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Characters / Game of Thrones - House Reed

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House Reed

"House Reed, the gatekeepers of the North and among the most important and loyal bannermen of House Stark. Also a bit strange. I heard their oath of fealty once as a child. It's like no other lord's, ancient and dark. They swear by earth and water, by bronze and iron, by ice and fire."
Jon Snow, History and Lore: The North

The mysterious rulers of the Neck, the narrow peninsula of marshlands that separates the North from the Riverlands, and the southernmost vassals of House Stark. The inhabitants of the Neck are known as Crannogmen, because they live on crannogs (manmade islands) in the swamps.

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    In General 

  • Animal Motifs: House Reed's sigil is that of a lizard-lion (huge crocodiles) native to their swamps.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: House Reed is modest and reclusive, reflected in the members we've seen, but utterly fierce defenders of their territory and the North's first line of defence against southern invasion.From the books... 
  • Combat Pragmatist: The Crannogmen will use every weapon at their disposal to make their enemies' time in their lands miserable. They ambush foes using their superior knowledge of the terrain and then disappear, deliberately get smaller groups lost to pick them off and even use poisonous weapons (like darts) just to make things even more insufferable. Howland and Meera are shown to favor surprise attacks over open confrontation. We also saw the aftermath of their attrition warfare on the Ironborn garrison holding Moat Cailin, bled by jungle disease and sniped with poison darts.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Nobody has a clue where exactly their stronghold is, or what their members look like except Bran, Rickon, Osha, and Hodor (well, the latter part at least) because Jojen and Meera personally looked for them.
    • Greywater Watch, their "castle", is a crannog — basically a really large floating artificial island/houseboat. Thus it moves, and during times of war, they just pull it back deeper into the swamps.
  • Swamps Are Evil: Played with. Played straight in that the swamps of the Neck are very dangerous to outsiders and, combined with the fact that the isthmus is a natural choke point to begin with, have served as a very effective buffer against invasion from the south for centuries. In the "Histories & Lore" videos, Jon Snow says that the Neck is nearly as effective a barrier as the Wall itself on the other side of the North. The swamps are impassable by large armies, filled with quicksand, disease-carrying insects, and "Lizard-lions" (huge crocodiles of some kind). House Reed and their Crannogmen ambush outsiders using poisoned arrows. Even the Ironborn, who managed to take Moat Cailin from its undefended northern side, as we see at the end of Season 4, are being bled very badly by attrition from the surrounding Crannogmen. The trope is inverted in that House Reed is staunchly loyal to House Stark itself, so it depends on your points of view.
  • Two First Names: Reed can be used as a given name, at least during modern times.
  • Undying Loyalty: To House Stark, moreso than even other Northern Houses. Even with the Starks defeated and Winterfell burned, the Reed children continue to follow and protect Bran Stark as his brother Robb's heir (and to guide him to his magical destiny beyond the Wall).
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: They did not show up to help against the battle with the undead despite their Undying Loyalty to House Stark, at least not on-screen. Given that they are hit and run specialists, not known for fighting straight or fair and their poison arrows would be useless against the undead, it would be weirder seeing them in the army's formation at all.

    Lord Howland Reed 

Lord Howland Reed

Played By: Leo Woodruff (flashback)

Bran Stark: Your father is Howland Reed. He saved my father's life during the rebellion.
Jojen Reed: Your father told you about the rebellion? Mine never did.

Lord of Greywater Watch, head of House Reed, and ruler of the swamp-dwelling Crannogmen. He is also an old friend of Eddard Stark.

