Characters / Game of Thrones - House Stark

Click here to return to the main character page. See also the book character sheet for these characters.

Only spoilers from the current season will be hidden, so beware spoilers if you're not up to date on the episodes.

    open/close all folders 

House Stark

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/72cabc6f26fb09347734f2e6a364260a.jpg
"Our way is the old way."

"You Starks are hard to kill."
Jon Snow

One of the oldest of the Great Houses of Westeros, very big on honor and tradition. Once, the Starks were Kings in the North and the Kings of Winter, but after Aegon's conquest and the reformation of the seven kingdoms the Starks' rank was reduced to Wardens of the North. The old titles are revived following the execution of Ned Stark and his son's acclamation as King. In the aftermath of the Red Wedding, House Stark was believed to be extinguished with Robb Stark and his family being murdered (though some of his siblings still survive), with their lands, titles and seat of power handed over to House Bolton. After the Second Battle of Winterfell, House Bolton is destroyed and the Starks are restored to power with Jon Snow as the new King in the North.

For tropes related to the younger generation of the Starks, see House Stark Children.For the tropes related to the Starks' household see House Stark Household


    In General 

  • 100% Adoration Rating: The Starks are highly popular with their vassals and smallfolk. Especially Ned Stark whose name even compels respect from the likes of Robett Glover, embittered by Robb Stark's Shocking Defeat Legacy. They are also very well liked by the smallfolk. This is almost certainly why Stannis tries to win Ned Starkís bastard son, Jon Snow, to his campaign to win the North. In exchange for Jon leaving the Night's Watch and bending the knee to him, Stannis makes Jon an offer of legitimization and lordship of Winterfell but Jon declines out of his Stark sense of duty.
  • Accidental Misnaming: "Winterfell" is called several times "Winterhell" by some characters, seemingly by mistake, not out of gratuitous malice. But after everything that has happened it wouldn't be a mistake either.
  • Adaptation Deviation: Their sigil in the books is running wolf, but the show changes it to a wolf's head.
  • Adult Fear: This is essentially House Adult Fear as the entire story is what happens to the Stark Family after the parents are separated from them, first by circumstances and then by death.
  • Aerith and Bob: Or Eddard and Robb if you will, but Stark men tend to have names that are less fantastic (Brandon, Robb, Ned, Jon, Ben) than the girls (Lyanna, Sansa, Arya).
  • Age Lift: Robb and Jon are 17-18 in the beginning of the series as opposed to 14 in the books, and their siblings are aged up accordingly. More time also passes within the show's timeframe than the books, so they age about twice as fast, too (then again, this applies to everyone in the narrative).
  • Ancestral Weapon: Ice has been this, gifted to the Starks by Aegon the Conqueror after Torrhen, the last Stark King of Winter, bent his knee.
  • Animal Motifs: The sigil of House Stark is the direwolf, a wolf the size of a small horse.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • To House Lannister. At the beginning of the series, the two houses can barely stand to be in the same room together without being drunk and Joffrey quickly manages to turn the Starks into mortal enemies of the Lannisters. Though, initially their differences were ideological rather than personal, and driven by Ned feeling bitter about the Lannisters souring Robert's Rebellion with their craven power-grab and his bias against Jaime Lannister's Bodyguard Betrayal of Aerys, it gets sour immediately and reaches a point of no return when Joffrey decides to execute Ned. An action which the Lannisters did not want to do, with even Cersei wanting Ned to be sent to the Night's Watch. After that, Tywin and Tyrion realize that It's Personal and the remaining Starks will hunt them down.
    • Historically, House Bolton were this to the Starks, rivals for hegemony over the North. They even rebelled against the North once(a la the "Reynes of Castamere") but the Starks pardoned them after they bent the knee. Since then, the Boltons have been forced into Teeth-Clenched Teamwork for the most part, with the Starks forcing them to outlaw their "traditions" of flaying people and Roose Bolton fighting for Ned Stark during Robert's Rebellion and supporting Robb during the War of the Five Kings. Until Roose found an opportunity, courtesy Tywin Lannister, to become The Starscream, and he along with the Freys betrayed the Starks during the Red Wedding with Roose personally killing his Liege Lord Robb Stark and becoming Warden of the North and claiming Winterfell as a reward. The rivalry between the Boltons and the Starks comes to an end when Ramsey, the last living Bolton, is defeated and killed by Sansa and Jon. House Bolton is extinct and Winterfell restored to House Stark
  • Back from the Brink: Four seasons after the capture of Winterfell and three seasons after their downfall at the Red Wedding, House Stark is officially back in the Game after destroying the Boltons and recapturing Winterfell. As Jon Snow remarked to Robb in Episode 2:
    Jon Snow: You Starks are hard to kill.
  • Badass Boast: Subverted. The Starks' motto is meant as a warning and also indicates a great concern for their subjects. However, Robb still manages to find a way to use it as a boast.
  • Badass Family: This House is full of legendary heroes, warriors and wargs.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: As a result of Adaptational Attractiveness note , every member of the Stark family is quite attractive and unambiguously good (though none are without their flaws).
  • Being Good Sucks: In Westeros, the decent way rarely is the efficient or happy way. Doing the right thing has its tolls. Deconstructed in Season 4. Even after their downfall the Starks still command 100% Adoration Rating among many of their former vassals and allies, all of whom would not hesitate a second to help any of the surviving Stark children, and when Stannis demands the capitulation of the northern noble Houses early in Season 5, their answer is exemplified by a ten year old girl's answer: "Bear Island knows no king but the King in the North, whose name is Stark."
  • BFS: Ice. So big that Tywin Lannister describes it as "absurdly large" and is able to reforge two normal Valyrian swords out of it.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: A notable aversion, as House Stark is one of the few great houses whose members unquestioningly love each other unconditionally.
  • Butt Monkey: Nothing ever goes well for the Starks at all (except during the times of Robert's Rebellion — and even then Ned and his younger brother Benjen were the only surviving Starks of their generation — and the early part of the War of the Five Kings, when the Starks and Tullys were militarily unstoppable). By Season 4, they've lost almost everything, both in human and social (i.e. titles) terms, including Winterfell, the Lordship Paramount of the North, and the Wardenship of the North, with the only remaining Starks in no position to reclaim their previous rank. Until Season 6, where despite all that, they do, re-establishing their Kingship in the North.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: House Stark's fate, for most of the series, has been a by-word regarding how a family of honorable fantasy heroes, good politics and Westeros don't mix. At the beginning of the War of Five Kings, House Stark (similar to the Greyjoy-led Ironborn) had the smallest army and fewest allies. After the Red Wedding, their ranks and leadership were virtually annihilated—the house itself functionally extinct. Their only remaining clanspeople (Sansa, Arya, Bran, Rickon and Jon) were either tossed around like bargaining chips or hunted like fugitives. And yet, by Season 6, they have a) retaken their ancestral seat and destroyed their centuries-long rivals, b) regained the support of the North and re-established their independent Kingdom, and c) pieced together a standing army through assimilating the Free Folk and allying with the knights of the Vale. By contrast, the three-way alliance that brought them on their knees —Boltons, Freys and Lannisters — are respectively extinct, in a Decapitated Army and Succession Crisis situation, and currently on the verge of collapse.
  • Demoted to Dragon: The Starks were Kings in the North and the Kings of Winter, but after Aegon's conquest and the reformation of the seven kingdoms the Starks' rank was reduced to Wardens of the North.
  • Dragon Ascendant: The Starks were vassals of the Barrow Kings but they took on a more active leadership position during the Long Night. They eventually supplanted the Barrow Kings after a thousand years of war.
  • Dwindling Party: Their members drop like flies. By Season 6, only Sansa, Arya, Bran, Jon, and Benjen are alive, with the last two only being alive because of resurrection spells.
  • Elective Monarchy: The North chooses a Stark king after rebelling against the Iron Throne at the end of Season 1. Robb Stark doesn't declare himself King in the North but is chosen by acclamation by the Northern bannermen and other allies. This also happens with his successor Jon Snow.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: The Starks are reduced down to a few children by the end of Season 3.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Of the House of York, at least in name and its individual members' characterization. When you take into account political position, war glories and subsequent vulnerability, however, they borrow more from the reputation of the House of Lancaster (a junior branch of The House of Plantagenet)—who were deposed by the ruthless and (sometimes) quite dishonorable methods of the Yorkist faction. This mixing with Lancastrian and Yorkist tropes also characterize their rivals, House Lannister.
    • This becomes more explicit come Season 6, where Jon Snow's ascension as King in the North (the same time it became clear he's not an illegitimate son of the main line, he's a Stark in the matrilineal line) after deposing the tyrannical rule of the Boltons harkens the propaganda of Henry VII's rise — a matrilineal relative of the Lancasters who established The House of Tudor.
  • Fatal Flaw: The Starks' reoccurring flaw is that they often assume that others share their morals and principles. This naivety often leads to the Starks being manipulated and contributes to several of their deaths.
