‘Game of Thrones’ Stark Family Tree Explained


The Big Picture

  • The Stark family is one of the most important families in the world of
    Game of Thrones
    House of the Dragon
    , and
    A Song of Ice and Fire
    , with a lineage that spans centuries and is tied to the history of Westeros.
  • While we only meet a handful of Stark family members in
    Game of Thrones
    , it’s important to understand who they are, especially when the show delves into the historical side of things.
  • The Starks have played significant roles in major events such as the creation of the Wall, the Dance of the Dragons, and the War of the Five Kings.

Alongside the Targaryens, the Lannisters, and the Baratheons, the Starks are one of the most important families in the world of Game of Thrones and the original series of novels on which the show is based, George R. R. Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire. Their lineage spans centuries and is tied to the history of the continent of Westeros itself. Members of the Stark household have been important players in events ranging from the creation of the Wall to the Dance of the Dragons to the War of the Five Kings, and many of the characters whose POV we follow in Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire are direct descendants of Brandon “The Builder” Stark.

Throughout Game of Thrones, we only get to meet a handful of Stark family members, some of who aren’t even proper Starks. Still, that’s already enough to get some of us confused about who’s who in the Stark family tree, especially when the show starts to go into the past with events from before the show. In case you need to put your direwolves in order, here’s a brief run-down of all the most important members of the Stark family in both Game of Thrones and its spin-off, House of the Dragon.

Game Of Thrones

Nine noble families fight for control over the lands of Westeros while an ancient enemy returns after being dormant for millennia.

Release Date
April 17, 2011

David Benioff, D.B. Weiss



Brandon Stark, a.k.a. Bran the Builder

Bran the Builder building the Wall in Game of Thrones Animated Shorts
Image via HBO

The founder of House Stark, Bran the Builder is credited with having been responsible for many constructions in the North, including the castle of Winterfell and the Wall. One of the First Men, the first humans to inhabit Westeros, Bran the Builder took control of the North from the hands of Houses Dustin and Barrowton, becoming King in the North. Due to his historical importance, many members of House Stark and even some other smaller houses carry the name Brandon. The most famous of them all is, of course, King Bran the Broken.

Rickon Stark

Played by David Hounslow

David Hounslow as Rickon Stark swearing fealty to Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon Season 1
Image via HBO

Cregan’s father, Rickon (David Hounslow) is the son of Benjen Stark and Lysa Locke. He sits as lord of Winterfell when the matter of King Viserys’ (Paddy Considine) succession first becomes a problem, right in the first few episodes of House of the Dragon. When Viserys decides to make his daughter, young Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), the next in line to the throne, Rickon swears his allegiance to her like all the lords of the realm, but by the time the Dance of the Dragons comes along, Starks might be one of the few houses to honor that oath.

Cregan Stark

Played by Tom Taylor

Harry Collett as Jace Velaryon with Tom Taylor as Cregan Stark in House of the Dragon Season 2
Image via HBO

Cregan Stark (Tom Taylor) is Eddard “Ned” Stark’s (Sean Bean) great-great-great-great-grandfather. He’s a big deal in the Game of Thrones universe because he’s the Stark in control of Winterfell during the events of the Dance of the Dragons, which is the war depicted in George R. R. Martin’s Fire and Blood and its HBO adaptation, House of the Dragon. The son of Rickon Stark and Gilliane Glover, Cregan became lord of Winterfell at the tender age of 13, with his uncle, Bennard, as his regent. As he grew older, however, his relationship with Bennard became a little more complicated. He eventually had to kill his uncle to take power. During the Dance of the Dragons, he is courted by Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) as a potential ally in her battle against her half-brother, Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney), for the Iron Throne. She sends her son, Jacaerys (Harry Collett), to talk with the young Stark, hoping the two young men will have something in common due to their age. Cregan will play a major role in the future Targaryen king’s councils.

