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Characters / A Song of Ice and Fire - House Reed

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This is a character listing for the members of House Reed who appear in A Song of Ice and Fire.

For the main character index, see here

For the main Northern entry, see here

House Reed of Greywater Watch

"To Winterfell we pledge the faith of Greywater. Hearth and heart and harvest we yield up to you, my lord. Our swords and spears and arrows are yours to command. Grant Mercy to our weak, help to our helpless, and justice to all, and we shall never fail you. We swear it by earth and water, we swear it by bronze and iron, we swear it by ice and fire."
Jojen and Meera Reed

The Reeds lead the crannogmen, who live in swamps and marshes by the Neck. They first swore fealty to the Starks thousands of years ago, back when they were still the Kings in the North. Their current head, Howland Reed, is The Ghost, but his two children Meera and Jojen serve as Bran's companions throughout his journey. The minor houses of the Neck that are sworn to House Reed include Houses Blackmyre, Boggs, Cray, Fenn, Greengood, Marsh, Peat, and Quagg. They are the southernmost house sworn to the North and one of the poorest lordly houses in Westeros.

Their seat is the elusive Greywater Watch while their sigil is a black lizard-lion (crocodile) on grey-green. Their motto is unknown.

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    Tropes related to House Reed and crannogmen 
  • Archenemy: The crannogmen are, in general, archenemies to House Frey, who seek to expand their domain into the Neck. Most of the negative stuff that is said of the Crannogmen in the books basically comes from the mouths of Freys and those unwittingly or wittingly spreading their slander.
  • Badass Creed: The Reeds have their own way to swear allegiance to the Starks. See above.
  • Base on Wheels: Greywater Watch moves, if the rumors prove true. Which, given the nature of where they live, probably means "hulls" rather than "wheels".
  • Black Sheep: They don't fit in with the rest of the Northmen, neither in appearance, customs nor territorial holds; still, they are of tremendous strategic value to the whole region and they are very loyal to the Starks. They don't fit in with the houses which are south of the Neck either, for that matter.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The Reed sigil is a "Lizard-Lion", which aren't given any description but artists usually interpret as a crocodile or alligator.
    • Many readers are convinced Lizard-Lions are a a fictional species, since crocodiles are mentioned to live in Essos and it seems odd they would live in the North (they are even supposed to live near Winterfell).
    • A kind of monitor lizard isn't beyond the realms of possibility, as those fierce pains to your waterway experience can take a surprising range of temperatures beyond the "tropically toasty" most people think about (heck, they're rather good with the semi-desert interiors of continents, which freeze solid on winter nights — give them a vaguely reliable water source and any kind of heat, not necessarily solar-based, for three or four hours a day and they do fine even if it's iced for the rest of the day-night cycle). They very much can go big... like the present Komodo dragon kind of big. And, have done bigger than that.
  • Color Motif: Green is the supernatural color of the Crannogmen and their "green dreams".
  • The Dreaded: Nobody likes entering their territory. Not only is the Neck considered a hostile bog of ever-changing routes and dangerous wildlife by those not native to it, but those who are natives are notoriously good at using that landscape for guerrilla warfare. Worse: they're also well known as experts in some very scary weapons poisons. You won't see them unless they want to be seen, by which time it might be a bit too late.
  • Eternally Pearly-White Teeth: Crannogmen are mocked by people who say they have green teeth from eating frogs. When Bran meets the Reed siblings, he notes that there's nothing wrong with their teeth, which are actually quite white; this is likely because their diet includes very little sugar.
  • Famous Ancestor: Wylla Fenn, lover of Lord Brandon Stark, youngest son of Cregan Stark and mother of their bastard son, Lonnel Snow.
  • Fantastic Slurs: The crannogmen, who are looked down by just about everyone, suffer being called "frog-eaters", "mudmen" and "bog devils".
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: To the "Fenfolk" that inhabited the Fens, a marshy region of eastern England
  • Feuding Families: With the Freys, apparently. Their betrayal of the Starks won't have helped any. And, when what the Boltons have done is generally uncovered... Roose's wariness about the family might prove to be a little foreshadowing.
  • Foil: Like the Freys, the Reeds are The Friend Nobody Likes (with the notable exception of Eddard Stark). Very unlike the Freys, the Reeds are honorable, honest, loyal and they meet their actions to their vows.
