This is a character listing for the members of House Umber that appear in A Song of Ice and Fire.
For the main character index, see here
For the main Northern entry, see here
House Umber of the Last Hearth
A noble House noted for its extreme loyalty to the Starks. They once ruled as kings before being reduced to vassals by House Stark. House Umber is seated at Last Hearth, the northernmost castle in the North outside of the Night's Watch outposts, and control the land around the shore of the Bay of Seals. Due to their location, they often come into conflict with wildlings who cross over the Wall or sail south through the bay. House Umber has played a key role in defeating several Kings-Beyond-the-Wall who have invaded the North. Their sigil is a roaring giant wearing broken chains on a red background.
- A House Divided: Currently between Whoresbane the Turn Coat and Crowfood the Rebel Leader. Well, maybe.
- Badass Family: Every Umber seen so far has a reputation for being a fierce warrior.
- Badass in Distress: After the Lannisters win, the Greatjon is captured, his heir is killed, one uncle is doing guerrilla war on the Boltons, and the other is forced to act as the Boltons' ally.
- The Big Guy: To the Northmen.
- Boisterous Bruiser: More or less their hat (although some of them don't meet the 'boisterous' criteria).
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Rumor is that they still practice Droit du Seigneur: this even though it is banned. Of course, the one claiming this is their Arch-Enemy Roose Bolton, so it is disputable. Some like Greatjon are also kind of misogynistic.Greatjon: "Leave off, Karstark, it was a mothers folly. Women are made that way."
- Famous Ancestor
- It's known some Umbers married Starks. Like Jon Umber, first husband of Serena Stark, but the marriage was childless. And Osric Umber, who married Serena's daughter Arrana and they had issue.
- Harmond Umber, known as the Drunken Giant, who led one of the armies that crushed Raymun Redbeard, a King-Beyond-The-Wall who managed to lead a wildling army down past the wall to the shores of Long Lake.
- Lord Hoarfrost Umber, Lord of the Last Hearth, grandfather of the Greajton, father to Hother, Mors and another son (the Greatjon's father).
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: To Northumbria, the northernmost Anglo-Saxon kingdom during the early Medieval period.
- Foil: Contrast these guys with the Karstarks. Arnolf Karstark wants to end the line of nephew Rickard so his own descendants can seize control of Karhold. Meanwhile, the Greatjon's uncles want to see him returned safe and sound and one of their terms is that the Umbers won't have to fight each other.
- The Ghost: Greatjon's other unnamed children.
- In-Series Nickname: Every Umber introduced so far has had a nickname.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Even Roose Bolton says Umbers have a "low cunning".
- Old Soldier: Many of them are getting on a bit. But, if you think this means they can't fight any more, you've got another thing coming.
- The Rival: On-and-off-again ones to their neighbours, the Boltons: boundary disputes and name-calling a speciality. They're probably the least surprised of all the Northern Houses to find that the Boltons have pulled a fast one (for all they probably wouldn't have thought Roose would pull it alone, since he's a pragmatist first and foremost). For a reason: they're pretty sodding used to the general concept. Their quick response in forming resistance under the radar is probably also quite practised, for all they're fragmented. On paper, at least.
- Smarter Than You Look / Obfuscating Stupidity: The Umbers all look like a bunch of really strong but dim barbarians. However, some of them (Mors and Hother, specifically) are actually quite clever. It is arguable whether or not Mors and Hother are actually on opposite sides. This is why Roose Bolton is cautious about them.Roose: The Umbers may seem simple, but they are not without a certain low cunning.
- Testosterone Poisoning: The Umbers are ridiculously manly.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Starks.
Lord Jon Umber, Lord of Last Hearth
- "Your meat... is bloody tough!"
Head of House Umber and Lord of Last Hearth. He is one of Robb Stark's most trusted bannermen.
- Action Dad: Fights alongside his son Smalljon in the Northern Army.
- Anti-Hero: While he is a good guy, the Greatjon is somewhat bloodthirsty, reckless, and a bit misogynistic.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: While he is a great warrior, he is not the best strategist, as his first instinct to any problem is to lead an all-out attack. This is why Lord Roose Bolton is given command of the North's infantry instead of the Greatjon. Case in point: after Robb marries Jeyne Westerling and the Freys begin to head back to The Twins due to the broken marriage alliance, the Greatjon encourages Robb to attack them, which is the worst possible move at the moment, as it would damage the North's moral, lead to more infighting among their forces, and wreck any chance of reconciliation with the Freys.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: One of the most politically powerful bannerman of the Starks and also one of their greatest warriors and battle commanders. You can be forgiven for forgetting just how old he actually is, thanks to his Boisterous Bruiser nature.