  • The Fettered: In contrast to the Lannisters.
  • Good Is Dumb: When it comes to playing the game of thrones. When it comes to winning battles and ruling the North, it's a different matter.
  • Good Is Not Soft: They are heroic and nice. However, those who bring them harm should expect from them the same mercy that they dish to House Stark. In fact, they have killed most perpetrators of the infamous Red Wedding, such as Arya killing Walder Frey, and also, by the end of Season 6, the Starks have completely wiped out House Bolton, who was mostly responsible for their suffering.
  • Good Old Ways: They still keep to the traditions of the First Men: honor, bravery, belief in the old gods, and "the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword". They are the last great house to do so.
  • Grim Up North: By reputation. They live in the largest region, with harsh climate and subsequently harsh people. They are also the last great house of First Men's line and one of the last who worships the Old Gods and keeps the Good Old Ways, which is a bit looked down by the opulent South.
  • The Hero: The Starks are the most classical in terms of heroes, honor-bound warriors devoted to each other.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: The Stark's reputation has suffered over the years but this is mostly averted by Season 6.
    • Lord Eddard is ridiculed as a greedy simpleton who was executed for trying to steal the throne.
    • King Robb and Talisa's love affair is blamed for the loss of the war.
    • Jon is seen as a Night's Watch deserter who let Wildlings into the realm while Sansa is seen as a self-important brat and few powerful northern families support them because neither of them are legally Starks.
  • Honor Before Reason: By tradition, specially under the rule of Ned Stark, who lives and breathes by this trope. To their detractors they frequently cross the line to being Lawful Stupid.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: It's almost a family trait for Starks to place their trust in people who REALLY should not be trusted.
  • Iconic Outfit: The Stark army tend to wear a common outfit of a brown leather brigandine over a green tunic when in the field. It's far more modest and showy than other armour seen elsewhere and the fact that it's worn by soldiers and commanders, regardless of rank, suggests the Frontline General ethos espoused and followed by Ned and imbibed by his kids
  • Leitmotif: "Winterfell" is the most recurring Stark theme. A slow, somber and melancholic yet powerful piece that evokes past and better times when the family was together.
  • Looks Like Jesus: The Stark men have a tendency to have their dark hair long and an affinity in sporting a Badass Beard.
  • Meaningful Name: Stark has several meanings, including "rigidly conforming," "desolate" and "strong." All of these meanings can apply to the Stark family or the North.
  • Mind Control: The family had wargs in both the past and present.
  • Modest Royalty: Compared to other great houses. It says something about their house that for the most part, Sansa was the only one who wears Southern-inspired flashy outfits (in Season 1 due to being an Alpha Bitch, Season 2 onwards due to being a hostage in King's Landing). And even she chooses to mute her style further come Season 6, wearing a Brunswick green layered dress—with the Stark insignia embossed in gold. Quite flashy for Northern wear, but definitely muted compared to the South.
  • Monument of Humiliation and Defeat: King Joffrey installs a statue of himself wielding a crossbow with his foot standing on a direwolf.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Those who have died did so with only a few of their family present.
    • Lord Rickard and Brandon were executed in King's Landing while Ned was on the Eyrie, Benjen at Winterfell and Lyanna captive at Dorne.
    • Only Ned was present on Lyanna's deathbed on Dorne, though it is later revealed that Jon Snow was also present, with Lyanna having given birth to him.
    • Ned is executed with only his daughters present. The others are either at Winterfell (Bran and Rickon), at the Wall (Jon) or beyond (Benjen), or marching towards King's Landing (Robb and Catelyn).
    • The Red Wedding happens with Jon, Bran, and Rickon somewhere near the Wall, Sansa at King's Landing, Benjen missing beyond the Wall, and Arya just outside the venue while the event is taking place.
    • Jon is executed at the Wall, obviously without any of his family. Interestingly, he gets reunited with Sansa two episodes after his resurrection.
    • Only Jon is present when Rickon is killed by Ramsay. By the time Sansa arrives, she only sees Rickon's corpse.
  • Nice Guy: All of the Stark children share this as a common trait, along with Ned Stark himself.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: A trait common to all Starks is that many of their actions tend to backfire on them and aid their enemies. Namely, their dislike for Lannisters leads them to buy Littlefinger's lies about them killing Jon Arryn and later his phony accusation against Tyrion, actions which helped spark the War of the Five Kings.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Lord Eddard, Lady Catelyn, and Prince Brandon are mostly referred to as Ned, Cat, and Bran respectively.
  • Quality Over Quantity: House Stark and their Tully allies can muster only about 30,000 men (due to early Tully defeats and reversals, they are not able to muster the full strength of the densely populated and prosperous Riverlands), but face upwards of 60,000 Lannister forces (many, many more when the Tyrells join the Lannister side). And despite almost always being badly outnumbered in individual battles, they have never once been defeated (except for that 2,000-men decoy force sent to confront Tywin in Season 1). Ultimately though, the strategic imbalance between Stark/Tully and Lannister/Tyrell means that the Starks can't win a protracted war outside of the North.
  • Ragtag Bunchof Misfits: As of Season 6, with their leadership consisting of one of the last Starks (Sansa), a former Lord Commander of the Night's Watch (Jon Snow), a knight from a noble house in the Stormlands (Davos), a Red Priestess (Melisandre), and a Wildling chieftain (Tormund). The bulk of their army consists of two thousand Wildlings and several hundred bannermen from the few Northern houses still loyal to them. Suffice to say, the resurgent forces of House Stark are a diverse bunch. As of the finale, this is taken further with the addition of the surviving Northern Lords, Littlefinger and the Vale Lords as their bannermen
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: The Starks are known for their fair skin and dark brown hair.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: They finally reclaim their ancestral seat of Winterfell from the Boltons at the end of "The Battle of the Bastards" in Season 6, after it had been torched earlier in Season 2 and with the entire family scattered.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Heavily mixed with Had To Be Sharp, all of the remaining Starks as a whole came back greater individually than a the beginning of the War of the Five Kings.
    • Jon, due to his status as a bastard son raised in a castle, was a societal outsider. By the end of season 6, he becomes a charismatic leader the whole North and the Wildlings are ready to follow.
    • Sansa went from a NaÔve Newcomer and Butt Monkey in King's Landing to a Silk Hiding Steel type of woman who develops political acumen great enough to impress Littlefinger himself.
    • Bran discovered his Warg then Greensight abilities and develops them. By the end of Season 6, Bran replaces the Three-eyed Raven.
    • Arya underwent Training from Hell in Braavos and acquires the skills of the Faceless Men, the deadliest assassins in the world.
    • Benjen Stark simply Came Back Strong.
    • Now in general, by the end of Season 6: the Starks' 100% Adoration Rating finally pays off. They manage to gather many new allies, most notably Brienne, Davos, Littlefinger (for now), and the Wildlings while still having the support of their vassals. With their support, Sansa and Jon manage to defeat the Boltons for good and retake Winterfell, reclaiming the North and becoming one of the most united and powerful factions of the setting just behind Daenerys Targaryen's army.
  • Two Girls to a Team:
    • Sansa and Arya are the only daughters of Ned and Catelyn.
    • Catelyn and Talisa were the only prominent women in Robb's forces.
    • During Rickard Stark's reign, his wife and daughter Lyanna were the only prominent female Starks.
  • True Companions: With House Baratheon.
    Catelyn: [to Renly] Our houses have always been close.
  • Undignified Death: Life has not been very kind to them that they leave it harshly. Their deaths were so brutal that it came to a point where some of it disgusted even some of their enemies.
    • Lord Rickard and Brandon's infamous Cruel and Unusual Deaths (see their respective entries) which disgusted several characters long after it happened.
      Robert Baratheon: (To Ned) What her [Daenerys] father did to your family, that was unspeakable!
      Jaime Lannister: (To Ned) Nobody deserve to die like that.
    • Lyanna was said to be found bathing on her own blood before she succumbed.
    • Ned's execution has him give up his honor under false charges, with his head being mounted on a spike immediately after.
    • Robb, Catelyn and Talissa's is as infamous as Lord Rickard and Brandon above, if not more. To specify, Robb's corpse was beheaded and has his direwolf's head sewn on it. Catelyn was stripped naked and thrown in a river, denied of her family's tradition of Viking Funeral. Talissa was repeatedly stabbed in the womb, while pregnant.
    • Jon bleeds to death (if he's not dead already because of the stabbings) after he is unceremoniously executed by a few of his brothers at the Night's Watch. He got better, though.
    • Rickon is fatally shot by an arrow to the heart, with his corpse being hit by a few more arrows immediately after.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Their entire conflict with the Lannisters was instigated by Littlefinger, who used the values of both houses to move them against each other. The Starks' Honor Before Reason and the Lannister's Might Makes Right ethos.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: They're essentially a family of classic fantasy heroes who haven't quite caught on that they're living in a Darker and Edgier fantasy world where their idealism counts for very little... though some of them get better about it.

    Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/stark_eddard_8236.jpg
Played By: Sean Bean, Sebastian Croft (child), Robert Aramayo (young adult)

"I grew up with soldiers. I learned how to die a long time ago."

Eddard "Ned" Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, becomes the Hand of the King after Lord Jon Arryn's death. He is known for his sense of honor and justice. He took part in Robert's Rebellion after his sister Lyanna was kidnapped by Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. When Ned's father and brother went south to reclaim her, the "Mad King" Aerys Targaryen burned both of them alive. Ned and Robert Baratheon led the rebellion to unseat him from the throne. As the show opens, Ned has been content to remain in the north, but after the death of Lord Jon Arryn, he is convinced that it is his duty to accept the position of Hand of the King. Ned is not interested in politics, and prefers to rule with honor and follow the law.
  • Action Dad: Being the father of six children hasn't slowed his sword swing or dampened his willingness to use his sword when needed. As his own father Rickard told Little Ned, he doesn't seek to fight anyone but if a fight happens, he wants to win.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Eddard Stark is described in the books as being long-faced and plain, in contrast to his late brother Brandon, who was more dashing. On the show, he's played by Sean Bean, and described as "an even more impressive specimen" than his late brother.
  • Adaptational Badass: To an extent. In the books, he is a great general and capable warrior, but his skill with a sword is never mentioned as being exceptional. In the series, Barristan notes his fearsome reputation as a fighter. When Ned engages Memetic Badass Jaime Lannister, he proves his equal in skill until a Lannister guard puts a spear through Ned's leg from behind. From the books... 
  • Always Someone Better: Ser Arthur Dayne is this, as even Bran admits on seeing the Tower of Joy vision, Ned fought hard against him, despite the former using two swords and was inches from dying before Howland Reed saved his life.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: A Lord Paramount who evenly matches the much younger Jaime Lannister, a renowned master swordsman. Ser Barristan calls Lord Stark a fearsome fighter. Ned being the awesome guy he is, chooses to be modest about it.
  • Anyone Can Die: If there is a character that can illustrate this trope, it's Ned.
  • Badass Baritone: He has quite a deep voice. Interestingly, he is more of a Guttural Growler in his prime, as seen in the Season 6 flashback.
  • Badass Beard: He wears a full (although not too thick) beard and as mentioned above, is very much a badass.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: After becoming Hand.
  • Badass Family: Fathered one.
  • Bash Brothers: With Robert during the war against the Targaryens. And later the Greyjoy Rebellion, where he and Robert fought side by side when they laid siege on the castle of Pyke.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He is ready to go through Kingsguards, one being known as the best swordsman of his time, to save his sister Lyanna. He would even drop the Honor Before Reason and have his men gang up on his opponent though he is a bit shocked by Reed stabbing Dayne in the back but he gets over it quickly. Eventually, out of love for his sister, he lies to the whole world that he fathered a bastard solely to protect his nephew Jon, and honour her dying wish.
  • Big Good: To the North as a whole. Indeed, he's somehow referenced in almost every episode since his death.
  • Bookends: His death mirrors the same way he decapitated a deserter from the Night's Watch; somewhat inverted in that he sticks to his own mantra of the one speaking justice doing the executing, while Joffrey uses the Royal Executioner. He's even killed with his own ancestral sword, Ice, the same one he used to kill the deserter.
  • Broken Pedestal: Bran is disappointed to learn that his defeat of Ser Arthur Dayne was much less honourable then he expected. He is even more stunned to learn that his father lied to his own wife and children about Jon Snow's parentage.
  • Cincinnatus: When Jon Arryn dies, Robert seeks out Ned and asks him to be his new Hand of the King, thinking he is best suited to rule Westeros, despite Ned having no wish to take the job.
    • Also, this was Ned's role during the rebellion. Basically he won the rebellion for Robert, but never took advantage of this in any form and as soon as Robert sat on the throne, he missed the early stages of Robert's reign and went straight to Winterfell bringing his sister's remains and baby Jon Snow. He never left the North since that, save for the Greyjoy rebellion. Arguably, his hurry of coming back to the North and reluctance to leave it may have something to do with hiding and raising Jon Snow.
  • Confess to a Lesser Crime: At the end of Robert's Rebellion, Ned returns home with an infant boy. He confesses to his wife that he has broken his wedding vows and fathered a bastard son. This dishonorable act causes considerable strain upon his marriage. In truth the stain on his honor was a lie designed to hide the fact Jon was not his child, but his nephew via Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. In protecting Jon from Robert Baratheon, accomplished by hiding him in plain sight as his bastard, Ned's true crime was actually treason against the Iron Throne.
  • Cool Big Bro: To little Benjen and Lyanna as Season 6's flashback reveals.
  • Cool Sword: Ice was made of Valyrian Steel, which made it impossibly sharp. Ned used it for execution and ceremonial purposes, and in general battle, used normal swords.
  • Dead Star Walking: Sean Bean gets top billing and is used for promotion. His character dies in the Season 1 penultimate.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments.
    Ned: War is easier than daughters.
  • Death by Irony: Twice, he has a chance to come out on top of the Gambit Pileup but doesn't make the obvious move, because he doesn't want to see the history repeat itself — he hates the idea of killing children. In the end, he is killed by one of the very children he spared.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Like several honorable classic heroes, he refuses to make moral compromises and tries to save everybody. This ends up backfiring, chiefly warning Cersei to save her children. Not only does this lead to his own death, but leads to the crowning of a deranged psychopath, the very child he was trying to save.
  • Decoy Protagonist: For the first season as he's not only played by the biggest name in the cast, he's the character the audience spends the most time with and the story follows his journey to discover the secrets hidden by the Lannisters. Until he's executed.
  • The Everyman: He might be a Lord, but he's a hard-working man who is unfamiliar with the twisted inner workings of King's Landing.
  • Exact Words: He tells Jon Snow, "You are a Stark. You might not have my name, but you have my blood," when Jon asks about his mother. That's because he's not Jon's biological father, but his uncle. Lyanna Stark, Ned's deceased sister, is Jon's mother. So Ned's blood does run through Jon's veins, just not in the way he would expect.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Once he sees that Arya's out of sight, the look in his eyes shows him accepting his fate peacefully.
  • Famed In-Story: Lord Eddard Stark is renowned across Westeros as one of the leaders of Robert's Rebellion who deposed a psychotic King.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: He passed himself off as Jon Snow's father but is his uncle, with Jon being his late sister's son. A wise move, since Jon's biological family on his father's side was mostly slaughtered or exiled.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: While he loves his daughter Arya, and even appoints a tutor to teach her basic swordsmanship, Ned never sees it as more than a hobby and doesn't quite understand why Arya takes it as seriously as she does. He still expects that when she grows up she would become a Proper Lady and have an Arranged Marriage. Arya bluntly tells him, "That's not me!" and it's the only point on which she disagrees with her father.
  • Fatal Flaw: His unbending pride and honour leads to all kinds of problems, and eventually his death. That said, he is aware of this. And refuses to change anyway.
  • A Father to His Men: Don't fuck with his bannermen; when confronted by Jaime at the end of "The Wolf and the Lion", Ned tries to talk his way out of the situation. It was only when his guards were killed did he bring out his sword.
    Robb: 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. The farmers plowing the fields are yours to protect. The charwomen scrubbing the floors, yours to protect. The soldiers you order into battle. note 
  • Fish out of Water: He is out of his element in the cutthroat, dishonourable and slimy environment of King's Landing.
  • Foil: Like Stannis, Ned chose family over fealty to his king. Stannis followed his brother Robert into rebellion while Ned lied to his future king Robert as a last request from his sister Lyanna.
  • Four-Star Badass: He was a commander during Robert's Rebellion.
  • A Friend in Need: Despite the opposition of his wife, Ned accepts the petition of his old friend Robert to be Hand of the King and goes South, especially after reading a letter sent by Lysa Arryn that accuses the Lannisters of killing Jon Arryn and plotting to kill Robert Baratheon. This letter was sent to him by Lysa, on Littlefinger's behest, to specifically invoke this trope.
  • Genius Bruiser: Crosses over with him being an adaptational badass. Ned is not only a tactical genius, he's also skilled enough with a sword to go toe-to-toe with Jaime Lannister, the best swordsman in Westeros.
  • The Good Chancellor: We don't see many instances of him performing the duties of the Hand of the King, but when we do he's trying to reduce the kingdom's debt, dissuade Robert from putting himself in unnecessary danger, and actually attempt to give justice to the commoners, by taking down a band of psychotic marauding knights led by Ser Gregor Clegane who are in service to the richest, most powerful House in the kingdoms.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Ned Stark's advice is often dismissed as just being Honor Before Reason, but there are often very good reasons for his choices.
    • He doesn't back Renly's bid for the throne, but Renly's a diplomat with no combat experience in a situation that WILL require winning a war. Sure enough, Renly does nothing but divide the forces against the Lannisters. He also does not have a right to be king at the time, and you can't kick Joffrey off the throne because he's not the rightful king and replace him with someone else who isn't the rightful king.
