Rickard Stark

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House Stark.svg
Rickard Stark
House Stark.svg
Lord rickard stark by mike hallstein-dakhri7.jpg
Rickard Stark, by Mike Hallstein

Title Lord of Winterfell
Warden of the North
Allegiance House Stark
Culture Northmen
Born In or between 230 AC and 249 AC[1], at Winterfell
Died In 282 AC, at the Red Keep, King's Landing
Spouse Lady Lyarra Stark
Issue Brandon Stark
Eddard Stark
Lyanna Stark
Benjen Stark
Book(s) The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)
A Game of Thrones (mentioned)
A Clash of Kings (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)

Played by Wayne Foskett
TV series Season 6

Rickard Stark was Lord of Winterfell, Warden of the North, and head of House Stark during the reign of Aerys II Targaryen. He was the only child of Lord Edwyle Stark and Lady Marna Locke.[2] Rickard was the father of the current Lord of Winterfell, Eddard Stark. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones he is portrayed by Wayne Foskett in a Season 6 flashback.


See also: Images of Rickard Stark

In the crypts of Winterfell there is a statue of Rickard at his tomb, which is flanked by those of his eldest son, Brandon, and his daughter, Lyanna. Rickard's engraving is said to match his appearance in life with a long, stern face and quiet dignity.[3] There is a stone direwolf at the statue's feet.[4] Lord Stark owned steel armor with golden spurs.[5]


The son of Edwyle Stark and Marna Locke, Rickard married his cousin once removed, Lyarra Stark, and had four children: Brandon, Eddard, Lyanna, and Benjen. Lord Rickard visited King's Landing in 264 AC, leading King Aerys II Targaryen to consider building another Wall and claiming more land in the far north.[6] Lady Olenna Redwyne was loosely acquainted with Rickard.[7]

Rickard negotiated the betrothals of Brandon and Lyanna to Catelyn Tully of Riverrun and Robert Baratheon of Storm's End, respectively.[3] According to Barbrey Dustin the southron marriages were the idea of Rickard's maester at the time, Walys.[8]

Before any of the marriages could take place, however, Lyanna disappeared near Harrenhal in early 282 AC.[9] Brandon held responsible Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, Aerys's eldest son and the heir to the Iron Throne, and went with a small company of young nobles to King's Landing to challenge Rhaegar. Aerys had them all imprisoned on charges of conspiring to kill the crown prince and summoned their fathers to answer for the crimes of their sons. The nobles and their sons were executed by Aerys, with the exception of Ethan Glover.[5]

As was his right, Lord Rickard demanded a trial by combat, expecting to fight a Kingsguard. Aerys granted Rickard's request but to the Mad King, House Targaryen's champion was fire. Protected by Ser Gerold Hightower and Ser Jaime Lannister of the Kingsguard, Aerys had Rickard suspended in the throne room of the Red Keep. Rossart and another pyromancer lit a fire beneath Rickard while he was dressed in his steel armor. Brandon, with a Tyroshi noose around his neck and a sword just out of his reach, was made to watch his father roast. Trying to reach the sword to save his dying father, Brandon strangled himself.[5]

Rickard was succeeded by his second son, Eddard. Together with Lords Jon Arryn, Hoster Tully, and Robert Baratheon, Lord Eddard was a leader of Robert's Rebellion, the revolt against the Targaryens that overthrew their dynasty. Some have blamed Rickard's alliances for the near fall of House Stark.[10]

One of Eddard's sons, Bran Stark, believes that his grandfather was beheaded by the Mad King.[4]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

Rickard appears in Theon Greyjoy's nightmare of King Robert I Baratheon's feast of the dead at Winterfell.[11]

Meera Reed takes the heavy sword from Rickard's tomb when Bran Stark and his companions leave the crypt of Winterfell.[12]


Lord Rickard demanded trial by combat, and the king granted the request. Stark armored himself as for battle, thinking to duel one of the Kingsguard. Me, perhaps. Instead they took him to the throne room and suspended him from the rafters while two of Aerys's pyromancers kindled a blaze beneath him. The king told him that fire was the champion of House Targaryen. So all Lord Rickard needed to do to prove himself innocent of treason was ... well, not burn.[5]

They tend to us when we are sick and injured, or distraught over the illness of a parent or a child. Whenever we are weakest and most vulnerable, there they are. Sometimes they heal us, and we are duly grateful. When they fail, they console us in our grief, and we are grateful for that as well. Out of gratitude we give them a place beneath our roof and make them privy to all our shames and secrets, a part of every council. And before too long, the ruler has become the ruled. That was how it was with Lord Rickard Stark. Maester Walys was his grey rat's name.[8]

The day I learned that Brandon was to marry Catelyn Tully, though ... there was nothing sweet about that pain. He never wanted her, I promise you that. He told me so, on our last night together ... but Rickard Stark had great ambitions too. Southron ambitions that would not be served by having his heir marry the daughter of one of his own vassals.[13]


Lorra Royce
Lyanne Glover
Arya Flint
Benedict Royce
Marna Locke
House Royce
Catelyn Tully
Tyrion Lannister
Jon Snow

Rickard was probably an only child.[14] According to Old Nan, he might have had a baby brother named Brandon, who died just three years old of summer fever.[15]


  1. See the Rickard Stark calculation.
  2. The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Stark Lineage.
  3. 3.0 3.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
  4. 4.0 4.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 66, Bran VII.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 55, Catelyn VII.
  6. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
  7. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 6, Sansa I.
  8. 8.0 8.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 37, The Prince of Winterfell.
  9. The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring.
  10. The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Lords of Winterfell.
  11. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 50, Theon IV.
  12. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 69, Bran VII.
  13. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 41, The Turncloak.
  14. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 45, Catelyn V.
  15. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 24, Bran IV.