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Characters / A Song of Ice and Fire: Founders of the Kingdoms

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Due to the vast number of Houses in Westeros there are a lot of Founders.The various realms of the World of Ice and Fire have these, most of whom are legendary:

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  • Bran the Builder for House Stark. He apparently built the Wall and Winterfell and founded the Night’s Watch. He appears in other stories of founders, apparently helping to build Storm's End and the Hightower.
  • The First King to House Dustin of Barrowton, who once ruled as Barrow Kings. He was apparently the First King in Westeros and buried in the Great Barrow at Barrowton.

  • Lann the Clever for House Lannister. He is believed to have used his wits to swindle the Casterlys out of Casterly Rock, stories ranging from him turning the Casterlys against each other after getting into the Rock with a secret entrance, to him being a servant who impregnated a daughter of Lord Casterly. Regardless of how true it is, there are no Casterlys remaining. Stories of Lann range from him being an Andal adventurer to being a descendant of Garth Greenhand.
  • The Casterlys were, according to legend, founded by Corlos, son of Caster, who slew a lion and his mate in the Rock that would become known as Casterly Rock, but spared her cubs. This act of mercy so pleased the Old Gods that they showed him the gold of the Rock.
  • The Hooded Man, a legendary hero from the Dawn Age, to House Banefort.
  • Crake the Boar Killer to House Crakehall.
  • Pate the Plowman is said to have founded House Moreland during the Dawn Age.
  • House Yew are said to have been founded by the Blind Bowman Alan o' the Oak during the Dawn Age.

  • Artys Arryn for House Arryn, an Andal Knight who was chosen as the King of the Andals as they fought against the First Men for control of the Vale. The Winged Knight, who allegedly rode a giant falcon, is also claimed as the founder of House Arryn. However Maesters claim Artys was amalgamated with legends of the Winged Knight to win favor with the Arryns, as the Arryns are an Andal House and the stories of the Winged Knight predate the Andals arriving in Westeros.
  • Lord Corwyn Corbray for House Corbray. He was an Andal Knight and among the first to cross the Narrow Sea, defeating Kings Dywen Shell and Jon Brightstone of the Fingers to become Lord of the Five Fingers.
  • King Gerold Grafton for House Grafton. He was an Andal Knight married to King Osgood III Shett’s daughter, Osgood wanting Andal assistance against the Royces. When Osgood died in battle, Gerold usurped rule of Gulltown from Osgood’s son, who was imprisoned and disappeared after impregnating one of Gerold’s daughters.

    Iron Islands 
  • The Grey King for the Iron Isles. All the Houses in the Iron Islands trace descent from him except for House Goodbrother, who trace their descent from his leal eldest brother.
  • Galon "Whitestaff" instituted the practice of electing a High King to rule over all rock and salt kings, paving the way for ironborn expansion under a single ruler. He also instituted the practice that ironborn may not kill one another. The first King of the Isles was Urras Greyiron.
  • Urron "Redhand" Greyiron made rule of the Iron Islands hereditary, by murdering his opponents at a Kingsmoot. He also ended the practise of having different Kings (Salt and Rock) for the Isles.
  • After the Greyirons were wiped out, Harras "Stump-Hand" Hoare began the hereditary rule of House Hoare, who ruled the Isles until the Conquest.
  • Harwyn "Hardhand" Hoare founded the Kingdom of the Isles and the Rivers when he conquered the Riverlands from the Storm King Arrec Durrandon.

  • Durran Godsgrief and Elenei for House Durrandon. Elenei was the daughter of the God of the Sea and Goddess of the Winds, but by marrying a mortal lost her immortality. Six of Durran's castles were washed away by his in-laws, however the seventh, Storm's End, withstood the attacks.
  • Arlan III Durrandon conquered the Riverlands.
  • Orys Baratheon for House Baratheon, allegedly Aegon's bastard brother who helped him during the Conquest. After slaying King Argilac Durrandon while conquering the Stormlands, thus making the Durrandons extinct in the male line, he married Argilac’s daughter Argella and was given control of the Stormlands.
  • House Dondarrion was founded by an unknown messenger, who was almost killed by two Dornishmen, who were however killed by forked lightning before they could do so. The messenger delivered his message, saving the Stormlands, and in gratitude the Storm King gave him lands.

  • Mors Martell and Nymeria the Warrior Queen for Dorne. The Martells were already an established House in Dorne, though not Kings. Mors married Nymeria, and the alliance between him and the Rhoynar enabled the Martells to conquer Dorne. However technically they did not found House Martell, the actual founder was an Andal adventurer Morgan Martell.