  • Big Damn Heroes: He stabs Ser Arthur Dayne just before he delivers the last moment Coup de Gr‚ce and saves Ned's life.
  • Combat Pragmatist: How do you overcome the greatest swordsman of your generation? You take him by surprise. Howland has zero qualms about saving his friend Ned by stabbing Ser Arthur from behind. Justified as, while he's the Lord of his house, he's not a knight.
  • The Ghost: In-universe as well as out. From the books...  The third episode of Season 6 is our first cross-media glimpse of him.
  • In the Back: How he kills Ser Arthur Dayne. Bran expresses surprise at this apparently dishonorable act.
  • Manly Tears: Openly wept when his son Jojen told him of his vision-dream, because he correctly interpreted that it meant his liege-lord and great friend Eddard Stark had been killed.
  • Non-Action Guy: At least compared to his companions during the Tower of Joy fight. Not only is he not a knight, but he is the first one to go down during the opening seconds of the engagement. He pretends to be dead until Dayne is distracted enough to be stabbed from behind, but by that point, everyone else was dead. Whether he took so long to get reinvolved in the fight was due to the seriousness of his wounds or because he knew he was worthless in a fair fight seems to be answered by how spry he was when he stabbed Dayne.
  • Not Quite Dead: Heroic version given it was to save his friend. Reed gets the drop on Dayne because he was believed dead or dying from his wounds.
  • Old Friend: Of Ned Stark. Unusually, he is also The Ghost and only introduced after Ned's death (though in flashback format).
  • Outliving One's Offspring: After Jojen dies in the Season 4 finale.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He's short, but also sneaky and tough and along with Ned is the only survivor of the battle at the Tower of Joy.
  • Playing Possum: Given how spry he was after stabbing Dayne, he exaggerated his wound during the fight to pass as dead and wait for Dayne to be either vulnerable or gone.
  • Secret-Keeper: He's the only person living that knows what went down at The Tower of Joy, at least until Bran gets to see it in a vision.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Eddard Stark. He was one of Eddard's personal companions during Robert's Rebellion.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: By all rights, he should still be alive and kicking by the end of the series. He never once shows up during the period recorded in "The Song of Ice and Fire".

    Jojen Reed 

Jojen Reed

Played By: Thomas Brodie-Sangster

"I saw you die tonight. I saw your body burn. I saw the snow fall, and bury your bones."

The son of Howland Reed, Jojen is a greenseer, like Bran, and accompanies him on his journey beyond the Wall.

  • Affectionate Nickname: Little Grandfather; according to Ellie Kendrick in the "New Characters" video.
  • Age Lift: A lesser one to keep up with all the rest of the characters. He looks older than 13, his age in the books, though he is described as looking and acting more mature than his actual age.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He's the younger child but the minute Karl and his friends threaten to hurt and rape his sister, Jojen gets very, very scary.
  • Creepy Child: He appears to be this at first. Subverted when it turns out that he's actually a nice kid. He can invoke this to threatening effect though, like when he intimidates Karl Tanner right as he's about to rape his sister Meera.
  • Death by Adaptation: Is mortally wounded by Wights, and mercy killed by Meera when they reach the Three-Eyed Raven's tree.
  • Disability Superpower: Apparently, having repeated visions causes seizures. From the books... 
  • Dream Spying: He saw Ned's execution in a dream.
  • Fainting Seer: His visions seem to take a very heavy physical toll on him, and so he frequently faints or has seizures.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Introducing himself into Bran's dream.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The Three-Eyed Raven tells Bran how Jojen's entire journey with Bran to the cave was this, considering Jojen was very weak and that he fully expected and accepted death when they reached it.
  • Licked by the Dog: The first sign that he is a good guy is that the very aggressive and protective Summer refuses to attack him.
  • Mr. Exposition: He explains Bran's powers in his second scene. After two whole seasons went with little to no explanation.
  • Mysterious Backer: To Bran.
  • Nerves of Steel: Granted, he knows his sister is close by and has his back, but Jojen never loses his affable tone even when Osha has a spear to his neck — and a full-grown direwolf is baring its teeth at the same time.
  • Nice Guy: While at first glance a Creepy Child, Jojen quickly shows himself to be a friendly and down to earth kid, if a bit mysterious thanks to also being a Psychic Child.
  • Non-Action Guy: He's perfectly comfortable admitting his sister is the better fighter.
  • The Omniscient: As an experienced greenseer, he can see things happening far away, in the future or the distant past, and can sneak into other people's dreams.
  • Psychic Children: Like Bran, he's a greenseer. But not a warg.
  • Psychic Link: The first time Bran sees Jojen is in a dream. He later confirms that he introduced himself in the dream on purpose. The way he made Summer trust him and go away might also have been this.
  • Slasher Smile: Gives an awesome one to Karl, when he tells him that he's seen his future and his very imminent death.
  • Waif Prophet: He's a frail young man with the ability to see the future.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Despite appearing to only be a few years older than Bran, he's the first character to actually have some idea as to what Bran's dreams are.

