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The only hope for a Stark restoration is...


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#1 AegonTargaryen

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 12:31 AM

Jon. And Jon will have to accept some sort of crown or lordship to restore the Starks.

At the end of Dance, House Stark as a political entity is non-existent. Yes, there may be a northern conspiracy to place Rickon in power but this doesn't restore the Starks. Rickon is a child and would essentially be a pawn or puppet for whichever northern house controls him. Essentially what I'm saying is that any "northern conspiracy" would be a conflict and struggle for power between houses Bolton and Manderly (broadly speaking). House Stark, with its remaining heirs all children, and with their seat in ruins, is not a political power in any way.

I think House Stark returns to prominence if Jon, and only Jon, accepts a kingship, either by Robb's will over the north, or preferably via Rhaegar to the whole of the kingdoms.

First, I don't see Jon being king in the north with bran and rickon alive. Robb wrote that will thinking that the lads were dead, and Jon wouldn't take his sibling's birthright. I mean sure it would be cool if Jon is king in the north, but what happens when rick grows up? I just see that whole scenario to be quite messy.

However, if Jon crowns himself as Jon Targaryen, king of the seven kingdoms, we have a whole different ball game. We now have a Targaryen in the north, raised by Eddard Stark, with Lyanna Stark as his mother. The wildlings would follow Jon, and Manderly and Co. would follow suit. Now, we start to see the Starks as a political entity restart to gain traction:

We have a king who's half Stark. Those loyal to the memory of Ned and Robb would have someone to flock to. But not a child, rather someone with legitimate battle experience, a lord commander of the night's watch, and most of all a Stark. Rickon is declared warden of the north or lord of winterfell or whatever, but regardless, he will be in better shape as a young lord under the protection of his big bro, a Stark, then another northern house.

I think only under this scenario does house Stark begin to emerge as a legitimate force.


***This also fits into my broader theory that the dance of dragons 2.0 is not between aegon and dany, but between Jon and Aegon with a north/south divide. Sansa arranges for the vale to join with the trident and the north to support Jon, while the south backs Aegon.

Edited by AegonTargaryen, 20 June 2013 - 12:35 AM.


#2 juanml82

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 12:53 AM

Sansa can also restore the Starks, if she can raise a host of valemen and make use of Littlefinger instead of the other way around. Of course, those are some big ifs.

Ideally, Sansa would take the regency while Jon commands the military forces of the North and Rickon is groomed for leadership so he can take the kingship when he turns sixteen. ASOIAF is anything but idea, though.

#3 Morienthar

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 12:55 AM

Sansa can also restore the Starks, if she can raise a host of valemen and make use of Littlefinger instead of the other way around. Of course, those are some big ifs.

Ideally, Sansa would take the regency while Jon commands the military forces of the North and Rickon is groomed for leadership so he can take the kingship when he turns sixteen. ASOIAF is anything but idea, though.

The problem would be the next generations won't really be Starks at all.

#4 Rupert Honeybun

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 01:09 AM

Well Jon already refused the offer to Stannis, and if Davos actually brings Rickon back, Stannis will wed him to whomever he likes (when the time comes) and have north in his pocket. Then there is Sansa, who was 'promised' North by LF.

#5 The Mountain That Posts

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 01:18 AM

I'm going for Sansa saving the house.

Jon? Bran? Arya? All of these scream highly unlikely to me. As for Rickon, he's unlikely for a different reason - the fact he's basically just a name, he's so minor of a character.

Sansa is really the only way I could see the Starks living on.

#6 AegonTargaryen

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 01:22 AM

Well Jon already refused the offer to Stannis, and if Davos actually brings Rickon back, Stannis will wed him to whomever he likes (when the time comes) and have north in his pocket. Then there is Sansa, who was 'promised' North by LF.


Exactly. Even if Rickon is found and is placed in the custody of Manderly or Baratheon, he would just be a pawn. And the problem with Sansa is that 1) I wouldn't put any stock in a promise made by LF and 2) she could be manipulated so that other families gain power in the north (i.e the Tyrell plot and her marriage to Tyrion, the intention was to place a Tyrell or Lannister as lord of winterfell, not a true stark)

All these issues can be mitigated though if Jon takes the helm. Stark supporters don't need to turn to Manderly, or Stannis, or Glover, but they can turn directly to a Stark. With Jon taking a kingship house Stark as a political force starts to re-establish itself. I don't see that happening with Rickon in someone else's custody, to be manipulated at will.

