Characters / Game Of Thrones House Stark

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House Stark
"Our way is the old way."

"You Starks are hard to kill."
Jon Snow

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

    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 highly well liked by the smallfolk. This is almost certainly why Stannis offers to Jon Snow that in return for leaving the Night's Watch and bending the knee, he'll legitimize Jon Snow as both a Stark and as Lord of Winterfell.
  • 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.
  • 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) in an extremely Crapsack World.
  • 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 back 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.
  • Doomed Hometown: The Ironborns/Boltons ravaged the town late in Season 2.
  • 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 choses 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 a bastard 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 several of their deaths.
  • The Fettered: In contrast to the Lannisters.
  • Generation Xerox: All of Ned's children seem to embody one of his traits. Robb has his leadership skills (both in war and peace), Bran has his father's Nerves of Steel and his overriding concern for his subjects (literally begging for Ser Rodrik's life) as well as his friendship with the children of Howland Reed, Ned's best friend. Jon has Ned's solemn demeanor, his rigid sense of honor and strong leadership skills. Arya has Ned's fierce commitment to justice and love and empathy for the small-folk. Sansa, despite her earlier infatuation for Joffrey, has his idealism, love for family and her home, Winterfell.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Direwolves are their House sigil and the recent generation has each received one as a pet.
  • 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 coat-of-plate 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.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: The entire Stark household is kept unaware of Jon's true lineage by Ned, even his wife and brother.
  • 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.
  • Noble Wolf: They look at wolves as noble animals, if their sigil is not obvious enough.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Lord Eddard, Lady Catelyn, and Prince Brandon are mostly referred to as Ned, Cat, and Bran respectively.
  • Party Scattering: To a degree that almost none of the Starks are aware that the others are alive, leave alone how far they are from each other. At the end of Season Four, Bran is beyond the wall under the care of a Humanoid Abomination, Rickon and Osha were sent to the Umbers but Roose Bolton states that no Northern Lord has seen or heard of them, Jon Snow is at Castle Black, Sansa Stark has changed her identity and become a willing accomplice to the lecherous Chessmaster Petyr Baelish and Arya Stark has left Westeros all together for the Free City of Braavos. At the moment, only Jon and Sansa are believed by all their living siblings to still be alive.
  • 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.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: The Starks are known for their fair skin and dark brown hair.
  • The Remnant: The Starks are extinct unless Jon is legitimized, Bran comes back, recovers use of his lower half and starts reproducing or Sansa or Arya are allowed to rule in their own right and have kids with the Stark name.
  • 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 raised in a castle, was a social outsider in society. 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
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.
  • Book Ends: 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.
  • British Accents: Sean Bean supplies his Sheffield accent to the character.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, his sister Lyanna gave birth to Jon Snow, her son by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. He died convincing the whole world that he had fathered a bastard son and broken his vows. His wife Catelyn and most of the people he knew in his life died believing the same. With luck, his only surviving son Bran might relay the secret to the world and vindicate him.
  • 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: Indisputedly 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: The generally accepted story at the beginning is that Jon Snow is the son of Ned and some tavern whore during Robert's Rebellion. However, as Stannis points out, the truly honorable Ned Stark was not the sort of man who would cheat on his wife and thus this seriously casts doubt as to what is Jon's true parentage. Season 6 reveals that Jon is actually the son of Ned's sister Lyanna 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Robert's Red.
  • 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 Lady, Sansa's direwolf because, in his words: "The wolf is from the north." 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, turns out that he did no such thing.

    Lady Catelyn "Cat" Stark, née Tully
"...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.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Ned did not tell her who Jon's mother is, and it remained a secret until their deaths. In the Season 6 finale, it's revealed that Ned did this to protect Jon — the son of his sister Lyanna — from Robert's rage as Robert absolutely despised Targaryens.
  • 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 Red to her husband's blue and 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 demeanour 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 with Sansa a captive of the enemy, Arya missing, and Bran and Rickon 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 in her eyes, he's not welcome. 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. After Lyanna's death in childbirth, Ned adopted Jon and passed him off as a bastard child to protect his nephew from Robert Baratheon's wrath. Catelyn may have acted very different if she'd known that Jon was her nephew instead of a product of her husband's 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.

    Robb Stark
"If we do it your way, Kingslayer, you'd win. We're not doing it your way."
Played By: Richard Madden

"One victory does not make us conquerors. Did we free my father? Did we free my sisters from the Queen? Did we free the North from those who'd have us on our knees? This war is far from over."

Eldest son of Eddard and Catelyn Stark. King in the North, King of Winter and King of the Trident. Murdered by his bannerman Roose Bolton and his host Walder Frey at his uncle Edmure Tully's wedding to Roslin Frey, known thereafter as the Red Wedding.
  • The Ace: According to Jon.
    Jon: I was jealous of Robb my whole life. The way my father looked at him? I wanted that. He was better than me at everything. Fighting, and hunting, and riding. And girls. Gods, the girls loved him. I wanted to hate him, but I never could.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: His hair is brown instead of auburn like in the books.
  • Adaptational Badass: Of a sorts.
    • In the book, Robb is still badass and an excellent commander. However, he's also very young and makes several additional political blunders, whereas in the show he's more politically astute. At several instances, his mom calls him out on acting childish, and some of his bravado is seen as posturing to cover up insecurity.
    • He also botches up the Karstark execution in the books, where as in the show he gets it on the first go.
    • While Robb fights where the fighting is thickest in both the books and the show, in the books he needs a quasi-Kingsguard of 30 skilled warriors (mostly the sons and one daughter of his bannermen) and his direwolf to do it. In the show, his honor guard was left out.
    • Theon and Jon consider Show!Robb The Ace and he's shown to be clearly superior to them. In the books Jon is noted to have been a better swordsman than Robb. Theon is noted to have been at the front of Robb's honor guard with the Smalljon keeping him alive in the Vanguard.
  • Adaptation Expansion: In the books, Robb's campaign in the Westerlands is never actually seen, instead being referred by other characters. Parts of it are seen in the show, and a romance subplot has been added, as well. More importantly, the context around his marriage is changed as well.
  • Always Someone Better: Seen this way by Jon, whom reminisces that Robb was better at fighting, riding, hunting, and being a ladies man. He's this to Theon too, who always looked up to him and felt he stood in Robb's shadow.
  • And Then What?: Asked verbatim by Talisa, who then points out that Robb is in the middle of a clash of kings, fighting to overthrow and kill king Joffrey and yet he has no plan for what comes after.
  • Arranged Marriage: As part of the agreement with Lord Frey, Robb is bound to marry one of his daughters. He breaks the betrothal in "Valar Morghulis" by marrying Talisa Maegyr.
  • Ascended Extra: See Adaptation Expansion. In the books, most of his story was told from the point of view of his mother Catelyn. The show cuts down much of Catelyn's commentary and importance, instead delegating screentime and lines to Robb.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: When other Northern Houses initially doubt him, his strength of character and skill (in addition to having a direwolf) quickly have them calling him the King in the North.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Robb's is made all the more badass by not involving a crown at all. Instead, he's acclaimed as King in the North by his bannermen and certain Riverlords at Oldstones.
    Assembled Lords: [drawing swords, kneeling] THE KING IN THE NORTH! THE KING IN THE NORTH! THE KING IN THE NORTH!
  • Badass Beard: He has one.
  • Badass Cape: He loves these. He wears one in almost all of his scenes after his crowning. It doesn't save him from death, however.
  • Badass Army: He leads one.
  • Badass Boast: Oh, many.
    • When sending away the spy with misinformation:
      Robb: Tell Lord Tywin, winter is coming for him. Twenty thousand northerners are marching south to find out if he really does shit gold."
    • When sending Alton Lannister to King's Landing:
      Robb: If she accepts these terms I will give her peace. If not I will litter the south with Lannister corpses."
    • He ups it in episode five of Season 2 where he absolutely crushes a Lannister host at Oxcross, and the viewers are shown the aftermath of the battle. Indeed, the victory is so decisive that Lord Bolton turns a statement of fact into a Badass Boast (which is also a testament to Michael McElhatton's skill):
      Roose Bolton: Five Lannisters dead for every one of ours.
  • Batman Gambit: He pulls off one of these when he tells the Lannister scout that his army is 1) larger than it is and 2) is marching towards Lord Tywin instead of against Jaime Lannister. Even Tywin seems begrudgingly impressed.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Talisa, a surgeon he meets in the aftermath of Oxcross. They eventually marry.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Subtly looks disapproving at Sansa's attraction towards Joffrey in "Winter is Coming" and protects Bran from Wildlings in "A Golden Crown".
    • He gets extremely pissed off when Lord Karstark kills the two young Lannister hostages, shouting, "THEY WERE BOYS!" when he tries to justify it and personally executes Lord Karstark shortly afterwards.
  • Blood Knight: Shows occasional signs of this.
    Robb: The Lannisters have been running from us since Oxcross. I'd love a fight. The men would love a fight. But I don't think we're going to get one.
  • Broken Pedestal: Robb breaking his marriage vows ended up causing him to become this to his men in the third season.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Starts to feel them in "Baelor", when he has to send two thousand men to their deaths in a battle with Tywin in order to defeat and capture Jaime Lannister, and it only gets worse as the war rages on and his men begin to lose faith. In Season 3, his leadership decisions start to put him at odds with some of his more prominent men.
  • Cool Big Bro: As the eldest Stark sibling, he's this to pretty much everyone else.
  • Cool Pet: His direwolf, Grey Wind.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Every tangle with a Lannister army he has ends up with him doling this trope out. He keeps a 5:1 casualty ratio.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not often, but he has his moments.
    • When threatening to litter the south with Lannister corpses:
      Alton Lannister: King Joffrey is a Baratheon, your grace.
      Robb: Oh, is he?
    • When meeting Talisa:
      Robb: You'd have us surrender, end all this bloodshed, I understand. And the country would be at peace, and life would be just under the righteous hand of "Good King" Joffrey.
    • When chewing out Edmure:
      Robb: Tywin Lannister has my sisters. Have I sued for peace?
      Edmure: No.
      Robb: Do you think he'll sue for peace because we have his, father's brother's great-grandsons?
    • At the Red Wedding:
      Talisa: But if she had her way I'd be back in Volantis playing my harp, and you'd be sitting over there eating blackberries out of Roslin Frey's hand.
      Robb: Perhaps I've made a terrible mistake.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The second one, after his father.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Very stoic initially; Talisa defrosts him.
  • Despair Event Horizon: When Talisa is killed, he just crawls to her corpse, makes an effort to stand up and lets Roose Bolton stab him in the heart.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Instead of marrying Roslin Frey to keep the Freys on his side for the war effort, he marries Talisa out of love. Instead of putting aside his honor and simply holding him hostage, he executes Rickard Karstark.
  • Doomed Moral Victor: Admits it's starting to look this way in "The Climb";
    Robb: I've won every battle, but I'm losing this war.
  • Due to the Dead: Defied by the Freys; as soon as he's killed by Roose Bolton, they savagely hack his head off and impale Grey Wind's head on top of his chest, so they can parade it in front of his dying men on the battlefield.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Once Talisa is slaughtered in front of him, he just...stares.
  • Elective Monarchy: Elected King in the North by acclamation of his bannermen. As it turns out, what the bannermen give, the bannermen can take away just as easily.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: The King Who Lost the North.
  • Et Tu, Brute?:
    • His reaction upon learning that Theon had seized Winterfell in his command tent.
    • Feels deeply betrayed by his mother Catelyn when she releases the Kingslayer behind his back.
    • Betrayed and killed by his bannerman Lord Bolton in "The Rains of Castamere" although he's too numb to register it.
  • Face Death with Dignity: According to Richard Madden, Robb standing and calling out to Catelyn before his death is his way of letting her know he's accepted his inevitable death and that there's no point in fighting it.
  • Famous Last Words: "Mother..."
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • He's honorable and assumes honor in others. He assumes he can win back Walder Frey's loyalty by making amends. He assumes that Lord Walder will honor Guest Right. He assumes Roose Bolton's unwavering loyalty as his bannerman. All of this culminates in betrayal and murder.
    • Like his father he also suffers heavily from Honor Before Reason which causes him to execute Lord Karstark in retaliation for killing two Lannister boys when it would have been far wiser (if somewhat less noble) to simply hold him prisoner until the war was over. Because Karstarcks men leave him after their lords execution Rob is put in the position of needing Walder Frey's help in the first place.
  • A Father to His Men: His leadership style, as seen in "The Old Gods and the New", where he takes the time to mingle with the rank and file.
  • Four-Star Badass: Like father, like son.
  • Foil: It may not be obvious at first, but he is one for Tywin Lannister. Tywin is a grand strategist, though nothing is said of his tactical abilities, with decades of experience in war, an older man, basically treats his family like pawns instead of people and his bannermen like chesspieces and acts like arrogant royalty. Robb is a tactician, though less known for his strategy, with almost no war experience, a younger man, who treats his family and bannermen with love and respect and acts like Modest Royalty.
  • Generation Xerox: To his father. Richard Madden even mentions this in Robb's featurette. Though there is one crucial difference that separates them, as pointed out by Catelyn herself: Ned entered into a political marriage during the course of Robert's Rebellion, and honored that vow, refusing to Marry for Love even if there might have been another woman in his life (and the existence of Jon Snow would imply that there was).
  • General Failure: He makes a few errors that ends with him being short on manpower which logistically dooms him and his attemptsto recruit more menfails spectacularly at the Twins.
  • Good Counterpart: Robb is this to Joffrey. They both rise to power around the same time frame of their fathers' deaths. Robb is characterized as being a beloved leader and tactician who doesn't shy away from combat while Joffrey is The Caligula and a Dirty Coward who would sooner let his guards do his dirty work for him. They both share the same flaws of making political enemies due to their rash behaviors (Robb's Honor and Joffrey's Greed). This ultimately costs both of them their lives, dying in a similar manner at a wedding within weeks of the same time frame.
  • Good Is Dumb: Zig Zagged Trope. Robb starts his campaign (and kingship) taking everyone by surprise tactically and showing that he can show reason as well as honour (refusing to fight Jaime 1v1 is a good example). Then he makes mistakes later on, which start adding up...
  • The Good King: He aspires to this, and embodies some aspects of the trope.
    Talisa: What kind of king do you want to be?
    Robb: I dunno [beat] the good kind.
  • Guile Hero: As of "The North Remembers". He's pretty much required to be this, due to the fact that he is badly outnumbered by the Lannisters.
  • Guttural Growler: Unlike his father who has a Badass Baritone, Robb has a more raspier voice.
  • The Hero: The closest fitting character to the fantasy hero archetype.
  • The Hero Dies: In "The Rains of Castamere".
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.:
    • When Theon betrays him.
    • Another one when the Freys kill Talisa, which makes Robb refuse to flee or fight back before Roose Bolton puts him out of his misery.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Theon Greyjoy until his betrayal.
  • Honor Before Reason: As with his father, he does the honorable thing even if it would be wiser to do elsewise. However, he finds ways to still twist this to his advantage, or to do the intelligent thing without compromising his honor.
    • When his men capture a Lannister scout that was spying on their army, he sets the boy free to return to Tywin with a warning that he's coming for him, when actually he sends a skeleton army against Tywin and marches the bulk of his forces against Jaime.
    • He tells Roose Bolton's son when he goes to retake Winterfell from Theon that any Ironborn that surrenders will be spared, since this is not only honorable, but it means they're more likely to hand over Theon to them without a fight.
    • When Jaime challenges him to single combat to settle the war personally, Robb is perfectly aware Jaime is a better warrior and pointedly tells him that they both know Jaime would win, so Robb refuses.
  • Icon of Rebellion: For the North.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: By Roose Bolton, just after several arrows pierced his body.
  • Insult Backfire: Jaime makes a point of referring to him as boy, Robb's response amounts to "The boy who kicked your ass, bitch."
  • It's Personal:
    • Robb takes Theon's betrayal very personally, and demands that Theon be brought to him so Robb can kill him himself.
    • Robb invokes this from his siblings after his death- both Sansa and Jon have a special hatred for the Boltons because Roose was the one who finished Robb off.
  • Kick the Dog: He's quick to remind Theon that he's not one of them. Still, though, he later admits he considered Theon his closest friend.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Especially as the war goes on.
  • The Leader: Of the northern cause. Type I.
  • Like Father, Like Son: He deliberately emulates his father's honesty, caring lordship, and sense of duty, and of course executes men he sentences to die just as Ned taught him.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: In contrast to the books, where he marries Jeyne Westerling out of a sense of honor (and hopes the Freys will understand), the televised Robb marries Talisa because he can't control his raging... love for her. It gets worse in Season 3, as he doesn't even realize how dumb it is to parade his new wife in front of his supposed-to-be-wife, not to mention supposed-to-be-father-in-law. From the books  The context makes Robb seem more brash and impulsive than his book counterpart, who already got some criticism; no less than Tyrion Lannister was heard to observe, "Better to leave her with a bastard in her belly," after hearing of his folly with Jeyne.
  • Love Ruins the Realm: The newly re-established Kingdom in the North is as good as doomed the moment he forfeits his marriage pact with the Freys. It doesn't just cost Robb, his wife, and mother their lives but the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of his men when they're massacred along with him.
  • Mangst: Upon hearing of his father's execution, he substitutes a nearby tree for one of the Lannisters.
    Catelyn: You've ruined your sword.
  • Marry for Love: Forgoes his betrothal to a Frey girl in order to marry Talisa. The Freys are understandably insulted. They even kill him over it.
  • Memetic Badass: In-universe. He's known as "The Young Wolf", and Northmen trade tales about how he rides into battle on the back of a giant direwolf, that he can turn into a wolf, and that he can't be killed. All sides of the war note that despite his youth, inexperience and inferior numbers, he wins every battle he fights.
  • Military Maverick: Initially a green commander in chief, he frequently ignores senior bannermen who try to rein him in. This is apparently the main reason he gives Tywin such hell on the battlefield; none of Tywin's commanders can predict his movements because between his inexperience, boldness and confidence at his success, he's willing to take risks none of them would dream of taking, and pull them off.
  • Modest Royalty: He doesn't wear a crown (though neither do Stannis or Balon Greyjoy, only Renly and Joffrey among the Five Kings wears one). Even his book counterpart wears a crown in the same style of those worn by the old Kings of Winter. Additionally, when the Stark troops cheer after their first victory against the Lannisters, the first thing he does is to somberly remind his men that the war has only begun, and that their final victory is far from assured.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Gets quite a few nude scenes.
  • Nice Guy: An overall warm, righteous and compassionate man, rare traits for the leaders of The War of the Five Kings.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: His actions that lead to the Red Wedding come back to haunt Jon and Sansa three seasons later, as they blame Robb for dragging their family members into war and getting them killed.
  • Nice to the Waiter: He's even nice to enemy soldiers outside of combat. As far as Robb's concerned being King is no excuse for being a dick.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed:
    • Alongside his semi-namesake Robert Baratheon, Robb is a Decomposite Character of King Edward IV of the House of York, whose father was executed by his enemies, never lost a battle and ultimately damaged his effort when he made a secret marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, angering one of his supporters, Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick. Unlike Robb, however, Edward IV got off lightly.
    • He also has some similarities (Young Conqueror genius tactician from the Grim Up North who ends up betrayed) with Charles XII of Sweden. In fact, they march to war at the same age in the show continuity.
  • Not So Stoic: Once The Chains of Commanding start tying him down harder, his stoic demeanor begins to slip on occasion when his men harm the war effort or commit despicable acts. When he finds out Ned has been killed, he also ruins a sword by smashing a tree in pure rage.
  • The Oathbreaker: He breaks his oath to marry one of Lord Walder Frey's daughters by marrying Talisa. Walder perceives it as a major insult and slaughters him.
  • Odd Name Out: His siblings' names end with either "N" (the boys, which again is another example for him) or "A" (the girls).
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Leads the small party that captures the Kingslayer, not before the Lannister kills 10 men in the ambush. Only the return with the prize is shown.
  • Off with His Head!: Posthumous.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Dies after witnessing his pregnant wife repeatedly stabbed to death.
  • Papa Wolf: He states to Talisa he must be this for every man, woman, and child of the North, as their king.
  • Properly Paranoid: Unlike the book version.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: See Ned's entry. One of the reasons Robb is respected by his fellows is because he's almost always on the frontlines with them and has ample opportunity to show his skill as a fighter to them. In contrast to most other prospective kings in the war, who rarely fight on the front lines.
  • Rasputinian Death: Gets peppered with multiple crossbow bolts before being stabbed by Roose Bolton.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He will not be a dick to his subjects, is merciful to enemy combatants and will hear them out. He also follows Ned's example that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.
  • Rebel Leader: Tywin views him as a 'Rebellion in the North' as opposed to 'The King in the North'.
  • Red Baron: The Young Wolf.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Once he's crowned King in the North.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: His opinion of marrying Talisa.
  • Sherlock Scan: He doesn't take long to realize Talisa is actually a noblewoman, and not a simple nurse.
  • Shocking Defeat Legacy: Despite winning every battle, his reign is remembered for the occupation and sack of Winterfell by Ironborn while he was down south, and for the Red Wedding, which led to the unprecedented ousting of House Stark from power at the hands of House Bolton. It's Robb's tragic fate that despite being a Young Conqueror and military genius, his reign resulted in the absolute Darkest Hour for House Stark and the North in its entire history.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: This exchange with Jaime:
    Jaime: Three victories don't make you a conqueror.
    Robb: It's better than three defeats.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: His romance with Lady Talisa runs on this. He finally lets his feelings for her be known when she tells him a story of how a slave saving her brother's life compelled her to never live in a slaver city again. Talisa is attracted to Robb because he is a good-hearted, ethical man who treats both his allies and his enemies with respect.
  • So Happy Together: With Talisa during the wedding at House Frey.
  • Starcrossed Lovers: He's promised to a daughter of House Frey whom he has never met, but falls in love with and then marries idealist field medic Talisa instead.
  • The Scapegoat: The Northern houses blame their conditions on his inexperience and wedding with Talisa. While not blameless, a lot had to do with his advisors backstabbing him (Roose and Theon), defying him (Karstark) or forcing his hands (Frey refusing passage unless ridiculous payment is made).
  • The Stoic: Very rarely emotes.
  • The Strategist: He appears to be turning into this as within a day he manages to sneak up on Jaime Lannister, distract Tywin, defeat Jaime's army in the field, and capture Jaime, giving him an extremely valuable hostage. Subverted in that he is not only thinking up the plans, but is also leading his men and becoming very physically involved with the war.
  • Supporting Leader: Averted in the television series. While Robb fits this in the novels, he is upgraded to the status of the other leads in the onscreen adaptation where his status as leader of the Northern rebellion receives a significant amount of airtime.
  • Technician vs. Performer: His leadership of the rebel forces against Tywin Lannister, essentially. Lord Tywin is a good soldier and strategist due to hard and careful work, while Robb is a born conqueror. Ultimately, Tywin's exploitation of the strategic imbalance between the Iron Throne and the Stark kingdom, plus Robb's personal missteps, proves decisive in the Riverlands theater. Robb, on the other hand, bet the whole war on winning enough battles.
  • Tragic Hero: Robb's initial success at rallying the forces of the North is cut short because, like his father, he's unable to follow through on the political compromises needed to strengthen his victory. This results in a series of errors that makes him vulnerable to betrayal, culminating in breaking his marriage pact to the Freys and marrying for love.
  • Tranquil Fury: He does this a lot, but it really kicks in when he (correctly) accuses Jaime of injuring Bran. You can hear the sheer fury in every word, but his voice is still calm. It's clear that the only thing keeping Robb from beating him to death with his own hands is Jaime's worth as a prisoner.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Considers Theon his closest friend, yet most of their interactions consists of debates.
  • Warrior Prince: He's nobility rather than royalty, but definitely becomes one once he leads the Stark bannermen into war against the Lannisters. He becomes King in the North by acclamation of his bannermen.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Gives a minor one to his mother after she spends a month at Bran's bedside, neglecting the castle and her younger son Rickon, who's six and disoriented by all the changes at Winterfell.
    • He's on the receiving end of one in "Garden of Bones", after a battle leaves thousands dead or injured. A healer lets him have it:
      Robb: The boy was lucky you were here.
      Talisa: He was unlucky you were.
    • He joins most of his men in giving one to Catelyn when she releases Jaime.
    • Gets one from his mother when she learns he's considering breaking his marriage alliance with the Freys for Talisa, pointing out how completely idiotic this is.
  • Worthy Opponent: To Tywin Lannister, enough that he acknowledges how badly he underestimated Robb and how talented the Young Wolf is at war. Not bad for a boy of eighteen.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • The extras from the Season 2 box set show that he is inspired by unlikely friendship/Blood Brothers relationship his father and Robert Baratheon had, and believes that it will be the same for him and Theon, fighting together against a new Caligula. Oh Robb... It wasn't entirely one-sided, however: Theon was exactly the same and wanted for them to be True Companions fighting against the Lannisters as well, but neither of them had counted for Balon's suicidal revenge fantasies.
    • He also seems to think of himself as the protagonist of a classic love story where love prevails over all and marrying the one you love is more important than the arranged marriage you were in. This backfires on him terribly as it gets him, his wife, and his unborn child killed.
  • You Are in Command Now: With his father in King's Landing and his mother busy kidnapping Tyrion, he has to take charge of Winterfell. With the death of his father, he becomes Lord of Winterfell and, not long after, the King in the North.
  • Young and in Charge: Due to being the highest-ranking person in Winterfell, he has authority over a whole mess of experienced knights and retainers. Despite this, others underestimate him due to his youth. This dynamic is brought to the fore in "The Pointy End" when he calls his bannermen and begins to march south. In particular, it causes some tensions with Greatjon Umber, but the Greatjon changes his mind when Grey Wind bites some of his fingers off. Later, the Greatjon is the first in the Northern/Riverlands army to declare Robb as King in the North.
  • Young Conqueror: Neither Tywin nor even his father think he is up to the task, but Varys points out to Ned that Robb would hardly be the first. He quickly proves himself one of the most skilled battle commanders in the series.

