Nine years ago, HBO debuted a fantasy drama series called Game of Thrones, and it has grown into a worldwide phenomenon with the much anticipated eight and final season set to premier on April 14th.
The show was an adaptation of George R. R. Martin's best-selling fantasy novel series, A Song of Ice and Fire, which is made up of seven total books, two of them yet to be released. The five novels that have been released are A Game of Thrones (1996,) A Clash of Kings (1998,) A Storm of Swords (2000,) A Feast for Crows (2005,) and A Dance with Dragons (2011.) That gave the show's creators plenty of details to work with and it did not take them very long to turn it into a masterpiece.
Although the show features a large ensemble cast covering many different Houses, the show's main family turns out to be from House Stark. The families of House Lannister, House Targaryen, House Greyjoy, House Baratheon, House Arryn, House Tully, and House Tyrell all come together into several storylines that flow seamlessly throughout the series but at the center of them all is House Stark.
The Stark family began when Rickard Stark married Lyarra Stark. They had four children, Brandon, Eddard, Lyanna, and Benjen. Without going into extreme details, let's just say they also had six children, mostly from Eddard and his wife, Catelyn Stark from House Tully.
With the excitement of the final season in full swing, let's take a look at 25 weird details about Stark Anatomy.
Note: This is where we place a blanket spoiler just in case you still have not seen the show.
25 The Starks Descended From The First Men
Almost 12,000 years ago, the First Men appeared on Westeros and are the first humans ever known to this world. Although there have been many Houses that have risen throughout the many years since they first arrived on the continent, only one of them is a direct descendant to the First Men, the Starks.
The Starks still believe, to this day, that the blood from First Men is still buried deep within their blood and because of this, they follow many of the same ideals that belonged to the First Men including the belief that the person who sentences a man to perish must be the one who swings the sword. This was one of the most infamous lines ever delivered throughout the show's complete eight season run.
24 Kings In The North For Over 8,000 Years
Long before there was any written history, the Starks ruled Winterfell as the first Kings in the North. The first Stark that went by this title was Brandon Stark, who you will learn more about shortly.
As Kings in the North, the Starks protected Winterfell from any kind of invasion from the Andals which led them to becoming the only independent kingdom of the First Men. They remained with this title until King Torrhen Stark submitted, and bent the knee, to King Aegon I. It was a decision he was forced to make to protect his army, and his people, from eventually being completely destroyed by King Aegon's army, and his dragons.
23 Brandon "The Builder" Stark Built The Wall
Brandon Stark was known as "The Builder" because he was a legend that not only became the founder of House Stark, but was the man who designed, constructed, and built many great structures that still stand today like Storm's End and The Gift. But it was his help with the building of The Wall that led to his famous moniker.
After he helped construct The Wall, Brandon gave it to the Night's Watch for their sustenance and support, according to Osha in Season three. Inside the famous Crypt at Winterfell is all the former Stark family members including Brandon Stark, which is actually listed down there as Bran the Builder.
22 The Starks Protect The World From White Walkers
As you read the books, or watch the television show, you learn about these creatures known as White Walkers, who live North of the wall. These White Walkers are zombie's that are brought back to life by the Night King who is their leader. There dangerous because as they fight in battles, those they kill will also become White Walkers, growing their army larger and larger, fight by fight.
However, most of Westeros, and Essos and Sothoryos for that matter, do not believe that the White Walkers are real since history claims that they have been gone a long time. So, although we, the audience, know that the White Walkers are real, the rest of the world has never seen one to understand that they are, in fact, real.
21 Lady Stoneheart Will Finally Appear In Final Season
This has not been confirmed and we have no kind of source giving us this information. All we have to go on is speculation and very intelligent guessing.
Lady Stoneheart was one of the biggest characters from the books that has yet to make an appearance on the television show, or has she? There were rumors that she was seen in the background when Arya and Brienne were sword fighting. From what we have seen over the past seven seasons, chances are, that was not her.
In case you still do not know, Lady Stoneheart is Catelyn Stark, who was brought back to life, still with her original wounds, and spends all of her energy eliminating the families of every house associated with the "Red Wedding."