    • Alternatively: the dangerous landscape with significantly different biome that the House is in, the equally dangerous reptiles (and other creatures) within said biome, the propensity for using said landscape and animals as weapons with toxic warfare and enjoying a significantly different culture and lore to the rest of the Kingdom they're in? House Martell says hi, for all the Neck is a bit damper and colder than Dorne generally is. And, the culture arguably just a case of "retained differently" rather than "imported".
    • House Mormont. The crannogmen take the meaning of Had To Be Sharp in their own interpretation, be said terribly efficient guerrilla warfare and poisonous weapons. Also they are the ones along with House Mormont to be unambiguously aligned with the deposed Stark, and they can afford to be this since no one would like to adventure in their lands voluntarily.
  • The Ghost: While mentioned, no member of Houses Quagg, Greengood, Cray, Peat, Boggs, Blackmyre and Fenn have appeared in the main story yet, as no POV character has entered the Neck.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Implied. House Reed and their crannogmen are braver and more loyal than the Freys would have you believe, but you do not want to be shot by one of their poisoned arrows, unless you have some reason for wanting to die a horrible, excruciatingly painful death, shitting out your internal organs while covered in sores and maggots and having your limbs swell up like balloons.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Crannogmen are known for their short stature and some Maesters have theorized this is from interbreeding with the Children of the Forest. Given the bigotry the crannogmen face and the dislike Maesters tend to have for the North in general it's likely the theory is simply a way to dehumanize them. However most Maesters believe they are short either due to malnutrition or an adaptation to their environment.
  • Hillbilly Horrors: They have this equivalent reputation in the North and the Riverlands, though undeservedly so. They are swamp folk and they are very territorial, but they are by no means hicks nor uneducated people. They still are one of the poorest noble houses in Westeros.
  • In the Blood: Given how accepting they are in general to what Jojen can do, Dreaming of Things to Come happens fairly regularly to individuals born into the family. As a result, they hold more to the old ways than practically anybody else in the North that are south of the Wall... with their own twists.
  • Master Poisoner: Crannogmen are feared by many for their deadly poisoned arrows.
    Victarion Greyjoy's thoughts: The poisoned arrows of the bog devils need only scratch a man, and a few hours later he would be squirting and screaming as his life ran down his legs in gouts of red and brown.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Their sigil is a "lizard-lion", implied to be type of crocodilian (since The World of Ice and Fire mentions crocodiles as a separate species). The climate at the Neck would seem to be too cold for crocodiles. (They are never mentioned in the Riverlands, which are further south.)
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Subverted. Their house sigil is a lizard-lion, and are mistrusted by many because of their reputation as guerrilla fighters, but the Reeds express Undying Loyalty to the Starks and are one of the more honorable houses in the North. Howland Reed was even Ned Stark's closest friend.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Crannogmen anoint their arrows with poisons so deadly that even a scratch from them will leave the victim in agony for days before they die. When Ralf Kenning, an ironman, gets hit by a crannogman's arrow, his body swells up like a log, his eyes weep pus, and his skin is covered in dripping sores.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: In their case, it would be territorial resemblance, as all Crannogmen are said to be small built. Might have something to do with fens being generally bad places to farm, which would mean most crannogmen would have rather poor diets.
  • Theme Naming: Due to being located in the marsh-filled Neck, most of the minor houses sworn to House Reed all have swamp-related names: Fenn (fen), Boggs (bog), Peat (peat/turf), Cray, Quagg, Greengood).
  • The Remnant: One of the very few hold-out houses who are still openly loyal to the Starks after the Red Wedding. They can afford this luxury by living in a remote ass-end of the world and thus being invulnerable to any punitive expeditions by Boltons, Freys or Lannisters.
  • Undying Loyalty: To the Starks. They have such reputation for this that, following the Red Wedding, Roose Bolton travels to the North inside a carriage, while a Body Double wearing his armor rides a horse.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Invoked. People who enter the Neck tend to disappear from thin air, as some characters have done in the books.

    Lord Howland Reed 

Lord Howland Reed, Lord of Greywater Watch

Current Lord of Greywater Watch, Howland is one of Eddard Stark's closest friends. Has yet to make an appearance in the books.