    Meera Reed 

Meera Reed
"Some people will always need help. But that doesn't mean they are not worth helping."

Played By: Ellie Kendrick

Jojen: My sister carries the weapons.
Meera: I'm better with them. Drop the spear. Drop it!

The daughter of Howland Reed. Meera protects her brother and Bran as they travel the North.

  • Action Girl: She is introduced by getting the drop on Osha, which is no easy task. She also seems to be the reason why her brother has been able to survive in the North, which has become a rather dangerous place since the war started.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: From the red-brown of the books to Ellie Kendrick's natural black.
  • Age Lift: A lesser one to keep up with all the rest of the characters. In the show, she's implied to be closer in age to Bran and Jojen, but even in the books she looks younger than her actual age due to her being a Crannogman, who are small people in general.
  • The Archer: Instead of keeping a trident like her books counterpart, though one dead White Walker speaks to her skill with a throwing spear, which is a bit closer in spirit.
  • Badass Normal: She's not a giant wolf like Summer, doesn't have Super-Strength like Hodor, and doesn't have supernatural abilities like Bran or Benjen, but one-shotting a White Walker definitely makes you one.
  • Big Sister Instinct: She's fiercely protective of her younger brother.
  • The Caretaker: To both Jojen, who has always been physically frail, and to Bran, who is paralyzed from the waist down. She doesn't mind having to protect them in the slightest (as shown in her character quote).
  • Cool Big Sister: When Osha asks her if she's ashamed by the fact her brother is a Non-Action Guy, she just laughs at the question, stating that there is no shame in wanting to protect someone. Not only that, but she obviously adores her little brother. This also crosses with shades of Big Sister Instinct.
  • Despair Event Horizon: She's at her wit's end when the wights finally catch up with her and Bran after they barely escape the Three-Eyed Raven's cave. She embraces him crying, convinced of their ultimate fate, to provide a last protection to her one remaining friend. Then, Benjen fends off the wights and saves their lives.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Becomes the third living human to kill a White Walker in the series, and the first living woman to do so.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Ambushing Osha.
  • Long Bus Trip: She did not return to help against the Battle with the Dead, at least not on-screen.
  • Nice Girl: Meera is friendly, patient, and calm, though these tendencies are stretched a little thin around Osha.
  • Mercy Kill: Gives one to her brother Jojen, when he falls against wights while trying to get them to the Three-Eyed Raven's cave.
  • Put on a Bus: After returning Bran to Winterfell, she departs to Greywater Watch to reunite with her father.
  • Quirky Curls: Her hairstyle. Karl Tanner even compliments her (in a not so flattering manner) for it.
  • Ship Tease: With Bran since about Season 4. Sadly, nothing comes of it as she realizes when they part ways in Season 7 that Bran isn't Bran anymore.
    Meera: You died in that cave.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: To Osha, who quickly grows jealous of Meera.
  • Trauma Conga Line: In Season 4. She has to deal with Jojen's increasingly bad health, getting captured by the Night's Watch mutineers and almost gang-raped, and then she's forced to kill her beloved younger brother, who's been mortally wounded. "The Door" keeps on carrying the torch, as Meera is forced to watch as the Children of the Forest, Summer, the Three-Eyed Raven, and finally Hodor are all slain by the White Walkers. To twist the knife just a bit further, Meera turns out to be unwittingly complicit in Bran's accidental Mind Rape of young Hodor. Unsurprisingly, the weight finally gets to be too much to bear in the next episode: when it looks like all hope is finally lost and the wight horde is about to be the end of the two of them despite Hodor's sacrifice, Meera pulls Bran into a shielding hug and just sobs. Fortunately...
  • Undying Loyalty: One of Meera's dominant traits. She protects her brother and Bran with her life, the latter even in the face of certain, grisly death at the hands of an army of wights, and never so much as considers wavering in it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Just before she leaves Winterfell, she chews out Bran for not being grateful enough for saving his life after the deaths of Hodor, Summer and her own brother.
  • The Worf Effect: She is introduced ambushing Osha while Osha herself is ambushing Jojen.