The Lord of Winterfell is the ruler of the stronghold Winterfell, the capital of the North. Lords of Winterfell have traditionally also served as Lords Paramount of the North and as Wardens of the North. As Lord Paramount of the North, the Lord of Winterfell is the ruler of the entire region of the North while as Warden of the North, he his tasked with defending Westeros from attacks from north of the Wall.
In the past, the Lord of Winterfell was also given the title of the King in the North, during its time as an independent kingdom. A colloquial title also used for the Kings in the North was The Kings of Winter. House Stark ruled as Kings in the North for thousands of years, and they continue to serve as the Lords of Winterfell.
Rickard Stark held the title until he was murdered by the Mad King during Robert's Rebellion. When the series begins, Rickard's second son Eddard Stark is the holder until his death when the title passed to his eldest son, Robb. Following Eddard's execution under false acts of treason by King Joffrey Baratheon, Robb Stark goes to war and leaves his eldest brother Bran to be Lord of Winterfell in his absence. Robb stylizes himself King in the North like the Starks of old. Robb promises to avenge his father and separate the North from the rule of the Seven Kingdoms.
During the War of the Five Kings, Balon Greyjoy rises in rebellion against the Iron Throne and stylizes himself as King of the Iron Islands. King Balon sends his daughter Yara to seize Deepwood Motte, his brother Victarion to seize Moat Cailin and his son Theon to raid the Stony Shore.
However, Theon decides to use an attack Torrhen's Square as a distraction. With Winterfell undefended, Theon seized the chance and took Winterfell as his own, making him the new Lord of Winterfell.
Lords of Winterfell
|Lord:||Prince Bran Stark||Heir:||Rickon Stark|
|Title(s):||King in the North · Lord Paramount of the North · Lord of Winterfell|
|Ancestors:||Brandon the Builder · Rodrik Stark · Karlon Stark · Torrhen Stark|
|Current members:||Sansa Stark · Arya Stark · Benjen Stark · Jon Snow|
|Deceased members:||Rickard Stark · Brandon Stark · Lyanna Stark · Eddard Stark · King Robb Stark · Talisa Stark · Catelyn Stark|
|Household:||Ser Rodrik Cassel · Maester Luwin · Jory Cassel · Vayon Poole · Septa Mordane · Theon Greyjoy · Jeyne Poole · Osha · Hodor · Farlen · Old Nan · Mikken · Varly · Heward · Wyl · Tomard · Tommy · Jacks|