  • Chekhov M.I.A.: He's mentioned numerous times and is clearly aware of Bran's journey and is one of the most speculated figures in the series.
  • The Faceless: Ned Stark has trouble remembering his face.
  • The Ghost: Most probably because he is the only survivor from the events of the Tower of Joy, and the only living person who knows the details of Ned's promise to Lyanna. According to George R.R. Martin, he will put in an appearance eventually but won't ever be a P.O.V. character because he knows too much.
  • Happily Married: Implied to his wife Jyana. The books' glossary lists her as "of the crannogmen" instead of belonging to a particular house of nobility, which likely means she's a commoner and Howland married her for non-political reasons, something not even Ned Stark can claim he did, despite now being very much in love with his own wife. Also, what we hear and see of Meera and Jojen implies they come from a perfectly loving family, which is also typically averted with most of the noble houses in Westeros.
  • Manly Tears: Jojen says that the only time he's seen Howland cry is when he learned of Ned's death.
  • The Mentor: To his daughter Meera, training her how to fight since Greywater Watch has no master-at-arms or knights.
  • Old Friend: To Ned.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: There is no known contact between the him and Ned Stark before the events at Harrenhal. The two then end up fighting in a civil war for over a year to rescue Ned's sister. From barely knowing each other to becoming very close friends after the civil war certainly counts as this.
  • Secret Keeper: He's the last surviving person who knows just what happened at the Tower of Joy.
  • Took a Level in Badass: As a younger man, he had his spear taken away from him by three fifteen-year-olds, who beat and humiliated him until Lyanna Stark came to his rescue. As an older man, he fought at the Tower of Joy beside Ned Stark, and at one point saved him from Arthur Dayne, thought by many to have been the greatest swordsman of his time.
  • Walking the Earth: As per his daughter's story, he traveled away from the Neck as a young man, and sailed by boat up the Trident (even under the Twins) and visited the Isle of Faces, an island of Weirwood Trees, at the God's Eye in Harrenhal and lived there with the Green Men for several years until he decided to attend the Tourney at Harrenhal where he met the Starks. Also he traveled as far as Dorne to escort Ned in his mission at the Tower of Joy,and it's possible he's fought in others battles as well.

    Meera Reed 

Meera Reed
"Sometimes the knights are the monsters, Bran."

Howland's oldest child, Meera acts as a Cool Big Sis and voice of reason on Bran's journey beyond the Wall.

  • Action Girl: She is a competent fighter, and is able to outmatch Bran's direwolf Summer in a practice fight.
  • Big Sister Instinct: She acts as a protector to the much frailer Jojen. She also acts as an older sister towards Bran and is highly protective of him.
  • Brainy Brunette: She is very smart, has knowledge of medicine, and is an excellent storyteller.
  • Brother–Sister Team: With Jojen.
  • Color-Coded Eyes: Her eyes are not as deep a green as her brother's eyes, but still notable due to representing her closer to nature attitude as a crannogmen.
  • Cool Big Sis: Meera acts this way towards Bran and Jojen.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She snarks fairly frequently, though much less the further north they go.
  • Fish out of Water: She and Jojen are very noticeable in Winterfell due to their green cloaks, their marked youth and their "infamy" as crannogmen. Both also seem to be ill suited for the trip North of The Wall as they're not quite the snow-type, though it's through Meera's hunter and trapper's knowledge and Summer's hunting that the group get sustenance throughout the trip.
  • Instant Waking Skills: She can wake up and be fully alert in seconds.
  • The Medic: She has some knowledge of medicine, using a paste made from some plants she found to treat Summer's wounded leg after he was hit by a Wildling arrow.
  • Nature Lover: She is fond the outdoors, and during the initial trek north she is excited to see and climb mountains for the very first time since there are none in the Neck.
  • Older Than They Look: Much unlike her younger brother, Meera looks younger than she is because of her crannogman traits. She is small for someone in her mid-teens, though she's attractive enough to elicit a response in Theon Greyjoy.
  • Outdoorsy Gal: Having grown up in the Neck, it is hardly a surprise that Meera enjoys fishing, hunting, and climbing.
  • Prongs of Poseidon: Meera is a Type IV: she fights with a three-pronged spear and a net like a retiarus, which she also uses to fish.
  • Puppy Love: Bran is very much in love with her.
  • Screw Destiny: She thinks this is possible, and is angry that Jojen thinks that whatever he sees in his green dreams will come to pass. Meera argues that there would be no point to them if they did not have the opportunity to avert any bad things he saw.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Meera is cheerful and talkative while Jojen is sullen and solemn.
  • The Sneaky Gal: She is very good at moving quickly and silently.
  • The Storyteller: Tells Bran a tale about the Knight of the Laughing Tree, a mystery knight who defeated three knights at a tourney at Harrenhal after their squires bullied a crannogman. She and Jojen are both surprised that Bran had never heard the story before from his father. The identity of the knight is heavily debated among fans, but it is clear the tourney is the same one where Prince Rhaegar proclaimed Lyanna Stark his Queen of Love and Beauty.
  • Undying Loyalty: The Reeds always have Undying Loyalty towards House Stark, but Meera and her brother specifically have this for Bran, to the point where they travel for hundreds of miles on foot Beyond-The-Wall on his behalf.
  • Waif-Fu: She's small like most crannogmen, but is a quick and agile fighter.