- Badass Beard: You'd be forgiven for picturing it bristle. Even though that is not in the descriptive passages.
- Badass in Distress: The Greatjon is captured during the Red Wedding and currently imprisoned at The Twins to ensure House Umber's loyalty to the Iron Throne.
- Berserk Button: Insulting Robb. When Lord Rickard Karstark (who is in chains for murdering two captive Lannister squires) dismissively calls Robb boy, the Greatjon punches him in the face. When Rickard continues to insult Robb as "The King Who Lost the North", the Greatjon asks permission to cut him open and see what color his guts are.
- The Berserker: When his dander is up, there's very little that can stop him. Thankfully, chutzpah in his opponent helps. That gets through the adrenaline rush.
- BFS: Described by Bran as the "biggest, ugliest greatsword" that he had ever seen. So bigger than Ice, a BFS itself.
- The Big Guy: "Greatjon" isn't just his moniker to distinguish which Jon you're talking about. He is just that big that "great" is the best description that covers all the meanings you could care to spin on it.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Will not turn a good drink, fight, meal, joke, challenge or time down. If bored, will make something happen. Or go looking for a combo-platter.
- Catchphrase: THE KING IN THE NORTH!, which he usually leads Robb's other bannermen in chanting.
- Colonel Badass: He commands the Umber forces in Robb's army.
- Drinking Contest: Engages in one with Petyr, Merrett and Ser Whalen Frey at Edmure Tully's wedding to Roslin Frey. It ends up being a trick designed to get the Greatjon so drunk he won't be able to resist capture once the Red Wedding starts, but he ends up out-drinking them all. It requires eight men to capture him, and not without casualties.
- Establishing Character Moment: Becoming Robb's fiercest advocate after Robb's direwolf bites off two of the the Greatjon's fingers for threatening him. This scene quickly shows off him being a badass boisterous Large Ham, and cements his Undying Loyalty.
- Fingore: Lost two fingers to Grey Wind when he almost drew his sword in anger at Robb's position of his forces in the army and threat to burn Last Hearth if the Greatjon took his forces home. He just laughed it off and became one of Robb's most loyal supporters.
- Hidden Depths: Catelyn Stark is somewhat surprised when she learns the Greatjon has a pleasant singing voice, even if he can't match the song he is singing to the one actually being played.
- Hot-Blooded: When you can laugh off losing your fingers when your challenge was accepted and met, you're in here somewhere, yes.
- In-Series Nickname: "Greatjon", to distinguish him from his son, who is also named Jon.
- Kneel Before Frodo: He is the first Northern lord to proclaim Robb as "King in the North", which causes the other Northern lords, and the lords of the Riverlands, to follow suit.
- Large and in Charge: Described as being the same height as Hodor, but also as being nearly twice as wide.
- Large Ham: Every time he speaks he is hammy, but his declaration of Robb as King in the North really stands out.
- Major Injury Underreaction: Laughs off his fingers being bitten off by Grey Wind on Robb's command and simply takes it as proof that Robb is a true Stark.
- Man Bites Man: Bites off half the ear of Ser Leslyn Haigh during the Red Wedding.
- Never Gets Drunk: He can drink enough wine to "kill any three normal men" and the worst that happens is his singing voice gets a little thick.
- Number Two: To Robb: he splits the role with Ser Brynden Tully, dealing with issues related to the Northern bannermen while Brynden deals with those from the Riverlands.
- Outliving One's Offspring: His eldest son and heir Smalljon is killed at the Red Wedding.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy
- Spiteful Spit: His reaction to the proposals of supporting either Stannis' or Renly's claim to the Iron Throne.
- Stout Strength: Described as "barrel-bellied", and is one of the strongest characters in the series, able to toss a grown man like a child.
- Undying Loyalty: He is one of Robb's most loyal and trusted lords, and he is furious at any insult given to his King.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: A lot of problems for the Starks and the North could've been avoided if Greatjon hadn't convinced Robb to declare independence.
Oldest son of Greatjon Umber and heir to Last Hearth. He is one of King Robb Stark's personal guard. He is killed at the Red Wedding.
- Badass Beard: He's a notable warrior and also has a beard of his own.
- The Big Guy: Like his father, he is a huge and powerful warrior.
- Bodyguarding a Badass: He is one of Robb's thirty personal guards, and is one of the four selected to guard Robb at Edmure Tully's wedding at The Twins. During the massacre, he upends a table to shield Robb.
- Determinator: Even after being shot by a crossbow, he is still trying to reach his swordbelt to fight back during the Red Wedding. A Bolton soldier resorts to decapitation to finally put him down.
