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House Bolton

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House Bolton
A red flayed man, hanging upside-down on a white X-shaped cross, on a black background.
Military strength
Cadet branches
Date of founding
Ancestral weapon
"In my family we say: A naked man has few secrets; a flayed man, none."
―Roose Bolton[src]

House Bolton of the Dreadfort is a noble house from The North. Their lands are in the northeast of the formerly-owned Stark territories. Their stronghold is a castle called the Dreadfort and the head of the house is the Lord of the Dreadfort.[1]

House Bolton is infamous for its centuries-old practice of flaying their enemies alive, to the point that they use a flayed man as their House sigil. Lord Eddard Stark outlawed flaying in the North, but it is implied that the Boltons continue this practice in secret.[2]

House Bolton's sigil is a faceless flayed man upside-down on an x-shaped white cross over a field of black. Their official motto is "Our Blades Are Sharp" but a common saying of members of the house is "A Flayed Man Has No Secrets".



Image gallery

Family tree

Unknown tree
miller's wife

Roose Bolton
Lady Bolton
Walda Bolton
née Frey Frey shield icon
Ramsay Bolton
100px-Sansa tree
Sansa Stark Stark shield icon
Domeric Bolton

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, House Bolton is noted as one of the most powerful families of the North. They are noted for flaying their enemies alive and even wearing their skins as cloaks. They have even captured and flayed Starks in the distant past. House Bolton were unruly vassals of the Starks until approximately a thousand years ago, when they finally bent the knee. Three hundred years later they rebelled but were defeated. The armies of House Stark besieged the Dreadfort for four years before finally forcing the Boltons to surrender and submit.

The Boltons are considered a sinister and ill-omened house, but Lord Roose Bolton is noted as a capable battle commander. Roose Bolton fought alongside Eddard Stark during Robert's Rebellion. After the Battle of the Trident, Roose suggested executing the defeated Barristan Selmy, but Eddard and Robert Baratheon refused.

Besides Lord Roose, the members of the family in the books are:

  • Bethany Ryswell, Roose Bolton's late wife.
    • {Domeric Bolton}, their only son and heir.
    • Ramsay Snow, his bastard son.

Domeric Bolton died shortly before the beginning of the series, having sought out his bastard half-brother Ramsay (Domeric having always wanted a brother of his own). With no other trueborn heirs, Roose brought Ramsay to the Dreadfort and began to treat him as his heir.

The sigil of House Bolton in the books is a red flayed man on a field of pink with red blood drops. The TV series design has specified that the flayed man is displayed hanging upside down on an X-shaped cross. The color scheme in the TV series is slightly different: it is a red flayed man, but hanging upside-down on a white X-shaped cross with a black background.


  1. HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Stark, Roose Bolton entry
  2. "Garden of Bones"

See also

v  d  e
House Bolton
Lord: Lord Roose Bolton Heir: Ramsay Bolton House-Bolton-Main-Shield
Seat: Winterfell
The Dreadfort
Lands: The North
Title(s): Red King (former) · Lord of the Dreadfort · Warden of the North · Lord Paramount of the North · Lord of Winterfell
Ancestors:Rogar Bolton
Current members:Walda Bolton · Sansa Stark
Deceased members:Domeric Bolton
Household:{Locke} · Steelshanks · {Myranda} · {Tansy} · {Violet} · {Master Torturer} · Maester Wolkan
Overlord:House Baratheon of King's Landing

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