    Jojen Reed 

Jojen Reed

The Little Grandfather
"If ice can burn, then love and hate can mate."

Heir to Greywater Watch, Jojen has the greensight, special Psychic Powers that used to be common among the Children of the Forest and occasionally show up in children of families that still keep the Old Ways.

  • Affectionate Nickname: "Little Grandfather", given to him by Old Nan who noted how wise he seemed though he was young.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Bran, helping guide him through the early stages of his greenseer and warging abilities.
  • Blessed with Suck: Sure, he can see the future, but most of his green dreams are highly metaphorical in nature, and thus difficult to interpret, and they are often about some pretty terrible things that no one Jojen's age should have to deal with.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Jojen and Meera.
  • Color-Coded Eyes: He is noted to have very striking green eyes, which are a sign of him being a powerful greendreamer and House Reed's connection to nature in general.
  • Creepy Child: To a certain extent, due to his ability to see the future making him a little distant from everyone.
  • Determinator: He will see Bran fulfill his destiny, no matter how hard the journey.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Although most of the time the dreams are in metaphors and can be misleading.
  • The Fatalist: Years of dreaming of the future have left him with a firm belief that You Can't Fight Fate, to the extent that he is resigned to his own death.
  • Foil: To Robert "Sweetrobin" Arryn. They are both the Ill Boy, being very physically weak and feeble from an early age, and firstborn sons to noble lords. However, Robert is heir to one of the most famous and legendary houses, whereas Jojen is heir to a small, remote, floating castle that no one really cares about and part of a family and culture some in Westeros look down upon. Of course, Robert is also terribly spoiled, prone to violent temper tantrums, and barely has the courage to even leave his bedroom without a mommy figure to nestle against. Jojen, who is even more critically handicapped than Sweetrobin, is by contrast eerily calm, collected, and mature for someone of his age and with his condition, to the point that he is able to travel beyond The Wall and rediscover The Children of the Forest. Jojen likely picked up his steadiness from his father, meaning Jon Arryn probably had the right idea about making his son a ward to Tywin or Stannis.
  • Foreseeing My Death: He is implied to have done this, as he continuously declares "this is not the day I die" when in dangerous situations.
  • Ill Boy: He is somewhat weakened by his visions, and doesn't handle travelling beyond the Wall as well as Meera, Bran, and Hodor do.
  • Mentor Archetype: To Bran, who is struggling with his green dreams, despite being only a few years older.
  • Mr. Exposition: Helps fill in Bran in on what being a skinchanger and having green dreams means.
  • Near-Death Experience: When he was young, Jojen almost died of greywater fever, which is when the Three-Eyed Crow first came to him in a green dream.
  • Nerves of Steel: He has no fear when approaching Summer and Shaggydog for the first time, while Meera is a lot more nervous around them.
  • Non-Action Guy: He relies on his sister for help and protection, as he is not very physically able. In his very first scene, Bran notices that Meera has to help Jojen stand up after they kneel down while swearing their houses oath of loyalty to the Starks.
  • Oracular Urchin: Jojen is gifted with the greensight.
  • Psychic Children: He is a young seer.
  • Seer: He can dream glimpses of the future, but they are often confusing and metaphoric in nature.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Meera is cheerful and talkative while Jojen is sullen and solemn.
  • The Stoic: He shows little emotion and keeps almost unnaturally calm in dangerous situations.
  • Undying Loyalty: The Reeds always have Undying Loyalty towards House Stark, but Jojen and his sister specifically have this for Bran, to the point where they travel for hundreds of miles on foot Beyond-The-Wall on his behalf.
  • Waif Prophet: He is thirteen, but is described as relatively frail. Meera even has to help him stand up back up after he kneels before Bran.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: There's a reason Jojen's called "the little grandfather."
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Believes that it is impossible to change what he sees in his green dreams, much to the frustration of Meera and Bran.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Heavily hinted to be the reason behind his growing depression, as he knows the date of his death is approaching.


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