    Jon Snow
"I want to fight on the side that fights for the living."
Played By: Kit Harington

"Mormont himself chose Jon to be his steward. He saw something in Jon. And now we've all seen it too. He may be young, but he's the commander we all turned to when the night was darkest."
Samwell Tarly

The bastard son of Eddard Stark, also known as Lord Snow, the White Wolf, eventually the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, and later the new King in the North. His attempts to broker alliance with the Wildlings that have long called the Watch their enemies got him killed by his own brothers.
  • 24-Hour Armor: Since his resurrection and exit from the Watch, Jon has worn the Stark standard-issue Brown coat-of-plate for every scene in Season 6, whether he's eating, resting or fighting. Considering that he got stabbed with only a peascod protecting him the first time, this might count as Properly Paranoid.
  • The Ace: To the Night's Watch, among the younger recruits and young Samwell in particular. Moreso after the Battle of Castle Black where he was one of the main defenders alongside Ser Alliser, Pyp, Grenn and Dolorous Edd. By season 6, his exploits are so well known that he's this through all of Westeros. Even someone as overconfident and as dangerous as Ramsay Bolton considers him the greatest swordsman in the North by reputation alone.
  • Action Hero: Not that he isn't a superb fighter in the books, but on the show Jon is the embodiment of Asskicking Equals Authority and a veritable One-Man Army who has among his other impressive feats, killed a White Walker general in single combat. He's a Living Legend for a reason.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: He is never described as being handsome in the books, but is played by Kit Harington in the series. This is likely meant as an allusion to his true parentage, as Rhaegar Targaryen was known to have been exceptionally beautiful.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Has black hair and brown eyes in the series, but his book counterpart has the brown hair and grey eyes of the Starks.
  • Adaptational Heroism: By removing the context surrounding the betrayal of the Night's Watch, Jon Snow in the show ends up being far more spotless in his record as Lord Commander, never once betraying his oaths and commitments, whereas in the fifth book, he, for understandable reasons, began playing a double game by serving the Watch honorably on the surface and at the same time working to undermine the Boltons by secretly serving as strategic advisor to Stannis and sending a group of Wildlings to Winterfell on a mission, both actions were violations of his oath of neutrality in spirit and fact. Here Jon repeatedly refuses all attempts and overtures by Stannis, Davos and Melisandre and sticks to his duty.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Inverted; while not without his moments, the show's Jon Snow is Asskicking Equals Authority and as such misses his book counterpart's Genius Bruiser qualities. He was the one who served as Stannis's strategist for his march to Winterfell and likewise his plans for the Night's Watch involved constructing glass greenhouses to farm plants in winter, importing lenses from the Free Cities, sending craftsmen to learn trade and even having two captured wights locked in ice cells so as to study and review their behavior and abilities. It was he who decided to send Samwell Tarly to Oldtown prioritizing research over factional politics at the Wall, whereas in the show, it's Sam who has to ask him the favor for a far more selfish motive of protecting Gilly and Baby Sam.
  • Always Someone Better: Jon admits he lived in the shadow of Robb, just the same way Sam feels compared to Jon.
    Jon: I was jealous of Robb my whole life. The way my father looked at him? I wanted that. He was better than me at everything. Fighting, and hunting, and riding. And girls. Gods, the girls loved him. I wanted to hate him, but I never could.
  • Angst Dissonance: In-universe. He thinks that being a bastard is terrible, his life sucks, and people treat him unfairly. He often needs to be reminded that even if he is a bastard, he still has a family that (with the sole exception of Catelyn) loves him — plus, he grew up in a castle, making him one of the most privileged Sworn Brothers of the Night's Watch. He always had a roof over his head, was never hungry, and even got to receive professional combat training from the master-at-arms. This essentially boils down to stating that his complaints are usually totally bollocks. Part of his problem is that he's well into the top 10% of Westerosi society, but he was raised in a family where everyone else was in the top 1-2%, so he has difficulty keeping this in perspective until he meets some of the other 90% when he goes to the Wall.
  • The Apprentice: Lord Mormont takes him under his wing, and Sam remarks that Jon is being groomed to become the next Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority:
    • Is made Lord Commander partly for his prowess in fighting and leadership, rather than seniority.
    • Likewise, it's mostly his battle prowess that leads the Northerners to crown him king, despite his being a bastard.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: During the Battle of Castle Black, he's left in charge, and takes a small force down to ground level. He jumps out of the elevator, and proceeds to kill three Wildlings before the elevator even hits the floor.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: In the Season 6 finale, he is named the new King in the North, the White Wolf, by the Northmen, the Wildlings, and the Knights of the Vale.
  • Back from the Dead: Is successfully resurrected by Melisandre.
  • Badass Beard: He has a beard of varying intensity.
  • Badass In Charge: The only person to hold both titles of Lord Commander of the Night's Watch and King in the North.
  • Badass Longcoat: The tabard Jon wears is evocative of this trope. Played more straight after he's elected as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.
  • Band of Brothers: With Sam, Pyp, Grenn, and Edd.
  • Battle Butler: He's appointed a steward instead of a ranger, which doesn't sit well with him. Gets his fair share of asskicking anyway.
  • Becoming the Mask: He's edged towards this with the Wildlings, becoming very torn about what he truly wants. At the very least, he came to genuinely love Ygritte. Ygritte, however, noticed that he is still at heart loyal to the Night's Watch, and although she tells him she is willing to ignore that, things soon comes to a head between the two. After returning to the Night's Watch, the panel at his hearing aren't impressed when they notice him unintentionally refer to their enemy as "The Free Folk", rather than the Wildlings, and accuse him of Going Native.
  • Being Good Sucks: Most everything he does he does for the good of the Watch and Westeros, but he gets no praise for it and ends up ostracizing his sworn brothers for it. Being killed by mutineers and hanging them in return, including a little boy that was part of it, is the last straw for him, and he leaves the Watch in Season 6 thoroughly disillusioned with them and sick of fighting.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Ygritte, which is made worse due to his adherence to his vows.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's probably one of the nicest people in this entire screwed up world. The gods help you if you harm any of his beloved half-siblings or Sam, or if you push him too far, as Karl and Janos Slynt found out.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Jon towards Samwell, as well as his actual younger siblings, especially Arya who treasures Needle which he gave to her. This is the reason Bran is convinced not to see Jon, despite being so close, because he knows that Jon would do everything to protect him and keep him from going further north, even though he desperately needs to go.
    • Jon also pretty much immediately takes on this role for Olly.
    • When he and Sansa are finally reunited in Season 6, he immediately hugs her and makes it clear he will protect her despite the fact she was not very nice to him as a child. Jon also doesn't begrudge Sansa for this treatment at all, warmly reassuring her that she doesn't need to apologise for it. Then, when he finds out that his brother Rickon is being held captive and Ramsay plans on forcing him to watch the horrible things he plans to do to Sansa, Jon decides to take up arms against the Boltons.
    • Nearly gets him killed in the Battle for Winterfell when Ramsay kills Rickon to provoke Jon into breaking formation, which Sansa warned him might happen. When he finally catches up to Ramsay, he nearly beats him to death right on the spot.
  • Big Good: Jon indirectly becomes this to the entire series in Season 5. Becoming the new Night's Commander, Jon is the one character acknowledging that the threat of the Night Walkers far transcends the political fighting the rest of Westeros is engaged in. Stannis acknowledges this trait in Jon and even tries to recruit him in his campaign for the Iron Throne. He's the indisputable leader of "the living" after his coronation as King in the North, in which he convinces the nothern houses that the true enemy comes with the Winter storms.
  • Break the Haughty: His time at the Wall is one long object lesson in not taking himself too seriously and even moreso his time among the Wildlings.
  • Brother-Sister Team: After he reunites with Sansa in Season 6, they team up to take down the Boltons and retake Winterfell.
  • Bully Hunter: He insists on fighting back against the Night's Watch recruits who harass Samwell.
  • Bullying a Dragon: He is a kind-hearted man, but you do NOT want to piss him off.
  • Celibate Hero: Ygritte gets him out of this.
  • Character Development: The brash, hotheaded, and naive Jon Snow from the first season is all but gone by Season 4, where he is a seasoned, somber, and serious leader.
    • By Season 5, he's pretty much sharpened all those soft edges that made him blow his cover with the wildlings back in Season 3. He's not a manipulator on the level of Littlefinger, Tyrion or Varys, but he shows remarkable savvy in "High Sparrow" when in one stroke, he makes Thorne into as much of an ally as he'll ever be and puts him in a position of honor that will keep him largely apart from Jon, and has another enemy executed for insubordination, showing he means business as the new Lord Commander and earning Stannis's approval in the process.
    • Come Season 6 and getting betrayed by his Night's Watch brothers, finding that there is no afterlife (and probably losing faith in the Old Gods with it) and then getting resurrected, Jon decides to leave the order after executing the mutineers. Jon leaving would have been considered unthinkable in earlier seasons, where nothing could have made him give up the Night's Watch.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: He is a Stark, after all.
  • Colonel Badass: Jon is a great warrior who develops into a very complete and able commander.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Though starting out quite idealistic, by Season 4, he's able to make the hard call to not respond to a group of Wildlings slaughtering nearby villages, especially since he knows full well it's a distraction for an attack on the Wall itself. He also had no problem shoving a sword through the back of Karl's skull when the opportunity presented itself. Even his overall fighting style is becoming more and more like this, as during the Wildlings' attack on the Wall, Jon uses a mixture of kicks and the environment around him, as well as typical swordplay, to kill several wildlings. He's fully fallen into this trope by Season 6, most notably when he's challenged by a bow-wielding Ramsay. Jon throws aside his Valyrian steel sword in favor of a simple shield lying in the mud, which he uses to block all of Ramsay's arrows, close the distance, and pummel him into submission.
  • Compassionate Critic: Has a superior martial training and doesn't shy away from pointing out the flaws of his companions, because he cares for them and incidentally for himself too, as he will be in the same boat should trouble arise.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: He wants to go and help his brother but he also doesn't want to leave the Watch after swearing to serve.
    • Also between the Watch and Ygritte, and his understanding of the needs of the Watch versus the depravity of Craster. Also between the Watch's purpose and protecting the soft and unreliable Sam. Jon's very conflicted.
  • Cool Big Bro: The younger Starks adore him, and Arya gets Needle, her first sword, as a gift from Jon.
  • Cool Pet: His albino direwolf, Ghost.
  • Cool Sword: Longclaw. A gift from the Lord Commander, Jeor Mormont, who felt the sword's name suited a wolf as much as a bear. Its functional coolness comes from the fact that it's Valyrian steel, able to hold an incredibly keen edge. It can also block White Walkers' weapons and shatter them with one blow.
    • Stealth Pun: Longclaw is a hand-and-a-half sword, sometimes called a bastard sword. From the books... 
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not at first, but his time with the Wildlings brings it out.
    Janos Slynt: I commanded the City Watch of King's Landing, boy.
    Jon Snow: And now you're here. Must not have been very good at your job.
  • Death by Adaptation: Possibly. While his fate in the books after being stabbed during the mutiny is left ambiguous, here it's clearly established that he's dead. Doesn't stop him from being resurrected, though.
  • Death Seeker: Implied in "The Watchers on the Wall." After Ygritte dies, Jon decides to go on a suicide mission to assassinate Mance Rayder. However, even though he still grieves over Ygritte's death, he manages to shake out of his suicidal tendencies soon afterwards.
    • Also implied somewhat after his actual death and resurrection in Season 6. He seems rather peeved at not being allowed to be at rest, and some of his actions toward the end hint at a lack of will to live. He seems to have gotten a second wind as of the final battle with the Boltons, but to what end, no one's sure.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Initially joins the Night's Watch to escape the shadow of only being viewed as "the Stark Bastard."
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The second man to confirmedly kill a White Walker, and the first to do so in single combat.
  • Dies Wide Open: His eyes are wide open, staring lifelessly at the sky, after he dies.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • The same episode that gives Jon nearly everything he wanted, recognition as Stark by his Lord Bannermen, acknowledgment as Lord of Winterfell and his brother Robb Stark's heir, alongside legitimacy, confirms that he is in fact not Eddard Stark's son. It also features him being crowned as the King in the North while confirming that he's the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, but doesn't know it.
    • The Stark kid that is by far the most like Ned, is not his child.
    • He's been talking to his great granduncle during much of his time at the wall with neither of them aware of their relationship.
    • Much like Joffrey and Tommen, he is crowned king despite not being the son of/brother of the previous Lord of Winterfell/King in the North. Though unlike them, Jon is actually related to Ned and Robb.
  • Dying Alone: After Olly deals the fatal blow, Jon is ultimately left to die alone in the snow by the mutineers.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: "Olly?"
  • Expy:
    • It's subtle, but he shares more than a few traits with Heracles (Hercules in Roman myth). He was born of infidelity but came from an extremely prestigious family, was never truly considered part of his family until much later (Heracles of the gods, Jon of the Starks) and had a stepmother who never let him forget it (though Hera was far harsher in this regard). Both men had to decide between a harsher but supposedly glorious life (The Watch according to reputation) or a more comfortable but forgettable one (Jon was treated a lot better than most Westerosi bastards). Once Jon joins the watch he finds himself in all kinds of supernatural situations. Then both are betrayed and killed by people close to them and when revived finally join their blood relatives.
    • Of King Arthur. He's the child of Star-Crossed Lovers from warring Houses who had a secret affair while their families were at war, and he grows up in the household of a Lord, believing that he's of low birth—unaware that he's actually the son of the previous king, and the rightful heir to his throne. As with Arthur and his foster brother Sir Kay, he grows up in the shadow of his adoptive brother Robb Stark, who is poised to inherit the title of Lord from his father. And as with Arthur, it takes an act of powerful magic (pulling an enchanted sword from a stone vs. having a warg gaze into the past) to confirm his royal heritage. He also learns to be a leader by earning the loyalty of an inner circle of True Companions who would follow him anywhere, and he inherits an old and powerful sword from his mentor.
  • Extreme Melee Revenge: When Jon finally tracks Ramsay Bolton into Winterfell, what follows is not Ramsay and Jon fighting with swords, but rather Ramsay trying to shoot Jon several times, failing, and Jon bashing Ramsay's head with the shield, and then proceeding to beat all seven hells out of Ramsay's face with his bare fists. This leaves just enough of Ramsay to have him fed to his own starving dogs later.
  • Eye Awaken: Immediately after his resurrection, in stark contrast to his "Dies Wide Open" moment described above.
  • Fake Defector: As of the Season 2 finale, he has managed to convince the Wildlings that he's a bona fide defector. Killing Quorin Halfhand, along with his admission that he was unhappy with Mormont's decision to ally with Craster, went some ways to convincing them of his sincerity. Most Definitely Not A Spy: That being said, subtlety is definitely not Jon's strong suit, since both Orell and Ygritte immediately pick up on the fact that he's working as The Mole.
    Ygritte: You're loyal, Jon Snow.
  • Fatal Flaw: According to Kit Harrington, Jon's greatest flaw as a leader is that he assumes his men will automatically fall-in-line in the name of the greater good. This leads him to overlooking the Devil in Plain Sight in both Thorne and Olly.
  • A Father to His Men: While he does not start as an authority figure, many of the low-ranking Night's Watch men do look up to him. Averted at the end of Season 5, when he is betrayed and murdered by most of his own men.
  • The Fettered: A Stark in all but name, he won't hurt an innocent in cold blood. This blows his cover when the Wildlings force Jon to kill an old man to test his allegiance.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: He, Pyp, and Grenn had a very rough start, but they eventually become True Companions along with Sam.
  • Friendly Enemy: Wildling leaders such as Mance and Tormund come to respect and appreciate Jon as an earnest and capable man, and the feeling is mutual. His connection with Tormund even leans towards Fire-Forged Friends.
  • Generation Xerox: He resembles Ned the most out of the Stark children, is known for his honour, and carries out executions himself. All of this makes it even more ironic that Ned is not his father, but his uncle.
  • Get Out: He is horrified to learn that Melisandre, the woman who brought him back from the dead, burned Shireen Baratheon alive. However he moderates Davos's calls for execution since Mel did resurrect him, and so banishes her instead, on pain of death.
  • Going Native: Jon's time among the Wildlings and his relationship with Ygritte has led his Night's Watch superiors to accuse Jon of this. He's unquestionably loyal to the Night's Watch but with his frequent references to the Wildlings as "Free Folk", it's more than a little obvious that his time among them has had an effect. Tormund Lampshades the same:
    Tormund: You spent too much time with us, Jon Snow. You can never be a kneeler again.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Jon can be somewhat self-absorbed and brooding, despite his strong moral compass. Of course, he is still a very kindhearted man, which is closer to...
  • Good Is Not Soft: Being one of the most compassionate men in all of Westeros has not hampered his skill with the sword or his ability to kill a white walker general and his willingness to personally execute traitors.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Goodish ones, which he receives toward the end of Season 3. Notably, he gets them from a somewhat anti-heroic moment wherein he literally and figuratively twists the knife when killing the Wildling Warg Orrell, whose eagle proceeds to claw and peck Jon's face and attempts (but fails) to take an eye).
  • Heartbroken Badass: After Ygritte is killed during the Wildings' attack on the Wall.
  • The Hero: He is the closest thing to this trope you will find in this entire series from Season 4 onward. Initially serving this role for the the Night's Watch storyline, with his efforts in leading the Raid on Craster's Keep and the Battle of Castle Black. By Season 6, he unquestionably evolved into this role for the North storyline (having restored the Starks back to power) if not the whole Westeros, as he is the only leader aware the White Walkers' danger, and wants to gather as many forces as possible to withstand their arrival.
  • The Hero Dies: Stabbed by his brothers while denounced as a traitor. Unlike the vast majority of the characters on the show, he gets better.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: In Season 6, his decision to let Wildlings through the Wall is seen by the Northerns as him betraying his oath as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, siding with the Wildlings and leading them through a rampage across their land. This causes House Umber to pledge their allegiance to the Boltons, whom they despise very openly, to defend themselves and also giving them his little brother Rickon as hostage to Ramsay.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: He has been attracted to both Ros and Ygritte.
  • Heroic Bastard: Tyrion lampshades this trope in The Kingsroad:
    Tyrion: A bastard boy with nothing to inherit, off to join the ancient order of the Night's Watch, alongside his valiant brothers-in-arms.
    Jon: The Night's Watch protects the realm from—
    Tyrion: Ah yes, yes! Against grumpkins and snarks and all the other monsters your wetnurse warned you about. You're a smart boy. You don't believe that nonsense.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Because of his status as a bastard, Jon never had the best self-esteem. He downplays his successes and never puts any stock into the reputation he started to develop.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Sam.
  • Hidden Back Up Prince: In a way, Since he's hailed as Robb's successor in the North, while he spent years forgotten at the Wall. But what really plays this trope straight is that he's no less than the last male Targaryen left in Westeros.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: How did Ned hide Jon, the last surviving child of Rhaegar Targaryen, from the claimant King Robert? By raising him as his own bastard son and a part of his family.
  • Honor Before Reason: With regard to his refusal to kill anyone who isn't directly attacking him at that very moment in time. Seems to be his Fatal Flaw just as much as it is for the rest of his family, as his refusal to kill an old man who was going to be killed one way or the other blows his cover, turns his lover against him, gets him shot full of arrows and renders Qhorin Halfhand's sacrifice all but meaningless.
  • I Choose to Stay: He turns down Stannis's offer to legitimize him as Jon Stark and make him Warden of the North, everything he wanted at the start of the series, as he's come to realize how important the Night Watch is with all the political squabbling in Westeros meaning nothing if the White Walkers get in.
  • In-Series Nickname: Lord Snow and King Crow. Following his coronation, he is nicknamed as the White Wolf.
  • It's Personal: Despite vowing to never fight again, Jon is more willing to take up arms when he learns that Ramsay Bolton has taken his brother Rickon hostage and also raped his sister Sansa. Threatening to do it again just makes Jon even angrier and determined to kill him.
  • Jumped at the Call: Jon is overly eager to join the Night's Watch, despite his uncle Benjen's advice to wait a while. Later, he volunteers himself to join Qhorin Halfhand's ranging party. Mance Rayder picks up on this trait very quickly, saying that he believes that the thing Jon wants, most of all, is to be a hero.
  • Like a Son to Me
    • To Jeor Mormont, whose own son Jorah disgraced their family.
    • He's actually Ned Stark's nephew by his sister Lyanna.
  • Like Father, Like Son:
    • Jon clearly echoes Ned: his fighting advice to Olly is the same that a young Ned gave to Benjen, he executes men he sentences to die himself as Ned taught him, and his outfit post-resurrection is brown and blue like Ned's. Sansa even makes him a cloak that looks exactly like their father's did.
    • He is also a Master Swordsman, charismatic leader of men and philanthropic in the manner of his biological father, Rhaegar Targaryen.
  • Living Legend: Being Back from the Dead does god-like wonders for one's reputation.
  • Looks Like Jesus: Progressively, as his Badass Beard becomes fuller as seasons go by. Both their deaths even involves a cross, though Jon wasn't crucified. His resurrection sequence is modelled on Renaissance paintings of Jesus.
  • Loophole Abuse/Exact Words: Jon quits the Night's Watch after hanging the mutineers and passing on command to Dolorous Edd, saying that his "watch was ended". Normally, deserting the Night's Watch warrants the death penalty, and the Night's Watch oath states that a member's watch "shall not end until [his] death." However, Jon did technically die (but was brought back), so he's freed from his oath. When Edd brings it up, Jon says: "I pledged my life to the Night's Watch. I gave my life."
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: While he normally eschews a shield in order to be able to wield Longclaw with both hands, when Ramsay challenges him to one-on-one combat with a bow, Jon wisely tosses aside his sword in order to pick up a nearby shield. He uses this shield to block all of Ramsay's arrows before closing in and knocking him down with a Shield Bash.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Averted. Even though he is provided with a local prostitute (Ros), he is unmanned by the thought of inflicting some poor kid with the problems his own bastardy has brought him. He eventually loses his virginity to Ygritte, because he has to convince her he has forsaken his vows to the Night's Watch.
    • Makes a lot more sense in the novels, though, where Jon is only 14 as opposed to 20ish year old Jon in the TV series.
  • Manly Tears: Walking away from Ygritte's funeral pyre, we see Jon breaking down.
  • Master Swordsman: His skills are spoken in high regard in the North, at least according to Ramsay Bolton who describes him as "the greatest swordfighter who has ever walked". His reputation isn't undeserving given that he slew Karl Tanner, a Magnar of Thenn, a White Walker and countless Bolton soldiers by himself. Jon might as well be one of the deadliest fighters currently alive.
  • Meaningful Name: His nickname upon becoming king, the White Wolf, takes on a whole new meaning when you remember his father was a Targaryen.
  • Mercy Kill: He plants an arrow in Mance's chest so he doesn't have to slowly burn to death.
  • Messianic Archetype: Set up this way, what with the noble nature and the mysterious parentage and the possibly being the only hope for a good future for the common folk and the looking like Jesus. And, of course, the whole "being betrayed by his followers and then brought back from the dead" thing.
  • Missing Mom: Jon knows nothing about his mother. During Robert's rebellion, Ned Stark had an affair with a lowborn woman called Wylla and Ned promises Jon they will talk about his mother some day when they reunite, but they never see each other again. However, Stannis Baratheon is quite skeptical that Jon Snow was the result of a one-night stand, noting that it wasn't Ned Stark's style. The truth is that his mother is Ned's sister Lyanna, with Jon's biological father being Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, meaning Jon is actually Ned's nephew whom he claimed as a bastard son in order to protect him from Lyanna's betrothed Robert Baratheon).
  • Moses in the Bullrushes: Ned Stark hid Lyanna and Rhaegar's son, the true heir to the Iron Throne since he was a baby.
  • Mythology Gag: After being made king, Jon is called The White Wolf which is a reference to the inverted colors of House Stark. This is similar to another bastard king, the Black Dragon Daemon Blackfyre.
  • NaÔve Newcomer: To the North side of the Wall, where he knows nothing.
  • Naked on Revival: Although there's a Modesty Towel placed on his private parts, he's in his birthday suit when he was resurrected.
  • Nice Guy: One of the nicest and most moral guys on the Crapsack World that is Westeros.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The tragic Stark tradition continues with Jon Snow.
    • Choosing to save the Wildlings from the White Walkers gets him betrayed and murdered by his own brethren. He hangs a Lampshade on this to Ser Davos on his resurrection, noting that he failed trying to do the right thing. All Davos tells him is that he must be prepared to fail again to do what's right.
    • Likewise, Jon Snow consistently upheld his duty over his desires. He stayed with the Watch rather than ride South to fight with Robb. He loyally served as Double Agent against the Wildlings despite his sympathy for them and his love for Ygritte, and as Lord Commander he put aside his feelings for revenge and upheld his duty by calling for men and supplies from all Northern lords including Roose Bolton, despite his hatred for them. After constant rejection and lack of results, Jon takes matters and legally settles the Wildlings on land belonging to the Watch and this leads the Umbers, who never once responded to his summons, to side with the Boltons citing their grudge over earlier Wildling invasions.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Once Jon has retaken Winterfell and cornered Ramsay inside, he beats Ramsay to within an inch of his life for everything he's ever done, including the murder of his brother and rape of his sister. The only reason Jon doesn't kill Ramsay himself is because Jon believes that it's Sansa who deserves to deliver the final blow.
  • No Sell: The only person (so far) to resist Melisandre's advances, mainly because he's still in love with Ygritte.
  • Not So Above It All: While undoubtedly a good person, he initially had some entitlement issues, which was actually a problem when he's still starting at the Night's Watch.
  • Not So Stoic: The normally reserved Jon Snow breaks down after burning Ygritte's body in the forest.
  • The Oath-Breaker: Subverted. Jon's brothers in the Night's Watch convince him to return to the Wall after he leaves to avenge the death of his father. It's played straight with the celibacy part of the oath, although circumstances may have called for it. Wonderful circumstances.
  • Oblivious Adoption: He has no idea that Ned is actually his maternal uncle, nor that his mother is actually Lyanna Stark.
  • Odd Friendship: With Tyrion Lannister, albeit only for a few episodes.
    • And with Tormund Giantsbane.
  • Offered the Crown: Seeking aid in retaking the North, Stannis offers to raise him as Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell. Jon refuses this longtime daydream because he took a vow and his place is with his brothers of the Night's Watch. He ends up getting crowned anyways at the end of Season 6.
  • One-Man Army: During "Battle of the Bastards", Jon charges by himself against the Bolton cavalry and racks up an impressive body count during the fight. Not even Barristan Selmy in his last stand against the Sons of the Harpy was able to take down as many of his enemies as Jon did.
  • Phrase Catcher:
    • "You must be Ned Stark's bastard". Uttered by nearly every single person who meets him for the first time.
    • "You know nothing, Jon Snow", courtesy of Ygritte.
  • Plot Armor: Just watch "The Battle of the Bastards" and say it isn't true.
  • Pretty Boy: Craster snarks that Jon is prettier than half his daughters. Orell claims his looks are the only reason Ygritte likes him.
  • Pride: Seems to be his major character flaw. His confidence in the superiority of his abilities often causes him to lose sight of the bigger picture and complain about the unfairness of his life. Good thing he has Sam and friends to put things in perspective for him.
  • Rags to Royalty: He had it better off than most people in Westeros but was still not the trueborn son of Ned Stark and wasn't treated like that. He is acclaimed the King in the North at the end of Season 6.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Joined the Night's Watch of his own volition, rather than to escape death like many other recruits.
  • Red Baron: The "White Wolf" after his coronation as King in the North.
  • Refusal of the Call: Initially. Sansa tries to convince him to aid her in battle against the Boltons, but Jon refuses due to be being tired of all the fighting. Though when he is informed by Ramsay's threatening letter that he has Rickon captive, he agrees to aid her.
  • Relative Button: Harming his little brothers or sisters is a very bad idea, as Ramsay Snow learned the hard way. He also almost attacked Alliser Thorne for bad-mouthing Ned and Robb. Qhorin Halfhand also provoked Jon into seriously fighting back (as part of his plan to help Jon infiltrate the Wildlings by having Jon kill him) by calling Ned a traitor and Jon's unknown mother a whore.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Poor guy just can't catch a break from this.
    • Jon's then entitled attitude when he first joins the watch. While it's true that he was the most promising recruit at time, it does not automatically means instant membership as he has to earn it like the rest. Tyrion and his uncle's scoldings puts him in his place.
    • He broke a few oaths of the Night's Watch, with him leading the Wildlings to live south of the Wall being the final straw for his black brothers to execute him for betraying the Watch. Except Jon actually allowed the Wildlings to go through the wall so they won't come back as part of the undead, not to malign the Watch.
    • The Season 6 finale reveals that this is his entire existence in a nutshell. All his life he was told that he is a bastard of a highborn northerner, hence the surname "Snow". While that is true, his northerner parent is not the one who he thinks. Ned's "You may not have my name, but you have my blood" remark in Season 1 perfectly sums this up.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: It's clear he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after being murdered and brought back to life in "Oathbreaker".
  • Shoot Your Mate: Jon kills Qhorin Halfhand to convince the Wildlings he's defecting to their side, with Qhorin's consent.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Season 6 piles it up with Jon's wardrobe changes once he leaves the Night's Watch, pointing to his reclamation of his Stark roots. His 24-Hour Armor is the exact kind Ned and Robb wore for most of their battle scenes in previous seasons—Foreshadowing his rise as the King in the North come the season finale. In addition, Sansa enforces it by making him a wolf pelt coat explicitly based off Ned's, as we saw in his very first scene in Season 1.
  • Snow Means Death: He dies while it was snowing, making his name poignant.
  • Snow Means Love: He and Ygritte developed feeling for each other while stuck with each other at the north of the wall.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Ygritte. Jon is a man of the Night's Watch and Ygritte a Wildling, meaning that they can't be together no matter how much they love one another.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: Jon and the Night's King stare at each other while Jon retreats from Hardhome.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Jon greatly resembles his mother Lyanna Stark, having inherited her black hair, dark eyes, and striking looks.
  • Supporting Leader: Since Season Six revealed that Bran is the new Three-Eyed Raven and that Jon was the hidden Prince to the Kingdom, it is clear that Jon is the Aragorn to Bran's Frodo
  • Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: Nowhere near as bad as Daenerys, but his full title would be King in the North and the Vale, King of Winter, the White Wolf, and former 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.
  • The Unfavorite: Played straight regarding Catelyn as he's a constant reminder of the one time Ned's honor faltered; as far as she's concerned, his joining the Night's Watch is a much-needed Reassignment To Antarctica. Subverted, in that his father, siblings, and uncle all clearly love him. Also the only brother Theon doesn't give a toss about, probably because Theon's not a Stark while Jon's not a legal Stark, but Ned actually acknowledges Jon.
  • Took a Level in Badass: His term serving under Mormont and spent among the Wildlings has shaped him into a better leader and fighter.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Rickon is arrowed in the back and killed by Ramsey in "The Battle of the Bastards". Jon Snow doesn't utter a single roaring fury and instead maintains a zen-like calmness, though verging on Death Seeker levels. And when he finally gets his one on one against Ramsey, he still doesn't yell or scream. Jon no sells against Ramsey's arrow attacks with a discarded shield. The only time he does emote is when he's beating the ever loving shit out of Ramsey.
  • True Companions: With Sam, Pyp, Grenn, and Edd.
  • Unexpected Successor: A bastard who had previously forsaken all rights to own land and wear crowns, succeeds Robb as King in the North.
  • When She Smiles: Though he's becoming increasingly sombre in disposition, when Jon is truly happy it really stands out.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Lady Stark is unable to hide her contempt for Ned's bastard. She eventually reveals that she blames herself for the misfortunes of her family, rationalizing that it's all a punishment from the gods because she was unable to fulfill a promise about raising Jon Snow like her own son, a bargain made when he was very ill as a baby. Its turns out that he's actually her nephew.
  • Worthy Opponent: As of "Hardhome", the Night's King sees him as this, being intimidated enough by his killing of a White Walker in single combat to go down to the docks of the Hardhome settlement personally to raise all of the dead Night's Watchmen and Wildlings from the battle as wights as a show of force.
  • Would Hurt a Child: After his resurrection, he has Olly hanged for treason along with the rest of his murderers. It weighs heavily on him though, and in the next episode he makes it clear he isn't proud of it.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: Jon's steadfast refusal to kill an old man for the Wildlings is what blows his cover.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Not kill one, at least. That's quite much by the standards of the show. It's a combination of this and "Wouldn't kill a prisoner", perhaps with a touch of "Wow, that Chick's Hot".
  • You Are in Command Now: In "The Watchers on the Wall", Jon is forced to take command of the Wall's defenders after Slynt freaks out. After he retakes Winterfell, the contrite lords of the North anoint him King In The North.

