An ancient house with the blood of the First Men flowing in its veins, the Starks have existed at Winterfell for some 8,000 years. Winterfell was said to have had its foundation laid by the legendary Brandon the Builder. For at least a part of those many millenia they were the Kings of Winter and were the last house of the First Men to rule a realm before Aegon and his sisters came on their conquest. Their motto is, “Winter Is Coming.”
The Starks have served as Wardens of the North under the Iron Throne. Lord Eddard Stark is best friend to King Robert, having been fostered with him at the Eyrie and constant companion in the war against the Mad King, Aerys. Lord Eddard is wed to Catelyn Tully, who was intended to marry his elder brother Brandon before his death. They have had five children, of whom his eldest is Robb Stark. Lord Eddard also has a bastard, conceived by an unknown woman during the civil war, Jon Snow.