Edited by AegonTargaryen, 20 June 2013 - 01:23 AM.


#7 Errant Bard

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 01:25 AM

I'm not quite sure why Jon could not be manipulated as much as Sansa, here.

#8 Leif

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 01:32 AM

Nope. That's Rickon's job. Jon can enjoy the Wall.

#9 Balerion06

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 01:42 AM

So, um, how exactly does Jon leave the Wall to become regent/king/whatever?

And how exactly does he win the Iron Throne? Through his constant brooding?

#10 Qhorin Fivehands

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 01:45 AM

Rickon the Starks best hope. I do believe Jon is a Targaryen but I have a feeling he won't have enough support to win the throne. And even if he tries to claim the North through Robbs will which is legally legitimate, I still think they'll try to put Rickon in power.

#11 AegonTargaryen

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:28 AM

I'm not quite sure why Jon could not be manipulated as much as Sansa, here.


older, more experienced, and that's what history would suggest.

So, um, how exactly does Jon leave the Wall to become regent/king/whatever?

And how exactly does he win the Iron Throne? Through his constant brooding?


Doesn't matter how he leaves the wall. He can leave on a technicality or he can just up and leave. And it doesn't matter if he wins the iron throne or not that's not what the thread is about.

The point is that even if Jon is an unsuccessful pretender in the north, house Stark will regain some form of structure or leadership that would allow them to eventually come back to power.

While I agree that Rickon is ultimately the Starks best hope I think in the interim and during his minority he needs Jon. Rickon is a wild, likely depressed little boy. If he falls into the hands of another family, they will only use him as a pawn to further their own interests.

#12 Perfidious Algernon

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:43 AM

Maybe I'm blinded by the sheer awesome of his, "the North remembers" speech, but I trust Manderly to look after the Stark's best interests until Rickon is grown. Yeah, he'd use the position to maximize his own influence for after his regency ended, but I don't think he'd try to make a pawn out of Rickon.

Edit - Spelling

Edited by Perfidious Algernon, 20 June 2013 - 08:43 AM.


#13 The Mountain That Flies

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:46 AM

Doesn't matter how he leaves the wall. He can leave on a technicality or he can just up and leave.


No, he can't. While Stannis and Robb both put their efforts in to pry Jon from the Watch, both are technically kings (one being the king most connected to the Watch0, so they coul maybe swing something. Though even in that case, there is no evidence in Weserosi history of someone being able to leave the Watch, let alone to become a Lord Paramount. If Jon tried to just up and leave, no one would follow him on account of being an othabreaker, and he would likely lose his head.

We had Jon as Lord of Winterfell teased to us, and it didn't happen. Yes, Rickon and Sansa could become pawns of whoever puts them in power, but they can actually inherit the title. Also, they're alive and (physically) healthy, whereas Jon is likely either going to be trapped in Ghost or be a zombie.

Edited by The Mountain That Flies, 20 June 2013 - 08:53 AM.


#14 Beorn Snow

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:48 AM

Rickon would be a pawn until the end of the series but not necessarily his entire life. He takes back winterfell, the bannermen swear him oaths, his custodian arranges a politically sensible marriage. Yes, someone profits, but it´s a restoration. Whether Rickon will be strong enough later in his life to take decisions or whether it´s the next Stark generation, it´s a restoration.

Don´t discount Sansa´s or even Arya´s input. Their story has not yet been told.

#15 RKOpanther

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:59 AM

Maybe I'm blinded by the sheer awesome of his, "the North remembers" speech, but I trust Manderly to look after the Stark's best interests until Rickon is grown. Yeah, he'd use the position to maximize his own influence for after his regency ended, but I don't think he'd try to make a pawn out of Rickon.

Edit - Spelling


Manderly is just going along with Stannis until Rickon is found. I guarrantee you when it happens the Manderlys will be the first ones to scream "King in the North".

#16 Maia

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 09:01 AM

It will be Sansa. Her kids would be as "real" Starks as Jon is, LoL, and if she ends up ruling, they will bear the Stark name, too.