Rickard Stark

Played by Wayne Foskett

Wayne Foskett as Rickard Stark talking to Sebastian Croft as young Eddard Stark in Game of Thrones
Image via HBO

Jumping down multiple generations is Rickard Stark (Wayne Foskett), the son of Edwyle Stark and Marna Locke. Rickard Stark is the father of Ned Stark, Brandon, Lyanna (Aisling Franciosi), and Benjen (Joseph Mawle). He died alongside his son Brandon while trying to bring his daughter Lyanna, who had allegedly been kidnapped by Prince Rhaegar (Wilf Scolding), back to Winterfell.

Brandon Stark

Brandon Stark being burned alive by Mad King Aerys in Game of Thrones Animated Shorts
Image via HBO

Brandon Stark is the firstborn of Lord Rickard Stark and his wife, Lyarra. He died long before the events of Game of Thrones, murdered by the Mad King Aerys II (David Rintoul) alongside his father while trying to protest Lyanna’s kidnapping in court.

Lyanna Stark

Played by Aisling Franciosi

Rhaegar (Wilf Scolding) and Lyanna (Aisling Franciosi) hold hands as they get married in 'Game of Thrones'
Image via HBO

Ned’s younger sister, Lyanna, was betrothed to Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) when she was kidnapped and raped by Rhaegar Targaryen — the tragic event that started Robert’s Rebellion and eventually brought down the Targaryen dynasty. Or so the story goes. According to Game of Thrones and some theories by book readers (and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss), Lyanna actually eloped with Rhaegar by choice and died while giving birth to their only son. Ned found her while dying and took that son home with him to Winterfell to pass off as his own bastard to hide him from Robert’s rage. Said child is none other than Jon Snow (Kit Harington), named Aegon by Lyanna.

Benjen Stark

Played by Joseph Mawle

Benjen Stark looking to the distance in Game of Thrones.
Image via HBO

Ned’s younger brother, Benjen is a great inspiration for Jon as he serves as a ranger in the Night’s Watch. During a raid north of the Wall, Benjen disappears while his men are killed by White Walkers and turned into wights.

Eddard Stark

Played by Sean Bean

Sean Bean in Game of Thrones
Image via HBO

Called simply Ned by his loved ones, Lord Eddard Stark is the father of Robb (Richard Madden), Sansa (Sophie Turner), Arya (Maisie Williams), Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), and Rickon (Art Parkinson) — and Jon, depending on which theory of Jon’s parentage you believe. He is married to Lady Catelyn Tully (Michelle Fairley) and rules over Winterfell. His life is brought to a premature ending after he is invited to King’s Landing by King Robert and uncovers a conspiracy to put the Lannisters on the Iron Throne.

Catelyn Tully

Played by Michelle Fairley

Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark smiling softly for the camera in Game of Thrones
Image via HBO

The wife of Ned Stark, Catelyn, is the mother of Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon. A member of House Tully, she is the daughter of Hoster Tully and Minisa Whent. After the death of her husband, Catelyn stands beside her firstborn son in his attempt to separate the North from the rest of the Seven Kingdoms. She is murdered alongside a considerable chunk of her family during the Red Wedding. In the books, however, she is brought back to life as Lady Stoneheart by Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye).


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Theon Greyjoy

Played by Alfie Allen

Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy standing in a shore looking serious in Game of Thrones.
Image via HBO

Despite not being exactly a Stark, Theon (Alfie Allen) should still be counted as part of the family tree due to his close relationship with the family. The son of Balon Greyjoy (Patrick Malahide), Theon was taken as a ward by Ned Stark as punishment for Balon’s rebellion, which took place after King Robert (Mark Addy) took over the Seven Kingdoms. During the War of the Five Kings, Theon turns against the Starks and invades Winterfell. He is quickly brought down by Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon), who tortures him and turns him into a slave. In the show, Theon is eventually rescued by his family members but has to endure further indignities at the hands of his uncle, Euron (Pilou Asbæk).

