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Rickon Stark

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"Robb's at war and I'm going beyond the Wall. If something happens to us, you're the heir to Winterfell."
Bran Stark when he sends Rickon away into hiding.[src]

Prince Rickon Stark is a recurring character in the first, second, third and sixth seasons. He is played by guest star Art Parkinson and debuts in the series premiere. He is the youngest child and third son of Eddard and Catelyn Stark.



Rickon was the fifth child and youngest son of Lady Catelyn and Lord Eddard Stark. Eddard is the head of House Stark and Lord Paramount of the North. The North is one of the constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms and House Stark is one of the Great Houses of the realm. House Stark rule the region from their seat of Winterfell and Eddard also holds the title Lord of Winterfell. He is also the Warden of the North to King Robert Baratheon.[2]

Rickon was born and raised at Winterfell. He had two older brothers, Robb and Bran, and two older sisters, Sansa and Arya. He also had an older "bastard half-brother", Jon Snow. He is six-years-old when his uncle Lord Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, mysteriously dies.[3]

Season 1Edit

Rickon Stark

Rickon looks on in delight as Bran misses his target during practice.

Rickon watches Bran's unsuccessful practice at archery and laughs when Bran misses and is outwitted by Arya; Rickon later helps Robb and Jon put the arrows back in their place. His brothers find a litter of direwolf pups in the Wolfswood and bring them back to Winterfell. Rickon adopts one of the pups and names him Shaggydog. He receives the visiting King Robert Baratheon with his family at Winterfell, standing close to his mother. His father accepts King Robert's offer to serve as the Hand of the King. Rickon's brother Bran is found severely injured at the base of a disused tower.[4] Eddard travels south to the capital King's Landing, taking Arya and Sansa with him. Catelyn initially remains with Bran. She protects him from an assassination attempt and then discovers evidence implicating House Lannister in his injuries. She follows Eddard south to warn him in secret. Rickon's oldest brother Robb is left in charge of Winterfell.[5]

King Robert dies following a hunting accident. His son Joffrey Baratheon claims the throne. Eddard challenges his legitimacy and is arrested for treason. Robb decides to ride against King Joffrey and wants to bid his younger brothers goodbye but Rickon is nowhere to be found. Afterwards, Bran tries to reassure Rickon that Robb will return along with their parents but Rickon wistfully replies, "No, they won't."[6]


Rickon and Shaggydog in the crypts below Winterfell in Fire and Blood.

Rickon sees his father in the crypts below Winterfell in a dream. He goes down to the crypts with Shaggydog to look for him. He meets his brother Bran who also had a dream about his father being there. When Bran emerges from the crypts Maester Luwin tells him that their father has been killed.[7]

Season 2Edit

In the great hall of Winterfell, Prince Bran Stark holds court for his people. He remains the acting Lord of Winterfell and wears a gorget embossed with the direwolf of House Stark about his neck while the House Tully pin fastens his doublet. Meanwhile, Rickon sits beside his older brother, shelling nuts loudly with a rock. A shepherd reports being unable to tend to his flock with his three sons fighting in the south. He reassures Bran of the loyalty of his sons but says that there are growing numbers of wolves in the north and that he cannot protect his sheep from them alone. Bran offers to assign two orphans from Winterfell’s outlying Winterstown to aid him if he will give them room and board. The shepherd gratefully accepts, saying that his wife always wanted more children. When the shepherd leaves Bran tells Rickon to stop. Having seen everyone Bran tells Maester Luwin that he is going to go for a ride before dark and calls for Hodor.[8]

Ser Rodrik Cassel enters the Great Hall calling for Bran. He reports that Torrhen’s Square is under siege. Luwin is shocked, remarking that Torrhen’s Square is just 14 leagues away and wonders how the Lannisters have reached so far north. The two brothers' Free Folk servant Osha listens intently as she lights candles at the back of the room. Ser Rodrik speculates that it could be a raiding party led by the Mountain or a group of sellswords. Bran says that they must help their bannermen. Rodrik nods agreement and says that even with most of their forces fighting for Robb he can gather 200 decent men. Luwin wonders if Rodrik needs to take so many and Bran cautions that they must protect their bannermen if they expect their bannermen to protect them. Rodrik smiles at the boy’s wisdom and Bran orders him to leave as soon as he has his men. Rodrik confidently says that it will not take long because southerners do not do well in their territory.[8]