    • He tries to broker a compromise with Cersei Lannister: she needs to go into exile before he tells Robert that she's been cheating on him with her brother and none of the children are Robert's. But as the daughter of the richest, most powerful man in the realm and the sister/lover of an infamous warrior who already killed one king, letting Robert bludgeon her to death in a fit of rage really isn't a wise move either.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Ned's probably one of — if not — the most just and righteous characters in the entire world of Westeros, particularly amongst the nobility. He also happens to be hard, stoic and difficult to connect with for outsiders, who subsequently view him as cold and (at times) terrifying. However, he clearly does love his wife, children, and bannermen, and as noted above refuses to be involved in plots that would endanger the lives of children (up to and including Daenerys Targaryen, who's in her mid teens). While all the while being one of the fiercest warriors in Westeros.
  • The Good King: Ned excels at two things: battle and administration. He is so loved by his bannermen and the smallfolk that his death at the hands of Southern rulers motivates them to never again submit to the Iron Throne and wage a civil war to avenge him.
  • Good Parents: If there's anyone who can illustrate this trope, it's Ned. In fact, he's probably the only father in this setting along with Davos Seaworth, who is not an asshole.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Straight and honest Ned Stark kept the greatest secret in Westeros: Jon is actually the secret son of the deceased Lyanna Stark and Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. Ned died convincing the whole world that he fathered a bastard son, Jon, and had broken his vows when, in actuality, this was a cover story Ned told to save his nephew, the only child of his beloved sister, from the wrath of the Baratheon regime. Ned spent the rest of his life protecting Jon, raising him as his own son and as part of his family - all out of love. Ned’s wife Catelyn, and most everyone else, never knew the truth behind Nedís actions and died believing Nedís cover story that he had broken his marital vows. Now that his son Bran has seen this in a vision, Bran has the ability to reveal the true story.
  • Grim Up North: Despite being from there he's still the only unambiguously good guy in the setting. Played straight however in that he's still hard, cold and stoic.
  • Happily Married: To Catelyn, from a Perfectly Arranged Marriage, even. He never broke his vows to her and was faithful to her all along.
  • The Hero: For Season 1, indisputably. Even three seasons after his death, he casts a long shadow with nary an episode gone by that his memory isn't invoked or referred to.
  • The Hero Dies: Undisputedly, the main character of the show, only to be killed-off an episode before the first Season Finale.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: He sports Ice a lot in his promos.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Seemed to be this with Robert Baratheon during their younger days.
  • History Repeats: Ned promising to take care of the dying Robert's children. He did the same for his sister Lyanna.
  • Honest Advisor: To Robert. "You're too fat for your armour" isn't a comment the king would accept from many people and least of all laugh about. This is also the reason why Robert asks him to join up as Hand of the King.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • There is his desire to ensure that Stannis becomes the King as Robert's rightful heir and at the same time ensure that Cersei and her children are spared which is incredibly naive to say the least. The dark side of this honor comes when Littlefinger advises him to Take a Third Option (blackmail Cersei and make Joffrey a Puppet King and rule as Regent) which Ned refuses to consider citing the Lannister's treatment of his children. Littlefinger points out that this would lead to open war between the Starks and the Lannisters and bring the Seven Kingdoms into war again which Ned fully accepts as a consequence of pursuing his current course.
    • Another point made by Jaime Lannister and Jorah Mormont is that he tends to be highly judgmental and self-righteous, condemning people who made dubious actions without listening to their side of the story. Jaime Lannister tells Brienne that when Ned Stark saw him standing over Aerys' body he didn't try to explain his side because he felt that Ned would never listen to him. Even when Jaime expresses genuine commiseration on the deaths of his father and brother, Ned refuses to accept it because to him Jaime is a selfish Lannister who stabbed his King and stood by while his father sacked the city and murdered the Princess and her children. Jorah Mormont also tells Daenerys when she gets her bout of self-righteousness that Ned Stark had the same attitude and if he had his way, he would be dead and denied his opportunity to redeem his honor in her service. What makes this tragic is that Ned admits to Cersei himself that he made mistakes in his past and is known across the realm to have fathered a bastard.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: "Of course I'll trust the man who hates me for marrying his childhood crush note  and has told me repeatedly that I shouldn't trust him. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" Though, to be fair, he doesn't trust Littlefinger at first, but Catelyn tells him that he can trust Littlefinger so part of the blame also goes to his wife as well.
  • I Gave My Word: He kept his promise of protecting his sister's son until his death.
  • Ignored Expert: A flashback in Season 6 shows that he actually saw a potential for Hodor (then known as Wylis) to become a warrior due to his size and allows him to train with Benjen. Old Nan, who was Wylis' guardian, politely brushes off her then little Lord's suggestion, citing social status.
  • Inspirational Martyr: His life, example and the manner of his death, a good man undone by corrupt schemers simply because he sought justice, has made him this across Westeros for the likes of his family, but also for Stannis Baratheon (who despite his irritation with his son Robb for seceding from the Iron Throne) who wants to bring the Lannisters to justice, Varys, Thoros of Myr and Beric Dondarrion.
  • Irony: He absolutely wouldn't let a child being killed and that's the reason he tells Cersei of his plan to expose Joffrey's parentage, so she would leave with her children before he does. He ends up with his head chopped off by the very child he was trying to save.
    • He fought a war with Robert to get his sister back, avenge his father and brother, and help overturn the Targaryen reign. However, by the time Ned found his sister Lyanna, she was dying after recently giving birth, but before her death, Lyanna begs Ned to save her child - Nedís nephew - who also happens to be the last son of the crown prince Rhaegar Targaryen, making Nedís own nephew the heir (since the Kingsguard itself was guarding the tower with Lyanna and her child inside) to the dynasty Ned helped abolish. Ned honors his sisterís Dying Wish and protects his nephew, who he raises and loves as his own, guarding one of the greatest kept secrets in Westeros by presenting him as his own illegitimate son to protect him from Robertís wrath, the man he originally fought alongside.
  • Judge, Jury, and Executioner: "The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword". A completely honorable version of the trope, it's meant as a safeguard against tyranny because a ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon forgets what death is. For Jorah Mormont, its more literal, since Ned Stark outright wanted to execute him for selling poachers into slavery forcing to him flee to Essos.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: It's not an audible sentence, mind you, but he's clearly in the middle of the some sort of prayer when Ser Ilyn beheads him and is unable to finish it before the stroke falls.
  • Kingmaker Scenario: He's placed into one, but doesn't take advantage of it like he probably should have. This was also not the first time, since Cersei pointed out that he could have taken the throne for himself at the end of Robert's Rebellion, which she states is his "biggest" mistake. Ned disagrees:
  • Master Swordsman: He can match Jaime Lannister blow for blow. Also, Barristan is impressed by his skill.
  • Modest Royalty: Definitely one of the most humble noblemen in all of Westeros. Case in point: when the servant who receives Ned in King's Landing asks if he'd like to change into something more appropriate for the King's Council meeting, Ned just takes his riding gloves off and goes as he is.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Ned's sense of duty and honour means he will not refuse a direct order from his King. When Cersei demands the execution of Lady in lieu of the direwolf that bit Joffrey, Ned looks about ready to tell her where she and the other Lannisters can shove it. He only eventually acquiesces when Robert gives him a "get it done" look before storming out. However, as shown by his initial refusal to partake in the conspiracy to assassinate Daenerys Targaryen, his loyalty to Robert does have it's limits.
  • NaÔve Newcomer: To the Court. Poor Ned never fully grasps the subtle intricacies of King's Landing.
  • Nerves of Steel: Seems awfully calm when surrounded by Lannister soldiers, with Jaime Lannister in front of him.
  • Nephewism: Raised his sister's son as his own.
  • Nice Guy : He was so nice that he even tried to protect Cersei's children, despite them being incest born and their family being enemies to the Starks. Ned is easily one of the most honorable characters in the series.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Warning Cersei? Really? Varys calls him out on this the following episode telling him that his mercy towards Cersei's illegitimate children led to Robert's death, the very reason he became Hand in the first place. This ends up having serious repercussions. Not only does it lead to his own death, but the death of several of his family members and the destruction of his entire House. To top it all off, this action leads to Joffrey being crowned king and we all know how that went.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: His warning of Cersei to save her children and his refusal to take Joffrey hostage get him arrested.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed:
    • To Richard, 3rd Duke of York, who as regent to Plantagenet King Henry VI tried to seize the throne away from Margaret d'Anjou (for whom Cersei serves as an inspiration), only to fall in battle driving his sons to seek revenge.
    • He's also one for Richard III, the son of the Duke of York, named Lord Protector by the dying King Edward IV (Robert Baratheon), and who in the early part of his reign was loved by the people of Northern England for his fair sense of justice and being a man of high honor.
  • Not So Stoic: That said, when he's around friends and family, he's a lot more relaxed and cheerful.
  • Number Two: To King Robert as Hand of the King.
  • Odd Friendship: The two are best friends, despite Ned being the exact opposite of Robert in nearly every way.
  • Odd Name Out: He's the only one of his siblings whose name starts with a vowel (barring nicknames aside of course).
  • Off with His Head!: Poor Ned's ultimate fate, when Joffrey instructs Ilyn Payne to 'bring me his head'.
  • Old Friend: To King Robert, stemming from the two of them growing up as foster brothers.
