The North is one of the most prominent and strongest regions in Westeros. It is one of the most historic and strategically important parts of Westeros as well. The North has political, strategic, and military power, which is always the key point in the existence of the North as they have always been preparing for the long winter.
The North has always been ruled by the kings of the North until Aegon Targaryen conquested the region. The North has been reigned by Starks from the Winterfell, which is the castle of the main origin of the North. House of Stark also is in charge of dominion New Grift, which is controlled by Night’s Watch, which is the northmost part of the region. Many notable families and surnames come from the North, and the surname Snow, which is so popular is also given in the North to the bastards of noble families.
The North represents modern Scotland, or at least this is what is told by George R.R Martin. The inspiration for The North is definitely Scotland, which is also vivid via the geography of the area, which is one-third of the lands controlled and ruled by The Iron Throne in total. The area is populated sparsely and moreover, there are a lot of forests and wilderness in the region. The winter there is harsh and very cold, yet the coldest winter is yet to come.
The region has two major barriers, which are the Wall, where the Night’s Watch is, and the Neck to the south. The North is surrounded by the Shivering Sea and the Sunset Seat to the West. Winterfell is the most famous castle in the North, where Starks reside and control the whole North. There are some of the largest forests in Westeros as well.
There are quite a few lakes in the region, out of which the Torren’s Square, the seat of House of Tallhart is the largest. There also is the Stony Shore, which is to the west of the Sunset Sea.. ice Bay and the Blazewater Bay is the part of the House Ryswell.
South of the Barrowlands is the Neck, an isthmus forming the border with the Riverlands to the south. A vast swamp and the source of the Green Fork, the Neck is home to the crannogmen. House Reed rules from the moving castle Greywater Watch. The ruined castle of Moat Cailin, on the causeway near the Fever River, controls access to the north from the Neck. Here the Kings in the North held off southron invasions.
North of Winterfell and the Dreadfort and northwest of Karhold are the lands of House Umber, whose castle of Last Hearth is in a forest. The Umbers control the Lonely Hills and land along the Bay of Seals. Beginning near Last Hearth, the Last River flows southeast between Karhold and the Dreadfort.
The Wall is a colossal fortification that protects the north from threats beyond the Wall, such as wildlings. It is separated from the northern lands owing allegiance to Winterfell by the Gift, which are lands of the Night’s Watch north of the Umbers’ lands. Winterfell and Moat Cailin are along the Kingsroad, which connects Castle Black at the Wall with the Riverlands to the south. There are farms, holdfasts, inns, and villages along the road.
People in the North are especially interesting and have very specific patterns in their character and behavior. The Northmen are all very strict and are very rough. This can be justified by the fact that all of the Northmen are descendants of the First Men. more interesting fact is that there have been periods when the intermarriage between the Andals and the First Men happened, those who conquered the Neck and thus the nation and the population of the North became much more multicultural and very interesting.
As the North is almost fully a descendant of the First Men, the tongue spoken in the region was the Old Tongue. Though, after the mixture of the cultures and the development of the region, all of them have switched to the Common Tongue. The Old Tongue is still spoken in the beyond the Wall places, by the wildlings.
The visual side of the people who inhabit the north is also very adequate to their natural habitat and characteristics. The Karstarks and the Umbers who are quite old representatives of the North in historic aspects are often very big and strong men. They all have thick beards and long hair. They mostly wear heavy cloaks and wool or fur. Due to many factors, and appearance, Northmen are frequently referred to as wolves, by the most western part of Westeros. Maybe this is why the sigil of the North is a dire wolf.
The steady cold and the iron grasp of winter set apart the northerners from the population of the realms south of the Neck. The north’s landscape and atmosphere don’t handily yield the necessities of everyday life. Northmen place less of attention and importance on elegant custom and culture and rather incline toward chasing and fighting. Their competitions are frequent skirmishes and once in a while include jousting. Guest right is cherished in the north. Northmen have long recollections, and a master who doesn’t look for his legitimate retribution takes steps to have his own men turn on him.
Religion in the North is mostly the same as it used to be a long time ago. Many people in the North still believe in old gods and their heart trees. Though, they are also quite open to newer religions. There are some houses in the North that have faith in the Faith of the Seven. Those houses are Manderly, Wells, and Whitehill. This is another very interesting aspect of the people of the North. Many knights can not refuse their faith and beliefs and thus they can not become knights and stay as civilian citizens. Though, there are some people who become knights but still obey the divine rules and follow the old gods instead of the Faith of the Seven. Most religious people are in the White Harbour and the Bowwolands.
