George R. Martin 's A Song of Ice and Fire novels feature a sizable cast of characters. The series follows three interwoven plotlines: a dynastic war for control of Westeros by several families; the rising threat of the superhuman Others beyond Westeros' northern border; and the ambition of Daenerys Targaryen , the exiled heir of the previous ruling dynasty.
A massive Wall of ice and old magic separates the Seven Kingdoms from the largely unmapped area in the most northern portion of the continent. Each chapter is narrated in the third-person limited point of view through the eyes of a single character. Beginning with nine POV characters in A Game of Thrones , a total of 31 such characters have narrated over the course of the first five volumes of the series.
Its seat is at Winterfell , one of the oldest castles in the Seven Kingdoms. Its coat of arms displays a grey direwolf running on a white field, and its words are Winter is Coming.
Bastards born in the North are given the surname Snow. For prizing honor and devotion to duty, House Stark is the closest of the noble houses to heroism. Over the course of the novels, the Starks are scattered by the War of the Five Kings, and the fate of the House remains uncertain, as most characters believe that all the legitimate Stark sons are dead. He is executed, by Joffrey's order, on the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor.
Robert Aramayo and Sebastian Croft have both played younger versions of the character in flashbacks. He is not a POV character, but features in the POV chapters of his family members in the first three novels in the series.
Sansa Stark is the second child and elder daughter of Eddard and Catelyn Stark. Sansa is introduced as beautiful and demure. Arya Stark is the third child and younger daughter of Eddard and Catelyn Stark.
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So far she is the only character to appear in all 5 books as a POV character. Bran survives, but loses the use of his legs. While comatose, Bran dreams of a three-eyed raven. Slowly, he develops the ability to assume his wolf Summer's consciousness, making him a warg or skinchanger.
After Winterfell is sacked, he and the wildling woman Osha travel through the North. He shares the Stark family values of honour, and tries to stay morally correct and honest, even when forced to act otherwise.
He appears briefly at the start of A Game of Thrones , first in Winterfell and then later on the Wall at Castle Black, where he travels with his bastard nephew Jon Snow. Benjen is sent on a mission into the lands beyond the Wall to search for a missing ranging party, but he and his men also disappear.
The bodies of two of his men are later found and brought back to Castle Black; they reanimate as undead wights and kill several men before they are destroyed, but no trace of Benjen has yet been found. Lyanna Stark was Eddard Stark 's younger and only sister,  and has been deceased for 14 years at the beginning of A Game of Thrones , but is mentioned in every published book in the series.
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She died at the young age of 16, was said to have been beautiful by all who knew her as "a child-woman of surpassing loveliness",  headstrong and "had a touch of" the fabled Starks' "wolf blood", and was one of the best horse-riders in the North.
She was betrothed to Robert Baratheon , who was deeply in love with her,  although she was unimpressed by Robert's reputation for infidelity. During the Tourney at Harrenhal, the greatest tourney in Westerosi history, Lyanna was chosen by the eventual jousting champion, Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen , as the tourney's "Queen of Love and Beauty".
Because Rhaegar was already married, and Lyanna was a maiden betrothed to Robert Baratheon, Rhaegar wooing's of Lyanna was considered an outrageous scandal at the time. One year later, she was said to have been abducted and raped by Rhaegar, triggering a civil war that resulted in the overthrow of House Targaryen. After a fierce skirmish that killed everyone except Eddard and his close friend Howland Reed , Eddard entered the tower and found Lyanna dying in a bed of blood.
Before she died, she asked her brother Eddard to make a promise, something that Eddard regarded as a price he paid that haunted him days and nights for 14 years. Eddard later takes her body home, to be entombed in Winterfell's crypt, and installs a stone statue in her likeness in front of her sarcophagus. When he returns, he also brings back a newborn boy named Jon Snow , whom he claims is his own bastard by a tavern wench named Wylla.
Although Jon Arryn persuaded Robert to marry Cersei Lannister , Robert greatly mourns Lyanna for over a decade, causing great strain in his marriage with Cersei.
His seat is the Dreadfort and his sigil is a flayed human, a homage to the ancient Bolton tradition of flaying enemies.
He is nicknamed "the Leech Lord" for regular leechings meant to improve his health. He is known as the Bastard of Bolton or the Bastard of the Dreadfort.
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Ramsay is vicious, ruthless, psychopathic, sadistic, opportunistic, unpredictable, and fearless. He takes great pleasure and pride in torturing others and enthusiastically practices the Bolton custom of flaying their enemies. Roose suspects that Ramsay murdered Roose's legitimate heir and expects that Ramsay will kill all of Roose's future children.
He is described as ugly, with blotchy skin and dry, dark hair. Rickard Karstark is the Lord of Karhold and one of the main Stark vassals. Rickard's surviving son Harrion Karstark is later killed by the Lannisters.
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When Catelyn helps Jaime escape in an attempt to recover her daughters, Rickard murders two of Jaime's cousins and has his army desert Robb to search the Riverlands for Jaime, offering his daughter Alys Karstark to whoever brings him the Kingslayer. Due to this Robb executes Rickard personally. Alys Karstark is the only daughter and youngest child of Lord Rickard Karstark.
She is betrothed to Daryn Hornwood, heir to the Hornwood, but Jaime Lannister kills him alongside two of her brothers. Her father offers her to whomever captures Jaime Lannister, so the sadistic sellsword Vargo Hoat captures Jaime in the hope of becoming Lord of Karhold. However, after Rickard's death his uncle Arnolf Karstark plots to take control of Karhold. He declares for Stannis when he comes North in the hope this will mean the Lannisters execute his great-nephew Harrion Karstark, so Karhold will pass to Alys, whom Arnolf intends to force into marriage with his son Cregan Karstark.