    Sansa Stark
"You're going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well."
Played By: Sophie Turner

"I did what I had to do to survive, my lady. But I am a Stark — I will always be a Stark."

Elder daughter of Eddard and Catelyn Stark and their second child. Though sheltered and petulantly naïve at the start of the series, the realities and myriad tragedies of Westeros harden her heart as time wears on and circumstances force her to become savvier and more cunning — a real player in the Game of Thrones.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Not that she doesn't undergo Trauma Conga Line in the books but her wedding night rape with Ramsay is entirely native and exclusive to the show, as a result of her character becoming a composite with Jeyne Poole.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • While still annoying in Season 1, she's a lot softer than the book counterpart who was a bit of an Alpha Bitch and a bit of a bully to Arya. Her sibling rivalry with Arya is toned down to normal levels of bickering whereas in the book Sansa was much more mean-spirited. As written below, she played an unwitting role in Eddard's capture, which the show Adapted Out for reasons of Age Lift and which Word of God himself felt was not as essential in light of her later Character Development. Sansa was likewise quite cold to Tyrion after their wedding, for understandnable reasons, but in the show she puts in some effort to make the marriage work.
    • In the books, Sansa likewise heard Lysa Arryn specifically shouting out that she killed Jon Arryn for him (which Sansa doesn't allow herself to believe) and was an accomplice in Littlefinger framing a Fall Guy.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the books, she armed herself with a knife and journeyed through the Red Keep at night to investigate a message left by Ser Dontos, and actively conspired with him to escape King's Landing over the course of several months. In the show, she has no involvement at all, and is simply dragged out of King's Landing unawares. This becomes even more pronounced after she becomes a composite of Jeyne Poole in Season 5.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Her hair is a brighter red in the show, but more auburn (red-brown) in the books.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Some of Sansa's more naive actions in the book, especially in Season 1, are removed partly because showrunners felt that her Age Lift made it less believable. The most notable instance was her informing Cersei about her father's plans to move his household back to Winterfell by ship, an action which played a small role in Ned Stark's arrest.
    • As a result of her Book 4 plot being entirely removed and changed to that of Jeyne Poole, Sansa's Character Development in that section, her friendship with smallfolk and outsiders like Mya Stone and blossoming into the role of hostess and Number Two to Littlefinger is removed.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Averted. Sansa wanted the psychotic Joffrey, but only when she thought he was the stereotypical heroic prince from her stories. Sansa wants a hero, not a villain.
  • Alliterative Name: Sansa Stark.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Her "marriage" to Ramsay creates a giant one:
    • The use of surnames and the ability of Noblewomen to retain their maiden name after marriage was established within the show in Seasons 1-3 and by discussions with writers. The Starks being a very old house like the Lannisters should logically retain their name (whereas Catelyn Tully, daughter of a relatively newer house, became Catelyn Stark). Yet in Season 4, Jaime considers her as Sansa Lannister, while in Season 6, a Bolton soldier trying to capture her calls her Lady Bolton, while Lyanna Mormont hangs a Lampshade by noting whether she is a Lannister or Bolton, while Sansa calls herself Sansa Stark despite being a bigamist.
    • The legitimacy of her second marriage is a second issue, since Sansa was married to Tyrion Lannister before a large crowd and officiated by the High Septon, while the second marriage is conducted before an Old Gods ceremony. In the books, Sansa's marriage to Tyrion is voidable but not void and requires a formal annulment; Littlefinger claims in the show that no annulment is necessary. Some fans believe otherwise since this is Littlefinger, but the subject and legal issue is not properly addressed. The second marriage becomes a moot point after Ramsay Bolton becomes dog food.
  • Arranged Marriage: Happens so often that she's basically pimped out to unconsummated marriages.
    • To Joffrey, which she views as a Perfectly Arranged Marriage until he shows his true colors.
    • After Joffrey repudiates her, the Tyrells plan to marry Sansa to Loras for her claim to Winterfell. When Tywin finds out, he declares that she shall marry Tyrion instead, which she does. Seeing as the both of them are soon on the run and neither had bothered to consummate the marriage, no one in Westeros seems to really acknowledge or care as to whether or not she is still married to him.
    • When Tyrion is in serious danger of being executed, her Aunt Lysa begins to plan a marriage with Robin Arryn.
    • Lord Baelish and Lord Bolton marry her to Ramsay after the bastard is made heir to Winterfell.
  • Attempted Rape: A repeated scare for her:
    • Attempted gang rape by a group of commoners in "The Old Gods and the New". She is rescued in the nick of time by Sandor Clegane.
    • Joffrey openly covets this during her wedding with Tyrion, but his threats are eventually defused.
    • The Hound tells Arya while he is possibly dying that he should have raped Sansa while he had the chance.
    • Sansa's luck eventually runs out, as Ramsay rapes her for many nights, beginning on their wedding night.
  • Awful Wedded Life:
    • Tyrion and Sansa don't have any love for each other, being ordered to marry by Tywin and the latter being forced into it. They form a quasi-friendship almost as Sansa realizes that Tyrion is a decent man even if he's a member of the Lannister family. This goes From Bad to Worse after the Red Wedding as Sansa realizes that she's married into the family that murdered her father, her mother, her brothers and most of her family.
    • Her marriage to Ramsay Bolton is a very straightforward example, as he invokes his "right" of Marital Rape License nightly, beating her and leaving her crying in her bed.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • Remembers Arya with fondness past Season 1 and makes it clear that she misses her.
    • Her eyes light up when Ramsay mentions her half-brother, Jon Snow, in Season 5, whom she had never previously shown any affection towards. Their reunion in Season 6 is also quite affectionate, a very stark contrast from her aloofness towards him in Season 1.
  • Badass Boast: In "Battle of the Bastards", she gives a simple yet accurate one-liner, "You're going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well."
  • Badass Princess: Sansa may not physically fight like her sister or Daenerys, but she's more than capable of using her guile and political knowledge to retake Winterfell and then assist her brother Jon after he becomes King in the North. She even rallies the Knights of the Vale to her cause and goes wit-to-wit with Littlefinger on multiple occasions in the sixth season.
  • Bastard Understudy: By the end of Season 4, she has become this to Littlefinger, willingly protecting him from the nobles of the Vale using manipulation techniques she's learned from his various monologues. She has also thrown in with his plans, though she has some leverage against him to prevent unwanted advances. Needless to say, Petyr is impressed by this.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: She is deliriously happy to be engaged to the heir to the kingdoms... until he has her father beheaded right in front of her, and she becomes a hostage to his family in the ensuing civil war. Happens again at the end of Season 2, when she finally gets out of her engagement to Joffrey. Unfortunately, as Petyr Baelish points out, she's actually worse off, since she's not allowed to return home, Joffrey is still free to beat and rape her without reprisal, and she doesn't have the minor consolation of being queen when it happens. In Season 4, she's finally free of the Lannisters, Joffrey and King's Landing by being forced to go on the lam after the King's assassination, being a prime suspect with a large bounty on her head. The only persons keeping her safe is the real culprit, Petyr Littlefinger Baelish, and her place of refuge is the castle of her mad aunt Lysa Arryn.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones:
    • In an unexpected moment of boldness, Sansa attempts to push Joffrey off a bridge. She's stopped by the Hound.
    • In "Battle of the Bastards", she executes Ramsay by having his hounds eat him alive.
  • Big Sister Instinct: After hearing that Rickon has been taken hostage by Ramsay in Season 6, Sansa makes it quite clear that she's returning to Winterfell to rescue him, regardless of how many wildlings are able to fight and regardless of whether Jon joins her. She even displays shades of this towards Jon, who Sansa repeatedly refers to as her brother while purposely dressing Jon in Stark clothes to make people properly respect him.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Once. Sansa's since grown up much too fast. And to be fair, the Septa kind of started it. She apologises to Jon for being cold to him as a girl.
    Sansa: Where are you from, anyway? The north or the south?
    Septa Mordane: I come from a very small village in a—
    Sansa: —Oh, wait. I just realized... I don't care.
  • Break the Haughty: Played with in that she's uppity and callous at the beginning of the story, but her misfortunes are so harsh that she becomes a sympathetic Broken Bird instead.
    • When Lady is killed and later when her father is deemed a traitor and is beheaded. And then Joffrey shows her the heads of her father and his retainers. After stating that he will rape her when she can bear children. And then he has one of his bodyguards hit her. Repeatedly.
    • She is then forcibly married to the unattractive Tyrion instead of the dreamy Loras, but her new husband is completely respectful and kind to her, and he disobeys his father's orders to rape and impregnate her. They even start to get along rather well... and then she learns of the Lannister-planned Red Wedding, which resulted in the horrific murders of her brother, mother, and the Northern army. She has thus lost her last sliver of hope of rescue from King's Landing. It gets worse when she returns to Winterfell, where she is married to Ramsay Bolton, who is the North's very own homegrown version of Joffrey.
  • Broken Bird: Has reached this point after everything mentioned above, and she is force to adapt and play Littlefinger's game to survive.
  • Broken Tears: After she hears about The Red Wedding.
  • Brother-Sister Team: After she reunites with Jon in Season 6, they team up to take down the Boltons and retake Winterfell. Sansa provides the cunning and political know-how while Jon provides the brawn and martial prowess.
  • Butt Monkey: Her life in King's Landing is truly dramatic and horrible. Just when it seems her luck may be changing thanks to an Arranged Marriage to Loras, the political machine conspires against her. After returning to Winterfell, she reaches a point where she believes that things can't possibly be any worse. Theon rightly points out that with Ramsay around, things can always get worse.
  • Character Development: Sansa starts out wanting to visit the Capital and be less like her family. Joffrey and Cersei's true nature and the death and separation from the Starks makes her long for nothing more than Winterfell and her home, she takes to building a miniature version of her home castle in the Vale.
    • And from a naïve, sheltered highborn girl with a tendency to believe Beauty Equals Goodness to an increasingly cynical, insightful young woman with a keen understanding of what makes people tick.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The necklace Ser Dontos gives her, which he claims is an heirloom of House Hollard but was in fact a cheap imitation made by Littlefinger. When Sansa arrives aboard Littlefinger's ship after being secreted out of King's Landing by Ser Dontos, he takes off the necklace. One of the fake gems is missing. In the next episode, he confirms to Sansa that he hid the poison that Olenna Tyrell used to kill Joffrey in the missing stone.
    • The corkscrew she grabbed in "The Gift" comes into play in the finale when she uses it to pick the lock of her room in Winterfell, ultimately managing to escape with Theon.
  • Commonality Connection:
    • Starts to form this with Loras in "The Climb", as they are both extremely depressed after losing a loved one (Ned for Sansa and Renly for Loras), plus they find life in King's Landing intolerable.
    • She begins to bond with Tyrion over their outcast status. Then she learns of the Red Wedding.
  • Composite Character: She takes over the role of Jeyne Poole (who was Adapted Out other than a brief unnamed cameo in the first episode) as Ramsay's betrothed in Season 5. In her Season 6 reunion with Jon, Sansa takes the role of Alys Karstark as well.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Courtesy of Littlefinger's influence.
  • Daddy's Girl: Less obvious than Arya, but the scenes with the doll her father gives her heavily imply she is one, though she's clearly closer to Cat than Arya was.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has to measure her words given the hostile environment she's in, but the tendency is there.
  • Death Glare: A master of this.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Is in this at the start of Season 4, refusing to talk to people, eat for days, even admitting to Tyrion that she goes to godswood because she'll be left alone there and not because she prays or believes anymore.
  • Did You Actually Believe?: Mocks Myranda for believing that Ramsay actually intended on marrying her.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Calls Ramsay Snow a bastard, to his face! The last person who did that was shot at point-blank range with an arrow.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: She stares longingly at Loras' backside as he walks away in "Dark Wings, Dark Words", and Margaery even has to gently snap Sansa out of her reverie.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Almost literally. When Ramsay is at her mercy, she savors every second of telling him that House Bolton dies with him, before siccing his starving dogs on him, walking away with a big smile on her face as he screams in agony.
  • Domestic Abuse: When Joffrey is pissed off, he has his knights beat her, because his mother told him "a king should not strike his lady."
  • Doom Magnet: Somehow she attracts a nightmare's gallery of suitors. First Joffrey, then Robin and just when you think it couldn't get worse, Littlefinger engaged her to Ramsay Bolton, to say nothing of Littlefinger's own "interest" in her. About the only people who are nice to her are the scarred and ugly Sandor Clegane and the dwarf Tyrion Lannister, and even that situation is complicated with the latter two essentially serving the family that killed hers.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Invoked with Joffrey. She's entirely willing to overlook Joffrey's many, many flaws even when she sees them firsthand, all in the name of her fairy-tale romance. She finally snaps out of it at the end of "Baelor". Ned also points out to Arya that because she's going to be Joffrey's wife, she needs to show at least the pretense of Undying Loyalty to him, regardless of whether he deserves it. And, well, Ned was right about this.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: After the Battle of the Bastards, where, as Jon acknowledges later, she was the one who saved the day, leaving her the legitimate heir to Winterfell, she is completely ignored by the Northern lords at the council, and Jon is praised as the avenger of the Red Wedding and then crowned King in the North. Sansa is unhappy at this turn of events.
  • Extreme Doormat: To Joffrey and Cersei during her time as a hostage in King's Landing (though obviously she has no choice in this). By Season 6, she's leading a northern army alongside her brother and doesn't hesitate to rebut someone who disrespects her.
  • Face Death with Dignity: She doesn't even flinch when Myranda is pointing an arrow at her face. Luckily, Theon gives Myranda a Disney Villain Death before the latter has chance to hurt her.
  • Fainting: Collapses after her father is executed.
  • Flowers of Romance: She believes the red rose Loras offers to her at the Tourney of the Hand is a token of his affection. If only she had noticed that the Knight of Flowers was in fact googly-eyed over the Lord of Storm's End sitting behind her...
  • Foil: In the novels, George R. R. Martin designed Sansa to be Arya's foil. This is present in the adaptation as well. They are both Starks of Winterfell who spend a great deal of time with Sandor "The Hound" Clegane who takes them both captive at one time or another and ends up showing them his softer side. But it's also part of their development and their very different Break the Cutie arc. Sansa becomes ensnared in the politics of King's Landing and sees, first hand, the ruthlessness and backstabbing of a Deadly Decadent Court while Arya travels across Westeros and falls under the view and guidance of characters of varying moral fibre. Arya slowly becomes a methodical Child Soldier who falls in with an amoral killing cult that believes in death for everyone while Sansa has become Number Two to Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish, using her father's honorable reputation to defend a murderer from facing the consequences of his actions and becoming a willing accomplice. In both cases, the sisters are forced to discard their whole identities in order to pursue vengeance and survival.
  • Forceful Kiss: Is on the receiving one from Littlefinger in "Mockingbird." She didn't really resist; just stood there kind of stunned.
    • Littlefinger tries his luck again in "The Winds of Winter" - this time, Sansa pushes him away.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The necklace Ser Dontos gives her is missing one of its fake gems when Littlefinger takes it off Sansa aboard his boat, and which Littlefinger confirms contained the poison used to kill Joffrey. Even better: the gem is already missing during the Purple Wedding. Freeze frame right after Olenna touches the necklace.
  • Generation Xerox: Looks-wise, a few characters remark she looks very much like Catelyn did when she was young. Littlefinger even says she's more beautiful than her mother was at that age. Appropriately enough, she gradually starts exhibiting more and more of Catelyn's character traits as she gets older, save for acquiring a cold pragmatism her mother did not have, which was probably acquired from her time around court, particularly around Littlefinger. So, in a way, she became the child Littlefinger never got to have with Cat.
  • Girl in the Tower: Becomes one of these after her wedding, kept locked in a bedroom and visited only by Ramsay, who rapes her nightly, and Theon.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: While far from unintelligent, particularly in recent episodes, she fills the role of "the pretty one."
  • Grew a Spine: It's been steadily happening since Ned's execution, but come Season 6, she's boldly declaring war on the Boltons and insisting on the need to retake Winterfell.
  • Guile Hero: Although she started out as rather naive and foolish, she's had to rely on her wits to survive the Deadly Decadent Court of King's Landing, and is becoming rather good at it. She starts matching Littlefinger when she is in the Eyrie.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.:
    • Collapses in shock when Ilyn Payne swings her father's sword.
    • When she starts menstruating, as this means that she's now able to have Joffrey's children.
    • She gets another one when she finds out that she is being married to Tyrion, not Loras as intended, and that her other chance to leave King's Landing sails away.