20 The Direwolves' Fate Are Connected To Their Owner
The very first episode of the series introduced us to many characters, but it focused on the main family, the Starks, mostly. During that episode, we also got to see the father of the Stark family, Ned, come across a gone direwolf who had recently been locked in an intense battle with a stag, also deceased. The direwolf left behind her six puppies, to which Ned decided to give to each of his six children.
Those direwolves were instantly bonded with their owners, for life. The only direwolf to perish before her owner was Lady, and that was because King Baratheon forced Ned to take her life after Arya let her's attack Joffrey. The rest of them have fallen just as their owner's have fallen.
19 House Stark Is Made For The Cold
For the better part of the history of humans, there has been a member of the Stark family, beginning with Brandon Stark, also called Bran the Builder. He was the founder of the House Stark and started the tradition of Stark's being Kings and Wardens of the North.
The Stark's have always defended the North and protected the world from any of the dangers that might come from the cold including the White Walkers or Wildlings. Over the thousands of years, the Stark's have grown accustomed to the cold weather and tend to make their best decisions in the cold. Whenever they leave the cold and head towards a warmer climate, bad things always happen.
18 The Stark Family Motto Is "Winter Is Coming"
For the past eight years, if you heard the phrase "Winter is Coming", you would know right away it is Game of Thrones. That motto has become synonymous with the show and it belongs to the Stark family, who are the real owner's of this phrase.
It has served many purposes over the course of history but mainly as a warning to the rest of the world that they should be ready because "Winter is Coming" and you just do not know what could happen.
Since House Stark is considered the people of Winter, they also use the motto to intimidate their enemies. It is a way of telling them, the Starks are coming.
17 Jon Snow Came Back To Life
At this point, if you have not seen this episode, or heard about it, then you really do not belong here. You need to hit that back button and find your way to a television and watch it now. And not just one episode, the entire friggin' series.
Eventually, you will get to a season finale where the Night's Watch mutiny against him for becoming allies with the wildlings. During the coop, they stab him. Season over. The following season, he came back to life thanks to Melisandre. His return from the departed turned him into a true man. It was like he was being born again and this time, he became a true Stark. At least, that's what we knew at the time.
16 The Starks Are Safer In The North
Ned Stark was not the only member of House Stark to go to King's Landing and wind up gone. His father, Rickard, and brother, Brandon, were both brutalized when the Mad King, Aerys II, burned them both alive using wildfire.
Robb Stark, his wife Talisa Stark, and mother Catelyn Stark were also savagely eliminated during the "Red Wedding" when Walder Frey had them shot with arrows and stabbed. Talisa was pregnant and also lost the child when she passed. The odds of a member of the Stark family surviving away from Winterfell is not good. Most of them perish if they do not return home like Sansa and Jon Snow.
15 Ned Stark's Best Friend Was King Baratheon
The relationship between Ned Stark and King Robert Baratheon dates back to when Robert's rebellion began. At the start of the war, they were like brothers. That friendship was strained over the years due to some of Robert's decisions during the war like allowing Tywin Lannister to take King's Landing. Ned only decided to get back to their close friendship after the birth of Jon Snow, in order to protect the truth.
But the show failed to dive deeply into Ned's state of mind since the show began after the war. It missed a giant opportunity to really showcase how the Stark family handled their business. Ned had honor but was loyal and it led to the fall of the entire Baratheon family and Ned himself.
14 All Members Of The Stark Family Play A Key Role
Game of Thrones is a story that follows many different people but focuses mainly on a select few main characters. Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, and Ned Stark are the main four characters of the show. However, the end of Ned Stark towards the end of the first season led to the show's focus moving towards the entire Stark family.
But that was the plan all along because House Stark is the beginning and ending of the entire story. The show begins with Ned Stark having to execute a man who escaped the Night's Watch and teach his son, Jon, that if you sentence someone, you are the one who has to swing the sword.
After Ned's demise, the focus shifted to Arya, Sansa, Robb, Bran, Catelyn, and Jon Snow because the Starks are the show, and never forget it.
