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"We are kin. Stark and Karstark."
―Lord Rickard Karstark reminds King Robb Stark of their blood ties.[src]

A cadet branch is a noble House that descends from another noble House.

They are usually created when a younger member of a noble House, who is not the current heir of the family seat, is granted lands and titles of his own. Bastards, if legitimized, or trueborn descendants of legitimized bastards, when granted lands and titles of their own, also found cadet branches.

Larger and wealthier noble Houses such as the Lannisters or Tyrells may have numerous younger cousins, but these are all part of the main House - albeit far down in the line of succession. When younger children or cousins form their own cadet branch, they become head of this new House, though the cadet branch is not considered as prestigious as the main line.

Strictly speaking, a "cadet branch" consists of only male-line descendants, in an unbroken chain from father to son - in which case the founding member was a younger son of another noble House. The inheritance systems in the Seven Kingdoms do not put as much value on descent through the female line. New Houses have been formed from the female-line younger descendants of other Houses, but their lineage is considered inferior compared to other cadet branches who can claim male-line descent. For example, House Tyrell descents from the Gardeners, but only through a Gardener daughter - which means that other houses of the Reach descend from a Gardener son have a superior line of descent compared to the Tyrells. The Tyrells are not, therefore, technically a "cadet" branch.

Given that Dorne, uniquely among the Seven Kingdoms, practices equal primogeniture it probably makes no distinction between cadet branches founded by younger sons or younger daughters.

Known cadet branches through male-line descent

Known cadet branches through female-line descent

  • House Tyrell, descending from House Gardener through the female line.
  • House Lannister of Casterly Rock, descending from the (so-far unidentified) house of Lann the Clever through the female line. One of Lann's female First Men descendants was married by a male member of the Andal family who invaded the region six thousand years ago, to secure their conquest.
    • (As revealed in the World of Ice and Fire sourcebook (2014), Lann's descendants actually were called "Lannister" during the time of the First Men: when an Andal adventurer married the daughter of the lord of Casterly Rock, he continued to use the name of his wife's House for their children - "Lannister" - because it was more prestigious.)
  • House Baratheon, descendants of House Durrandon, whose last member Argella Durrandon married Orys Baratheon. Their connection is shown in their heraldry, as Orys Baratheon took House Durrandon's sigil and words as his own.
    • It was also strongly rumored that Orys was Aegon I Targaryen's bastard half-brother, but given that Orys was never officially acknowledged, the Baratheons are not legally a male-line cadet branch of the Targaryens, despite their Targaryen bloodline. Regardless, Robert, Stannis, and Renly did have Targaryen blood through their mother (according to the Histories & Lore featurettes for the TV continuity, apparently different from the novels, in which their paternal grandmother was a Targaryen).