    • In Season 4, she's lost any will to eat, and spends hours in the Godswood just to get away from people trying to comfort her about the deaths of Catelyn and Robb.
  • The High Queen: Starts to show signs of this trope in "Blackwater", shortly after Cersei mentions how much she disdains it. As of Season 6, she is now the Lady of Winterfell.
  • Honey Trap: A non-sexual version, as she's offered as a wife to Ramsay Bolton to help solidify the Boltons' rule of the North by including the Starks again. The real purpose is to get her close enough to take revenge.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: May be a family trait; "I trust her, even though she tells me not to" could almost be the words of House Stark. She completely fails to see the parts of people she doesn't want to see, especially with regard to Joffrey. While the life in the court makes her a bit more wary, it remains to be seen if her trust in Shae, and Tyrion by extension, is a good call. This trait has pretty much vanished by Season 5 — such as the way she interacts with Myranda, not fooled for a second by the latter's Bitch in Sheep's Clothing act. Although she, and Littlefinger apparently, seriously misjudge how crazy Ramsay is and Sansa only sees his Mask of Sanity crack just before the wedding.
  • Hostage Situation: She is the most important political token of the Lannisters during the War of the Five Kings after the death of Ned and the disappearance of Arya. Even if she wasn't Robb's heir as King in the North, Sansa is the heir to Winterfell after Theon "kills" Bran and Rickon. The Red Wedding caused the Lannisters to lose interest in her, as she wasn't as valuable a hostage anymore. The Tyrells try to bring her into the fold, to which the Lannisters married her to Tyrion. The cementing of the Tyrell-Lannister alliance and the chaos caused by the assassination of Joffrey allowed Littlefinger to take Sansa with him to the Vale of Arryn, disguising her as his bastard.
  • I Have Your Wife: After Ned's execution and Arya's escape, she's essentially being used as leverage by the Lannisters against Robb, and is physically and emotionally abused by Joffrey for her brother's victories.
  • Incompatible Orientation: She's a bit infatuated with Loras Tyrell.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink:
    • Pours herself some wine when she's alone with Tyrion during their wedding night in "The Second Sons", which is especially notable as Sansa had always been reluctant to drink in previous episodes. (Possibly because she associates it with Cersei.)
    • She tries out same ale in "The House of Black and White", but declares she doesn't see what the fuss is about.
    • She reaches for a drink of ale with Jon Snow in "The Book of the Dead", even if it doesn't go over quite as well.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Quite a few characters remark on Sansa's apparently legendary beauty, most notably Tyrion, who calls her "A great beauty with a very old name". She is very pretty, to be fair, but there's still a bit of hyperbole there.
  • The Ingenue: While not stupid by any means, Sansa is woefully naive, to the point where "Mhysa" reveals her belief that the vulgar way of saying dung is "shift". One suspects this is part of the reason so many characters in King's Landing seem to take it on themselves to try and protect her (though, unfortunately, just as many as seek to exploit her).
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: A textbook example at the start of the series. As Sansa's innocence has been slowly destroyed by circumstance, her gaze has appropriately hardened in kind.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Sansa hates the world she lives in. In the real world, the truth is either boring or horrible, so she makes up stories in her mind to survive. This is taking a toll on her sanity.
  • Ironic Hell: More mundane version. In the first season, Sansa refuses to support Arya's or Joffrey's side in a quarrel so she can stay with her beloved prince and not make her house look bad. She certainly ends up getting one of the two.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • When Robin Arryn throws a fit and destroys her snow replica of Winterfell, she slaps him so hard she knocks him to the ground. Although Sansa might have been the one who escalated the altercation to begin with, Littlefinger blithely remarks afterward that Robin had it coming his entire life.
    • After Jon literally beats Ramsay into the ground, it's Sansa who gets to pass final judgment on him. So what revenge does she take for the absolute hell Ramsay's put her and her family through? Sansa and Jon decide to feed Ramsay to his starving dogs, just as he'd intended to do to Jon if the wildling army had been defeated and what he did to numerous innocent women in his past.
  • Lady and Knight: Ironically for a girl who grew up in love with chivalric romances, when her knight finally arrives it's Brienne, a woman.
  • The Lady's Favour: It initially appears to be a gender inversion of this trope when Ser Loras gives Sansa a rose before his joust, but it's quickly subverted when it turns out to be an empty gesture. Lord Renly is his true sweetheart, but Loras obviously cannot offer his favour to another man in a homophobic society, so he simply hands the rose to the young lady who happens to be seated the closest to Renly in the stands. Sansa doesn't pick up on the clues, and believes from that point onwards that the Knight of Flowers is interested in her romantically.
  • Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: In Season 1, she's besotted with a Prince Charmless of teenage royalty and takes a shine to the aformentioned Ser Loras Tyrell.
  • Morality Pet: Served as the Hound's for a time.
  • NaÔve Everygirl: To the point of thinking the naughty word for dung is "shift." She's come a long way since then.
  • Number Two: She becomes this to Littlefinger in Season 4 when she begins actively helping him with his schemes. Later, she becomes something of a Hand to Jon when he gears up for war with the Boltons and eventually becomes King in the North.
  • Paint It Black: Sansa abruptly dyes her hair black and slips into a new black dress to match her new attempt to play the game of thrones at the end of Season 4.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: How she initially views her engagement to Joffrey. In Season 3, Sansa thinks that Loras would be an ideal husband for her when they're betrothed.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: After years of being an Unwitting Pawn in the games of others, Sansa signifies her switch to taking charge of her life by sewing a black dress adorned with feathers. The effect is quite striking.
  • Please Spare Him, My Liege!:
  • Plucky Girl: After getting broken first, she seems to be gradually growing into one.
  • Politically Active Princess: By Season 6, Sansa officially holds the title of princess since her brother is crowned King in the North. After many years surviving and learning how to play the game of thrones in the south, she actively assists Jon in navigating the new political arena that they find themselves in, even going toe-to-toe with Littlefinger when he attempts to manipulate and undermine their rule.
  • Pretty in Mink: During her wedding to Ramsay.
  • Princess Classic: Zigzagged. Though not initially a princess in her own right, she is betrothed to a prince and fills the trope in every other respect. And then Robb declares himself King in the North, which does make her a princess in her own right. Too bad her hosts don't recognize Stark claims of sovereignty. By the time she could be undeniably referred as a princess in Season 6 when her brother Jon is crowned king, the naivete and innocence associated with the trope have long faded.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: After Theon reveals that the two boys he killed weren't her brothers, she seems more willing to forgive him. This makes sense considering that Sansa thought she had none of her family left.
  • Puppet King: With her brother Robb's death, and her other brothers presumed dead, the Lannisters planned to rule the North in her name.
  • Rape as Drama: In Season 5, after taking over Jeyne Poole's story, via Ramsay Bolton. After learning about this in a letter, it's one the main reasons why big brother Jon is willing to march on Winterfell.
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • Seems to be taking it more and more as she spends time in King's Landing, such as when she pointedly reminds Joffrey of the time he had his ass handed to him by Arya and cried like the Dirty Coward he is afterwards.
    • Calls Ramsay a bastard to his face. When he protests that King Tommen made him a true-born, Sansa coldly rebuffs it by calling Tommen another bastard.
  • Serial Spouse: She is put in an Arranged Marriage four times. With Joffrey in Season 1 (although the wedding itself never happens), then with Tyrion in Season 3, then with Robin (doesn't pass the engagement part) then with Ramsay in Season 5.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • By the time she finally escapes King's Landing, she's gotten such an education in the ways of the world that she's even able to talk to Littlefinger on his own level, and calls him on every time he tries his usual doubletalk.
    • Gives a nice one to Myranda when the latter starts recounting all the women Sansa's husband-to-be has "gotten bored of".
    • And delivers an excellent one to Ramsay just before she has him executed.
    • Gives one to Littlefinger when he tries to give her another Forceful Kiss, brushing off his ambition as "a pretty dream."
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift:
    • In Season 1 she wears the traditional Northern clothes and braided hairstyle, but hers are somewhat fancier than Catelyn's or Arya's since she longs to be a Princess Classic in King's Landing.
    • Towards the end of Season 1 and the whole Season 2 she wears some sumptuous gowns and elaborate hairstyle like Cersei, reflecting her status as Joffrey's betrothed and a member of the royal court (tough actually unwilling, since she's a glorified hostage and victim of Domestic Abuse).
    • She shifts back to a much more somber style in Season 3 wearing mournful, monochrome colors and loose hair since she has fallen from her status as the King's betrothed and cast aside. It gets worse when, not only has her father been executed, her mother and oldest brother are slaughtered with her two younger brothers believed to have been murdered as well.
    • While at the end of Season 4 she keeps a somber look fitting for her refugee situation, between Season 4 and 5 she switches to dark clothes along with the dark hair she uses to disguise herself, meaning she's getting a dangerous player in the game.
    • After finally breaking free from Ramsay and reuniting with her brother, Jon, the first family member she has seen again in a long time, Sansa fully embraces her Stark identity. She reverses to Northern clothing style with the blue gowns and braided hair, but, since she is no longer a little girl like in Season 1, her clothes are very reminiscent of Catelyn's, meaning she has now taken over her mother's role as Lady of Winterfell along with a very much Ned-looking Jon.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Developing into this, most notably in "Blackwater", where she manages to sass Joffrey, make clear to Tyrion how much she hates the Lannisters, weather a drunken Cersei, calm down a room full of anxious noble ladies, and stand up to the Hound without once losing her resolve. By Season 6, she's willing to march on Winterfell and kill Ramsay with Jon at her side.
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: Zigzagged. She's infatuated with Joffrey for most of Season 1, but completely loses interest by the time he chops her father's head off. In Season 3, her crush on Loras (which is first seen in "The Wolf and the Lion") grows.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Sansa is frequently praised as being very beautiful and she tends to get into trouble because of it - Joffrey expresses a desire to rape her when she's being wedded to Tyrion, she very nearly gets gang-raped in the King's Landing riots, Littlefinger has a creepy obsession with her and even Ramsay admits he finds her attractive. Even Tyrion had a desire to sleep with her, but he refused to force himself upon her. Sandor claims to Arya that he should have "fucked her bloody" when he had the chance during The Battle of Blackwater, but it's unclear how much he meant it (considering his obvious soft spot for Sansa) and how much he was merely saying it to goad Arya into killing him.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Like in the novels, Sansa is exceptionally tall and statuesque. Lampshaded by Cersei in their first meeting.
  • Stepford Smiler: She is forced to become one to survive in the royal court.Even though she is happy to see Jon, she has too much trust issues (thanks to being continuously manipulated by people over the course of 6 seasons) and can't completely open to him.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Looks increasingly like Catelyn as she gets older, even after she dyes her hair black.
  • Textile Work Is Feminine: She is a proficient seamstress (and, evidently, embroiderer, furrier, and leatherworker), responsible for making her own clothes as well as items for other characters. In later seasons this is used on a number of occasions to have her give herself a Significant Wardrobe Shift (see also the entry for that).
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After all the trauma, abuse, and betrayals Sansa's had to endure, in Season 6 she finally gets to reunite with a member of her family, Jon Snow.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly Girl to her sister Arya's Tomboy.
  • Took a Level in Badass: All the turmoil she goes through in Seasons 2 and 3 definitely hardens her and toughens her up, but it doesn't really start to show until Season 4. By late Season 4, she's become far more adept at navigating the field. Though she has long ways to go, she definitely has the most political intrigue out of any of the Starks and is able to use deception and manipulation to her advantage. This leveling up is largely forgotten between Seasons 4 and 5, sadly, as she spends pretty much all of Season 5 being victimized worse than ever, her supposed desire for revenge never goes anywhere, and she ends up being rescued after her own attempt at calling for rescue fails completely, though she does break herself out of her room with the corckscrew.
    • Levels up again in Season 6, telling Jon that she'll rally the North and oust Ramsay by herself if he's unwilling to help. When they finally corner Ramsay in "Battle of the Bastards", Jon literally beats him into the ground before deferring final judgment to his sister. Sansa decides to feed him to his own dogs. And watches him die as he is.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: When recruiting Northern Houses to join the cause in Season 6, she expects them to obey despite having nothing but an oath to a House that no longer exists in a fight that seems pointless, though it is pointed out that if the Boltons win, the North is screwed when the White Walkers arrive.
    • She also criticizes Jon for not having more men despite having gotten all they could gather before snow sets in, not telling him about the Vale army that's waiting in Moat Cailin for her word. She apologises for this later.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Sansa loves lemon cake. Everyone seeking to manipulate her seems to know this.
  • Tragic Keepsake: In Season 1, Ned gives her a doll in an effort to make amends with her after the death of her wolf. She is understandably dismissive, both given the situation and the fact that the doll was totally age-inappropriate ("I haven't played with dolls since I was eight."). The doll has since reappeared in both "Blackwater" and "Second Sons", displayed openly and clearly valued as what was probably her father's last gift.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Joffrey threatens to bring Robb's head to her, Sansa's response that maybe her brother will bring her his head instead shows that the girl has more iron in her than many people thought.
    • In Season 6, when Ramsay sends a letter to Jon bragging about how he has Rickon hostage and will force Jon to watch while he murders all his wildling friends and rapes Sansa, she makes it clear to Jon that she wants to take Winterfell back and make Ramsay pay. All without raising her voice. In ''Battle of the Bastards", Sansa warns Ramsay in a very calm and blunt manner that he's going to die tomorrow. The next day, she watches her brother beat Ramsay into the ground and then has him fed to his own starving dogs.
  • Troll:
  • Unwitting Pawn: At various points, Sansa is this to the Lannisters, the Tyrells, and Littlefinger across Season 3, where without her knowledge, leave alone consent, she is traded as a match, ultimately becoming Tyrion's wife. This is merely the pretext, in turns out that Littlefinger allied himself to the Tyrells and arranged for Joffrey's assassination. Sansa, through a Littlefinger stooge, Ser Dontos, carries a necklace which contains poison and as Tyrion's wife is close enough to be seated on the wedding dais that Olenna could reach her, collect the poison and pass it to Joffrey's cup at the opportune moment. She is "rescued" by Ser Dontos and Littlefinger from Cersei's wrath who has put a large bounty on her head.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: At the beginning of the series, she thinks she is going to be a fairy tale princess and that Joffrey is her Prince Charming. She loses more and more of her illusions after her father is executed and she's kept as a hostage in King's Landing. In Season 6, she tells Jon that she'd like to go back in time and smack her younger self for being so stupid.
  • Winter Royal Lady: If both her titles as Lady of Winterfell and princess following Jon's coronation as King of Winter is any indication.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In most of the first season. She thinks she is in a fairy tale with herself as the Princess Classic and Joffrey as the Prince Charming. Until Joffrey executes her father and she gets the message loud and clear. In Season 3, she begins to slip back into this a little as a defense mechanism. However, this is shattered when she learns of the Red Wedding.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain:
    • In Season 3, the Tyrells betroth her to Loras, who despite Incompatible Orientation, would definitely be much kinder to her than the Lannisters. She'd eventually become the Lady of Highgarden (noted as one of the nicest places in Westeros) as well, which is a pretty sweet deal — until Tywin finds out and squashes her hopes and dreams flat by marrying her to Tyrion. When she shows signs of finally opening up to her husband, Robb and Catelyn are slaughtered at the Red Wedding along with her hopes of eventually being rescued from King's Landing by her family. She, not unreasonably, assumes Tyrion was in on it.
    • In Season 4, she's finally free from King's Landing but because she's wrongfully accused for killing Joffrey, she carries a large bounty on her head. Then she finds out that she's essentially under the thumb of Littlefinger and Lysa Arryn. The former is a Manipulative Bastard who caused Joffrey's assassination and her aunt Lysa is a willing dupe and insane to boot.
    • And again in Season 5. Despite all of the misfortune and psychological abuse she suffered, the one thing Sansa had managed to avoid (despite encountering a string of wannabe perpetrators) up to that point was getting raped. She runs out of her luck during her wedding night with Ramsay.
  • You Killed My Father: Sansa gives a very poignant calling-out to Theon about betraying Robb and butchering Bran and Rickon, only to discover that her little brothers may be still alive.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: As Littlefinger tells her in "Valar Morghulis", Joffrey's new compromise with Margaery does not mean she's to be set free nor does make her safe from Joffrey if he still wants to take her while married to another woman.

