The Houses of Westeros
If you are new to The Game of Thrones series (either the books or the wonderful HBO show) then no doubt right now you are in a state of utter and complete confusion. This is understandable. The Game of Thrones series has a TON of different characters and houses that are so difficult to keep track of you find your brain in a knot just trying. But I in fact, feel so strongly that it is a series worth getting into that I'm going to brave the many confusing layers of The Game of Thrones and describe to you all the major players and their houses. Have no fear, soon all will become clear...er.
The Starks are the major players in the North. They still follow the old gods, and cling to the old ways. This earns them great respect in the North, but in Kings Landing and other Southern locations their honor is not only mocked, but also used against them. The Starks prefer not to involve themselves in politics and instead take a hard and practical approach towards problems.
Eddard Stark: The head of the house of Stark, married to Lady Catelyn Tully at a young age. Eddard is the very definition of honor and nobility. He leads fairly, preferring to execute justice by his own hand, rather than ordering someone else to do it. Eddard would be happy guarding the North for the rest of his days, but the King has other plans for him.
Robb Stark: The oldest son and heir to Winterfell. Robb was raised to take the place of Eddard as a great leader. He shares his father's nobility and sense of justice. Robb is not one to rush into battle, but he is not afraid of a good fight either. In the beginning of the series he acquires a direwolf he names Grey Wind.
Jon Snow: The bastard son of Eddard Stark, his mother remains unknown. Raised by his father in the house of Stark and carries the Stark values. Although we was raised in Winterfell as a true born son, Jon often feels alienated next to his half brothers and sisters, this causes Jon to join the Nights Watch at just 14 years old. By joining the Watch Jon's bastard origins becomes unimportant, but he most forsake past and future family members for the watch. This is difficult for Jon, he takes on the role, but gradually. Jon has a direwolf called Ghost.
Sansa Stark: The eldest Stark daughter, Sansa takes on her mothers Tully features and gentle demeanor. Sansa has all the characteristics of a gentle lady, she is fond of sewing, dancing and playing music. She loves fairytales and dreams of princes and the glamour of the court at Kings Landing. Sansa has a direwolf named Lady.
Arya Stark: The third Stark child, Arya is the complete opposite of her sister Sansa, which leads to many disagreements between the two. Arya takes on her fathers northern features. She loves exploring and sword fighting and proves to be cunning and a strong survivalist. Arya is particularly close with her half brother Jon Snow. She has a direwolf she names Nymeria after a warrior princess.
Bradon (Bran) Stark: The second eldest Stark son, Bran also takes on his mother's Tully features. Bran loves exploring and climbing around Winterfell, this later causes a grave injury, that changes his life. Bran often has prophetic dreams. He has a strong connection to his direwolf Summer.
Rickon Stark: The youngest Stark child, Rickon is only 3 years old at the series beginning. Rickon is very strong willed and develops a temper when events during the series often leave him feeling abandoned and frightened. Rickon has a direwolf he calls Shaggydog.
Motto: Family, Duty, Honor
The Tully's are the major players in the riverlands. Their house has a reputation for great stubbornness. The Tully's are not ones to surrender easily. They are also known to be quite fierce, often seen in Lady Catelyn and her sister Lysa. The Tullys are not the most powerful house, but their standing in the fertile riverlands earn them strong bannerman and respect. The Tully's follow the "new gods" often called the seven.
Lord Hoster: Leader of House Tully. Though he was restless and a strong fighter in his youth, he is now elderly and ill. Once married to Lady Minisa, who died while pregnant with is second son.
Catelyn Tully: The elder Tully daughter, married to Eddard Stark. She is described as beautiful, even as she ages. She is proud and strong, often having stubbornness equal to her husband Eddard. She has a good understanding of the politics of Westeros, but still prefers to stay out of them.
Lysa Tully: As a young girl she fell in love with Petyr Baelish (who was in love with her sister, Catelyn). Jealous of her sister, she slept with Petyr and became pregnant. After her father forced her to abort the child and married her to Jon Arryn. With Jon, Lysa had many miscarriages and two stillborn children finally giving birth to her sickly son Robert Arryn, who became Lord of the Vale after his father died under "suspicious circumstances". Lysa becomes a paranoid and overprotective mother, turning her into someone even her own sister didn't recognize.
Ser Edmure Tully: The only Tully son and heir to Riverrun. He is often described as hot headed, but cares deeply for his family and always has his heart in the right place.
Motto: As High as Honour
Seat: The Eyrie
House Arryn watches over the Vale, a fertile land in the mountains. Their stronghold is the Eyrie which is nearly impregnable. This has led the Arryns to remain largely removed from the other conflicts of the realm. The Arryns are known to be both honest and wise, they prefer to avoid blatant showing of wealth compared to other southern lords.
