Alys Karstark is a character that will debut in the seventh season. She will be played by Megan Parkinson. Alys is a member of House Karstark, the daughter of the deceased Rickard Karstark and sister of Harrion, Torrhen and Harald Karstark.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Alys Karstark is the only daughter of Lord Rickard Karstark, Lord of Karhold, and appears much earlier in the narrative than in the TV series, before Stannis Baratheon's death and while Jon Snow is in the Night's Watch. She is described as tall and skinny, with brown hair and a long face (somewhat similar to Arya). As the Karstarks are a cadet branch of House Stark (that split off a thousand years ago) she is also a distant kinsman of the main Stark line.
Alys is a headstrong girl who knew Robb Stark and Jon Snow during childhood. Her father hoped to have her betrothed to Robb to strengthen ties with the Starks, though nothing came of it. She danced with both of them at feasts, finding Robb courteous but Jon somewhat sullen. Jon vaguely remembers that, since Alys was six years old at the time (and Jon was around seven or eight years old).
She was later betrothed to Daryn Hornwood, heir of House Hornwood, until he was killed in the Battle of the Whispering Wood. After Ser Jaime Lannister was released by Catelyn Stark, Lord Rickard promised Alys's hand to whoever brought the Kingslayer to him, in order to avenge the deaths of his sons Eddard and Torrhen, who were also killed by Jaime. Alys's surviving brother Harrion is taken captive at the Battle of Duskendale. He was imprisoned in Maidenpool, but it has been almost a year since his surviving kin received news about it, and it is uncertain if he is still alive.
Following Rickard's death, his treacherous uncle Arnolf, who secretly collaborates with the Boltons, schemes to take over Karhold: he announces in public that he supports Stannis (intending to stab him in the back while fighting the Boltons), hoping that the Lannisters will execute Harrion as a punishment, then Alys will become the heiress of Karhold. Arnolf plans to force Alys to marry his son Cregan (though he is her first cousin once removed, this is not considered incest in Westeros). They also plan to dispose of her as soon as she gives birth to a son by Cregan, who has already buried two wives.
Alys finds out about Arnolf's twofold treachery, escapes to Castle Black and informs Jon what her great-uncle is up to. She has no idea what became of her brother Harrion as a result of Arnolf's fake announcement.
Alys resents Robb Stark for killing her father, stating "I thought the whole reason they marched south was to kill some Lannisters". She knows for what crime her father was executed, but it does not make a difference for her. But, since Jon belongs to the Night's Watch, there is no blood feud between them, and she asks his help to save both her and Stannis from her great-uncle. Jon quickly sends Tycho Nestoris to find Stannis and warns him of the traitor in his host, and he does. Arnolf, his son Arthor and grandsons are arrested, and Stannis intends to execute them: if they admit their guilt - they will be given the same swift death Robb gave Rickard; if not - they will be burnt.
Meanwhile, to keep the Boltons and Arnolf from forcing Alys into a marriage to seize her birthright, Jon quickly arranges for Alys to voluntarily marry Sigorn, the son of Styr and the new Magnar of the Thenns who has become one of his allies, to found House Thenn. When Cregan arrives to reclaim Alys, Jon has him arrested.
The TV series significantly condensed the Stannis/Bolton/North plotline, and the Karstark subplot is slightly condensed as well. The TV version essentially condensed Lord Rickard's son Harrion (his last surviving son, but opposed to the Lannisters and Boltons) with Rickard's scheming uncle Arnolf (who supported the Boltons), creating the composite character "Harald Karstark", Rickard's last surviving son who sides with the Boltons. Unlike Arnolf, who at least partially sided with the Boltons as a scheme to take over House Karstark, Harald does it purely out of anger for his father's execution by Robb Stark.
Due to the various condensations in the Karstark family tree in the TV series, it is as-yet unconfirmed if TV-Alys will still be Rickard's daughter, or perhaps changed to a grand-daughter or niece.
The general idea seems to remain in the TV version that the Karstark military sides with the Boltons but not all of the Karstark family supported this decision, leaving Alys Karstark as the new heiress who needs to make peace with the Starks.
The TV series also seems to have borrowed the element of Alys Karstark riding north to Castle Black seeking Jon's aid by transferring it to Sansa. In the books, Melisandre tells Jon about a vision she had: a Northern girl in grey riding a dying horse, fleeing from unwanted marriage to the Wall. Melisandre claims incorrectly it is Arya, who was forced to marry Ramsay Bolton as Jon was informed earlier (though Ramsay really married Jeyne Poole, who was forced to pose as Arya in the marriage). Jon is then surprised to see when the girl arrives that she is actually Alys Karstark; in the TV version, it actually is his real sister (the other one, Sansa) who arrives at Castle Black.
Season 6 of the TV series didn't actually show the fate of Harald Karstark, leaving it unclear if he was killed in the Battle of the Bastards - though if he was taken alive there's a strong chance Jon would execute him afterwards (it's possible that the production team wanted to save such a scene for Season 7). Alys role for the series is currently not known.
|Lord:||Harald Karstark (uncertain)||Heir:||Alys Karstark|
|Title(s):||Lord of Karhold|
|Ancestors:||Brandon the Builder · Rodrik Stark · Karlon Stark · Beric Karstark · Mara Karstark · Commard Karstark · Regan Karstark · Berrican Karstark · Petyr Karstark · Laurence Karstark · Jon Karstark|
|Current members:||Alys Karstark|
|Deceased members:||Rickard Karstark · Torrhen Karstark · Harrion Karstark|