     Arya Stark
"My name is Arya Stark. I want you to know that. The last thing you're ever going to see is a Stark smiling down at you as you die."
Played By: Maisie Williams

"I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you'll shut forever."
Lady Melisandre of Asshai

The second daughter of Eddard and Catelyn Stark and the third child. After being smuggled out of King's Landing following her father's execution, she travels Westeros as a fugitive before leaving for Braavos to train with the Faceless Men. She has a list of names of people she's resolved to kill for wronging her, and her experiences harden her into a young but determined killer who slowly but surely carves a bloody swathe through House Stark's enemies.
  • Action Girl: She's growing into one and her kill count grows higher and higher every season.
  • Action Survivor:
    • Though she received a few months of sword training and is good with a bow, Arya is still a child who is petite and not particularly strong. She becomes more of an Action Girl in Seasons 3 and Season 4.
    • She's also notable one of the only non-Lannister people to get away with defying Joffrey without getting herself killed or seriously injured for it. (Unfortunately, Mycah takes Arya's place). Even Tyrion suffers for slapping Joffrey around in the long run.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: She is described in the books as "horse-faced" by Sansa and Jeyne Poole and is mistaken for a boy before she starts posing as one. In the series, she is round-faced and cute. Though even in the books, several characters note that she is getting prettier as she grows up and compare her favorably to her Aunt Lyanna, a famous beauty herself.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the original book series, Arya's killing of Polliver was done in the heat of the moment. In "Two Swords", however, Arya kills one mook, and later has Polliver at the pointy end of her sword Needle which he stole from her, bonus points for reenacting the way Polliver killed Lommy by quoting him word for word before killing Polliver the exact same way.
  • Adaptational Heroism: A minor case, but her traumatic experiences left Arya somewhat colder and more ruthless in the books, and she even had something of a cruel streak at times. Her relationship with Gendry and Hot Pie (and, in its own way, with Sandor Clegane) is also warmer and more sentimental than in the novels.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: She has been dumbed down for the show for the sake of making her more aggressive. Arya in the show is prone to jump into trouble to get any petty revenge she wants, but in the books she prefers to avoid confrontations as much as possible, and only act when she has no other choice. For example, many of the dumb decisions taken by Arya in the show, such as killing the Frey she heard talk about murdering her brother, while surrounded by his soldiers, do not happen in the books. Of course it can be argued that this was finally inverted in "No One", where her Indy Ploy to combat the Waif actually involved her changing the terrain (i.e. by blowing out the lights to fight in the dark) to her advantage, allowing her to win.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Arya in the show is quite revenge driven, to the point she will leave everything she is doing at the moment to cross a name of her list, not to mention she seems very empty when she does anything. In the books, the opposite happens, Arya is very willing to start a new life away from her tragedy. She wants to befriend as many people as possible, live a simple life, listen to the stories they want to share and it is very empathetic to what they go through.
  • Adaptational Wimp: She was a somewhat better fighter in general in the books. When Yoren and his recruits are attacked by Lannisters in Clash of Kings, she actually fights and kills some of their (admittedly rather unskilled) soldiers. In the show, the only people she's killed have been either helpless (Polliver) or completely unprepared (the Frey soldier, Rorge, Meryn Trant). She also plans and executes the escape from Harrenhal by herself in the books, without any aid from Jaqen H'ghar.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Her alias as a Braavosi shellfish vendor is renamed Lanna—in the books it was Cat of the Canals, after her mother. The show hangs a lampshade on the original name by having a cat cross her path in Lanna's first scene.
  • All Girls Like Ponies: Invoked in the Season 4 premiere when she demands her own horse and the Hound responds by taunting her with, "Little lady wants a pony." At the end of the episode she gets a White Stallion.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling:
    • Seen in the first episode mischievously throwing food at Sansa in front of the whole court for no reason. Arya used to stuff sheep dung inside her sister's mattress when she was angry with Sansa, which happened to be all the time.
    • Played with Gendry, who becomes something of a substitute brother and he looks out for her, and she obliges by constantly exasperating him.
      Gendry: How can someone so small be such a huge pain in my arse?
  • Anti-Hero: After all of her losses and traumatizing experiences, Arya is learning to become more ruthless when doling out justice to murderers and other criminals.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • In the Season 2 finale, she overcomes her grudge against Sansa and accepts that she's her sister and she must find her, too.
    • Also telling is in the Season 4 finale, she refuses to put the Hound out of his misery even when he begs her to...but when he brings up Sansa and how he should have raped her when he had the chance, that is when Arya is visibly the most tempted to kill the bastard there and then, though she manages to resist.
    • In the sixth season, she finally admits that she had taken the Hound off her list before she abandoned him because she was confused about how she felt about him.
  • Badass Adorable: Badass Arya is played by adorable Maisie Williams. Although after some time the character only looks adorable.
  • Best Served Cold: After Yoren shares how in bed he would say the name of the man he planned to kill as "a prayer almost," Arya starts doing the same, with the list growing longer by the day.
    • She finally makes good on it by killing Walder Frey, in the very same room as the Red Wedding.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She's nice and sweet at the beginning of the story, but she can also be quite deadly at the same time. Jaqen offers to assassinate three people she deems worthy of death. Arya takes him up on his offer.
  • Bifauxnen: She is often mistaken for a boy when dressed for her "dancing lessons". Even more so after Yoren cuts off her hair so that she can pass for a boy.
  • Big Brother Bully: Inverted with Sansa. While in the books, Sansa was usually the crueler one, but in the series, Arya throws food on Sansa's gown she'd made herself in front of their house and her future in-laws for no good reason, calls her an idiot, mocks her interests of sewing and marrying a prince, and stuffs sheep crap in her bed when she's annoyed with her (which apparently was a lot).
  • Big Brother Worship: Seems to be closest to Jon Snow out of all her siblings. The big hug she gives him when he gives Needle to her is absolutely adorable.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Like her brother Bran, she seems to be growing into these.
  • Break the Cutie: Arya's Plucky Girl nature tends to obscure the fact that, like Sansa, she is living with a massive amount of grief, trauma, and anger, but has to take it all in stride to survive.
  • Broken Bird: Arya's experiences change her from the Plucky Girl and Tomboy Princess that she was in the first season into slowly becoming a cold killer desiring revenge on everyone that she feels as wronged her family and friends.
    • As of Seasons 5 and 6, she seems to have started taking a sadistic pleasure in murdering people from her list.
  • Children Forced To Kill: Starting in "The Pointy End" once she flees the castle and takes to the streets of King's Landing.
  • Child Soldiers: Arya was created in part to represent the trauma and struggle of child soldiers.
  • Composite Character: It is she and not Wyman Manderly that gets to bake the Frey Pies - which she serves to Walder Frey personally right before opening his throat.
  • Consummate Liar: Skilled enough to fool Tywin, up to a point. He figures out she's a highborn northern girl, but almost certainly doesn't realize she's actually Arya Stark (he would hardly scruple to take a child hostage. And just about the one thing that everyone agrees upon, Stark and Lannister alike, is that Robb and Tyrion should try trading Sansa & Arya for Jaime).
  • Cool Pet: Nymeria, who attacks Evil Prince Joffrey to defend her.
  • Country Matters: Arya's opinion on the waif girl who attacks her in "High Sparrow".
  • Creepy Child: Rapidly approaches this, though not nearly as quickly as in the books. She's reached this completely by Season 4; Melisandre of all people is creeped out by her. To recap some instances of her coldness:
    • She calmly informs Sandor Clegane that she will put a sword through his eye and out the back of his skull someday. Later on she turns out to actually have a knife she got from him without him noticing. His reaction is priceless.
    • In "Mhysa", Arya walks up to a group of Frey men around a campfire who are mocking Robb and Cat's demises. Arya acts like an innocent child, asking if she can warm herself by the fire, even offering to pay. She casually drops the coin, and when the man leans to pick it up, she stabs him repeatedly in the neck with a dagger. When she's done she doesn't seem at all disturbed by what she just did.
    • In "Two Swords", she calmly and methodically taunts Polliver before sticking Needle through his neck, clearly enjoying the deed.
    • In "Mockingbird", she notes Rorge was never on her list of people to kill because she didn't know his name. When he gives it to her, she thanks him with a little smile, then stabs him through the heart.
    • In the Season 4 finale, the Hound begs her to give him a Mercy Kill after being badly wounded, trying to provoke her into anger — but she just crouches and stares at him icily for a very long time... before robbing him and leaving him to die.
    • The show seems to have ultimately subverted this, however, thanks to the timing differences. Show!Arya has reached her mid-teens before she could slip fully into the Creepy Child territory.
  • Cruel Mercy: Inflicts this on the Hound; by leaving him to die agonisingly and alone after his brutal bout with Brienne, despite his attempts to goad her into killing him quickly and desperately begging her to end him there and then.
  • Daddy's Girl: She has a close relationship with her father. Realizing that his daughter is a tomboy who doesn't like the fact that she's being brought up to become a "proper" courtly lady, Eddard eventually allows her to be instructed by a fencing teacher. By contrast, Arya doesn't seem to take after Catelyn at all in looks or personality and is never seen interacting with her directly.
  • Dance Battler: Thanks to learning the "water dance" style from a Braavosi.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Seemingly the only trait she shares with Sansa, as evidenced by the exchange with her listed below, as well as the following from "A Man Without Honor":
    Tywin: Aren't most girls more interested in the pretty maidens of song with flowers in their hair?
    Arya: Most girls are idiots.
    • The above snark actually makes Tywin Lannister bark out a laugh.
    • And from 'The Night Lands':
      Gendry: You know, you shouldn't insult people who are bigger than you.
      Arya: Then I wouldn't get to insult anyone.
  • Disability Superpower: The time she spent blind has really made her a deadly fighter in darkness. When wounded and pursued by the Waif, who otherwise would have no trouble killing her, Arya gains the advantage needed to defeat and kill her by luring her into a tunnel and destroying the candles illuminating it with Needle.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Doesn't want Gendry calling her "milady" while she is disguised as a boy for safety. She even shoves Gendry to the ground when he continues to tease her.
  • The Dreaded: When she confronts Melisandre, the red priestess seems to think so of Arya, being somewhat terrified of the sight of her. This is because she sees and knows what Arya will become.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Arya has the Stark-look, including fair skin and brown hair.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Sneaking away from doing needlework to score a perfect bullseye with an arrow that her brother repeatedly failed to hit. From further away.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Twice - first at the end of Season 1 where Yoren cuts her hair short to help her pose as a boy, then in Season 5, when she joins the Faceless Men she starts wearing her hair pulled back from her face in braids.
  • Female Misogynist: Unlike her book counterpart, Arya makes it clear she does not like traditionally feminine pursuits or girls who like that stuff.
    Tywin: Aren't most girls interested in the pretty maidens from the songs? Jonquil, flowers in her hair?
    Arya: Most girls are idiots.
  • Foil: In the novels, George R. R. Martin designed Sansa to be Arya's foil. This is present in the adaptation as well. They are both Starks of Winterfell who spend a great deal of time with Sandor "The Hound" Clegane who takes them both captive at one time or another and ends up showing them his softer side. But it's also part of their development and their very different Break the Cutie arc. Sansa becomes ensnared in the politics of King's Landing and sees, first hand, the ruthlessness and backstabbing of a Deadly Decadent Court while Arya travels across Westeros and falls under the view and guidance of characters of varying moral fibre. Arya slowly becomes a methodical Child Soldier who falls in with an amoral killing cult that believes in death for everyone while Sansa has become Number Two to Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish, using her father's honorable reputation to defend a murderer from facing the consequences of his actions and becoming a willing accomplice. In both cases, the sisters are forced to discard their whole identities in order to pursue vengeance and survival.
  • Fragile Speedster: Justified, as she's a young girl. Arya's very light on her feet and quick with her sword, but a blow from someone bigger will often leave her incapacitated. The Hound has stunned her with one punch more than once, and this was how Polliver managed to get Needle off her.
  • Girliness Upgrade: Only mildly and not of her own volition, but during Season 5 she's given a bath and a new set of clothes, which is perhaps the first time we've seen Arya in a dress since Season 1.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: She fills the role of "the smart one."
  • Guile Hero: Being a child surrounded by heavily-armed and potentially-hostile adults has fostered quick thinking on her part just to stay alive and avoid being captured by the Lannisters. Arya's been forced to use her wits to manipulate people around her, often to an impressive degree.
  • Heroic Breakdown: Borders on one when Joffrey orders Ned killed. Luckily for her, Yoren is there to keep her from watching her father's death. She's not so lucky in Robb's case, as she has to watch his desecrated corpse paraded around by the Freys.
  • Hitman with a Heart: A girl can't bring herself to kill targets who do not deserve to die, so she drops the hitman act altogether and re-embraces her Arya Stark's persona.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Melisandre, a woman who regularly has people burned alive, communes with a fire god, helps prepare for an apocalyptic war with the White Walkers, and has given birth to shadow demons; is visibly freaked out upon seeing "the darkness" inside her, as well as all the eyes of those that Arya will kill.
  • Hot-Blooded: Arya gets very annoyed at first. As she gets older and endures more traumatic experiences, she slowly starts slipping into Tranquil Fury.
  • I Call It "Vera": Her castle-forged Cool Sword Needle, a gift from her brother Jon Snow, and she gets very pissed off when it gets confiscated by Lannister men. She retrieves it later in the story.
  • Ironic Echo: To Polliver. "Something wrong with your leg, boy? Can you walk? Need me to carry you? Fine little blade, maybe I'll pick my teeth with it."
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Needle is specifically made to pierce opponents.
  • Important Haircut: Yoren cuts her hair short to disguise her as a boy in order for him to smuggle her out of King's landing after Ned was branded a "traitor".
  • Karma Houdini: Double Subverted: After returning the Face she stole to assassinate Meryn Trant it seems like Jaqen and The Waif are going to kill her with poison for her transgressions, only for Jaqen to turn the vial on himself. Then The Waif takes Jaqen's Face as Arya starts to hallucinate that the body has many Faces, ending in her own, before she goes blind.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • To say that Meryn Trant deserved when Arya dished out is a severe understatement.