13 When Starks Break Their Honor, They End Up Perishing
We hate to beat a dead horse but one of the things that separates House Stark from the rest of the Houses is their honor. They are very honorable people that try to remain removed from all of the lying, cheating, and backstabbing that goes down in the rest of the world, specifically King's Landing.
Because of how honorable they are, whenever they break that honor, they perish or they cause another member of their family to perish because of breaking that family code. Ned broke his honor by confronting Cersei about the truth about her children's real father and Robb was promised to one of Walder Frey's daughters but broke that deal to marry Talisa.
12 Sansa Has Become The Strongest Stark
Sansa has grown into a true leader that has suffered more abuse, more pain, and more hardships than any other character in the entire series. This might end up being a controversial statement but how can anyone argue against it at this point in time?
She is the only person on the show to be with King Joffrey and Ramsay Bolton, where she was assaulted on many occasions but she stood taller every single time. She was also forced to watch her father's execution while becoming a prisoner to several different men.
By the end of last season, we finally got to meet the new Sansa, after she ordered the execution of Littlefinger, finally. That cold-hearted moment gave us a glimpse at the survivor she is and the true leader of Winterfell that she has become.
11 Lyanna Stark Unknowingly Started Robert's Rebellion
The series does not begin at the very start of mankind. The show begins after Robert Baratheon had already won the war for the crown and was the new King of Westeros. But that did not happen because he woke up one day and decided to take the crown. It started during the tourney at Harrenhal when Rhaegar Targaryen won the tournament and preceded to give the crown to Lyanna instead of his wife, Princess Elia Martell. By then, Lyanna was already betrothed to Robert and that was seen by most as an insult.
Not even a year later, Prince Rhaegar took Lyanna away and married her.
Those two incidents created a hatred by Robert towards the Targaryen's and when King Aerys II brutally eliminated Rickard and Brandon Stark before calling for the heads of Robert, Ned, and Jon Arryn, the rebellion began.
10 Jon Snow Can Pet Dragons
It sounds silly, but if you are a true fan of the show, you know how important it was to see Jon Snow approach Drogon and then reach out and put his hand on his nose. Drogon did not allow Jon Snow to touch him because he was able to asses that Jon was not a threat. He allowed him to touch him because he knows the truth, that Jon is a Targaryen.
The only people who were ever able to get this close to dragons in the past were the ones with the blood of the dragon, which means they have Targaryen blood running through their veins. Drogon saw this in Jon and knew he was family. That moment confirms the future for Jon Snow but we are not here to talk about season eight, you need to watch it for yourself.
9 The Starks Are Wargs
If there is one thing that can be said negatively about the series, it is the amount of detail that the show tried to squeeze into every single one-hour episode in the first two seasons. For the ones who never read the book, the amount of information being given to the viewers was overwhelming and many people had to watch episodes multiple times to understand.
So imagine if the show covered everything that the books did, would it be even the slightest bit watchable? Probably not. It would be very tough to cover everything and tell a story that flowed from week to week. One of the biggest details left off the show was that the Starks were all wargs. That detail would have been tough to add to the show because it would change the entire story.
8 Lyanna Stark Secretly Married Rhaegar Targaryen
While reading through record books about the history of Westeros, Gilly ends up discovering the biggest secret of the entire show. As she is reading one of the books, she asks Sam what annulment means and he tells her, "it's when a man sets aside his lawful wife."
In one of the most incredible moments on the show, Bran tells Sam that Jon Snow is actually Jon Sand, a Dornish bastard born from Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark after seeing it in the past. That's when Sam figures it out and corrects Bran and tells him about the annulment and secret wedding. That is the moment we discover that Jon Snow is really Aegon Targaryen, the true heir to the throne and that Robert's Rebellion was lead on a lie.
7 The Starks And The Seven-Pointed Star
Since the television show has not been on for two years, fans have gotten very creative with their theories about many of the unanswered questions that we have heading into the final season. They have even gone off the rails and come up with some very interesting theories like how the Stark family is the human version of the Faith of the Seven, the main religion in Westeros.
That theory is not a far stretch because when you compare the family members to the seven aspects of the faith, they match up perfectly. At the top is the Father (Ned,) then the Mother (Catelyn,) the Warrior (Robb,) the Maiden (Sansa,) the Stranger (Arya,) the Crone (Bran,) and the Smith (Rickon.)
