At the start of Game of Thrones, we meet the Stark family. There’s Ned, Catelyn, Robb and they all die. But we still got Sansa, Arya, Bran, Rickon’s alive in the books, and there’s Jon, who’s secretly half-Targaryen, at least in the show . We tend to see the Starks as the good guys, but the Stark family aren’t the Brady bunch – in Chapter 1,Ned beheads a guy, and makes his sons watch. And the kids all get pets from a giant dead wolf. It’s clear from the start that the Starks are connected to harsh ancient customs and mysterious magic . Bran becomes a psychic tree god, Arya a Faceless assassin, and Jon an undead prophetic warrior-king. The blood of House Stark is tied to the ancient secrets of Winterfell and the Wall, the Night’s King and white walkers – which might hint at the ending of Game of Thrones. According to legend, House Stark began eight thousand years ago – after the Long Night, when the white walkers “came for the first time” . The walkers were defeated by “the last hero” with the children of the forest, or by Azor Ahai with a flaming sword – there are lots of different legends . But the walkers went away, and Brandon the Builder raised the Wall to keep them out. Brandon also built the castle of Winterfell – and started Housem Stark, who ruled as Kings of Winter for thousands of years . Eventually, a people called the Andals invaded Westeros from across the sea,bringing a new religion and culture.
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