    • The death of Walder Frey had been a long time coming, but it's made particularly gruesome when Arya tricks him into eating the baked remains of his own sons before slashing his throat and letting him bleed out, just as Frey's son had done to her mother.
  • The Kid with the Leash: To Jaqen, and later, The Hound.
  • Knife Nut: When she's not using Needle, she favors a dagger to kill her enemies.
  • Laughing Mad: Zig-Zagged. After Arya and the Hound are told that Lysa Arryn — Arya's last confirmed living relative and her only hope of being reunited with family — died just a few days before their arrival in the Vale, Arya's reaction (after a few seconds of stunned silence) is to laugh at the Hound for not getting his reward. Thus, she does break down in a huge laugh but not out of Sanity Slippage.
  • Little Miss Badass: "I'm good at killing fat boys. I like killing fat boys." And others.
  • Little Miss Snarker: She often has witty and snarky one-liners.
  • Lonely Together: She proposes Gendry the offer of becoming his family; ironically, he responds saying that he is too lowborn for her.
    Gendry: These men are brothers note , a family; I never had a family
    Arya: I can be your family!
    Gendry: You wouldn't be my family; you'd be my Lady.
  • The Mentor: Has a range of them from the good(her father, Syrio Forel), to the morally ambiguous (Jaqen H'ghar). Her moral compass notably alters under their tutelage, young and still pure hearted under her father and Syrio but smarter and more sneaky when she interacts with Jaqen. When she becomes The Hound's hostage and they form a quasi-friendship, she gets progressively darker and more violent, verging on Straw Nihilist by the mid-point of Season 4, her body-count noticeably increases as well.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: She suffers this greatly since her mentors tend to die or abandon her: Ned Stark, Syrio Forel, Yoren, Jaqen H'ghar, Thoros of Myr and Beric Dondarrion and finally, Sandor Clegane. Indeed her decision, to refuse to go with Brienne is a result of her constant frustration at being left without a parental figure she can rely or depend on, to which she decides to sail to Braavos on her own and disappear entirely from Westeros.
  • Morality Pet:
    • Subverted with Tywin. He does seem genuinely fond of her but it doesn't stop him from leaving her to Gregor Clegane, and probable death, once he leaves town.
    • Played straighter with Sandor Clegane, who spares a farmer after she pleads for him to do so and gradually treats her with increasing respect. Noticeably, the point where Sandor clearly gets on board with killing Polliver, is when he suggests trading Sandor a chicken in exchange for being able to rape Arya.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Although she blames Joffrey and Cersei for it later, she's horrified when Cersei demands Sansa's direwolf Lady is killed in Nymeria's place.
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: After she kills the Waif and shows her removed face to Jaqen, the following exchange happens as she leaves the Faceless Men for good.
    Jaqen: Finally... a girl has become no one.
    Arya: A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell. And I'm going home.
  • Nerves of Steel: She's developing these as she goes from horrifying experience to horrifying experience. She is absolutely unafraid of characters such as Tywin, Melisandre and the Hound who terrify everyone else in the series.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Hitting Joffrey and running away with Nymeria, leading directly to Mycah and Lady's death.
    • Her attempt to steal a letter from Tywin is discovered by Amory Lorch, who is in turn killed by Jaqen right in front of Tywin's eyes. Tywin believes then that the assassination was meant for him, and he responds by ordering all the farms and villages around Harrenhal to be ravaged and his own men to be decimated as punishment. Later Arya realises she should have gotten Jaqen to kill Tywin, the Dragon-in-Chief of House Lannister, right from the start. And why not Joffrey and Cersei while she was at it, as Gendry later points out.
    • Arya's Hot-Blooded personality finally takes a direct toll on her in "The Bear and the Maiden Fair", when she irrationally runs away from the Brotherhood, in a war zone, with no supplies and in the middle of the night, only to find herself made a prisoner by The Hound immediately.
    • In Season 6, when she decides to abandon the Faceless men, she's stabbed several times for her troubles and manages to get help from a woman she previously saved... which then leads to Lady Crane getting brutally murdered by the Waif.
  • Nice to the Waiter: What separates Arya from Sansa is her visible lack of snobbery and kindness to everyone regardless of their class. She remembers the violence committed on the poor like Mycah and Lommy Greenhands long after most people have forgotten them. It also hurts her when Gendry gives her a reality check that if they were to return to safety, Arya would go back to being a highborn daughter while Gendry will be a mere commoner again and they would not enjoy the close friendship they had known until then.
  • Noble Fugitive: A highranking member and a child of House Stark forced to be on the run after her family starts being purged.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Yes, Meryn Trant was an absolute scumbag of a person who completely deserved to die, but Arya has to find out the hard way that no one steals a Face from the Faceless Men and gets off scott-free, even if it is for a noble cause.
  • Not Like Other Girls:
    Tywin: Aren't most girls interested in the pretty maidens from the songs? Jonquil, flowers in her hair?
    Arya: Most girls are idiots.
  • Not So Different:
    • Tywin compares her to Cersei because both are driven, intelligent and clearly underestimated, though he means that as a compliment and refers to the young Cersei.
    • She and Brienne as they both notice to their initial delight.
  • Oh Crap!:
    • A big one when Littlefinger arrives at Harrenhal, as he is one of the few people who could expose her. He does recognize her but being who he is he doesn't expose her and later informs Sansa that her sister is alive.
    • And an even bigger one when the Hound recognizes her in the company of Thoros and the Brotherhood Without Banners.
  • Odd Name Out: Just like her father, she's the only one of her siblings whose name starts with a vowel.
  • Only Sane Woman: Seems to be the only one who thinks that the Hound murdering Mycah the butcher's boy is something that actually deserves action, and, unlike Sansa, managed to avoid inheriting the Horrible Judge of Character gene; she sees both Joffrey and Cersei for the monsters they are.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: After witnessing evil men getting away with committing some of the worst atrocities in the series, Arya starts taking justice into her own hands.
    • Makes a start on avenging Robb's murder in "Mhysa" by flat-out wrecking a Frey camp with Sandor and personally stabbing to death the Frey soldier responsible for desecrating her brother's corpse. This marks the first time she kills a person since the first season, and her first adult kill.
    • Later, she earns two more adult kills in "Two Swords": Polliver, the Clegane footman who killed Lommy and stole her sword, and one of his men. She kills the former in the exact same way as his most prominent victim, down to repeating his words during the deed. Later, in "Mockingbird", she murders Rorge, the prisoner who'd threatened to "fuck her bloody", without a second's hesitation, once he adds himself to her list.
    • In the the Season 5 finale, she finally avenges Syrio (and Sansa, unknowingly) by brutally murdering Meryn Trant, who is revealed to be a paedophile who gets off on beating little girls.
  • Plucky Girl: Despite all the loss and suffering she goes through, Arya just keeps on going.
  • Power Trio: She is The Hero to Gendry's lancer and Hot Pie's The Chick.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • In "Breaker of Chains", following in Robb's example.
      Arya: (To the Hound) You are the worst shit in the Seven Kingdoms!
    • The precision then proceeds to fade away, as Arya fairly quickly becomes the foulest-mouthed Stark on the show. Seasons after his departure, Sandor's influence is still evident.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Almost gives one when she sees the body of The Tickler. She definitely gives one after killing Polliver.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Just look how moe she can get...right before she bloodily stabs a man to death. It has officially reached memetic levels.
  • Rebellious Princess: To a degree, she listens to her father but she abhors and dodges the traditional roles meant for noblewomen. Ned is cool enough with that and puts her under the tutelage of a "dancing" master.
  • Refuge in Audacity: When Tywin expresses his doubts about Arya's tale that she was taught to read by her lowborn stonemason father, Arya's response is: "Do you know many stone masons?"
  • Revenge Is a Dish Best Served: Serves Walder Frey a pie made from the remains of his two sons she had just killed.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Has an ever-expanding kill list of people who have wronged her, her family or her friends, and of those who she sees as particularly evil.
  • The Runaway: She escapes King's Landing with the Night's Watch conscripts.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After the Red Wedding and the news that her aunt is dead, with the Hound beaten and battered in a fight with Brienne, ostensibly her mother's sworn sword but also a friend of Jaime Lannister's, Arya clearly has no trust or hope in anyone in Westeros, so she decides to cash in her Plot Coupon from Jaqen H'ghar and sail for Braavos.
    • Even earlier, after she attacks Joff and throws his sword into the river, she and Nymeria hightail it.
  • Shoo the Dog: To Nymeria.
  • Shorttank: Arya is tomboyish and doesn't do well in many activities that have been assigned to her gender.
  • Signature Style: When she approaches her particular targets (especially those on her list) she makes it a point to kill them in an appropriately Karmic Death, in a manner that specifically echoes the way her victims killed people she cared about. This began with Polliver in Season 4, where she in an Ironic Echo replayed his exchange with Lommy Greenhands and it continues from there, culminating in her murder of Walder Frey by slashing his throat the way Catelyn died, and feeding him pies of his children in a manner echoing the Rat Cook.
  • The Southpaw: As in the books, Arya is a left-handed swordsman. For the record, Maisie Williams is right-handed.
  • Spoiled Brat: Ned indulged her quite a bit by Westerosi standards, never punishing her for disobeying and giving her sword lessons, and she is rarely shown to be nice to her older sister, often making fun of her or putting sheep dung in her bed. Even though Cat has Robb send her away from the feast for embarrassing Sansa in front of the royal family, he and their other brothers are cracking up and she gets no other punishment.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: Seems to be becoming a recurring theme for her to lock eyes with the most dangerous characters in the land without backing down. The list includes Melisandre (who is actually disturbed by what she sees in Arya's eyes), The Hound, and Tywin Lannister. And pretty much no one stares down Tywin Lannister. Though averted with the Mountain; the one person who tries this trope gets tortured to death in front of her.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: She refuses to admit it (even to herself) but Jaqen can tell that she didn't completely hate Sandor, even though she left him alone to die a slow and painful death.
  • Survival Mantra:
    • In Season 1, she picked up one from Syrio Forel. "What do we say to the God of Death?" "Not today. Not today."
    • In Season 2, she gains a new survival mantra in the form of listing off the names of the people who have harmed her and those she cares about and who she will bring to justice. The list is a coping mechanism that gives her the illusion of control while horrific things happen around her.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: She is disguised as a boy by Yoren so she can be taken north to safety. After a while, Reality Ensues and it becomes a Subverted Trope: Arya is only able to conceal her gender from truly stupid people, while anyone with a working brain (Gendry, Tywin, Jaqen, The Hound) sees past the disguise at first glance. By the third season, she's more grown up and it's pretty obvious to people that she's a girl.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to her sister Sansa's girlishness. Arya, in her own words, has a different kind of needle to Sansa's.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Much of her story arc is how incredibly badass she becomes with every passing second. She stoods up to bigger bullies, traveled with the Night's Watch recruits, survived encounters with the Mountain, ordered around a super-assassin, stared down Tywin Lannister without flinching, attacks the Hound with a knife and has to be restrained, frequently stands up to the Hound, kills the Frey soldier who defiled her brother's corpse and murdered the shit out of Lannister toadie Polliver, psychotic rapist Rorge, and Kingsguard Meryn Trant.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Her Cool Sword Needle is also this. It's the one thing from her old life that she refuses to cast off when she starts anew in Braavos, because Needle is Winterfell, Needle is her family.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Over the course of three seasons, her best friend is murdered for a crime he didn't commit, her father is unjustly executed, her rescuer is murdered right before she is taken captive, she witnesses murder and torture on a daily basis while living in filth at Harrenhal, her other best friend is sold out to a witch by people she thought she could trust, she learns firsthand that the "Lord of Light" doesn't give a shit about her murdered friend, and when she's finally about to be reunited with her brother and mother they're murdered horrifically and she witnesses the profaning of her brother's corpse. To top it all off, the only ally (or the closest thing to an ally) she has left is the man who murdered her aforementioned best friend.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Oh Gods yes (see Creepy Child).
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Arya ultimately has a good heart, but is fully capable of murdering without a second thought and goes to absolutely ghastly lengths to secure vengeance for herself and her family. The only thing that keeps her from losing much sympathy is the fact that her enemies are, almost universally, colossal assholes. Really, as of the sixth season, she's basically the Westerosi answer to The Punisher: a deadly, terrifying vigilante who would amount to little more than a Serial Killer if not for the fact that her enemies are far, far worse and absolutely deserving of a grisly end.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Though she spent the last few seasons dressed in filthy clothes and messy hair, she is quite cute.
  • Waif-Fu: Has demonstrated an ability to kick serious ass with a sword and a bow. And she's twelve.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: An in-universe example. While the audience knows where she is, aside from Tyrion's brief mention that they need to keep the Starks thinking she's in their custody, but how the Lannisters managed to cover up her escape isn't particularly elaborated on. However they did it, it seems to be working, since despite the overactive rumour mill present in King's Landing, no-one seems to have noticed that Arya has not been seen for about a year and a half now! By Season 4, the secret seems to be formally "out" (there's no way they could keep it from the Tyrells), but nobody cares anymore since the world at large assumes that the Starks have been completely annihilated. Even Arya is said to be "presumed dead".
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Has a bit of one in Lord Snow when she asks Ned why he would allow Sansa to marry Joffrey when the King and Queen put Sansa in the position where she would have to lie out of duty towards Joffrey or call the Prince a liar in front of them. Ned doesn't have an answer to this question and it seems to have had a factor in his later decision to call off the wedding and go back to Winterfell so that Sansa would later have a match with someone worthy of her.
  • White Stallion: Arya gets one after executing her friend's murderer. On her new horse, she creates a stark contrast with the Hound on his black courser, Stranger.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: She's right outside the building where Robb and Catelyn are, but she's actually arrived just in time to see the entire Northern army massacred, her mother and brother among them.
  • You Killed My Father: Her entire goal in a nutshell. She wants to kill the people who caused misfortune to her family and friends. She executes Meryn Trant (who killed Syrio Forel), Polliver (who killed Lommy and whose party killed Yoren), she kills The Waif, who killed Lady Crane, and finally she kills Walder Frey and his sons (who murdered her mother). The only ones left are Cersei (for killing Lady and betraying Ned), and perhaps Melisandre (for selling Gendry) who noted that they would meet again in the future.