Lord Jon Arryn: Was Lord of the Vale and Hand of the King. Reluctantly married Lysa Tully in order to produce an heir. Died while at court under mysterious circumstances.
Lord Robert Arryn: The only child of Lysa and Jon Arryn and heir to the Vale. A sickly child with frequent seizures, his mother denied him nothing and was very overprotected. He turned into a spoiled boy used to getting everything his way....and the current ruler of the Vale.
Motto: Hear Me Roar
Seat: Casterly Rock
The wealthiest of all the houses. The Lannister's seat is, quite literally on top of a gold mine. The Lannisters take rule over the Westerlands. But the reach of their gold extends through out all of Westeros. The Lannisters pride themselves on nobility...or at least the illusion of it. They are as cunning as they are charming and not above plotting against former allies, or even family. For all their deceptivness they will never allow themselves to owe anyone anything. Their common saying "A Lannister always pays his debts" is true to the word.
Tywin Lannister: The eldest Lannister brother, Lord of Casterly Rock and Warden of the West. Married to Lady Joanna, who died during Tyrion's childbirth. Tywin is known as a very cold, intelligent, ruthless and controlling man in politics and in battle.
Kevan Lannister: The younger Lannister brother, and always in his elder brothers shadow. Married to Dorna Swift with whom he has three sons ( Lancel, Willem and Martyn) and one daughter (Janei).
Jaime Lannister: Son of Tywin and twin to Ceresi Lannister with whom he has an secret incestuous relationship. Joined the Kingsguard at 15, and killed King Aerys earning him the name Kingslayer. Unlike his father, Jamie prefers not to meddle in politics. His skills and interests lie only on the battlefield.
Ceresi Lannister: Daughter of Tywin and twin to Jamie Lannister. Mother to Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella. Married to Robert Baratheon and Queen of Westeros. Willful and ambitious, she regrets not being born a man so that others would obey her.
Tyrion Lannister: Youngest son of Tywin Lannister. Born a dwarf Tyrion is often mockingly called "The Imp" and "Halfman". Shrewd and well educated, Tyrion makes up for his lack of physical presence with great intelligence. He has a good relationship with his brother Jaime but is hated by his father due to his deformity and his mother's tragic death during his birth.
Motto: Ours Is The Fury
Sigil: Crowned Black Stag
Seat: Storms End
The House Baratheon is the newest of houses, but has holdings all through out the south of Westeros. The Baratheon Brothers are all quite diverse in personality and tactics though they all share the same aversion towards standing down and showing weakness.
Robert Baratheon: The eldest Baratheon brother and King of Westeros. Married to Ceresi Lannister. Once a great warrior he is now prone to drinking and whoring. He has three children in name, who are actually fathered by Jaime Lannister.
Joffrey Baratheon: Eldest son of Ceresi Lannister and heir to the King. A prideful boy with an uncontrollable temper and a sadistic mean streak. He has the Lannister good looks, but none of the cunning.
Tommen Baratheon: Youngest son of Ceresi Lannister. Tommen shares none of his brother's willful temper, but shows a meek and gentle personality easily controlled by those around him.
Myrcella Baratheon: The spitting image of her mother Ceresi, she has all her mother's looks but a courteous and gentle nature. She shows great courage and high intelligence for her age.
Stannis Baratheon: Robert's younger brother and Lord of Dragonstone. A serious and stubborn man. He is often respected, but never loved by his followers. He is married to Lady Selyse and has one daughter, Shireen, who suffers from disfigurement.
Renly Baratheon: The youngest Baratheon brother. Considered handsome, charming and occasionally frivolous. He lacks Stannis seriousness but earns great adoration from his followers.
Sigil: Three-headed fire breathing dragon.
Seat: Once owned Dragonstone and Kings Landing
Once a great and powerful house that conquered the seven kingdoms and forged the Iron Throne. This amazing feat was achieved using a powerful weapon...dragons. House Targaryen's reign ended with the Mad King Aerys II, leaving the remaining members of the house to flee the seven kingdoms. The Targaryen is a prideful house, known for their ethereal beauty. They often wed brother and sister, which produced either great rulers, or mad ones.
Viserys Targaryen: called "The Beggar King" due to his exile forcing him to survive on the gifts of the few who remain loyal to the Targaryen House. Viserys has a tendency towards the madness side of the coin, he is prideful and makes rash and foolish decisions, often out of rage and impatience.
Daenerys Targaryen: Initially meek and timid while under the care of her abusive brother, Daenerys quickly turns into a courageous woman and great leader after her marriage to Khal Drogo. She can be a compassionate leader, particularly to those abused or downtrodden. She is unlike her brother in every way....except for her determination to reconquer the seven kingdoms in the Targaryen name.