6 Ned Stark's End Was Self-Inflicted
In Westeros, when an outsider enters a new situation without knowing how to handle themselves, it can cause them to make the wrong choices, over and over again, until they ultimately wind up gone. Ned Stark is from the North, which is where he belongs. He is not a fan of the politics in King's Landing and when he decided to go there, quickly found himself in way over his head.
It all began the moment Ned called Petyr Baelish into his office for a private meeting to reveal that Ned knows the truth about who Joffrey's real father is. At that moment, Petyr came up with a plan to use that information to control who becomes the king. But then Ned declines because the real heir to the throne is Renley Baratheon, the King's brother. Petyr gave him many clues about making his choice and when Ned chose to be honorable, that was it for him.
5 Lyanna Passed Giving Birth To Jon Snow
When it comes to comparing the television show and the book, there is just so many details that the show does not cover but the book goes into greater detail. However, since the last two books have yet to be finished, the revelation of who Jon Snow's actual parents are was not ever revealed in the books but have been confirmed on the show.
The rumors were wild and crazy for a couple years before HBO's show-runners finally started to give us a few clues about who they were by showing the demise of Lyanna Stark while giving birth to this baby we do not know yet. Her brother Ned arrives to save her but walks into a bloody mess as his sister Lyanna is dying. Her loss began everything including Robert's Rebellion, which already started when she disappeared with Rhaegar but turned into a full blown war the moment they found out she passed.
4 First White Walker Rumored To Be A Stark
Although we have not seen much of this on the show, we are all smart enough to figure this part out based on several different reasons with the main one, of course, being that Bran is actually the real Night King. That rumor began a few seasons ago when we realized that Bran has become the new three-eyed Raven, with the ability to see into the past and even jump back in time.
There has also been a very popular screenshot involving the White Walkers walking in a formation that resembles the Stark family sigil. All of these things come together to help us understand that the Stark's are an important part of the White Walkers. The biggest clue has to be that the very first scene in the show centers around deserters of The Wall coming across White Walkers and then Ned Stark executing them for deserting their posts.
Besides that, how about the fact that the Stark's have ruled the North for 8,000 years, the same amount of time since the first White Walkers were also spotted.
3 Jon Snow Is Only Stark With Targaryen Blood
After season seven's revelation about Jon Snow's birth, we now know that Jon Snow is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, and the only other person alive that knows this is Samwell Tarly, who is heading to find Jon Snow to tell him the truth. That means many things are going to change the moment the rest of the world finds out.
For one, he becomes the true heir to the throne as he is a direct descendant of the previous King of Westeros. But this also confirms that he is a true Stark, born after a secret wedding between his parents happened during Robert Baratheon's rebellion. This also makes him the only person in history to be half Stark and half Targaryen.
2 Who Is The Night King?
The internet is a wonderful achievement in modern technology. It is not only allowing you a chance to read this but it is also a vessel for anyone on the planet to share their thoughts and, sometimes insane, opinions for the rest of us to see. This has led to a large number of rumors and conspiracy theories about the Game of Thrones, specifically, who is the Night King.
There are several rumors about who is the Night King but the one that is actually plausible remains Bran Stark. The best theory about how Bran became the Night King involves him warging himself into the Night King after going back in time in order to save the world and stop the white walkers straight from the source. However, he gets stuck after spending too much time in the past and ends up being forced to become him.
1 All Starks Are Destined To Perish
When Game of Thrones began, there were nine living members of the Stark family. After a few seasons, that number dropped dramatically and now stands at four. Over the first six seasons, we witnessed the demises of Eddard "Ned" Stark, Lady Catelyn, Benjen, Rickon, Robb, and Talisa Stark (Although she would be the 10th member as she married Robb during season two.)
It gets even worse if you pick up a book and learn about how Eddard's father and brother Brandon passed in 282 AC, just 15 years prior to the beginning of the series (which is dated to have started on 297 AC.)
Their families honor is a part of what makes them Starks and their loyalty to always doing the right thing has become a threat to the remaining surviving members of the family.