Robb Stark

Played by Richard Madden

Richard Madden as Robb Stark looking seriously off-camera in 'Game of Thrones'
Image via HBO

The firstborn son of Ned and Catelyn, Robb becomes the lord of Winterfell and King in the North after the demise of his father. However, his reign is short-lived, as he is slain in the Red Wedding alongside his mother, his wife — Jeyne Westerling, in the books, Talisa Maegyr (Oona Chaplin), in the show — and his direwolf, Grey Wind, a major event during the War of the Five Kings. He’s 14 in the first book and 17 in Season 1 of Game of Thrones.

Jon Snow

Played by Kit Harington

The same age as Robb, Jon Snow is, as far as book fans are concerned, the bastard son of Ned Stark with some unknown woman he met in the South during Robert’s Rebellion. In the show, we know him as the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen and the rightful Targaryen heir to the Iron Throne.

One of the few members of the Night’s Watch to join out of his own volition, he’s eventually made Lord Commander of the troops but gets killed by his own men due to his friendly relationship with the Wildlings. In the show, Jon is brought back to life by Melisandre (Carice van Houten) and joins forces with Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) to fight the White Walkers and eventually take control of the Seven Kingdoms. The alliance is short-lived, as Jon kills Daenerys after she sets fire to King’s Landing. The show ends with him returning to the Wall alongside his fellow Wildlings. Jon’s direwolf, Ghost, is the runt of the litter, in an analogy to Jon’s own outcast status inside the Stark household.

Sansa Stark

Played by Sophie Turner

Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark in 'Game of Thrones'
Image via HBO

The eldest daughter and second child of Ned and Catelyn, Sansa (Sophie Turner) is a lady-like girl of around 11 in the books and 14 in the series. She is taken hostage by the Lannisters after her father’s execution. Her story, in the novels, is still under development, but, in Game of Thrones, she became the lady of Winterfell after a series of unwarranted tragedies, such as being married to and raped by Ramsay Bolton. Sansa’s direwolf, Lady, is executed instead of Nymeria after the attack on Joffrey.

Arya Stark

Played by Maisie Williams

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark looking up in Game of Thrones
Image via HBO

The youngest daughter and third child of Ned and Catelyn is Arya, a tomboyish girl who dreams of a life deemed impossible for a woman of her social status. She’s about nine in the first book of the series and 11 in the first season of the TV show. Forced to flee King’s Landing after her father’s execution in Season 1 of Game of Thrones, Arya travels to Braavos, where she briefly trains to become an assassin. Her story in the show ends with her taking down the Night King and leaving Westeros behind on a ship to find out what lies west of the continent. Arya is forced to part ways with her direwolf, Nymeria, early in the story to save her from execution after Nymeria attacks Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) when he threatens Arya.

Bran Stark

Played by Isaac Hempstead Wright

Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark looking up at something in HBO's 'Game of Thrones.'
Image via HBO

Officially registered in his family’s book as Brandon, Bran Stark is the second-to-eldest and the second-to-youngest son of Ned and Catelyn. He’s seven years old in the first book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series and ten in the first season of Game of Thrones. After seeing Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his sister, Cersei (Lena Headey), have sex, Bran is pushed off one of the windows of Winterfell and loses the ability to walk. He then gains some new talents, such as prophetic visions and watching the world through the eyes of animals. Bran lives through all the events of the Game of Thrones TV series and is declared king in the final episode of the show, dubbed “Bran, the Broken” by Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage). His direwolf is Summer.

Rickon Stark

Played by Art Parkinson

Art Parkinson as Rickon Stark in Game of Thrones
Image via HBO

The youngest son of Ned and Cat, Rickon was just a boy of three in the books when he escaped Winterfell alongside his brother Bran following Theon’s takeover of Winterfell. In the show, he’s slightly older than his original counterpart. He also doesn’t get much of a personality, while, in the books, he’s described as an angry and unruly child, sharing his feral traits with his direwolf, Shaggydog. In the series, Rickon’s story comes to an end when he is killed by Ramsay Bolton right before Jon Snow’s eyes in the minutes leading up to the Battle of the Bastards.

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