The attack is a feint orchestrated by Theon Greyjoy to lure away the garrison of Winterfell. He seizes the poorly defended castle and forces Bran to surrender to him by threatening the people. Rickon is distraught when Theon publicly executes Rodrik. Along with Bran, he tried to plead for Rodrik's life but to no avail. Osha manages to free Bran and Rickon and leads them out of the castle.[9] They reach the shepherd's farm in the Winterstown. Rickon remembers that Bran sent Billy and Jack there and wants to approach them for food. Bran is cautious about putting them in danger if they are tracked. Bran's concern proves valid when Theon later reaches the farm but cannot find Bran or Rickon. He brutalizes the shepherd and then returns to Winterfell with the charred corpses of two boys, claiming that they are Bran and Rickon.[10] The escapees actually back tracked through the stream and are hiding in the crypts at Winterfell. Luwin correctly deduces that the bodies must be the orphans from the farm. Rickon is described as being aged six by Yara Greyjoy when she learns of their deaths.[11]

A Bolton force led by Roose's bastard son Ramsay Snow besieges Winterfell, trapping Theon's meager Ironborn garrison. The Ironborn turn on Theon and accept Robb Stark's offer to spare their lives in return for surrendering. However, the House Bolton forces flay the Ironborn alive and sack Winterfell. Following the Sack of Winterfell, Rickon and his companions emerge from the crypt to discover Winterfell in ruins. They also find a dying Maester Luwin resting under the willow tree. While Bran and Rickon offer to bring medicine to treat Luwin's wounds, he declines their offer and tells them to gather all of their warm clothing and travel north to Castle Black, where they would be safe with their "half-brother", Jon Snow. At Luwin's own request, Osha euthanizes the elderly maester after the boys leave with Hodor. Rickon then travels north, accompanied by his older brother Bran, their guardian Osha, Hodor, and their two direwolves.[12]

Season 3Edit

Rickon wakes up shocked

Rickon is startled when his brother wakes up from his dream.

Following the Fall of Winterfell, Rickon along with Bran, Osha, Hodor, and the direwolves Summer and Shaggydog traveled north toward Castle Black, the headquarters of the Night’s Watch. During the journey, the group encountered Jojen Reed and his sister Meera Reed. During the first encounter between the two parties, Rickon and Hodor were out hunting, leaving Bran and Osha behind to guard the camp. The siblings are members of House Reed, a vassal house of House Stark, and had been searching for Bran and Rickon so that they can protect them. His older brother Bran also experienced strange dreams of seeing the world through the eyes of his wolf Summer. Bran would later learn from Jojen that he was a Warg and had the ability to enter the minds of animals and control their actions.[13] On one occasion, Rickon was present when Jojen descended into a fit due to the exertions of his vision.[14]

Group arrive at windmill

Rickon and the group arrive at the windmill.

Later, Rickon and his companions reached The Gift, a region south of the Wall that is considered to be beyond the borders of the Seven Kingdoms. The Gift had been gifted to the Night's Watch thousands of years ago by Brandon the Builder, from which the Watch draws support for its material needs. While the region is fertile, it has become uninhabited due to frequent Wildling attacks that forced the Smallfolk to migrate south over the centuries. When his brother Bran raised this controversial issue, which troubled Osha due to her Wildling ancestry, Rickon added that he had heard tales about the Wildlings drinking blood.[15]

Rickon shocked when bran wargs

Rickon is shocked when his brother wargs into Hodor.

Rickon and his companions take shelter at an abandoned mill to escape a thunderstorm. Later, the group noticed a band of Wildlings chasing down a Northman. During the ensuing incident, Bran uses his Warg powers to Warg through Summer and Shaggydog to fight off the Wildlings. This party of Wildlings included Jon Snow, who earlier had been taken captive by them. Using his Warg abilities, Bran helps Jon Snow escape from his captors and later returns to the Night's Watch.[15]

Osha with rickon

Rickon being comforted by Osha as they have to leave the group.

Following the events of that night, Bran instructed Osha to bring Rickon to Last Hearth, the seat of House Umber, whose lord Jon Umber was a loyal bannerman of the Starks. This arrangement also suited Osha because she was unwilling to travel beyond the Wall with Bran due to the threat of the White Walkers. Rickon becomes upset, being separated from his brother and expresses his desire to accompany him on his journey. Bran tells him that if he or Robb do not return, Rickon needs to stay alive as the heir to Winterfell. Accompanied by his direwolf Shaggydog, Rickon leaves with Osha as they head for the Last Hearth.[15]

It is around this time, the Red Wedding takes place and several more members of Rickon's family are killed: his mother Catelyn Stark, his brother Robb Stark, his pregnant sister-in-law Talisa and her unborn child.[15]

Season 4Edit

After the Red Wedding, the Starks' former bannerman Roose Bolton, who personally killed Robb, is appointed as the new Warden of the North. His bastard son Ramsay Snow has physically and psychologically tortured Theon Greyjoy, the Starks' former ward, turning him into a broken pet called "Reek", who reveals to Roose that he did not in fact kill Bran and Rickon, and that they may be with Jon Snow at the Wall. Roose sends his best hunter Locke to find Bran and Rickon, promising him a 1000 acres and a holdfast.[16] Locke infiltrates the Night's Watch and eventually catches up with Bran at Craster's Keep, but Bran wargs into Hodor and kills Locke before he can interrogate him as to Rickon's whereabouts.[17]