Technicality or no, anybody opposed to Jon would be always able to claim that he is an oathbreaker who, according to millenia old tradition and law, has to be put down ASAP. King in the North never had authority to rescind NW oaths.

Rickon - it seems like his whole raison d'etre is to be the Stark heir, which is why I am pretty sure that he won't be.
And so what if he is a pawn? Manderlies seem quite competent and powerful and they are not in position to usurp the Starks.
IMHO, all northern Westeros is going to be overrun by Others and the decisive confrontation with them is going to happen on the Trident, anyway, like in Dany's dream. The North will only get rebuilt and repopulated after the Long Night ends in a decade or so series-time.


#17 Aurane Velaryon

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 09:02 AM

the Stark's restoration won't come down to just one Stark, it will be all of them.
Lady Stoneheart and Arya to take revenge on Stark enemies.
Sansa to rebuild Winterfell and possibly rule it for a short time. she will be the Stark at Winterfell.
Bran for spiritual guidance? as he can see into the past, he can help keep the Stark traditions alive and bring back old ones.
Rickon to become Lord and pass on the Stark name.
Jon is sort of a wildcard, anything can happen with him at this point but one thing is for sure, he won't become Lord of Winterfell.

#18 C0bR

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 09:05 AM

Rickon being a pawn... I mean what could that possibly mean? Manderly controlling him for 10-15 years and marrying him to his grandaughter? I think that is a reasonable price for restoring the house with Manderly's help.

What could Manderly possibly want for himself while being his Reagent? Few more lands under his under fealty? Maybe Dreadfort after the Boltons are destroyed? He can't want much more, unless he wants other northern lords to turn on him instead. And I still believe that Manderly's care and loyalty is mostly genuine with only few backdoor ideas, which I do not find as something that can stop Starks from growing back to power through Rickon.

Well Jon already refused the offer to Stannis, and if Davos actually brings Rickon back, Stannis will wed him to whomever he likes (when the time comes) and have north in his pocket. Then there is Sansa, who was 'promised' North by LF.

Stannis would be the last who would have a word of to whom Rickon would be married. He does not control anything in North and the best he can hope for is Alliance with them, not him being their King.

Edited by C0bR, 20 June 2013 - 09:08 AM.


#19 Perfidious Algernon

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 01:08 PM

What could Manderly possibly want for himself while being his Reagent? Few more lands under his under fealty? Maybe Dreadfort after the Boltons are destroyed? He can't want much more, unless he wants other northern lords to turn on him instead. And I still believe that Manderly's care and loyalty is mostly genuine with only few backdoor ideas, which I do not find as something that can stop Starks from growing back to power through Rickon.


He's already got the mint and the fleet, and I imagine he'd try to absorb as much of the Bolton lands as he could, especially since they're adjacent to his. Maybe Hornwood, too. I'd be shocked if he didn't marry Wylla to Rickon, thus giving his house favored status with Winterfell for generations to come, and I'm sure he'd want to surround Rickon with Manderly playmates to grow up with. If he got truly reckless he could try to reduce the tax burden on White Harbor. Most importantly, I think, he'd have control over Rickon's education. He'd make sure Rickon grew up convinced that the Manderlys were indispensable, and maybe that some of their rivals were less than trustworthy.

If Manderly does most of that he's sure to earn the envy of the other Northern houses, but currying favor with the king probably offsets the negatives. Its no less than what Tywin was willing to risk with Robert.

Edit - To clarify, this is what he could do if he decided to be extremely aggresive about things. I don't think he'd go quite this far.

Edited by Perfidious Algernon, 20 June 2013 - 01:11 PM.


#20 Duncan Egg

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 01:27 PM

Well first off, I don't think we see anymore Stark deaths, so the Stark restoration is gonna happen.
- Sansa will become a major player in the north either via the Vale or temporarily Winterfell
- Bran will live for a thousand years in his tree fort
- Arya will never come out from the shadows. She's seen to much, and experienced too much. She will live a life of solitude and the only happy reunion she will get will be with Nymeria.
- Rickon will be seated at Winterfell by Manderly/Stannis/Jon
- Jon is AA and will end up on the Iron Throne