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Wiki of Westeros
House of the Dragon
Game of Thrones

"There has never lived a Stark who forgot an oath. And with House Stark, the North will follow."
―Bartimos Celtigar[src]

House Stark[1] of Winterfell is a Great House of Westeros. They rule over the vast region known as the North. It is one of the oldest lines of Westerosi nobility by far, claiming a line of descent stretching back over eight thousand years.

History[]

Background[]

Before Aegon's 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 were not originally the monarchs of the North; they began as vassals to the Barrow Kings, who lost support due to their inactive rule while their ancestor Bran the Builder built the Wall and protected the North. They warred with the Barrow Kings, emerging victorious. 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. Although their stronghold of Winterfell has been the capital of the North, war helped make it it's strongest castle, in opposition to the Reeds' Greywater Watch and the Dreadfort of House Bolton, with attacks from from the latter raising the need for more keeps, more walls, more guard towers and the expansion of their granaries and larders to survive sieges. Winter town would be raised from smallfolk seeking shelter from winter, and these would also join the Stark soldiers in fighting the Boltons.

They gained a new vassal from the Reach after House Manderly's exile, giving them a new home at White Harbor in exchange for their guarding the river against pirates. They defeated the Boltons, drove pirates away from the White Knife, slew the last Marsh King and wed his daughter for the Neck, with it's governance being given to House Reed and, according to legend, King Rodrik Stark wrestled with an Ironborn for Bear Island and won, giving it to House Mormont. 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.

Although the Starks had to content with defiant Houses in their unification campaign, some chose to submit and become loyal vassals, like the Umbers of Last Hearth and the Glovers of Deepwood Motte, with even their greatest rivals for dominance, the Red Kings of House Bolton, who made a sinister reputation for themselves with their practice of flaying, with one of them being notorious for ripping out the entrails of captive Starks, choosing to bend the knee, and their hostility being put on hold, due to the need for the end of unrest. Their timing proved crucial just then, due to the Andals landing and invading Westeros, swiping all lands of First Men rule except the North due to the other Houses fighting on their own, while the North opposed with a united front, with the Manderlys attacking their ships and the Reeds attacking their incursions into the Neck.

King Torrhen Stark was on the throne at the time of Aegon's Conquest and marched his army south to face them. He surrendered when he saw the Targaryens' greater host and their dragons, despite being suggested to resist from Moat Cailin or assassinating the sleeping dragons, believing that fighting was futile, due to the Targaryen victories at the Burning of Harrenhal and the Field of Fire. He was made Warden of the North, thus escaping the fates of House Gardener of the Reach and House Hoare of the Riverlands 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 criticize him for this often forget that they are only alive to do so thanks to his surrender.

House of the Dragon: Season 1[]

A member of House Stark travels to King's Landing to participate in the Heir's Tournament; a joust to celebrate the birth of Prince Baelon Targaryen. They are passed over by Prince Daemon Targaryen in favor of Ser Gwayne Hightower, whom the prince selects as his first opponent. They are killed shortly after by a blow to the head from a mace when the tourney descends into a violent brawl.[2]

Lord Rickon Stark later attends court, where he swears fealty to King Viserys I, and promises to uphold his decision to name his daughter Rhaenyra as heir to the Iron Throne.[2]

By 132 AC, Cregan Stark succeeds Rickon as Lord of Winterfell. During the Dance of the Dragons, Hand of the King Otto Hightower believes that the Starks will declare for King Aegon II Targaryen, as he sent generous terms.[3] However, the Blacks note that the Starks have always remembered their oaths, and so Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen sends her son Jacaerys to meet with Cregan about allying his house with the Blacks.[4]

House of the Dragon: Season 2[]

Lord Cregan ignores the terms sent by the Greens and is swayed by Prince Jacaerys to support the Blacks. He promises to send two-thousand "graybeards."[5]

Members[]

In the books[]

Main page: House Stark#In the books

References[]

External links[]


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