After the Bolton army drives the remaining ironborn from the North and takes Winterfell, Roose Bolton asks Ramsay if he has heard anything from Locke. Ramsay informs him that he has not. Roose dismisses Locke's absence as unimportant, speculating that Bran and Rickon may already be dead anyway.[18]

Season 5Edit

Rickon is still largely believed to have died along with Bran at the hands of Theon. When Sansa Stark returns to Winterfell to be wed to Ramsay at the behest of Petyr Baelish, Ramsay initially forces Theon to keep up the charade and apologize to Sansa.[19] Eventually, however, an irate Sansa forces Theon to finally admit that he did not kill her brothers. Stunned by this admission, her anger towards Theon cools but when she asks if he knows where they might have gone to, he breaks down and leaves the room, fearful of what Ramsay will do if and when he finds out what he just told her. However, Sansa appears to be left with a sense of renewed hope by the revelation that she still has surviving family left.[20]

Season 6Edit

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 8.31.18 PM

Rickon and Osha are presented to Ramsay Bolton by Smalljon Umber.

Rickon and Osha, having reached Last Hearth, are betrayed by Smalljon Umber after the Greatjon's passing and brought before Ramsay Bolton in order to form an alliance against Jon Snow and the Wildlings. After seeing Shaggydog's decapitated head as proof of the boy's identity, Ramsay sarcastically welcomes Rickon home, while Rickon shows visible signs of anger at Ramsay and his dead direwolf.[21] Jon and Sansa later receive a letter from Ramsay that says he has Rickon in his dungeon and that his hounds will kill their 'wild little brother' if Sansa is not returned. After hearing that Rickon is in danger, Jon and Sansa declare war on Ramsay.[22]

Battle of the Bastards 28

Ramsay releases Rickon

Before they commence battle, the three of them have a parley where Ramsay asks Jon and Sansa if they will let Rickon die because they are too proud to surrender. When Sansa asks for proof that he actually has her brother, Smalljon pulls Shaggydog's head out of a sack and tosses it to the ground in front of them. Ramsay begins to repeat his terms if they wish to save Rickon but Sansa, having firsthand experience of Ramsay's "mercy", cuts him off and declares that he is going to die the next day.

As the two armies face each other on the battlefield, Rickon is brought forward. He lowers his head as Ramsay raises a dagger, but his captor simply cuts the ropes and asks if Rickon likes games. He tells the boy to run to his brother.

Battle of the Bastards 34

Rickon is shot in the back with an arrow by Ramsay.

Rickon begins to walk but looks back to see Ramsay taunting him and starts running. Jon, knowing what Ramsay is plotting, begins riding towards Rickon who keeps running and is nearly hit as arrows land dangerously close. Just as Rickon is about to reach his brother, he is struck by an arrow and killed. This in turn provokes Jon and his army into attacking the Bolton forces while Rickon's body is hit with another volley of arrows. Though the battle proves costly to the Stark forces, they ultimately emerge victorious due to the arrival of a House Arryn cavalry force. Rickon is avenged when Smalljon is killed in battle by Tormund, and Ramsay is viciously beaten to a bloody pulp by Jon before being fed to his own hounds on Sansa's orders.

After the battle, his corpse is brought to Winterfell and Jon orders him to be buried in the crypts next to his father.[23]


Season One appearances
Winter is Coming The Kingsroad Lord Snow Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things The Wolf and the Lion
A Golden Crown You Win or You Die The Pointy End Baelor Fire and Blood
Season Two appearances
The North Remembers The Night Lands What is Dead May Never Die Garden of Bones The Ghost of Harrenhal
The Old Gods and the New A Man Without Honor The Prince of Winterfell Blackwater Valar Morghulis
Season Three appearances
Valar Dohaeris Dark Wings, Dark Words Walk of Punishment And Now His Watch is Ended Kissed by Fire
The Climb The Bear and the Maiden Fair Second Sons The Rains of Castamere Mhysa
Season Six appearances
The Red Woman Home Oathbreaker Book of the Stranger The Door
Blood of My Blood The Broken Man No One Battle of the Bastards The Winds of Winter