- Everyone Has Standards: Looks fairly horrified when Roose reveals Ramsay has been skinning Theon; considering how everybody thinks him a kinslayer and a traitor, it's saying something that the Smalljon thinks this is beyond the pale even for a son of a bitch like Theon.
- Improvised Weapon: Hits Ser Raymund Frey with a leg of mutton during the Red Wedding.
- In-Series Nickname: "Smalljon", to distinguish him from his father.
- Ironic Nickname: There is nothing small about him, but the name is due to being younger and just a bit smaller than his dad. He might even grow taller.
- Mauve Shirt: One of the most familiar members of Robb's guard, killed at the Red Wedding.
- Off with His Head!: Gets decapitated by a Bolton soldier at the Red Wedding while trying to get to his weapons. Unfortunately for Smalljon, it takes two swings to finish the job.
- The Quiet One: He doesn't have any dialogue.
- True Companions: With Robb and the rest of his personal guard.
Mors Umber, castellan of Last Hearth
Uncle of Greatjon Umber, son of the late Hoarfrost Umber, and joint castellan of Last Hearth with his younger brother Hother Umber. After Roose Bolton becomes Warden of the North, Mors pledges fealty to King Stannis Baratheon alongside several other Northern lords.
- Badass Beard: He has a large shaggy white beard.
- Bluff the Imposter: Mors leads a mission to rescue Arya Stark from the Bolton occupied Winterfell and quizzes "Arya", really Jeyne Poole, on the names of the staff at Winterfell. However, Jeyne lived at Winterfell too and answers his questions correctly.
- Colonel Badass: Commands the Umber forces in Stannis' army.
- Death by Childbirth: His wife died giving birth to the last of his three children.
- Dirty Old Man: When asking Bran for permission to marry the recently widowed Lady Hornwood, he claimed to have the "cure for her grief" under his furs.
- Eyepatch of Power: Alternates between covering his lost eye with a white eyepatch or a ball of dragonglass.
- In-Series Nickname: Gained after he lost his eye to a crow that thought he was dead when he slept on the side of a road and began eating him. He responded by grabbing the crow and biting its head off in revenge.
- Nemean Skinning: Wears a snow bear pelt with its head serving as a hood.
- Off with His Head!: If the Asha fragment is any indication, the Freys killed him and displayed his head on a stick.
- Old Soldier: And, practical with it. Those pit traps yelled "experience".
- Outliving One's Offspring: His two sons died at the Battle of the Trident fifteen years before the series began, while his only daughter was kidnapped by a wildling several years later and has never been seen since. This has given him an everlasting hatred of all wildlings.
- Thicker Than Water: Agreed to fight for Stannis only if he didn't have to fight his own kin.
Hother Umber, castellan of Last Hearth
Uncle of Greatjon Umber and joint castellan of the Last Hearth with his older brother Mors Umber. After Roose Bolton becomes Warden of the North, Hother is forced to join him at Winterfell, but dislikes the situation. Whereas Mors' army is full of green boys, Whoresbane got stuck with the old men.
- Ambiguously Gay: He earned his nickname by disemboweling a whore who tried to steal from him. The story is kept rather hush-hush, however, because the whore was a man.
- Badass Beard: Well, yes. He's an Umber: shaving isn't big with them.
- Badass Bookworm: He was once sent to become a Maester, but returned to the North after killing the above-mentioned whore.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Yup, Umbers can come in quiet. And, eerie he is, too.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Either he obeys Roose Bolton as Warden of the North, or joins his brother in opposing him. If he joined his brother, their nephew Greatjon Umber would be executed, so he reluctantly joins Roose.
- Everyone Has Standards: He's disgusted by Ramsay's mutilation of Theon, as well as Ramsay keeping Theon alive as a plaything, stating that Ramsay would do better to kill Theon before he inevitably betrays Ramsay like Robb.
- Keeping the Enemy Close: An alternate view as to why sticking close to the Boltons might hold a certain attraction to the man. Although, it could be a two-player game. But, should he get a chance to spring the Greatjon early...
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Quite likely pretends to be illiterate, since he signs letters with a crude drawing of his house's sigil in lieu of a signature, but it is quite unlikely that anyone who is illiterate could even begin training to become a Maester.
- Old Soldier: And, a fairly clever one, too.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With the Boltons and especially the Freys. Lady Dustin points out that if they didn't have the Greatjon prisoner, Hother would kill them in a heartbeat.Barbrey Dustin: Do you imagine Whoresbane loves you any better? If you did not hold the Greatjon, he would pull out your entrails and make you eat them.