Crownland Noble Houses

As the province of the Crownlands are solely governed by the king, and was set aside by Aegon I Targaryan, I'm wondering if the resident nobility are descended from the mercenaries and bannermen whose served Aegon during his conquest of Westeros and may have received land in return for their service? --Fenrir51 (talk) 14:22, June 20, 2013 (UTC)

No. Most of the Lords of the Crownlands were either vassals of King Harren or independent Lords (specially the lords of Cracklaw Point), who bent the knee to Visenya, who, in exchange for their allegiance, were promised that they wouldn't be vassals to anyone but the King himself.--Gonzalo84 (talk) 15:23, June 20, 2013 (UTC)
Not particularly on the mainland, though some of the Houses from islands in Blackwater Bay which are part of the Crownlands are in fact descended from the original Targaryen vassals. House Velaryon of Driftmark, House Celtigar of Crab Isle, and House Bar Emmon are all actually Valyrian noble families who joined the Targaryens when they moved away to Dragonstone to escape the Doom of Valyria. They remained Targaryen vassals up through the conquest. Maybe this is why the islands of Blackwater Bay are ruled directly from Dragonstone as an internal subdivision within the Crownlands (though more probably this is to give Dragonstone more prestige as the seat of the current royal heir). At any rate, this means that these Houses tend to have classic Valyrian features of light blonde-to-white hair and blue-to-purple eyes. The Velaryons in particular are stated to have white hair and purple eyes just like the Targaryens (even Cersei remarks that Aurane Waters, a bastard son of House Velaryon, loosely resembles Prince Rhaegar Targaryen).
Crackclaw Point, meanwhile, has proven notoriously difficult to conquer; it is a land of isolated hilly forests, pine barrens, and bogs. Even the Andals couldn't easily conquer it, though they later learned that they could win through marriage-alliance what they could not with the sword; but while there was some influx of Andal blood through marriage alliance over the centuries, the bloodline of the First Men ethnicity still runs strong in the population of Crackclaw Point. During the conquest they told Visenya they would surrender, but that they would only ever submit to the direct rule of the Targaryens themselves; this may have been the genesis of the idea for making "the Crownlands" but I'm not sure. Incidentally, given that Crackclaw Point is a region of pine barrens near the major capital city on the coast, I strongly suspect that George R.R. Martin was influenced by the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. Martin is from coastal New Jersey, I'm from New York, but around here that's sort of the view of the Pine Barrens regions; they're these odd rural backwaters located surprisingly within driving distance of New York City (just as Crackclaw Point is near King's Landing). The handful of inhabitants who actually live out there are known as Pineys, hillbillys who live out in the middle of nowhere in the woods...they're viewed sort of like how House Farwynd of Lonely Light in the Iron Islands are, or the Hill tribes. It's as if a piece of Appalachia was plopped down surprisingly near New York City. The land is, like Crackclaw Point, a bunch of pine barrens and bogs, generally inhospitable, so the only people who live there are the dregs of society who have fled from more inhabited regions.
But I for the mainland of "the Crownlands" but outside of King's Landing, Rosby/Duskendale/Stokeworth, etc. they're fairly typical. Loosely...the idea is that before the Targaryen Conquest, the Crownlands were basically an extension of the the sense that they were a disputed zone between stronger neighboring kingdoms that changed hands frequently (their geography and climate is also largely similar). Three hundred years before the Conquest the Stormlands ruled the Riverlands, which would have meant they had to rule at least part of the future Crownlands (and possibly all of it). Then the ironborn took over the Crownlands three generations before the Targaryens came. It was a border zone, like the Riverlands, that's the whole reason why Aegon Targaryen landed there first: he wanted time to establish a sturdy foothold on the mainland instead of being thrown back into the sea, and the area around the mouth of the Blackwater - heart of the future Crownlands - was in a contested border zone far away from the capitals of the three neighboring regions: the Stormlands, the Vale, and the Kingdom of the Iron Islands and Riverlands (ruled from Harrenhal).
While there probably are some old Targaryen vassal Houses around, Aegon rewarded his followers with the best lands across the entire continent; he may have rewarded one guy with lands in the Reach for all we know. Generally, though, much as in the real-life Norman Conquest, they probably intermarried as much as they outright seized lands. I mean, "House Lannister" considers itself Andal but is descended from the First Men through the female line; when the Andals invaded they often married the daughters of First Men noble Houses they conquered, to secure their claims, which ended up blending the bloodlines. Similarly, when the Targaryens and their few Valyrian-descended vassals conquered Westeros, they'd marry daughters of defeated lords. Not much is mentioned of that though. But in any case, the original Targaryen bannermen from Blackwater Bay retained their original island holdings; Velaryon, Celtigar, Bar Emmon, possibly some other minor ones.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 17:14, June 20, 2013 (UTC)
So much of the rank-and-file of Aegon's army just assumed the lineage of their wives after being awarded their estates? Perhaps other than Orys Baratheon, who, if I remember correctly, married the widow of the king of the Stormlands, and was Aegon's chief minister (Hand of the King) as well as his half-brother. Speaking of Orys, he seems to be the Odo of Bayeaux to Aegon's William the Conqueror. --Fenrir51 (talk) 19:53, June 20, 2013 (UTC)
Orys didn't asume his wife's lineage. He kept his family name, but took the lands and sigil of the Durrendons. Aegon also gave Harrenhal to House Qoherys, one of his followers.--Gonzalo84 (talk) 20:05, June 20, 2013 (UTC)

The Crownlands are a region, in function and founding comparable to the District of Columbia. The article calls it the "eight kingdom" but the article about the Riverlands also mentions the latter to be the eight kingdom. Which one is correct?

I've fixed the wording...but they're nothing like the District of Columbia. Medieval monarchies like England or France had "royal domain" land which was ruled directly by the crown. They weren't just at the top of a pyramid of vassalage but also had to raise their own armies from the crownlands. They are not comparable in function, and they really are not comparable in founding.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 20:47, August 21, 2014 (UTC)