Game Of Thrones: House Stark

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There are spoilers for all three seasons in this article.

With the new season of Game Of Thrones almost upon us now seems like a good time to remember where each of the key families are at this point.

Let’s get the most emotional out of the way first, the Starks. Has there ever been a more tragic family in TV, movie, or book history? Simply, no. Almost anything that you could throw at a family has been chucked their way, usually maiming or killing one of them in the process. And then there was The Red Wedding.

First things first, cast you mind back to the start of the first season and you’ll see a sign of things to come. As it transpires over time nothing is off the page in this story, and throwing a young boy out of a window because he’s spied someone in a compromising position with his sister was just the beginning. Poor Bran was left for dead by Jaime Lannister, turns out he was the lucky one. He didn’t die, just ended up paralysed, which is a pretty light outcome compared to the rest of his family at the hands of the Lannisters.
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The list of casualties is long. Lord Eddard Stark, head removed from body, Robb Stark, multiple stab wounds and arrows after seeing his wife and unborn baby brutally stabbed to death, Lady Cately Stark, also stabbed after seeing her son go the same way and thinking that her youngest two sons had been burnt to death. It’s not been a good time for the eldest of the Starks.

Luckily the girls are still alive, although not having much fun. Eldest daughter of Ned and Catelyn, Sansa, had been betrothed to King Joffrey until he got bored, nearly murdered her, and then dumped her off on his uncle, so she’s now married to Lord Tyrion.

Fiesty Arya has had the most interesting journey, she can look after herself but also falls in with characters that can help her on the journey, most unlikely of which is her current running mate, The Hound. The most heartbreaking scene of the traumatic Rains of Castamere episode may have been the realisation that Arya was so close to her brother and mother but that she was never going to see them. She’s spent time with the late King Robert Baratheon’s illegitimate son, Gendry, was briefly held by the Brotherhood Without Banners, worked as a servant to kingmaker Tywin Lannister, basically had the most interesting journey.
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There's Theon Greyjoy, whilst not actually a Stark he'd been raised in the Stark household as a ward of the house. Just look at the fate that's befallen him though and you'll see he's had a Stark's fate; captured, tortured, maimed, teased, the third season especially was terrifying for Theon.

What of Benjen Stark, Ned's brother, presumed dead beyond the wall but no body or proof of this.

And let’s not forget about Rickon… actually let’s forget about Rickon.

Finally there’s Jon Snow. It’s easy to forget he’s a Stark, the son of Lord Eddard, but he is. He’s spent most of the three seasons so far ensconced up at Castle Black as part of the Nights Watch, then beyond The Wall as part of a long game to get The King Beyond The Wall, Mance Ryder to trust him. You feel there’s a greater part for ‘Ned Stark’s bastard’ to play before the story plays out.

Due to the cull of Stark’s last season the show will be missing some fine actors in Michelle Fairley and Richard Madden, although Maisie Williams is terrific as Arya Stark, and the audience is missing a truly heroic character to root for. The world of Westeros is a much darker and less friendly place without a Stark in the running for the Iron Throne.

Game Of Thrones returns on Sunday 6th April at 2am, repeated on Monday 7th at 9pm.

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