History and Lore » The Starks of Winterfell trace their descent to the First Men in the Age of Heroes. The family’s founder was Brandon the Builder, who in the aftermath of the Long Night, helped establish the Night’s Watch. Legend has it he enlisted the aid of giants and the powerful magic of the Children of the Forest to raise the mighty Wall, which has protected the realm for generations. He went on to build the ancestral seat of Wintefell, and reigned as the first King in the North.
The Starks reigned as kings for thousands of years, even withstanding the invasion of the Andals. As the southern kingdoms fell and the Children of the Forest were driven away, the North stood strong, maintaining its religious customs and its way of life. Eventually, the reigns of the Kings of Winter came to an end with the coming of Aegon the Conqueror. After Aegon and his dragons destroyed the combined armies of the Reach and the Rock at the Field of Fire, King Torrhen Stark bent the knee and swore fealty to the Targaryen dynasty in order to spare the destruction of Wintefell and his people. He was forever after known as the King Who Knelt.
As a reward for his submission, Aegon named Torrhen Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North. The Starks take great pride in their history and traditions. It is one of the few noble houses that still keeps the Old Gods. A sacred weirwood tree looms large in Winterfell’s godswood.
Its ancestral sword, Ice, was forged in ancient Valyria and has been passed down through the generations. House Stark remains steadfast in its support of the Night’s Watch, even as the once-illustrious order has fallen on hard times.
Much like their sigil, the grey direwolf, House Stark is the stuff of legend in the North and throughout the Seven Kingdoms. And their family words, “Winter Is Coming”, serve as a reminder of their beginnings in the wake of the Long Night and a grim portent of things to come. [x]