- Alysane Mormont
- Lyra Mormont (status unknown in the books, deceased in the TV show)
- Jorelle Mormont (status unknown in the books, deceased in the TV show)
- Lady Lyanna Mormont (TV show only, deceased)
- Ser Davos Seaworth (TV show only)
- Lord Tytos Blackwood
- Lucas Blackwood (deceased)
- Lord Jonos Bracken (formerly)
- Hendry Bracken (deceased)
- Harry Rivers (deceased)
- Lord Medger Cerwyn (deceased)
- Lord Cley Cerwyn (status dependent on version)
- Lady Jonelle Cerwyn (formerly)
- Lord Jason Mallister (captive of the Iron Throne)
- Patrek Mallister (captive of the Iron Throne)
- Ser Jaremy Mallister (TV show only, deceased)
- Lord Halys Hornwood (status depending on version)
- Daryn Hornwood (deceased)
- Lady Donella Hornwood (née Manderly, deceased)
- Lord Gawen Westerling (formerly, defected)
- Lady Sybell Westerling (née Spicer, formerly, defected)
- Ser Rolph Spicer (formerly, defected)
- Ser Raynald Westerling (deceased)
- Eleyna Westerling (formerly)
- Rollam Westerling (formerly)
- Ser Helman Tallhart (deceased)
- Benfred Tallhart (deceased)
- Leobald Tallhart (deceased)
- Lord Walder Frey (formerly, defected, status dependent on version)
- Ser Stevron Frey (deceased)
- Ser Ryman Frey (formerly, defected, deceased)
- Edwyn Frey (formerly, defected)
- Black Walder Frey (formerly, defected, status dependent on version)
- Ser Aenys Frey (formerly, defected)
- Ser Hosteen Frey (formerly, defected)
- Lothar Frey (formerly, defected)
- Ser Raymund Frey (formerly, defected)
- Ser Benfrey Frey (formerly, defected, deceased)
- Ser Danwell Frey (formerly, defected)
- Ser Arwood Frey (formerly, defected)
- Ser Walder Rivers (formerly, defected, status dependent on version)
- Olyvar Frey (formerly)
- Alesander Frey (formerly)
- Ser Jared Frey (formerly, defected, deceased)
- Merrett Frey (formerly, defected, deceased)
- Ser Perwyn Frey (formerly)
- Petyr Frey (formerly, defected, deceased)
- Rhaegar Frey (formerly, defected, deceased)
- Symond Frey (formerly, defected, deceased)
- Ser Tytos Frey (formerly, defected, deceased)
- Ser Whalen Frey (formerly, defected)
- Ser Garse Goodbrook (formerly, defected, deceased)
- Ser Leslyn Haigh (formerly, defected)
- Ser Harys Haigh (formerly, defected)
- Ser Donnel Haigh (formerly, defected)
- Ser Pate of the Blue Fork (deceased)
- Lord Howland Reed
- Lord Clement Piper (formerly)
- Ser Marq Piper (captive of House Frey soon to be delivered to the Iron Throne)
- Ser Rodrik Cassel (deceased)
- Jory Cassel (deceased)
- Beth Cassel (captive of House Bolton)
- Lady Barbrey Dustin (née Ryswell, formerly)
- Lord Rodrik Ryswell (formerly)
- Lord Ondrew Locke (formerly)
- Ser Donnel Locke (deceased)
- Lord Lyman Darry (deceased)
- Lord WIlliam Mooton (formerly)
- Lord Artos Flint of the First Flints
- Lady Lyessa Flint of Widow's Watch
- Robin Flint of Flint Fingers (deceased)
- Lord Karyl Vance (formerly)
- Lord Norbert Vance (formerly)
- Ser Hugo Vance (formerly)
- Ser Kyle Condon (status unknown, possible captive)
- Lord Lymond Lychester (formerly)
- Clan Chief Hugo Wull
- Lord Brandon Norrey
- Owen Norrey (deceased)
- Morgan Liddle
- Lord Vargo Hoat (deceased)
- Tyroshi sellsword (formerly, defected, possibly Greenbeard)
- George R.R. Martin modeled House Stark on the real life English Noble family House York, who were involved in a nearly century long war against a rival Noble family, House Lancaster for control of the English throne. Their war was called The War of the Roses, and it inspired much of the drama for ASOIAF/Game of Thrones and many of the characters of game of thrones were inspired by major players in the War of the Roses.