  • Oop North: Sean Bean supplies his Sheffield accent to the character.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: The generally accepted story at the beginning of the series is that Jon Snow is the son of Ned Stark and an unknown woman he knocked up during Robert's Rebellion. However, Stannis, referencing Nedís honor, remarks on this story, "Perhaps, but that wasnít Ned Starkís way," which casts doubt on Jon's true parentage. Season 6 reveals that Jon is actually the son of Ned's sister Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Ned promised Lyanna on her deathbed that he would take care of Jon and not reveal his true parentage to anyone, including Robert Baratheon, who would have probably killed him. Ned keeps his word and raises Jon as his own.
  • Papa Wolf: Not only a pun.
    • A clear example is his anger when his daughter isn't brought before him first after Joffrey ends up mauled. It even makes him forget he's speaking to his King. Not that the King minds.
    • He's also willing to tarnish his honourable reputation by proclaiming Joffrey as the true heir and be banished to the Night's Watch if it will save Sansa. Unfortunately, Joffrey had him killed, anyways.
  • The Paragon: Ned Stark's memory serves as this to many characters even after his death, lasting well into Season 4. All his children in various ways try to live up to his teachings and example, while the North thoroughly adores him. Even the Lords of the Vale, who knew him as a young man when he fostered with Jon Arryn, know him well. Even Jaime Lannister, who did not get along with him at all, resolves to try and redeem his honor by tasking Brienne with safeguarding Ned Stark's daughter Sansa with "Oathkeeper", a sword Tywin re-purposed from "Ice":
    Jaime: You'll be protecting Ned Stark's daughter with his own sword.
  • Parental Substitute: He is Jon Snow's uncle.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: His marriage to Catelyn was political, but they're mostly very compatible (but not without a major setback, that Ned wasn't even guilty of).
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Jon Arryn's death may have set the process in motion, but it's Ned's execution that ultimately plunges Westeros into all-out, bloody war.
  • Protagonist Centred Morality: What triggered his downfall was his discovery regarding the Secret Legacy of Cersei's children because he was planning to expose them to Robert and warned Cersei. Yet Ned is guilty of a similar deed by hiding his sisterís son with Rhaegar Targaryen under his roof for years, passing him off as his own illegitimate child. On his behalf, Ned did this to protect his nephew with no intentions for political gain while Cersei pushes for Joffrey and Tommen to inherit the crown of King Robert Baratheon, knowing full well they are not the legitimate heirs. Also, Ned believed at the time that Cersei had his friend Jon Arryn killed for having found out this same information, another thing he would not forgive.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: If the observations of Jaime, Tywin, and Varys are to be believed, the Northmen seem to have a shade of this. And Ned's one of them.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Ned is a devout follower of the Gods of the First Men and Children of the Forest though he is religiously tolerant. His wife Catelyn is a devotee of the Faith of the Seven, and their children were raised in both faiths, with Robb marrying Talisa before a Septon despite being King in the North, and Sansa being, initially, strong in the Faith of the Seven.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Robert's reason for wanting Ned as Hand of the King. In fact, if he had it his way, he'd let Ned rule the Seven Kingdoms with him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Robert.
    Ned: I followed you into war, twice. Without doubts, without second thoughts. But I will not follow you now. The Robert I grew up with didn't tremble at the shadow of an unborn child.
  • Replacement Goldfish: He himself is one. After his older brother, Brandon, was executed it fell to Ned to become Lord of Winterfell and marry Catelyn Tully.
  • Retired Badass: Ned's had enough of fighting in war and clearly intends to spend his remaining years governing the North with his family. That is, until Robert showed up out of the blue, hellbent on making him the next Hand of the King.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Conclusive proof that decency, honesty and Westeros don't mix very well.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • How he feels upon learning of the illegitimacy of the Royal Children. He can be loyal to his friend Robert, tell him the truth, and drive him into an insane fury that would most likely cause him to kill not only Cersei and Jaime, but also Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella, who, upon being declared as abominations, will be murdered as well, or he can listen to Cersei and ignore the issue altogether and allow the Lannisters to install their inbred corrupt dynasty. In the end, he gets killed by the very boy-king, Joffrey, whose life he hoped to spare.
    • When he finds Lyanna on her deathbed with her newborn child (Jon). Ned has the following choices. He can allow the world to know his sister had a child with Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, the man King Robert hated more than anyone, which would put his sisterís son in fatal danger from Robert or Ned can protect his nephew, honor his sisterís Dying Wish, and put himself in the line of fire out of love for Lyanna and Jon. Ned brings his nephew home with him to Winterfell and claims Jon as his bastard son to protect Jon from their familyís enemies. Ned loves Jon and raises him as his own alongside his true born children but Ned's lie tarnishes his reputation, strains his marriage, and Jon experiences a series of issues related to his bastard-status and never knowing about his mother because it is too dangerous for Ned to reveal the truth.
  • Second Love: Catelyn really loved (and was originally betrothed to) his eldest brother.
  • Secret Keeper: Took the secret of Jon Snow's parentage to the grave.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: In stark contrast to Robert, who misses war and his glory days. Best shown in Lord Snow, where Ned watches Arya practicing fencing with Syrio Forel, only to have his amused expression slowly turns grim as he's gradually reminded of the hell of war, apparently hearing the distant sound of swords clashing and men dying.
  • Shoot the Dog: His killing of Sansa's direwolf Lady because, in his words: "The wolf is of the North. She deserves better than a butcher." It's worth noting that Ned refuses to ask or even let someone else take responsibility for Shooting The Dog, as shown with both Will the deserter and Lady. He even looks them in the eyes (and hears out their last words, in Will's case).
  • The Stoic: Grim, cold, and distant, unless around his family.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Littlefinger, who hates Ned, calls him "an even more impressive specimen" than his brother Brandon, who was already noted to be a Hunk in-universe.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: As Hand of the King, due to a disagreement with Robert.
  • Token Good Teammate: To the Deadly Decadent Court of King's Landing.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Robert, who Catelyn even lampshades in the first episode has a tendency to lead Ned into trouble. If only she knew.
  • Tragic Hero:
    • Ned is a straight example in that his very values and character and identity leads him to his death, if he had done otherwise he would not be the same person. He absolutely will not commit or condone the heinous action of killing a child regardless of the political benefit. In the end, he gets killed by the cruel whims of the same child that he had intended to spare from Robert's wrath.
    • Out of love for Lyanna and his nephew Jon, Ned lies to everyone that Jon Snow is his bastard son to protect him from his enemies. This action causes strain in his own marriage, leading to Jon Snow being raised under somewhat difficult circumstances, since Catelyn resented his presence and there was nearly nothing he could do about it.
  • Tranquil Fury: Indulges in this when Jaime kills Jory. And it nearly carried him to victory.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Ned is arrested, stripped of his lands and titles, forced to falsely confess treason and conspiracy to take the Iron Throne for himself, sentenced to death after being promised he would be spared if he confessed and finally beheaded with his own sword — the same he used himself to kill criminals, no less — in front of the mob, with his head put and left to rot on a pike.
  • Turn in Your Badge: He turns in his badge as Hand of the King after a disagreement with Robert. Within hours he finds that this leaves him and his household unprotected against reprisals from the Lannisters.
  • Warrior Prince: Ned is one of the greatest fighters in Westeros, and also wields a great deal of authority. It's right there in his own creed: He who passes the sentence, should swing the sword.
  • Would Not Hurt A Child:
    • After seeing what happened to the Targaryen children during Robert's Rebellion, Ned does not want to see history repeat itself. While warning Cersei to take the children and run might have been the noble thing to do, it wasn't the smartest thing to do. Ironically, this action alone did not result in his death. Cersei never intended to kill him, merely sent to the Night's Watch. He was finally killed on the whim of a boy-king, the very person he had intended to spare.
    • The reason for him holding to this belief is his fear of Jon Snow's safety. Robert Baratheon wanted to kill all of Rhaegar's offspring, which if the truth were revealed, would include Jon Snow as well. Ned internalized this to protect all children in danger from the crown: Daenerys and also Cersei's kids.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • Not in general, but this goes a long way toward explaining why he trusts Littlefinger. Ned seems to think that he's a Sarcastic Devotee, who despite his snarkiness, is a loyal ally. The reality is very different. He might also have been working under the assumption that since Littlefinger is hopelessly in love with Cat, he wouldn't betray him and risk hurting her. Unfortunately, there lies the main reason he does turn on him!
    • Also, Littlefinger probably would have stuck by Ned if Ned had gone along with Littlefinger's plans for the throne, which involved controlling Joffrey as a Puppet King after he received the throne through blackmail (in hindsight, Littlefinger was probably too confident himself about this scheme's success, since even he didn't know at that point just how insane Joffrey really was). Ned is Wrong Genre Savvy when he expects that Littlefinger will continue to help him after he turns down Littlefinger's bid to share power.
    • He told Cersei that he found out about her little incestuous secret in the hopes that it would drive her and her son away from the Iron Throne. It got him and his guards killed instead.
  • Your Cheating Heart: His wife Catelyn died believing that Ned Stark betrayed his vows to her and fathered Jon Snow out of wedlock, when it turns out that he did no such thing.