  • Garth Greenhand for the Reach, and according to some stories, for the First Men in general. He was, according to some stories, the First Man in Westeros. Many of the Reach Houses claim descent from his sons.
  • His son Garth the Gardener apparently founded House Gardener and was the first King of the Reach.
  • The current rulers of the Reach, House Tyrell, though descended from the Gardeners, were originally founded by Ser Alester Tyrell, an Andal Knight who served under King Gwayne V Gardener. Alester's eldest son died in a tourney, and his bookish second son Gareth served as a royal steward. He and his son Leo performed their duties so well that the position of High Steward was made hereditary.
  • Florys the Fox, a daughter of Garth Greenhand, had three husbands who did not know of each other and were scions of Houses Ball, Florent, and Peake.
  • Ellyn Ever Sweet, a daughter of Garth Greenhand who loved honey and made a pact with the King of the Bees to care for his children, becoming the first beekeeper, who founded House Beesbury.
  • House Bulwer trace their lineage back to Bors the Breaker, a son of Garth Greenhand said to have gained great strength by drinking bull's blood.
  • Rose of Red Lake for House Crane, a daughter of Garth Greenhand and a skinchanger who could become a crane at will. It is said that some women of House Crane inherit this ability.
  • House Oakheart is supposedly descended from John the Oak, a son of Garth Greenhand sired on a giantess. John the Oak is claimed to have brought chivalry to Westeros and was huge, with tales ranging from him being eight to twelve feet tall.
  • House Redwyne are said to be descended from and founded by Gilbert of the Grape, a son of Garth Greenhand who taught the inhabitants of the Arbor how to make their sweet wine from the grapes that grew all over the island.
  • House Rowan trace their history to Rowan Gold-Tree, a daughter of Garth Greenhand who wrapped an apple in her golden hair after her lover left her for a rich rival and planted it on a hill, where it grew into a gleaming gold tree.
  • House Fossoway claim descent from Foss the Archer, a son of Garth Greenhand who was said to shoot apples off the head of any maid who took his fancy.
  • The oldest recorded Hightower is Uthor of the High Tower, who commissioned the first Hightower be built (possibly by Brandon the Builder or his son). Records in Essos show that there was a trade establishment in what would later become Oldtown, giving credence that the Hightowers might have lived in Westeros before the arrival of the First Men.
  • However, the Citadel was apparently founded by Uthor’s sons Urrigon and Peremore. His second son Peremore was sickly and twisted, but loved learning and watching scholars argue. After his death King Urrigon granted land to his brother’s “pets”, founding the Citadel.
  • House Tarly trace their line back to Harlon the Hunter and Herndon of the Horn, twin sons of Garth Greenhand who built the castle on Horn Hill and married a beautiful woods witch who kept them young as long as they laid with her whenever the moon was full.
  • Owen Oakenshield, another of Garth’s sons, conquered the Shield Islands. Though not explicitly said, he is probably the ancestor of Houses on the Shield Islands.
  • Amusingly enough, some legends try to amalgamate other Founders into stories of Garth. Apparently one of Garths' sons was Brandon of the Bloody Blade, the ancestor (possibly father) of Brandon the Builder. It is also claimed Garth was the ancestor of Durran Godsgrief.
  • Apparently Lann the Clever pretended to be one of Garth’s sons to gain a share in the inheritance, Garth having so many he couldn’t tell them apart. Some legends of the Reach state he was a bastard son either of Florys the Fox or Rowan Gold-Tree - Florys was also a trickster while Rowan had golden hair.

  • Aegon the Conquerer and his sister-wives Rhaenys and Visenya for the uniting of the Seven Kingdoms (though they only conquered six and Dorne joined over a century later from peaceful negotiations with Aegon's descendant Daeron II). However, they didn’t found House Targaryen.
  • The first lord of House Massey was Maldon Massey, who built Stonedance and was granted lordship by Storm King Durran the Ravenfriend.

  • Complicated in the Riverlands as there have been so many ruling Houses.
  • The first person to unite the Riverlands was Benedict, a bastard of the Blackwoods and Brackens who took the name Justman for his just rule. However House Justman is by now extinct.
  • King Torrence Teague, who used wealth gained from a raid in the Westerlands to hire sellswords from Essos to unite the Riverlands.
  • Lord Quenton Qoherys was the first of House Qoherys to rule Harrenhal, and the first Lord of Harrenhal after its burning. However his line didn’t last very long, ending with his grandson’s murder.
  • The Harroways held it briefly after that, until they were all executed by Maegor the Cruel after his Harroway wife supposedly betrayed him.
  • Lord Walton Towers was the first of House Towers of Harrenhal, winning it in a fighting contest organised by Maegor the Cruel. However he died soon after from his wounds.
  • Lyonel Strong was the first of House Strong to rule Harrenhal, though the main line of House Strong ended when his younger son Larys was executed by Lord Cregan Stark.
  • Lucas Lothston, Master-at-arms at King's Landing, was given Harrenhal by Aegon III. However when Lady Danelle Lothston went insane and turned to the Black arts, the House lost Harrenhal. It passed to Knights sworn to them, the Whents, though the first Lord Whent of Harrenhal isn't given.
  • In fact, there's a whole bunch of Houses founded after being granted Harrenhal due to the previous House dying out. Some attribute the high turnover rate to a curse.

    Outside Westeros 
  • The Great Empire of the Dawn was ruled by the God-on-Earth, first ruler of the Great Empire of the Dawn, who was believed to be the son of the Lion of the Night and the Maiden-Made-of-Light. The Empire was never restored after the Long Night but was the precursor of the Golden Empire of Yi Ti.
  • High King Huzhor Amai to the Tall Men of Sarnor. He brought together the Gipps, the Cymmeri and the Zoqora into a single people, who became the Sarnori, and was their First King.
  • Among the escaped slaves who would found Braavos was a group of Moonsingers that led the slaves to the northwest of Essos, where they founded Braavos.
  • Azor Ahai, also known as Hyrkoon, is quite likely this to the Patrimony of Hyrkoon.
  • Hugor of the Hill, according to legend, was appointed first king of Andalos by the Seven themselves. The Arryns claim descent from him.

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