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House Stark (Complete Guide to Westeros)

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"House Stark" is a featurette and part of "Great Houses" section of the Complete Guide to Westeros, a special feature in the Blu-ray of Season 1 of Game of Thrones. It is narrated by Isaac Hempstead-Wright and Richard Madden as Bran and Robb Stark.

Summary

Bran describes how 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. According to legend, Bran the Builder enlisted the aid of giants and the magic of the Children of the Forest to raise the Wall, which has protected the realm for generations. Then, he went on to build Winterfell and reign as the first King in the North.

Robb narrates how the Starks reigned as Kings for thousands of years, resisting even the invasion of the Andals as the southron kingdoms fell and the Children of the Forest driven north. Under the rule of the Starks, the North kept its religion and its way of life.

However, the reign of the Kings of Winter came to an end with the coming of Aegon the Conqueror. After Aegon and his dragons destroyed the armies of the Reach and the Rock in the Field of Fire, King Torrhen Stark bent the knee and swore loyalty to House Targaryen in order to spare his people. He was forever after known as "the King Who Knelt". As a reward for his submission, Torrhen was declared Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North.

Bran tells of how the Starks take great pride in their history and traditions, being one of the few noble houses that still keeps to the Old Gods, and mentions the large weirwood tree growing in the godswood of Winterfell. Bran also mentions the Starks' ancestral greatsword, Ice, forged in ancient Valyria and passed down through generations. Then, he goes on to mention the Starks' constant support of the Night's Watch, even as the ancient order has fallen on hard times.

Bran then compares the legendary status of the Stark sigil, the grey direwolf, to that of the family itself in the North and throughout the Seven Kingdoms. Bran and Robb intone the Stark family words, "Winter is Coming", which serve as a reminder of their beginnings, in the wake of the Long Night and - Robb finishes the narration - the grim moments of life to come.

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