    Lady Catelyn "Cat" Stark, née Tully 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/stark_catelyn_4511.jpg
"...all this horror that's come to my family... it's all because I couldn't love a motherless child."
Played By: Michelle Fairley

"You have inherited your father's responsibilities. I am afraid they come at a cost."

Catelyn Stark, Lady of Winterfell, is the wife of Lord Eddard Stark. Born to the Lord and Lady of the Riverlands, she is the elder sister of Lysa Arryn, Lady of the Vale and Mistress of the Eyrie. Murdered at her brother Edmure's Red Wedding to Roslin Frey at the Twins by the Boltons and Freys.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Despite looking down on Walder Frey (or "The Late Walder Frey") throughout most of the series, she still tearfully pleads with him to spare Robb's life, even offering herself in his place. It doesn't work.
  • Apron Matron: Not visually, but she's defined by her role in her family.
  • The Cassandra: Zig-zagged. Her safety concerns about Bran's climbing turn out to be more than justified. Her firstborn Robb consistently ignores her well-reasoned advice of being wary of the Greyjoys, Karstarks and Freys, with disastrous results. On the other hand, she also tells her husband to trust Littlefinger, which is hands down the dumbest thing you can do in Westeros. And while she does warn Robb to be wary of the Freys, she also vouches for them, saying Walder Frey would never do anything to harm her.
  • Crusading Widow: After Ned dies at the Lannisters' hands, she vows to get revenge on them: "We will kill them all."
  • Death Glare: While she is usually too Hot-Blooded to not simply explode in someone's face should they piss her off, the enraged glare she fixes on Jon Snow while he is saying goodbye to the comatose Bran rivals the worst of Tywin's patented glares, and at her father's funeral she is able to keep Robb from breaking down in laughter at Edmure's Epic Fail at lighting the raft by shooting him one of these.
  • Demoted to Extra: Robb becomes an Ascended Extra at the expense of Catelyn. She is a major POV character in the books (Robb's storyline is seen entirely from her point of view) but doesn't get as much screentime or lines as Robb himself. Continues post-Season 3: In the books, Catelyn is revived by Beric Dondarrion and becomes the leader of the Brotherhood without Banners as the vengeful Lady Stoneheart, but that entire subplot has been Adapted Out.
  • Despair Event Horizon: After Robb is killed, she seems to lose the will to live as she doesn't even try to resist when the Freys proceed to slit her throat.
  • Did Not Think This Through: While she doesn't trust anyone but Brienne to exchange Jaime for the girls, considering that prisoner exchanges usually have a lot of backup to secure against any possible betrayals, how did she expect Brienne to actually pull this off? Also, her arrest of Tyrion, believing that he tried to have her son murdered since she was told that the assassin was using his dagger. When Tyrion asks the obvious question of why someone would be dumb enough to arm an assassin with their own blade, she is unable to answer.
  • Didn't See That Coming: She knew fully well that Walder Frey was a "dangerous man to cross" but it's quite clear that she never expected that Frey would stoop to the level of violating Sacred Hospitality, killing their guests after offering them bread and salt.
  • Expy: There are a lot of similarities between her and the mythological Hecuba, the wife of King Priam of Troy, who went mad with grief at the separation and deaths of her children, and death of her husband.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Unlike in the books, Cat becomes aware of Paetyr's involvement in Ned's death and wishes she had let Brandon kill him years ago.
  • Fatal Flaw: Her love for her children drives her to do incredibly irrational things (such as kidnapping Tyrion and releasing Jaime). Her release of Jaime, in particular, is one of the major factors that leads to the death of her and Robb.
  • Genre Blind: Doesn't even consider that Tyrion was obviously being framed. As he himself noted, only an extreme imbecile would arm an assassin with their own weapon.
  • Going Native: She's become quite comfortable with her Northern home after being married off to Ned. Lysa Arryn later tells Sansa that her mother in her youth was quite a big eater and far less austere than when she was Lady of Winterfell, pointing out that she assimilated into Ned's world very easily.
    Catelyn Stark: Take him to the stockade and bind him with every chain you can find!
    Jaime Lannister: You've become a real she-wolf in your later years. (dragged off) There's not much fish left in you!
  • Happily Married: To Ned, with whom she has five children.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Played straight with Ned. Inverted with the Faux Affably Evil Littlefinger.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Has a pretty serious one after Robb reveals to her, at the same time, that her father has died, and that Winterfell was burned, the inhabitants slaughtered, and that Bran and Rickon are missing. And when Robb dies before her eyes she loses it completely.
  • Hidden Depths: Not that Catelyn was ever shallow in the slightest, but in the second episode of Season 3, she reveals whole new depths to her character to Talisa about her relationship with the baby Jon Snow: she initially wished him to die, and, when he did get seriously ill and she was riddled with guilt over wishing death on an innocent baby and apparently getting that wish, promised to love him as if he was her own child if the gods let him recover. She blames her failure to keep said promise for all the horror her family has endured.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: She's actually quite astute, warning Robb about crossing the Greyjoys and the Freys. But she makes several terrible errors of judgment with dangerous consequences (usually, in her defense, not without some good reasons).
    • Even though she doesn't fully trust Walder Frey, she has absolute faith that Walder Frey would never let any harm come to her. As stated above, however, breaking Sacred Hospitality is practically unheard of in Westeros, unlike her book counterpart who is fully aware of his sneakiness.
    • She has absolute trust in Unlucky Childhood Friend Littlefinger, who is behind pretty much everything bad that happens in the series, vouching for him before her skeptical husband who would never have given him the time of day otherwise. Leading directly to Ned's capture and execution.
    • She also believes that Tyrion is just as bad or worse than the rest of the Lannisters.
    • Also of her sister. Catelyn seemed to trust in her absolutely when she blamed the Lannisters for Jon Arryn's death and believed that Tyrion would receive a fair trial if brought to her. In her defense, she hadn't seen her in quite some time. It's not until they meet again does she realize how crazy her sister has become.
  • Hot-Blooded: Some of her more questionable decisions have been the result of her following her Mama Bear instincts instead of her sense of reason, such as her impromptu capture of Tyrion and her later release of Jaime, against both the interests of Ned and Robb respectively.
  • Howl of Sorrow: After Robb dies in front of her.
  • Ignored Expert: As written in The Cassandra above, Robb ignored her well-reasoned advice regarding the Greyjoys, Karstarks, and Freys, which resulted in the fall of the Northern army and House Stark.
  • It's All My Fault: Blames herself for the misfortunes of the family because she failed to keep her word in a Bargain with Heaven regarding the raising of Jon Snow as her own son. It's revealed in Season 6 that he's not Ned's bastard, but their nephew.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Her not treating Jon Snow like a son despite his love of her could be seen as this, though she does feel very bad about it. And then Season 6 reveals that Jon is actually Ned's nephew, not his bastard son. It makes the whole situation between Catelyn and Jon even more cruel and tragic.
    • Killing Walder Frey's wife, even after it's clear he doesn't give a shit about her and the poor girl did nothing to deserve it.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Believes herself to be on the receiving end of this from the Gods, due to wishing Jon Snow dead in a moment of anger. Made even more poignant since she dies believing that Jon is the only son of Winterfell to survive.
  • Mama Bear: Try to murder her son in front of her! And the moment she tells Robb that after saving Arya and Sansa they will kill all their enemies. From the DVD commentary track discussing that moment:
    David: This is an interesting scene, because up until this point, Catelyn has really been the voice of reason.
    Dan: Eh. After everything her family has been through, 'kill them all' kind of IS the voice of reason.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Catelyn admits that she regrets having refused to love Jon Snow and treat him like a son, and believes that the misfortunes of her family are the gods' way of punishing her.
  • My Greatest Failure: Saving Littlefinger from Brandon Stark.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Her capture of Tyrion really pisses off Tywin Lannister, and helps spark off a civil war between their families. Her only evidence was Littlefinger's testimony and even then, Ned insisted on a measured approach while she arrested Tyrion on the spur of the moment and then kidnapped him by taking him to the Eyrie.
    • Letting Jaime go is a huge mistake, considering that he is their only bargaining chip. Also, there was absolutely no guarantee that the Lannisters would agree to release Sansa and Arya even if they got Jaime back. On top of that, it also undermined Robb's position with his vassels, not to mention making him look weak and unable to control his own people.
  • Non-Action Guy: She's a typical noblewoman and thus mostly defenseless. But this doesn't stop her when Bran is in danger. Nor when Robb's in danger during the Red Wedding.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: To Talisa, initially. In "The Rains of Castamere", she finally seems to warm up to her after overhearing Talisa say that she's going to name her and Robb's child, "Eddard", if it's a boy.
  • Oh Crap!: She obviously realizes something is up when "The Rains of Castamere" starts playing and they bolt the doors during the Red Wedding. And then she finds chain mail on Roose Bolton...
  • Only Sane Woman: Definitely the smartest and most down-to-earth of the Tully siblings.
    • After the Season 2 finale, she might also count as the one sane person in Robb's camp, although this depends on how justified you think she is in releasing Jaime or whether it was a truly boneheaded decision. A point in her favour, at least, is that Robb's bannermen actively plot to murder Jaime, so she isn't wrong in thinking that they'd lost their only bargaining chip either way.
    • Once again in the middle of the conflict between Renly and Stannis.
    • And in "The Rains of Castamere", when Lothar Frey closes the doors and "The Rains" start playing, she is the only member of the Stark retinue that suspects something bad is coming. Well, her and Grey Wind.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Dies after Robb and she also believes Bran and Rickon are dead.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: According to the History and Lore videos, she believed she would have this with Brandon, who she was initially betrothed to. She ended up having this with his younger brother when Brandon was murdered. Despite the rough patch when Ned brought home another woman's child, their marriage has been pretty smooth sailing.
  • Prisoner Exchange: Tries to pull one off with the Lannisters — Jaime for her daughters — but it doesn't go over too well. Still, due to Brienne's absolute loyalty, she's still trying to retrieve Sansa and Arya.
  • Proper Lady: While she was a Tully, although she's gone native with the Starks. Still, she retains an air of refinement and mild strictness.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Gives a very mild, but very pointed one to Renly in Season 2.
      Catelyn: (reviewing Renly's troops) I pity them.
      Renly: Why?
      Catelyn: Because it won't last. Because they are the knights of summer, and winter is coming.
    • She tries to give one to Jaime about being a Kingslayer, but he retorts with quite an effective Shut Up, Kirk!.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: She's the red to her husband's blue and the blue to her son Robb's red.
  • Settle for Sibling: Enforced. After Brandon Stark's death, she married his younger brother Eddard.
  • Shipping Torpedo: Catelyn displays visible disapproval of her son Robb's starting relationship with field nurse Talisa Maegyr due to his existing betrothal. And hell, she's right...
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Don't let her Proper Lady demeanor fool you: she'll cut your damned throat if you think to touch her children with anything less than a hug.
  • Slashed Throat: At the hands of Black Walder Frey.
  • Sweet Tooth: As said by Lysa, "Cat always went for the sweetest thing." This may be where Sansa gets it from.
  • Team Mom: To the Starks, in addition to being their actual mother.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly Girl to Brienne's Tomboy.
  • Tragic Hero: Despite her efforts to see her children safe, she spends her final days knowing Sansa is a captive of the enemy, Arya is missing, and believing Bran and Rickon are apparently dead. When her firstborn son is killed right in front of her, she gives up all hope.
  • Tranquil Fury: In the first season finale, Catelyn, mourning her husband, very nearly bashes in the Kingslayer's head with a convenient rock. Also apparent when she calmly but fiercely calls upon her father's bannermen to stage a citizen's arrest of Tyrion Lannister, who she blames for the attempt on Bran's life.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Baelish's manipulations hit her the hardest, as her impulsive reactions to an assassination attempt against Brann with a dagger that belonged to Tyrion and her credulity to an engineered letter sent by Lysa Arryn are two of the major reasons why her house sparks the war with the Lannisters.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Gets one from Robb and Lord Karstark when she goes behind their backs and releases Jaime Lannister in the hope of getting Sansa and Arya back.
    • She gets him right back by pointing out how monumentally stupid breaking his deal with House Frey, just to marry a field nurse, is.
  • Wicked Stepmother: While not abusive, she makes pretty clear to Jon Snow that she doesn't want him around. Different from the usual stepmother scenario in that he's the product of adultery, so she's got some reason to be unhappy about his presence.From the books...  She comes to regret her dislike of Jon after all the tragedy that befalls her, believing that it was karmic retribution for betraying the promise she made to love him.
    • In the Season 6 finale, it's revealed that Catelyn wasn't so much Jon's wicked stepmother as his wicked aunt. Lyanna Stark is Jon's mother and Ned is Jon's uncle. After Lyanna dies following childbirth, Ned adopts his nephew Jon, raises him as his own, and passes Jon off as his own illegitimate child to protect Jon from Robert Baratheon's wrath. Catelyn may have acted very different if she'd known Jon was her nephew instead of the child her husband conceived with another woman as a result of infidelity.
  • Worthy Opponent: Despite suffering a Kangaroo Court because of her Mama Bear tendencies, Tyrion has great admiration for her:
    Tyrion: I admired her... she wanted to have me executed but I admired her. She was a strong woman and she was fierce when it came to protecting her children.