Arnolf also intends to betray Stannis when the Boltons attack. However, Alys pursued by Cregan flees to the Wall seeking Jon Snow's help and reveals her uncles' plans. To protect her Jon imprisons Cregan and arranges for Alys to marry the Wildling leader Sigorn, Magnar of Thenn, in a ceremony performed by Melisandre, which will aid Wildling integration into the North.
If Harrion dies childless, Karhold will pass to the newly formed House Thenn. During the War of the Five Kings the Manderlys and Boltons begin a private war over the Hornwood lands after Ramsay kidnaps the widowed Lady Donella Hornwood, Wyman's cousin, forces her to marry him and then starves her to death. Wyman's heir Wylis is captured when Roose Bolton treacherously sends a large Northern force to be wiped out by Randyll Tarly. Wyman's younger son Wendel is murdered at the Red Wedding by the Freys.
Due to his heir being held captive Wyman cannot openly defy the Lannisters. Three Freys come to his city with Wendel's bones and a peace is apparently made, in which Wyman's granddaughters Wynafryd and Wylla will marry one of these Freys, Rhaegar Frey, and another of Walder Frey's grandsons, "Little" Walder Frey.
Wyman apparently has him executed but secretly executes a criminal in his place, leading to Cersei returning his heir. Wyman reveals to Davos he knows where Rickon Stark is hiding and will support Stannis if Davos returns him. Wyman is implied to have murdered the White Harbor Freys when their stay was over thus keeping to guest right , then put them in pies which he serves to the Freys and Boltons when he attends Ramsay's wedding, even eating some himself.
It is unclear if he survives. Hodor is a simple-minded stable-boy at Winterfell. He is popularly known as Hodor because that is the only word he is capable of saying. He is over seven feet tall, and it is hinted that he may have giant ancestry. He has a friendly, childlike disposition and possesses great strength, though he is reluctant to use it against others. In the HBO television adaptation in which Hodor's real name has been changed to Wylis, ostensibly to avoid confusion with another character, Walder Frey , he is portrayed by Kristian Nairn as an adult and Sam Coleman as a child.
When she and her fellow refugees try to kidnap Bran Stark in A Game of Thrones , she is captured by Robb Stark and taken back to Winterfell and eventually employed as a scullery maid and is given limited freedom for her good behavior. She joins Bran and Rickon hiding in Winterfell's crypt after faking escape. Jeyne reappears in A Dance with Dragons , having survived the massacre but being sent to Petyr Baelish 's brothels.
The Lannisters use her as a stand-in for Sansa's younger sister Arya and send her north to marry Ramsay Bolton at Winterfell. Theon Greyjoy recognizes that she is a fake, and that the Boltons are aware of the ruse. In the first season of the television adaptation, an unidentified extra appeared briefly as Jeyne in the pilot episode. In season five, her storyline was partially blended into Sansa Stark's.
They first appear in A Clash of Kings , where they are sent to attend the harvest festival in place of their father to renew House Reed's pledge to House Stark and support the children of the late Eddard Stark. They become fast friends with Bran Stark and his baby brother Rickon , and are narrated completely through Bran's point of view chapters.
The older sister Meera is sixteen years old when introduced in A Clash of Kings. As typical of crannogmen, Meera is short, slim and flat-chested, has long brown hair and green eyes, and is described as having a cheerful disposition.
She is intensely loyal and protective of her "prince" as well as her own brother, with Bran commenting that the only thing that ever makes her angry or upset is her brother Jojen. Although she is never described as being particularly beautiful, both Theon Greyjoy and Bran Stark seem to consider her attractive. She is a skilled huntress, and fights with a small fishing net and a three-pronged frog spear similar in style to a retiarius , able to defeat Bran's direwolf Summer in mock combat by entangling the direwolf with her net.
The legacy of Bran's late aunt Lyanna Stark is also largely narrated through her story-telling. The younger brother Jojen is thirteen when he first appears, but his sullen seriousness and maturity make him seem older. He is short and slim with unusually deep green eyes, wearing green-colored clothing.
He claims to have "greensight" and the power of prophetic "green dreams", from where he knows a number of arcane things, including the day of his death. In Winterfell, Jojen recognizes Bran Stark as a skinchanger who is able to enter the mind of an animal and control it, and mentors Bran to gain control of his abilities. When Theon Greyjoy captures Winterfell, Jojen and Meera accompany Bran and Rickon in hiding inside Winterfell's crypt after faking escape, and later escort Bran's journey north in search of the three-eyed raven after Ramsay Snow sacks and burns Winterfell.
In A Dance with Dragons , Meera struggles to keep the group's spirits up, but implies that Jojen's future is bleak. Jeyne Westerling is the daughter of a family sworn to House Lannister.
She meets Robb Stark when he is wounded, and falls in love with him during his convalescence. He marries her the next day to preserve her honour, in doing so breaking a marriage contract with House Frey. After Robb's departure for the Twins, Jeyne remains in Riverrun and does not witness the massacre. After the Red Wedding, she is granted a royal pardon. In A Feast for Crows , she is openly mourning and last appears riding to Casterly Rock as a political prisoner. Martin stated that Jeyne Westerling will appear in the prologue of the sixth book, The Winds of Winter , but did not reveal whether she would be the prologue POV character.