- This article is about the Histories & Lore special feature. For the region, see: North
But without the cold, a man can't appreciate the fire in his hearth. Without the rain, a man can't appreciate the roof over his head. Let the south have its sun, flowers, and affectations, we Northerners have home.
Growing up, Lady Catelyn made sure I knew I wasn't a Stark, no matter how much blood I shared with her trueborn children. But where their name rules over the North, mine is the North. Snow.
Our lands stretches from the Wall down to the Neck, a narrow land that divides it from the rest of Westeros. Legend has it that the Children of the Forest flooded it in their war against the First Men. If that's true, every Northman owes them a debt of gratitude.
The swamps of the Neck are as good as the Wall for keeping out unwelcome armies. And if the swamps don't deter you, the crannogmen should. Small, shy people who rarely leave those swamps and who follow House Reed, the gatekeepers of the North, and among the most important and loyal bannermen of House Stark.
Also a bit strange. I heard their oath of fealty once as a child. It's is like no other lords'. Ancient and dark, they swear by earth and water, by bronze and iron, and by ice and fire.
Where House Reed holds the gate to the North, House Manderly holds the port. White Harbor, the closest thing to a southern city we have governed by the closest thing to a southern family we have. Generations ago, the Manderlys were driven from the Reach, but the Starks gave them their land in return for fealty.
Now White Harbor is the richest city of the North, and the Manderlys the richest family. Not in gold and silver like their southern counterparts, but in fish and grain and trade.
As for the other great Northern houses, the Starks brought them into the fold during the Age of Heroes.
A Stark wrestled an ironborn for Bear Island and gave it to the Mormonts. A Stark granted a keep and land to a younger son, Karlon, in return for putting down a rebellion. His family then grew up into the Karstarks.
And so House Stark became the Kings in the North, but never forgot that they weren't the North.
When Aegon and his dragons landed on Westeros, the Kings of the Rock and the Reach sent all of their men to die to defend their grounds. Torrhen Stark knelt to spare his people the same fate. He placed duty above pride.
After the First Men and the Children of the Forest beat them back, Brandon the Builder raised the Wall and set up the Night's Watch to guard the realms of men. He gave us our oath, our castles, and the Gift, the lands behind the wall whose farmers and crops sustain us.
Southerners may now mock my black brothers as thieves, rapers and worse. And not without cause. But the North remembers why we're there. And if we fall, the South will get a very harsh and very cold reminder.
- Jon Snow
- Lord Eddard Stark (mentioned)
- Robb Stark
- Lady Catelyn Stark (mentioned)
- King Rodrik Stark (indirectly mentioned)
- King Karlon Stark (indirectly mentioned)
- King Aegon I Targaryen, the "Conquerer" (mentioned)
- King Torrhen Stark, the "King who Knelt"
- King Brandon Stark, the "Builder" (mentioned)
- Night's Watch (mentioned)
- House Stark
- House Reed
- House Manderly (mentioned)
- House Mormont
- House Karstark
- House Umber
- House Bolton
- House Gardener (indirectly mentioned)
- House Lannister (indirectly mentioned)
- The Neck
- White Harbor
- Bear Island (mentioned)
- Karhold (mentioned)
- Last Hearth (mentioned)
- The Wall
- Castle Black
- Lands of Always Winter (mentioned)
- The Gift
- The Reach (mentioned)
- Wars of the First Men and the Children of the Forest
- Age of Heroes
- Long Night (mentioned)
- King in the North
- King-Beyond-the-Wall (mentioned)
- King of the Rock (mentioned)
- King of the Reach (mentioned)
- Lizard-Lions (not mentioned by name)