    Benjen Stark 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Benjen_Stark_9931.jpg
"The dead don't rest."
Played By: Joseph Mawle

"The Wildlings are no different from us. A little rougher, maybe. But they're made of meat and bone. I know how to track 'em and I know how to kill 'em. It's not the Wildlings giving me sleepless nights."

Eddard Stark's younger brother and First Ranger of the Night's Watch. He is uncle to Robb, Jon, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon. Benjen went missing on a ranging north of the Wall, prompting an expedition to investigate his fate, which has been left a mystery.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Benjen had to earn the position of First Ranger at the Night's Watch.
  • Badass Beard: Thinner than his brothers, but present all the same.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Saves Bran and Meera from wights in Season 6.
  • Brutal Honesty: When Jon arrives with a pretty entitled attitude due to his rather privileged upbringing in a castle, Benjen sets his nephew straight and tells Jon in no uncertain terms that he is no better than anyone at the Wall: A man gets what he earns when he earns it. It works.
  • But Now I Must Go: He leaves Bran and Meera at the end of Season 6 as the Wall has magic spells carved into it which prevent the undead, and by extension him, from passing.
  • Came Back Strong: His watch was ended by the White Walkers, but The Children of the Forest kept him from turning into wight and gifted him with some sort of augmented or awakened power in the process, as he's able to ignite a weapon, he can foresee the future and is even aware of the actual contents of Bran's visions.
  • Come with Me If You Want to Live: To Bran when he rescues him and Meera.
  • Composite Character: With Coldhands, as the former Night's Watch member who was turned into a wight, and comes to Bran's rescue in the north.From the books... 
  • Cool Uncle: Jon simply adores his uncle, wants to emulate Benjen in the Nightís Watch, and looks up to his uncle as much as he idolizes his father, Ned. The rest of the Stark kids adore their uncle well.
  • Curiosity Is a Crapshoot: He and his ranging party went north to find White Walkers. They encountered the obvious problem — they found them.
  • Epic Flail: Wields a flaming flail against the wights when he rescues Bran and Meera.
    • Stock Ninja Weaponry: Rather than having a handle like a normal flail (as wielded by Westerosi knights) it has a long chain attached to a short scythe on the other end. This bizarrely makes it basically a dead ringer for a Japanese kusari-gama.
  • Kill It with Fire: He knows this is the best way to kill wights and comes prepared.
  • Never Found the Body: His horse returned riderless and two of his comrades corpses are found — reanimated by White Walkers. While he is officially only missing in action, his comrades-in-arms are not optimistic and he is 'presumed dead'. He returns in Season 6, alive and kicking, so to speak.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Or more precisely, noble born Night's Watch First Ranger who is also essentially a zombie.
  • Ranger: First ranger, in fact.
  • Walking Spoiler: His return in Season 6.
  • Was Once a Man: The White Walkers attempted to turn him into a wight, but he was saved by the Children, who restored his mind. However, his appearance and the way their magic works makes it clear he isn't strictly human anymore either way.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It's the question that spurs the Watch to go look for him: what happened to him? We find out what in Season 6.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Due to Benjen's acquired undead nature, the magic of the Wall prevents him from ever returning south. He is still himself and not a wight, but just dead enough to be barred by the Wallís magic.
  • Zombie Infectee: Being mortally wounded by a White Walker and subsequently saved by the Children has left Benjen in a limbo between human and wight.

Extended Family

    Talisa Maegyr 

Queen Talisa Stark

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/stark_talisa_3399.jpg
Played By: Oona Chaplin

"May I speak my mind, your Grace? [...] I think you lost this war the day you married her."
Rickard Karstark

A noblewoman from the Free City of Volantis in Essos. Fed up with slave culture and pointless upper-class ritual, she came to Westeros and found herself working as a medic in the Westerlands, treating Stark, Tully, and Lannister wounded. In the aftermath of the Starks' greatest victory at Oxcross, she met Robb Stark, and they eventually fell in love and married, breaking Robb's vow to marry one of Walder Frey's granddaughters. She replaced the original character Jeyne Westerling from the books.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • Talisa's page-bound alter-ego doesn't get much characterization in the books (see the entry for "Canon Foreigner" for details). Replacing her called for a character who could legitimately be around Robb for the entire season, so the show runners abandoned the more realistic prospect of a lesser lord's daughter in favour of a more active field nurse.
    • An inversion on the books, which is in turn an expansion compared to the show: Jeyne survives Robb because she is left at Riverrun for her own safety (and to lessen tensions with Walder Frey).
  • Adaptation Name Change: The name of Robb's wife in the books is Jeyne Westerling.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: When she and Robb first meet, she's not impressed by him.
  • The Artifact: Back when she was still going to be Jeyne Westerling, she was made a battlefield nurse so she could tend to Robb after he was wounded, like their story in the books. Then the writers decided to scrap that and make it a simpler love story, but were far enough along in production that she was still stuck being a nurse, despite it no longer serving any story purpose and not making much sense why a Volantene noble would be doing it after they decided to completely change the character.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Robb when they first met.
  • Blue Blood: Despite initially appearing as a commoner, she's actually of noble birth from Volantis.
  • Brainy Brunette: Beneath that brunette hair pulses the brain of a highly competent nurse.
  • Canon Foreigner: She replaces the character of Jeyne Westerling from the novels. From the books... 
  • Deadpan Snarker: Upon first meeting Robb, she is quite blunt and sassy with him.
  • Death by Adaptation: Jeyne Westerling of the books misses the Red Wedding, and is still alive. This change has actually gotten some fans wondering if it's a spoiler that Jeyne won't have any more importance.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: She defrosts Robb, and he defrosts her. It's a mutual defrosting.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Subverted — she's already dead by the time Robb cradles her.
  • Dies Wide Open: Her eyes remain wide open and staring as she lies lifeless on the Frey's floor.
  • Foreign Fan Service: She's from Volantis, one of the Free Cities.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: The surviving Starks and their supporters are quite apathetic about her gruesome death, only wanting to avenge the deaths of Robb, Catelyn and the other Northern Lords killed at the Red Wedding. The one time a Northern Lord mentions her posthumously, she's referred to as a "foreign whore". Justified by the surviving Starks, though, as they don't even know who she is.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: She, along with Catelyn and Edmure, insist that Lord Karstark should be imprisoned for the duration of the war as insurance against the Karstarks' loyalty. This despite having just seen the recently murdered corpses of the Lannister boys she tended to.
  • Hello, Nurse!: When presented to Walder Frey, he understands why Robb romped with her. That didn't make him any less angry, however.
  • The High Queen: After marrying Robb, she becomes The High Queen in the North.
  • Hospital Hottie: A medieval version (she uses a rusty saw onscreen, and mentions turpentine, fennel root and willow bark). Robb is clearly impressed by her and seems instantly attracted.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: She did not appear in the series until Season 2.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Multiple times. The Freys really wanted to make sure Robb and Talisa's baby was dead.
  • Innocent Bigot: In her back story. She never questioned living as a member of the nobility in a slave culture until a slave committed a hanging offence in order to save her brother.
  • Irony: Despite being the Queen in the North, she points out to Robb that she doesn't know where Winterfell is.
  • Love Interest: Robb's.
  • The Medic: She's a nurse who tends to wounded Stark men during the war.
  • Misblamed: invoked Judging from some of the Northern Lords' dialogues in Season 6, they blame her for Robb's defeat.
  • Modest Royalty: Compare her manner of dressing to that of Margaery.
  • Nice Girl: An all-around pleasant, if snarky, person who has a very low opinion of warfare, because of how it causes nothing but misery as she points out to Robb during their first meeting. Her altruistic need to help others is one of the reasons why Robb falls for her.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: The role she (and her book counterpart Jeyne Westerling) serves as "the unwanted queen of the king's household" was lifted from Edward IV's own queen, Lady Elizabeth Woodville—minus the nepotism anglenote  and surviving the entire war.
  • Promoted to Opening Titles: In Season 3.
  • Race Lift: In the books, Jeyne Westerling is a white woman with chestnut curls, a heart-shaped face and brown eyes. Talisa has a darker shade of skin color, with sleek black-brown hair and dark-colored eyes to denote her foreign origin. Though no less beautiful in her description, Talisa is physically a different character from the original Jeyne.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Without all the blood and gore that is.
  • The Smart Girl: She is an adept healer.
  • So Happy Together: With Robb during Edmure's wedding at the Twins.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Robb's infatuation with her results in the Freys, Karstarks and Boltons breaking with House Stark, leading to the extermination of the Starks and their loyal bannermen at the Red Wedding.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Not particularly vicious or biting, but she makes it clear to Robb Stark as to exactly what the costs will be to him pushing on with his war with the Lannisters, exemplified in the Lannister soldier that he witnesses her amputate.
  • Yoko Oh No: Her marrying Robb was already widely frowned upon while they were still alive. Years after the Red Wedding, even previously loyal Stark bannermen don't remember her as their late queen, but instead as a "foreign whore" (- Robett Glover) who brought the bane of House Stark and the whole Northern cause. invoked

The prior generation of House Stark

    Lord Rickard Stark 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/vlcsnap_2016_05_23_02h18m09s851.png
Played By: Wayne Foskett

"Remember that you are a Stark. Comport yourself with dignity at the Vale and try to stay out of fights. But if you have to fight, win."

