Mid-Week M.E.L.A: Game of Thrones – House Stark has been edited by Suraj Zala.
Winter is coming.
The very motto of House Stark succeeds in giving us goosebumps. It is the only house that reveals the circumstantially inevitable truth that will be relevant, no matter what the situation be. The house’s flag, a grey dire wolf in a white background, distinctly exhibits Stark’s elegance and simplicity. Their established name is a reason enough for us to conclude our favouritism in the Game Of Thrones, isn’t it?
Let’s take a trip down the history lane, remembering Torrhen Stark. Also called the King Who Knelt, the first one to hold the throne. Years went by, and we came across Eddard Stark, the beloved Warden of the North. A man true to his responsibilities, he indeed was an admirable fit to his genuine title. It was his faithfulness that compelled Robert Baratheon to entitle him as his hand, after the demise of Jon Arryn. Following this, he soon traversed to the King’s Landing with Sansa and Arya Stark. Well, we do not know about winter, but the change was surely coming.
It was there that Eddard discovered the king’s true lineage, discovering that Joffery was the product of incest. He was subsequently executed for treason, owing to his impressionable claim after Robert Baratheon’s death. Poor Sansa and Arya, having to witness such ungracious death of their father. Sansa was then held hostage as a promised wife to King Joffrey, awaiting torture that only a devil could anticipate. Arya, suffering through a fate no auspicious ended up in the servitude of Tywin Lannister, impersonating as a boy. Oh, this one was fortunate enough to escape what could have been a tragedy. However, not lucky enough to escape what came next. Well, here came the Hound, and there went her free will. But then came another element of surprise. The Hound intended to take her to the Winterfell, intending to get a reward by ransoming her back to her family. Confounding, very confounding.
Meanwhile, Eddard’s death spread a spurt of rage in Winterfell. Robb Stark, Eddard’s oldest son, set to avenge his father’s death. And how does he choose to do so? Well, by contributing to the flame of war, the War of Five Kings. That is right. Aiming for the iron throne, Robb constructed a strategy to conquer King’s Landing. But, it seems like hard luck runs in the family, for him along with his wife, Talisa Maegyr and Catelyn Stark, were brutally murdered. This assassination, orchestrated by an alliance of Roose Bolton and House Frey, came to be popularly known as the Red Wedding. Devious, right?
The circumstances prevailed left Bran and Rickon, two of Eddard’s sons, perplexed. Bran left crippled for having encountered a terrible deed, had to flee Winterfell, along with Rickon, Osha, and Hodor. This happened on account of Theon Greyjoy’s treacherous attempt to hold the two brothers hostage. Theon burnt two farm boys, addressing the scorched bodies as the Stark brothers. This ultimately implied the end of evidential Stark Hierarchy.
After Robb’s death, Roose Bolton took charge as the new Warden of North, claiming the throne of Winterfell. Alongside, Sansa escapes the King’s Landing with the help of Littlefinger, Petyr Baelish. She secretly returned to Winterfell only to fall prey to another misfortune. She gets married to Ramsay Snow. But soon, Sansa finds out the truth about her brothers being alive through Reek. Following this, having able to bring Theone back to his senses, she managed to escape Winterfell along with him. And after all, it was not the end of the world for they were saved by Brienne and Pod. Following this, Sansa, under Brienne’s sworn protection, headed to the wall in search of her half-brother.
Bran eventually says sayonara to Rickon and Osha. Consecutively, he begins his visual training from the three-eyed raven. But, it was short-lived as he triggered the White Walkers’ radar who set forth to find him. Their successful quest led Hodor’s death, with Bran seeking an asylum along with Meera Reed.
Ramsay, who then held Rickon Stark as a captive, addresses a letter to Jon Snow, affirming the prevailed. This eventually leads to the Battle of the Bastards, with Jon and Ramsay as opponents. But, Rickon could not be saved. He was killed by the vivid accuracy of Ramsay’s arrow because of never having heard of “Zig-Zag”. Although Jon entered the battlefield with a smearing sense of favourable outcome, Sansa had already formed an alliance with Littlefinger to provide a necessary backing to Jon’s army. Without this thoughtful aid, Jon’s host would have been eradicated.
Concurrently, Arya portrayed herself to be a figure of strength. Having left the Hound wounded, she stayed at the House of Black and White in Braavos. There, under Jaqen H’ghar‘s supervision, she trained herself to be a faceless man. There, she was a girl with no name, deprived of her own identity. Well, what else could she do? She had to protect herself from the Lannisters anyway. Even if it meant serving the God Of Death. But eventually, she could no longer escape the call of her duty and decided to take charge of getting justice. All by twisting and turning her own fate. She recited her own emblem of righteousness and gave mercy to no man who did her family wrong.
When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.
From Eddard to Arya, each and every member of House Stark has been a symbol of integrity. Eddard and Robb have been able to withhold their role as men with immense clarity, who somehow never surrendered and maintained their potency as fearless leaders. Simultaneously, Bran and Rickon, with their complete understanding and effective analytical skills, have been a benchmark of courage and bravery. And finally, Sansa and Arya, with their tragic yet inspiring role, have been an illustration of potency and cogency. And for Jon, he has always been our fearless, prescient, Lord Commander, our King in the North.
We know no king, but the King in the North whose name is Stark.
-Lady Lyanna Mormont
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