Spoken by Rickon
Rickon Stark: "They've all gone away."
Bran Stark: "They'll be back soon. Robb will free father and they'll come back with mother."
Rickon Stark: "No, they won't."
— Rickon and Bran discussing their family.[src]
"I'm coming with you! I'm your brother. I have to protect you!"
―Rickon Stark, when he is told by Bran to go to Last Hearth[src]
Osha: "You southerners build your big castles and you never move. You're easy to find."
Rickon Stark: "We're not southerners."
Osha and Rickon before leaving Bran.[src]
Spoken about Rickon
Ramsay Bolton: "Tell me, will you let your little brother die because you're too proud to surrender?"
Sansa Stark: "How do we know you have him?"
Ramsay Bolton: "(Nods to Smalljon, who tosses out Shaggydog's head) Now if you want to save..."
Sansa Stark: "You're going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well."
Sansa refuses Ramsay's terms to save Rickon.[src]
Jon Snow: "How do we get Rickon back?"
Sansa Stark: "We'll never get him back. Rickon is Ned Stark's trueborn son, which makes him a greater threat to Ramsay than you, a bastard, or me, a girl. As long as he lives, Ramsay's claim to Winterfell will be contested, which means he won't live long."
— Sansa tells Jon that Rickon is doomed.[src]

Image galleryEdit

Family treeEdit

Rickard Stark
Lady Stark
Brandon family tree
Brandon Stark
Catelyn Tree
Catelyn Stark
née Tully House-Tully-Main-Shield
Eddard tree
Eddard Stark
Lyanna tree
Lyanna Stark
Rhaegar Targaryen House-Targaryen-Main-Shield
Benjen Tree
Benjen Stark
Night's Watch Night's-Watch-Main-Shield
Robb fam tree
Robb Stark
Family tree Talisa
Talisa Stark
née Maegyr
Tyrion family tree
Tyrion Lannister House-Lannister-Main-Shield
100px-Sansa tree
Sansa Stark
Ramsay Bolton House-Bolton-Main-Shield
Arya family tree
Arya Stark
Bran fam tree
Bran Stark
Rickon fam tree
Rickon Stark
Jon Snow family tree image
Jon Snow
Ygritte tree
Ygritte Free-Folk-Main-Shield

In the booksEdit

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels Rickon is three years old when the narrative begins. He is very young, but fierce and strong for his age. He has the auburn hair and blue eyes of the Tullys. He and Robb are the only ones out of Ned Stark's six children who are not POV characters. Much as in Seasons 1 and 2, Rickon usually appears in chapters narrated by Bran's POV. Another similarity is that as Rickon gets older he gradually gets a larger speaking role, as seen in both book 2 and Season 2 compared to his small role in book 1 and Season 1.

Rickon is deeply affected by the massive losses occurring in his young life, compounded by the fact that he is only three to six old (between the first and third novels) and thus has difficulty comprehending why these horrible things are even happening. Within a span of only two years, the Lannisters and their allies killed Rickon's father, burned down his home castle of Winterfell, and killed his mother and oldest brother. The loss of Maester Luwin was also a heavy blow to him. As a result Rickon becomes very angry and aggressive, which is reflected in the attitude of his direwolf Shaggydog. Rickon is so upset when his mother leaves home to travel with Robb's army to the south that he refuses to have his hair cut. As a result his hair becomes long and very unruly, signifying the mountain of anger and grief the young boy sits on due to the loss of his slain family members and followers.

He is separated from Bran much earlier, just after leaving Winterfell. Maester Luwin advises Osha to take him either to the White Harbor or to Last Hearth, since both are inhabited by loyal bannermen of the Starks.

Later, in a A Dance of Dragons, it is revealed that Rickon, Osha and Shaggydog have traveled to the remote isle of Skagos. Wex, the only survivor of the ironborn who occupied Winterfell, followed them and then went to the White Harbor and told Lord Manderly. Lord Manderly one of the Starks' loyal bannermen, seeking to avenge his son Wendel, offers to pledge his allegiance to King Stannis Baratheon if Davos brings Rickon back safely. Lord Manderly plans to overthrow the Boltons and restore House Stark.

As of A Dance with Dragons, it is unknown if Rickon is still alive, but given his death in the television series, it is implied that whether or not he is still alive in the books, Rickon will not survive the saga.

See alsoEdit


v  d  e
Lord: King Jon Snow Heir:
Seat: Winterfell Lands: The North
Title(s): King in the North · Lord of Winterfell

Pre-secession: Lord Paramount of the North · Warden of the North

Ancestors:Brandon the Builder · Brandon the Breaker · Dorren Stark · Rodrik Stark · Karlon Stark · Osric Stark · Torrhen Stark · Cregan Stark
Current members:Sansa Stark · Arya Stark · Bran Stark · Benjen Stark
Deceased members:Rickard Stark · Brandon Stark · Lyanna Stark · Eddard Stark · King Robb Stark · Talisa Stark · Catelyn Stark · Rickon Stark
Household:{Maester Luwin} · {Ser Rodrik Cassel} · {Jory Cassel} · {Vayon Poole} · Jeyne Poole · {Septa Mordane} · {Old Nan} · {Hodor} · Farlen · Mikken · {Osha} · Meera Reed · {Jojen Reed} · Brienne of Tarth · Podrick Payne · Davos Seaworth

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