Father of Brandon, Eddard, Lyanna and Benjen Stark, Rickard was the Lord of Winterfell, the Warden of the North and head of House Stark until he was killed by the Mad King.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: He tried to win back Lyanna and Brandon in a Trial by Combat. He chose himself as champion. The Mad King chose fire as his champion and had Lord Rickard roasted alive.
  • Posthumous Character: He dies prior to the series, with his Cruel and Unusual Death at the hands of the Mad King being what officially kick-started Robert's Rebellion. He finally appears in a Pensieve Flashback in Season 6, where Bran glimpses events from Winterfell's past.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Lord Rickard's facial structure is almost a dead ringer for Ned's somber look in his later years (as portrayed by Sean Bean), and his hair is tied up in the same way as Jon Snow's in Season 6. It does tie a lot into how Jon looks more legitimately a Stark despite not being Ned's direct descendant.

    Lyanna Stark 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lyannastark1.jpg
"Promise me, Ned. Promise me."
Played By: Aisling Franciosi (young adult), Cordelia Hill (child)

"You want to know the horrible truth? I can't even remember what she (Lyanna) looked like. I only know she was the one thing I ever wanted. Someone took her away from me, and seven kingdoms couldn't fill the hole she left behind."
Robert Baratheon

Eddard Stark's sister and Robert's betrothed. She was kidnapped by Rhaegar Targaryen, which ignited Robert's Rebellion. She died seventeen years prior to the start of the series. (See the character sheets on the original books for more details.)
  • Big Little Sister: She's notably taller than her older brother Ned back when they were kids. Many actually thought she was the older sibling in this version because of that, but she calls Ned "big brother" in the next flashback.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: Events surrounding her abduction and her eventual death remain a mystery to this very day. Details about her death are revealed when Bran learns something very big in 6x10.
  • Death by Childbirth: Dies minutes after giving birth to Jon.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: She dies in Ned's arms.
  • Distressed Damsel: Lyanna was kidnapped by Rhaegar. At least that's the accepted story.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: As an adult. Oberyn Martell even describes her in the Blu-ray lore as a "pale northern girl with ice running in her veins like all her people".
  • Expy: A famously beautiful woman is married to (betrothed to in Lyanna's case) a warrior leader, but is spirited away by another man, kickstarting a war? Conflicting accounts on whether she was kidnapped or went willingly? She fits Helen of Troy down to a T.
  • Famous Last Words: "Promise me, Ned. Promise me."
  • Flowers of Romance: Invoked by Rhaegar Targaryen, who showed his attraction to her by giving her a crown of blue winter roses at the Tourney of Harrenhal.
  • Girl in the Tower: The last stages of Robert's Rebellion had Ned having to rescue her as she's being kept in a tower (dubbed Tower of Joy) at Dorne.
  • Horseback Heroism: Officially introduced galloping at the Winterfell grounds.
  • Ignored Expert: A flashback in Season 6 shows that she actually saw a potential for Hodor (then known as Wylis) to become a warrior due to his size, and suggested for him to be Benjen's training partner after Ned departs to be Jon Arryn's squire. Old Nan, who was Wylis's guardian, politely brushed off her then little lords' suggestions, citing social status.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Characters constantly refer to Lyanna as beautiful, though they are pretty biased, particularly Robert.
  • The Lost Lenore: To Robert. The Season 6 finale implies that this was not really reciprocated since Lyanna was convinced that Robert would murder her son and she feared his wrath.
  • Mama Bear: While she is dying from bleeding out after giving birth, her last thoughts are about ensuring her newborn son's safety from Robert's wrath.
  • Missing Mom: Her mother is nowhere to be seen in the flashbacks. She is also this for Jon because she died shortly after he was born.
  • Nice to the Waiter: In a flashback, she is shown to be kinder to Hodor (then Wyllis) than Ned was at the time, giving the boy some tips on how to spar with Benjen.
  • The One That Got Away: Robert sees her as this.
  • Outdoorsy Gal: Our first glimpse of Lyanna in a flashback is a young girl who returns to Winterfell's yard on horseback and shows off her riding skills to her brother Ned.
  • Outnumbered Sibling: The only female of Ned's siblings.
  • Posthumous Character: She dies prior to the series, during Robert's Rebellion and Ned mourns her in his spare time. She finally appears in a Pensieve Flashback in Season 6, where Bran glimpses events from Winterfell's past.
  • The Reveal: She is Jon's real mother.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Played with. While she's been mentioned several times in the show, she only physically appear via flashback during the second episode of Season 6.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Events surrounding her abduction remain a mystery to this very day.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: She had one of the largest influences in the plot: her kidnapping led to the death of Ned's father and brother and Robert's Rebellion, her death turned Robert Baratheon into a depressed man whose disdain for ruling caused no short end to problems and casts a constant shadow in his marriage to Cersei. And most of all, she is mother to Jon Snow, an incredibly important character.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Like her brothers Ned and Benjen, Lyanna has the classic Stark look of dark hair and eyes, and general austere features:
    • When we see Lyanna's childhood in flashback in episode 6.2, she's introduced wearing a boy's clothing and skillfully riding a horse around the courtyard. She's a tomboy just like her niece Arya will be (though Arya was born years after she died). In the books themselves, Ned outright states that Arya greatly resembles Lyanna at her age.
    • It is also clear from Bran's flashback in the Season 6 finale, that Jon Snow got most of his looks from her, especially his dark hair and eyes, which certainly made it easier for Ned to pass him off as his illegitmate son. The actress (Aisling Franciosi) also looks a fair bit like Maisie Williams (Arya), who in the books is said to be Lyanna's spitting image.
  • Take Care of the Kids : Her Last Request to Ned. The kid being Jon Snow.
  • Tomboy Princess: She was the daughter of one of the most powerful lords of Westeros, she loved horseback riding and she's shown to be savvy enough to give Hodor advices about how to spar with Benjen. Definitely she was this.
  • Walking Spoiler: Her Death by Origin Story, which actually involves her Death by Childbirth to Jon and asking her brother Ned to take care of him.
  • White Shirt of Death: She's wearing a white negligee in her last moments, complete with blood as she has just given birth to Jon.

    Brandon Stark 
Played By: N/A

"I was her (Catelyn's) little confidante. Her plaything. She could tell me anything, anything at all. She told me about all the horses that she liked, the castle that she wanted to live in, the man she wanted to marry. A Northerner, with a jaw like an anvil. So I challenged him to a duel. I mean, why not? I'd read all the stories. The little hero always beats the big villain in all the stories. In the end, she wouldn't even let him kill me. 'He's just a boy,' she said, 'please don't hurt him.' So, he gave me a nice little scar to remember him by and off they went."
Petyr Baelish

Ned, Benjen, and Lyanna's eldest brother and former heir to Winterfell. Killed himself trying to save his father from roasting in a ludicrous mockery of a trial by combat.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: In-universe. According to some characters (specifically, Littlefinger and Lysa Arryn), he was a straight-up Jerk Jock. To the rest (including characters who have a neutral opinion of him), he was not a perfect man but still a likable fellow not unlike Robert Baratheon.
  • Big Brother Instinct: When he learned of Lyanna's abduction by Rhaegar Targaryen, he immediately rode to King's Landing to try to recover her from Rhaegar.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: When Lord Rickard demanded a trial by combat on the charges against him and his son, naming himself as champion, the Mad King chose fire as the Targaryen champion, Brandon was put in a noose with a sword just out of reach. Brandon strangled himself trying to reach the sword to free his father.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: On the giving end, when he fought Littlefinger for Catelyn's hand. According to Lysa, he nearly killed him and left him with a lifelong scar across his chest.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Much more reckless than Ned or Benjen, despite having been groomed to succeed his father, Lord Rickard. Indeed Baelish states that in the end, Ned was the more impressive specimen of the two.
  • The Ghost: He is only mentioned in the show and only seen in the Blu-Ray lore.
  • Hot-Blooded: To the point where he was known, in the books, as the Wild Wolf.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: A heroic character with a jaw like an anvil.
  • Posthumous Character: He and his father's death is what kickstarted Robert's Rebellion.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Charging to King's Landing and insulting the Prince in earshot of the Pyromaniac Mad King after Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna Stark was probably not a good idea. The highly biased opinion of Petyr Baelish in the History and Lore videos of his unfortunate rival:
    Brandon: Who's the greater fool? The Mad King or the man who reasons with him?

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/GameOfThronesHouseStark