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Game of Thrones Wiki
"He once told me that being a lord is like being a father, except you have thousands of children and you worry about all of them."
Robb Stark on his father, Eddard[src]

Eddard Stark, Lord Paramount of the North from 282 AC to 298 AC.

The Lord Paramount of the North is a hereditary title in the Seven Kingdoms for the ruler of the administrative region of the North under the authority of the King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men.


The holder of the title comes from the Great House of the North and acts as an overlord for the region of the North. Traditionally, the title of Lord Paramount of the North has been held by the Lords of Winterfell from House Stark. The Starks have held the title since King Torrhen Stark surrendered as Kings in the North to Aegon Targaryen in the War of Conquest. Torrhen was the first Lord Paramount of the North and served King Aegon the Conqueror.[1]

Torrhen's descendant Rickard Stark held the title under King Aerys II Targaryen. His son Eddard Stark inherited the title when Rickard and his eldest son and heir, Brandon were executed by King Aerys.[2] Eddard's son Robb Stark inherited the title when Eddard was executed for treason on the orders of King Joffrey Baratheon. However, at the outbreak of the War of the Five Kings, Robb abandons his fealty to the Iron Throne as well as this title when his bannermen declare him King in the North.[3]

House Bolton is later elevated to the Great House of the North for their part in the Red Wedding, during which Roose Bolton personally killed Robb Stark by stabbing him through the heart.[4] Roose is then named Lord Paramount but this arrangement, according to Tywin Lannister, would only be temporary until a grandson by Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark, whom Tywin had forced to wed against both their wills, came of age.[5] However, Tyrion adamantly refused to forcibly consummate his marriage to Sansa, who ultimately escapes Tywin's control during the commotion following the sudden death of King Joffrey at his wedding.[6]

Sansa later agrees to wed Roose's son Ramsay Bolton in order to avenge her family at the behest of her uncle-by-marriage Petyr Baelish. Unbeknownst to Sansa and the Boltons, Baelish later informs against them to Cersei Lannister and offers to lead an army of Vale knights to mop up whomever emerges as the victor in the Boltons' coming battle with Stannis Baratheon at Winterfell. In exchange, Baelish asks that Cersei have him appointed the new Lord Paramount of the North, which she agrees to on the condition that he bring her Sansa's head. Meanwhile, Sansa's marriage to Ramsay turns into a nightmare since Ramsay, unlike Tyrion, has no qualms about forcing himself onto Sansa.[7] However, during the Battle of Winterfell, Sansa escapes with help from her childhood friend Theon Greyjoy, who was also being held prisoner by the Boltons.[8] Even though the Boltons emerge victorious over Stannis, Sansa's escape severely jeopardizes the Boltons' hold over the North.[9]

After learning that Roose Bolton's wife, Walda Bolton, has given birth to a trueborn son, Ramsay murders his father, Walda, and the newborn. With no other Boltons living, Ramsay becomes the new Lord Paramount of the North.[10] He continues to hold the title, though his rule over the North is challenged by the resurgent Stark army led by Jon Snow and Sansa Stark. The two armies clash just outside of Winterfell at what has come to be called the "Battle of the Bastards". Though the Boltons nearly secure victory, the Starks are reinforced by the last-minute arrival of a House Arryn cavalry force. Winterfell is liberated by the Starks, and Ramsay is executed by his own hounds in the aftermath. With no more living Boltons, House Bolton officially goes extinct.[11] Sansa becomes the Lady of Winterfell, but the Houses of the North and the Vale (still believing him to be the last living son of Ned Stark) declare Jon Snow the new King in the North, leaving the Lord Paramount of the North title vacant.[12]

Following the events of Daenerys Targaryen's war for Westeros, Jon Snow abdicates his position as King in the North and is instead named Warden of the North by Queen Daenerys Targaryen. It is unknown if Jon was additionally named Lord Paramount of the North but given that all the noble Houses of the North declared Jon King in the North, it is likely he also holds the title Lord Paramount of the North, just like Torrhen Stark when he bent the knee to Aegon Targaryen. However, it is also possible that Sansa was Lady Paramount of the North since Jon bending the knee to Daenerys. Lyanna Mormont questioned if Jon is "nothing," implying he has no Lord Paramount authority over her House, and Sansa showed some jurisdiction over the North's vassals when she commands Lord Ned Umber to go to Last Hearth. In the novels, there is also a precedent of Warden and Lord Paramount being separate offices, as while Cersei Lannister is Lady Paramount of the Westerlands, her cousin Daven is Warden of the West.

The title was left obsolete when the North became an independent realm once more following the Battle of King's Landing, with Sansa being crowned Queen in the North.

Known Lords Paramount of the North

Vacant 298–300 AC: {Robb Stark} reigns as King in the North

Vacant 303–304 AC: Jon Snow reigns as King in the North

  • 304–305 AC: Jon Snow, bastard son of Eddard (actually nephew).
  • 305 AC: Sansa Stark, daughter of Eddard.

Vacant 305 AC–present: Sansa Stark reigns as Queen in the North

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire books, this title does not exist. The official title of Lord Paramount is used only in the riverlands, stormlands, and Reach, though other great lords may be referred to as "lords paramount" in lowercase, differentiating them from lesser "great lords" such as the Hightowers and Manderlys.