- "House Reed, the gatekeepers of the North, and among the most important and loyal bannermen of House Stark...I heard their oath of fealty once as a child, it's like no other lord's, ancient and dark. They swear by earth and water, by bronze and iron - and by ice and fire."
- ―Jon Snow
House Reed of Greywater Watch is a vassal house that holds fealty to House Stark of Winterfell. House Reed is the southern-most house of the North. They control the vast area of swampland and bog stretching across the narrowest part of the continent of Westeros, the Neck. The Reeds and their vassals are Crannogmen, a distinct offshoot of the First Men who have adapted to living in the swamps of the Neck.
House Reed became rulers of the Neck after King Rickard Stark killed the last Marsh King, and have been fiercely loyal vassals of the Starks since then. Their oath of fealty is distinctive, both ancient and dark, swearing on earth and water, bronze and iron and ice and fire. During the Andal Invasion, the North held out against the Andals in part due to House Reed, who fell on the invaders when they tried to pass the Neck.
Before the War of the Five Kings began, Howland Reed, the current head of House Reed and Lord of Greywater Watch, fought alongside his liege-lord Eddard Stark in Robert's Rebellion and saved his life during one of its final skirmishes at the Tower of Joy.
Several years later after the outbreak of the War of the Five Kings, Howland's children, Jojen and Meera, travel north to find Bran Stark and guide him in his quest to find the Three-Eyed Raven alongside Hodor, Osha, Rickon Stark, and their two direwolves, Summer and Shaggydog. Eventually, Bran decides to send Rickon to Last Hearth along with Osha and Shaggydog. Before they depart, Osha tells the Reeds to keep Bran safe.
The Reeds continue travelling Beyond the Wall with Bran, Hodor and Summer. While resting near Craster's Keep, they are momentarily distracted by the cries of Craster's last son and Ghost, leading to their capture by Karl Tanner and his fellow Mutineers. When Karl prepares to rape his sister, Jojen tells him that he possesses the sight and sardonically reveals that he saw Karl die in a vision, causing Karl to turn his attention to him just before Jon Snow arrives with a group of black brothers to kill all the Mutineers. Locke, who really serves Roose Bolton, attempts to flee with Bran as he was also tasked with finding Rickon. Jojen signals Bran to warg into Hodor and saves his own body through Hodor's, which he does by snapping Locke's neck. Bran orders Hodor to free the Reeds and attempts to call out to his half-brother Jon. However, Jojen dissuades Bran from doing this saying that Jon will not allow him to find the Three-Eyed Raven. Bran reluctantly agrees not to reunite with Jon and continue the quest.
Eventually, the group makes their way to the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven, but they are ambushed by wights. Jojen is stabbed multiple times by wights, prompting his sister to cut his throat in order to prevent him from becoming one himself.
Meera mourns the death of her brother at the hands of the wights. She expresses her doubts to Bran, stating that she believes they are doing nothing at the cave. Leaf later tells Meera that Bran needs her.
During one of his visions, Bran witnesses the events of the Showdown at the Tower of Joy alongside the Three-Eyed Raven. Bran's father, Eddard Stark, leads a group of five other Northmen, including the crannogman Howland Reed, to the Tower of Joy in the Red Mountains of Dorne. After a brief banter, the Northerners attack Ser Gerold Hightower and Ser Arthur Dayne, the last of the Kingsguard to Aerys II Targaryen. Howland is the first to fall from Arthur Dayne's sword. The skirmish eventually culminates into a one-on-one duel between Ned and Arthur. Going in for a strike, Ned is instead disarmed by the Sword of the Morning. However, before Arthur can attack Ned, he is stabbed in the back of the neck by Howland, whose wound is not fatal. Bran is shocked by this dishonorable act and surprised his father condoned it. Ned then picks up Dawn, the ancestral sword of House Dayne, and finishes off Arthur Dayne.
After being touched by the Night King in a vision, the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven is attacked by the Night King, three other White Walkers, and their army of the dead. Meera urges Bran to warg into Hodor, which completes a time loop that causes the Hodor in the past to collapse and seizure. Meera commands the present day Hodor to "hold the door," causing the Hodor in the past to begin to seizure and slur the command into Hodor. Hodor holds the door, preventing the wights from exiting the cave and buying enough time for Meera and Bran to escape.
Meera collapses from exhaustion and apologizes to Bran for failing to protect him as the wights gain on the two. In the nick of time, they are rescued by a mysterious figure clad in black. The individual later reveals himself to be Benjen Stark, Bran's long lost uncle and the former First Ranger of the Night's Watch. Benjen tells the two that the Three-Eyed Raven now "lives through" Bran, and says that Bran will be instrumental in stopping the Night King.
Benjen drops Meera and Bran off at the Wall, informing them that ancient magic carved into it prevents him from crossing. He warns them that the "Great War" is upon them, and says that he continues to fight for the living. He wishes them good fortune before riding off. Bran crawls to a weirwood tree with Meera's help. Before he makes contact, Meera asks if he's ready, to which he replies that he is now the Three-Eyed Raven and that he has to be. In that vision, Bran witnesses the birth of Jon Snow and the revelation that he is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, a piece of knowledge that is most likely known by only one other living man: Howland Reed.
Meera and Bran reach the gate to Castle Black at the Wall, where Lord Commander Eddison Tollett questions if they are wildlings. Meera replies that she is the daughter of Howland Reed and that her companion is Brandon Stark, son of Eddard Stark. Edd doubts it initially, but Bran says that he has seen Edd at the Fist of the First Men and Home, and that they need to come together to face the Night King and the return of the Long Night. Edd lets them through. Meera and Bran eventually make it to Winterfell, where Bran reunites with his sister Sansa Stark, the new Lady of Winterfell.
After Bran receives the Valyrian steel Catspaw dagger from Petyr Baelish, Meera says farewell to Bran in his chambers, stating that she needs to be with her family in Greywater Watch when the White Walkers and the army of the dead come. Bran, who has been psychologically traumatized through his experiences with greensight, merely thanks Meera for keeping him safe and alive. Bran tells her that he isn't Bran Stark anymore, but is now the Three-Eyed Raven. A tearful Meera tells Bran that he died in the cave and leaves to depart to the Neck.
- Lord Howland Reed, Lord of Greywater Watch and the current head of the family.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the crannogmen of the Neck are gifted and talented hunters and warriors. They have an ages-old feud with House Frey, who rule the lands immediately to the south. The Reeds came to the attention of their liege lords, House Stark when Howland Reed met Eddard Stark at a tournament at Harrenhal. Howland Reed and Eddard Stark became fast friends and allies. Aside from Eddard, Howland was the only survivor of the raid at the Tower of Joy, on the occasion of Lyanna Stark's death. The Reed stronghold at Greywater Watch is hard to find because it supposedly moves around on a floating island.
- House Fenne
- House Marsh
- House Peat
- House Boggs
- House Cray
- House Quagg
- House Greengood
- House Blackmyre
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "Northern Allegiances to House Stark"
- ↑ "The North"
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 "Dark Wings, Dark Words"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "Oathbreaker"
- ↑ "The Rains of Castamere (episode)"
- ↑ "The Lion and the Rose"
- ↑ "First of His Name"
- ↑ "The Children"
- ↑ "Home"
- ↑ "The Door"
- ↑ "Blood of My Blood"
- ↑ "The Winds of Winter"
- ↑ "Dragonstone (episode)"
- ↑ "The Queen's Justice"
- ↑ "The Spoils of War"