Night’s Watch is something very different and something very important to the whole North. If not the Night’s Watch there would not be the strong military force and the North would never have had the strength it has now. In order to appreciate the work of the Night’s Watch and the hard lives of the knights, lords and many Northmen send annual gifts to support the black brother, who refuses ordinary life in the sake of the safety of the North.
While there is little known about the First Men and the descendants of the First Men, who are supposed to be the Northmen, there is some evidence found on the territory of the north. Those include the runes carved on the stones and the barrows the First Men lived in can still be found in the Barrowlands. If we consider that the First Men first lived almost twelve thousand years ago, the Northmen should also be verified as the most ancient nation of Westeros.
Kings of the Winter
Around 8,000 years prior, the legendary Long Night happened when the Others attacked from the Lands of Always Winter. The occasion characterized and molded the north, prompting the establishment of the Wall, the request for the Night’s Watch, the castle of Winterfell, and the primary Stark Kings of Winter. Brandon the Breaker is said to have aligned with Joramun, a King-Beyond-the-Wall, to defeat the Night’s King in the battle of the long winter.
The Starks step by step defeated rival rulers, for example, the Barrow Kings to their south and the Red Kings to their east. During the Andal attack, the Kings of Winter halted Andals at Moat Cailin and the eastern shores, the main realm in Westeros to do as such.
A thousand years before Aegon’s Conquest, King Brandon the Shipwright endeavored to ship over the Sunset Sea, however, he never came back home from his journey. His child, likewise named Brandon, consumed the northern shipyards in his grief.
For a long time, the Boltons were severe opponents of the Starks of Winterfell. The act of flying their enemies gave the Boltons evil notoriety. It is said that a thousand years prior, the Boltons at long last swore fealty to the Kings in the North and consented to give up their practice of flying on their rivals.
A thousand years before Aegon’s Conquest, the Manderlys were driven from the waterway Mander by House Gardener, the Kings of the Reach, and fled toward the north, where they were invited by the Starks of Winterfell as their own bannermen. The Manderlys are the most noticeable of the house of northern honorable houses to follow the Faith of the Seven rather than the old gods and their beliefs.
The Era Targaryen
The Starks led the north to war during Aegon’s Conquest. After the Field of Fire, however, King Torrhen Stark knelt to Aegon the Conqueror rather than face his dragons. The north was included in the Seven Kingdoms and owed allegiance to the Iron Throne of House Targaryen. The Stark Kings in the North became the Lords of Winterfell and Wardens of the North. Some Northmen who refused to bend the knee fled into exile in Essos and formed the Company of the Rose.
During the Dance of the Dragons, the Starks upheld the blacks against the greens. Ruler Roderick Dustin drove two thousand northern knights, known as the Winter Wolves, during the war, while the Manderlys had knights from White Harbor additionally bolster the case of Rhaenyra Targaryen. Ruler Dagon Greyjoy drove the Ironborn in striking the north during the rule of King Aerys I Targaryen; Lord Beron Stark gathered all of the blades of the swords to repel and fix them.
The people of the north must be vigilant against wildlings who manage to bypass the Wall. One King-beyond-the-Wall, Raymun Redbeard, was defeated by the Starks and Umbers at Long Lake. Yet, in the modern family and the modern time, the wildlings represent one of the most loyal powers and alliances to the Starks, thanks to Jon Snow, who managed to find the common language with their King and let the wildlings in. Moreover, he even fell in love with one of them, but unfortunately, the story did not end with a happy end.
The era of Robert’s
The Northmen made much out of the revolutionary powers during Robert’s Rebellion, otherwise called the War of the Usurper. In the wake of King Aerys II Targaryen was to blame for the death of Lord Rickard Stark and his son, Brandon Stark, their successor, Lord Eddard Stark, drove armed forces close to Lord Robert Baratheon, who had been delegated to King Robert I at war’s end.
And this is where the new era for the North begins, with Ned Stark and his children, making the most important revolutions in the history of Westeros and Seven Kingdoms. The new and modern history is mostly about the power of the North and about the importance of the North, both in terms and people and as the politically strategic region.
The winter is coming, and the north should be ready.