     Brandon "Bran" Stark
"Every night it's the same: I'm walking, running, but I'm not me."
Played By: Isaac Hempstead-Wright

"If we can't protect our own bannermen, why should they protect us?"

The second son of Eddard and Catelyn Stark, their fourth child. Due to Robb's death, Bran is now the rightful King in the North, King of Winter, Lord of Winterfell, and/or Lord Paramount of the North, and Warden of the North.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Bran is Tully-colored in the books with auburn hair and blue eyes.
  • Addictive Magic: Being a young boy who was very physically active before being paralyzed, he naturally gets very excited at his ability to Warg into Summer until he's spending hours doing it. Jojen warns him that doing this too much will cause him to forget he's actually human.
  • Amnesia Danger: Lot of things would be easier if he remembered how and why he fell.
  • Awful Truth: When he realizes his accidental warging of Hodor in the past lobotomized Hodor of higher thought processes, he is horrified and can't bring himself to look away for the rest of the episode.
  • Bad Liar: Cat notes that he always looks down everytime he lies.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In the History and Lore videos, Bran notes that he always loved the scary stories told by Old Nan:
    Bran: I don't like scary stories anymore. I'm in one.
  • Beyond the Impossible: While wargs are common beyond the Wall, and there are even some further south, Bran is apparently the first person in history to be able to warg into another human.
  • Big Good: Bran becomes the Three-Eyed-Raven, and will be the one to face the Night King when the time comes.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Isaac Hempstead-Wright is developing these.
  • Big Little Brother: By Season 6, he grows up considerably note  and is now the tallest of his siblings. In an interview for Season 6, Richard Madden (Robb's actor) says he feels bad for Kristian (Nairn, Hodor's actor) for having to carry Isaac (Hempstead-Wright, Bran's actor) around because he is so big now.
  • The Bus Came Back: Returns in Season 6.
  • Children Forced To Kill: Like his older sister he's racked up a body count during his travel, including a couple of wildlings and Locke.
  • The Chosen One: Bran is destined to be the only person who can truly defeat the White Walkers and the Night's King. When he first meets the Three-Eyed-Raven the raven tells Bran that he has been waiting for him to arrive for a thousand years. By the halfway point of season 6 Bran fully inherits the powers of the Three-Eyed-Raven and becomes his successor and his uncle Benjen tells Bran that when the Night's King finally invades Westeros Bran will be the one to stand against him.
  • Composite Character: His green dreams about the sea flooding Winterfell are experienced by Jojen Reed in the books.
  • Cool Pet: His direwolf, Summer, who dispatches an assassin sent to kill him.
  • Dead Guy Junior: His name is Brandon, the same as his father's older brother.
  • Despair Event Horizon: He wishes that he had died rather than being crippled for life. He eventually snaps out of this.
  • Dream-Crushing Handicap: At first. After Tyrion designs a saddle that will allow him to ride, based on Tyrion's own, it gets a little better.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: When he finally follows the crow into the family crypt, he sees his father. That same episode, Winterfell receives word that Ned has been executed by Joffrey. Happens again with Theons's betrayal and Rodrik's death.
  • Handicapped Badass: Although he can't walk he's become quite a powerful warg and later on the second Three-Eyed-Raven.
  • He Knows Too Much: The reason for his accident.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: He wanted to be a knight, which becomes something of an impossibility after Jaime pushes him out of a window. He is very angsty about it at first.
  • Important Haircut: Returns in Season 6 with a very clean look.
  • Incompletely Trained: During his absence in Season 5 and during Season 6 Bran was being taught by the Three-Eyed-Raven how to control his visions and increase his warging abilities however after inadvertently revealing the location of the Ravens lair to the Night's King the Raven is forced to upload all of his information into Bran's head which causes him to experience visions even when he's not trying to induce them. Bran even asks the Raven if he's ready for all of his power to which the Raven replies with a "no" before doing it anyway.
  • Ironic Name: Unfortunately, what he discovers whilst climbing aforementioned castle walls, gets him thrown out of a window by Jaime Lannister and permanently crippled for his trouble.
  • The Kid with the Remote Control: To Summer and to Hodor too. Later taken to its logical extreme when Robb leaves for war and Bran becomes the acting lord of Winterfell.
  • Magic Misfire: While time travelling to the past to learn a final lesson from the Three-Eye Crow, Bran and his group come under attack by white walkers. Meera's shouting to Bran to "Warg Hodor!" panics him and causes Bran to possess Wylis (who would grow up to be Hodor) in the past he was visiting as well as the present Hodor, connecting all three minds. Wylis can't handle this sudden influx of information and has a seizure, causing him the brain damage that turned him into the Hodor of the present.
  • Meaningful Name: He's mentioned as having a love of climbing the castle walls. His legendary ancestor and namesake, Bran the Builder, was the one who first orchestrated the building of the Wall. In Season 3, Jojen Reed tells him that the three-eyed raven he keeps seeing in his dreams is really Bran himself. "Bran" is Welsh for "raven." Doubles down in Season 6 where he succeeds the title of Three-Eyed Raven.
  • The Men First: Essentially why he surrenders Winterfell to Theon and his Ironborn. Bran is hoping a peaceful resolution where no one got hurt. Unfortunately that is not what happens.
  • Nerves of Steel: Just see the kid in his conversation with Theon after the older boy has taken Winterfell. It completely shatters when Theon is about to kill Ser Rodrik.
  • Nice Guy: Is following the footsteps of Robb and his father in terms of how nice he is.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Bran is ultimately responsible for making Hodor the way he is. In the same episode, Bran's actions inadvertently cause the deaths of the Three Eyed Raven, Summer, several Children of the Forest, and Hodor.
    • Also, his order to Rickon and Osha to seek refuge with the Umbers ultimately results in them being betrayed and turned over to Ramsay, with both dead by the end of the season.
  • Noble Fugitive: Bran has been on the run since he and Rickon escaped from Theon and the Ironmen.
  • Odd Name Out: The only one of Ned Stark's true born sons whose name starts with the letter "B".
  • Out of Focus: He doesn't appear at all in Season 5, freeing the writers up to focus more on the ever-more spread out other storylines while avoiding doing repetitive scenes of him being instructed by the Three-Eyed Raven.
  • Parental Abandonment: Clearly feels this way about Catelyn's journey to the capital.
  • Psychic Children: It comes with being a Warg.
  • Psychic Link: While sleeping, Bran can feel what Summer feels. He also once had the same dream as his brother Rickon.
  • Put on a Bus: Does not appear in Season 5, spending his time training with the Three-Eyed Raven offscreen.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Since he's Lord of Winterfell while Robb fights the Lannisters in the Riverlands and Westerlands.
  • Recurring Dreams: Keeps dreaming about a crow with three eyes. From the books 
  • Secret Keeper: He's the only other Stark (living, assuming that Benjen himself doesn't know) aware that Jon is actually his Aunt Lyanna's child.
  • Seer: He is a greenseer, after all.
  • Ship Tease: With Meera since about Season 4.
  • Snooping Little Kid: Gets pushed out a window for it.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: He looks a great deal like Ned and Benjen did as kids.
  • Squishy Wizard: Quite literally. His main arsenal is his warging. But being a cripple and the fact that he always has to remain stationary while doing said ability means that he's very vulnerable from attacks.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In "The Rains of Castamere", he learns how to warg at will, allowing him to use Summer to attack some wildlings. And as of "The First of His Name", he uses Hodor to brutally kill Locke. That's right — Arya is no longer the only Stark child with major confirmed kills.
  • Tragic Dream: He always wanted to be a Kingsguard when he grows up.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: For a child he shows himself far more competent at leading Winterfell than you may expect, and shows that many of the lessons Ned preached have taken root in him. For instance, his justification for leaving Winterfell undefended to send their men to take back Torrhen's Square:
    Bran: If we can't protect our own bannermen, why should they protect us?
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Hodor does this to him, in a Hodor-y sense, after Bran wargs into him in order to kill Locke. After getting himself back, Hodor looks at his own bloodstained hands, clearly shocked, and then to Bran, seeming to realize what happened and obviously not being entirely okay with what Bran just did, or made him do. Hodor isn't really capable of the same level of call-out most characters are, though.
  • You Are in Command Now: In "The Pointy End", Robb heads south for war, making Bran Lord of Winterfell. With Robb's death at the hand of the traitorous Lord Bolton, legally Bran should be the Lord of Winterfell, though he is unaware of this, and the world believes that he is dead and that his sister Sansa is Lady of Winterfell.
  • Young and in Charge: Commands the respect of virtually everyone under his rule, despite being a crippled ten year old. After Robb died, he could be considered the true King in the North.

     Rickon Stark
"I'm your brother. I have to protect you."
Played By: Art Parkinson

"We are not southerners."

Youngest child of Eddard and Catelyn Stark.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Like his Tully mother, Rickon had auburn hair and blue eyes in the books.
  • Back for the Dead: He returns in Season 6 and appears for only two scene: his reintroduction and his death at Ramsay's hands.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Despite being significantly younger than Bran, he reveals in "The Rains of Castermere" that he sees it as his job to protect him, and is thus distraught when Bran sends him, Shaggy, and Osha to the Umbers for their protection while Bran himself goes north of the wall. The main reason is that Bran is the only Stark who has remained with Rickon through all their struggles, with his father, elder brothers and sisters all leaving Winterfell, being parted from Bran clearly hurts him.
  • Break the Cutie: The baby of the family who smiles along with his elder brothers when Bran fails at hitting his target, becomes a depressed, sullen and bored child who wanders the crypts of Winterfell with his enormous direwolf.
  • The Bus Came Back: In Season 6.
  • Children Are Innocent: In one of the creepiest ways possible. He seems completely oblivious to what's happening at first. A fact which Robb painfully informs Catelyn about. He also parrots some of the more offensive Wildling stories that Old Nan told him, to Osha. She takes it in her stride as Rickon clearly likes her.
  • Cool Pet: His direwolf, Shaggydog.
  • Creepy Child: After disappearing for several episodes, he suddenly appears in Bran's room talking about how everyone is doomed. He also spends the time he is forced to hold court with Bran in Winterfell cracking nuts in the most aggressive way possible. He also wanders on his own several times with Shaggydog.
  • Demoted to Extra: Shows up so little, viewers keep forgetting he exists. Gets better in Season 2, in which he constantly appears with Bran. Justified due to the Ironborn seizing Winterfell. In Season 3, he gets one of the biggest TearJerkers in the series. Becomes even more important when he reappears in Season 6, as him being taken hostage by Ramsay is the catalyst for Jon to start rallying Northern houses against the bastard. Unfortunately, he's murdered by Ramsay in the penultimate episode of Season 6, in only his second scene since his reappearance.
  • Dies Wide Open: Justified as he was shot by an arrow In the Back by surprise.
  • Distressed Dude: Smalljon Umber betrays Rickon to Ramsay, who takes the boy as a hostage and taunts Jon about it.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: He and Bran share a prophetic dream in "Fire and Blood".
  • The Eeyore: Is quite cynical and depressed for a boy of six. Probably less surprising when considering that most of his family went away in very short succession, leaving him frightened and confused.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: He was killed by a fatal arrow to the heart which pierces through him. After he dies, his corpse was hit by a few of the Rain of Arrows that the Bolton army fired.
  • In the Back: Dies after getting an arrow in the back, courtesy of Ramsay.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: He and his brother Bran are analogues to the famous Princes in the Tower in the Wars of the Roses. Like the Princes, they disappear without a trace with many believing them to be dead. In the show, Theon faked their deaths after their disappearance by killing two farm boys who resemble them.
  • Noble Fugitive: Like the rest of the Starks, he's on the run from the Lannisters but not because he's a criminal.
  • Parental Abandonment: Make that Family Abandonment: the only one of his relatives still left in Winterfell is barely older brother Bran. And he finally has to part with him too.
  • Psychic Children: Not to the same degree as Bran, but he does have a prophetic dream.
  • Put on a Bus: He, Shaggydog, and Osha do not appear in Seasons 4 and 5 as they are incognito while Bran goes through the wall.
  • The Remnant: As Bran tells Rickon, if anything were to happen to him and Robb, he is the heir to Winterfell. With Bran going beyond the wall and Sansa and Arya trapped in the South, Rickon is the only Stark left in the North, one who Bran expects will be fostered with the Umbers, loyal bannermen.
  • Satellite Character: He is the least prominent Stark in the story, and mostly served as a Kid Sidekick at best.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Rickon and Osha spend two seasons trying to reach the Umbers, assuming they'll find safety with the Stark loyalist. Unbeknownst to them, the Greatjon has died and his son is far less loyal; therefore, the second they finally reach the Umbers they are betrayed to the Boltons which ultimately led to his, Osha and Shaggydog's deaths.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Prior to Jon and Ramsay's battle over Winterfell, Ramsay releases Rickon and plays a "game" with him. He tells him to run across the battlefield to Jon, and as he flees, Ramsay fires arrows at him. He misses deliberately until Rickon is mere feet from Jon, at which point Ramsay kills him. Rickon's death ends up serving no purpose but to cause Jon pain and give him another reason to hate Ramsay. Indeed he has no lines at all in Season 6.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In-universe. After Bran sends Rickon and Osha to the Umbers. Roose on learning of the survival of the youngest Stark children assumes that they must have died since none of the other Northern lords has seen or heard of them. His fate is confirmed both in-universe and out when Smalljon Umber hands him over to Ramsay Bolton.
  • Wild Child: Seems to be as of "The Ghost of Harrenhal". By this point in the series he has now spent the majority of his life on the run, knowing only fear and violence and hiding in solitude to survive. It's doubtful he's obtained any of the skills needed to rule.

    Benjen Stark
"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: Tells Jon in no uncertain terms that he is no better than anyone at the Wall; they are all brothers now.
  • 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 Sansa.
  • 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 him. Benjen perhaps sees something of himself in the family outcast.
  • 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.
  • 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
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 showrunners 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
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
"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.)
  • Beneath the Mask: Ned grew up watching Lyanna as this brave creature. On her deathbed, she reveals how scared she really was.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • Missing Mom: Her mother is nowhere to be seen in the flashbacks. She is also this for Jon.
  • 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.
  • 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). The actress also looks a fair bit like Maisie Williams (Arya). 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.
  • Take Care of the Kids : Her Last Request to Ned. The kid being Jon Snow.
  • 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.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Sansa notes that everyone told her that her aunt was very beautiful.

    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?