In the books

Additional known cadet branches

  • House Royce of the Gates of the Moon - descendants of House Royce of Runestone. Hereditary Keepers of the Gates of the Moon for House Arryn.
  • House Dayne of High Hermitage - descendants and bannermen of House Dayne of Starfall. Landed knights ruling High Hermitage, a castle in Dorne.
  • House Frey of Riverrun - a recently-founded cadet branch of House Frey of the Crossing, founded by Ser Emmon Frey.
  • House Flint of Widow's Watch - descendants of House Flint of the mountains.
  • House Flint of Flint's Finger - descendants of House Flint of the mountains.
  • House Fossoway of New Barrel - descendants of House Fossoway of Cider Hall. Landed knights ruling New Barrel in the Reach. Called "Green Apple Fossoways" to differentiate from their "Red Apple Fossoway" cousins. Founded by Ser Raymun Fossoway in 209 AC.
  • House Fossoway of Cider Hall - descendants of the so-far unidentified house of Garth Greenhand. Founded by Foss the Archer.
  • House Goodbrother of Downdelving - descendants of House Goodbrother of Hammerhorn.
  • House Goodbrother of Crow Spike Keep - descendants of House Goodbrother of Hammerhorn.
  • House Goodbrother of Corpse Lake - descendants of House Goodbrother of Hammerhorn.
  • House Goodbrother of Shatterstone - descendants of House Goodbrother of Hammerhorn.
  • House Goodbrother of Orkmont - descendants of House Goodbrother of Hammerhorn.
  • House Harlaw of Grey Garden - descendants of House Harlaw of Harlaw. Landed knights ruling Grey Garden within the Ten Towers.
  • House Harlaw of Harlaw Hall - descendants of House Harlaw of Harlaw. A masterly house ruling Harlaw Hall within the Ten Towers.
  • House Harlaw of Harridan Hill - descendants of House Harlaw of Harlaw. A masterly house ruling Harridan Hill within the Ten Towers.
  • House Harlaw of the Tower of Glimmering - descendants of House Harlaw of Harlaw. A masterly house ruling the Tower of Glimmering within the Ten Towers.
  • House Osgrey of Leafy Lake - extinct descendants of House Osgrey of Standfast. Died out before 210 AC.
  • House Greystark of the Wolf's Den - extinct descendants of House Stark of Winterfell. Destroyed by their Stark cousins after they rose in rebellion with House Bolton.
  • House Foote of Nightsong - a recently-founded cadet branch of House Foote. Founded by Ser Philip Foote.
  • House Arryn of Gulltown - descendants of House Arryn of the Eyrie. Located within the port city of Gulltown.
  • House Tyrell of Brightwater Keep - a recently-founded cadet branch of House Tyrell of Highgarden. Founded by Ser Garlan Tyrell.
  • House Lannister of Darry - a recently-founded cadet branch of House Lannister of Casterly Rock. Founded by Ser Lancel Lannister.
  • House Bolton of Winterfell - a recently-founded cadet branch of House Bolton of the Dreadfort. Founded by Ramsay Snow.
  • House Gardener of Highgarden - extinct descendants of the so-far unidentified house of Garth Greenhand. Founded by Garth the Gardener. Died out at the Field of Fire.
  • House Oakheart of Old Oak - descendants of the so-far unidentified house of Garth Greenhand. Founded by John the Oak.
  • House Redwyne of the Arbor - descendants of the so-far unidentified house of Garth Greenhand. Founded by Gilbert of the Vines.
  • House Florent of Brightwater Keep - descendants of the so-far unidentified house of Garth Greenhand through the female line. Founded by a husband of Florys the Fox.
  • House Ball - descendants of the so-far unidentified house of Garth Greenhand through the female line. Founded by a husband of Florys the Fox.
  • House Peake of Starpike (formerly of Dunstonbury and Whitegrove) - descendants of the so-far unidentified house of Garth Greenhand through the female line. Founded by a husband of Florys the Fox.
  • House Lannister of Casterly Rock - according to some tales, descendants of the so-far unidentified house of Garth Greenhand through the female line, descending from Lann the Clever and thus (according to these tales) Florys the Fox, allegedly his mother. According to other tales, Lann was a bastard born to Rowan Gold-Tree, another daughter of Garth Greenhand. The Lannisters also descend from House Lydden through the male line; Joffrey Lydden married into House Lannister and took his wife's name, becoming King Joffrey Lannister.
  • House Hightower of the Hightower - descendants of the so-far unidentified house of Garth Greenhand through the female line; Maris the Maid, the Greenhand's daughter, married Uthor of the High Tower, an early King of the High Tower.
  • House Stark of Winterfell - according to some tales, descendants of the so-far unidentified house of Garth Greenhand; Brandon of the Bloody Blade (according to these tales) was an ancestor of Bran the Builder.
  • House Tarly of Horn Hill - descendants of the so-far unidentified house of Garth Greenhand; Harlon the Hunter and Herndon of the Horn, Garth's sons, built Horn Hill and shared a wife, whose descendants would become the Tarlys.
  • House Bulwer of Blackcrown - descendants of the so-far unidentified house of Garth Greenhand. Founded by Bors the Breaker.
  • House Crane of Red Lake - descendants of the so-far unidentified house of Garth Greenhand; Rose of Red Lake, Garth's daughter, was an ancestor of the Cranes by unspecified circumstances.
  • House Beesbury of Honeyholt - descendants of the so-far unidentified house of Garth Greenhand; Ellyn Ever Sweet, Garth's daughter, was an ancestor of the Beesburys by unspecified circumstances.
  • House Rowan of Goldengrove - descendants of the so-far unidentified house of Garth Greenhand; founded by Rowan Gold-Tree or one of her daughters.
  • House Brune of Brownhollow - presumably descendants of House Brune of the Dyre Den. Landed knights ruling Brownhollow at Crackclaw Point.
  • House Dargood - descendants of House Darklyn of Duskendale.
  • House Darke - descendants of House Darklyn of Duskendale.
  • House Darkwood - descendants of House Darklyn of Duskendale.
  • House Dustin of Barrowton - descendants of the so-far unidentified house of the First King.
  • House Farwynd of the Lonely Light - descendants of House Farwynd of Sealskin point.
  • House Grafton of Gulltown - descendants of House Shett of Gulltown; King Gerold Grafton founded House Grafton, married a daughter of King Osgood III Shett, and then established his family's rule over the city.
  • House Shett of Gull Tower - presumably descendants of House Shett of Gulltown. Landed knights ruling Gull Tower within Gulltown.
  • House Kenning of Kayce - westerlander descendants of the ironborn House Kenning of Harlaw.
  • House Lannett - descendants of House Lannister of Casterly Rock.
  • House Lanny - descendants of House Lannister of Casterly Rock.
  • House Lantell - descendants of House Lannister of Casterly Rock.
  • House Longwaters - descendants of House Velaryon of Driftmark and House Targaryen of King's Landing. Founded by a son of Ser Jon Waters, a bastard son of Lord Alyn Velaryon and Princess Elaena Targaryen.
  • House Vance of Atranta or House Vance of Wayfarer's Rest; one is presumably a cadet branch of the other.
  • House Justman - descendants of House Blackwood of Raventree Hall and House Bracken of Stone Hedge. Founded by King Benedict I Justman, born Benedict Rivers.

See also

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