Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Mark O'Kane

The North Army Numbers

Recommended Posts

Seen a lot of debating so thought I would clear things up as to exactly how many soldiers each of the main Northern Houses can muster. 

House Stark:

We know they have 12,000 men at Winterfell and that was when Robb only had 2 weeks to arm his men. He also is stated by Ser Rodrik Cassell to have 4000 knights or near enough to make no matter. Rodrik then musters a further 2000 men to repel Theon before he is betrayed by Ramsay. Therefore the Starks have around 14000 but probably more when they scrape the bottom of the barrel. Makes sense since they are the lords paramount and also the Warden of the North. Total Strength - 15000

House Karstark:

Possibly the 2nd most powerful because we know Lord Rickard brought 2300 men to Winterfell but that was him moving fast to save Ned because I think I recall the Karstarks being given Karhold by Ned so they owe the Starks a life debt. We know from the show when Robb tells us the Karstarks make up exactly half of the Northern Army so at one point the Karstarks must have gotten reinforcements of around 8000 men because Robb had 19500 at Moat Cailin. Robb knows how important they are which is why he tries to hard to keep them. Arnolf Karstark then is able to gather 450 men to join Stannis which is probably mostly the survivors from the 10000 men who abandoned Riverunn to look for Jaime. Karstark strength - 12350

House Bolton - 3rd Strongest House in the North. Known as the Red Kings before the Starks defeated them sometime before the main story. They bring an unknown amount to Winterfell but we know Roose Boltom has 3500 at the Twins but Theon says he has 4000 at Moat Cailin so probably closer to 3500 because Roose is a General whereas Theon isn't as experienced as the older more cautious Roose. Some of those 3500 are said to be Karstarks but I'd say at least 3000 are Boltons. Ramsay later brings 600 Bolton Veterans to Winterfell, easily killing all the Stark Army of 2000 men like an axe through cheese. The thing people don't realise is numbers aren't important, it's how powerful your soldiers are. These dreadfoot troops are high level swordsmen with equipment exceeding even the Starks e.g. lances for knightly charges and longaxes for close quarters. Free Northman Reborn said once that the Boltons tax their people more and this means they are the richest house except maybe the Lannisters, Hightowers, Freys etc. Because of their wealth they can more than likely double their army with sellswords like the second sons. An interesting thing that shows their strength is that they suffer next to no casualties at the Green Fork despite Roose being the commander and having his men engage Tywin. Roose lost around 6000 men at the Greenfork (mostly untried Manderlys, Rills Spearmen and Karstarks with a few knights to stiffen them) but the skill of the Boltons meant they won their skirmish but lost the battle because the Karstark right lost to the Mountain, routing the Starks when they were on the verge of victory. Total number - 13000 (6000 plus 6000 sellswords). 

Manderly - Most powerful navy in the North. They are said to have 50 ships hidden up the White Knife to repel Ironborn assaults or Iron Throne counter attacks. Wyman sends 1500 Manderlys to help Robb but then he has the 50 boats fight Ramsay for control of the Hornwood lands and then he also commands more heavy horse than the Starks because he says he has more Knights than Ned. Robb has 4000 knights at Winterfell so its safe to assume Wyman has equal or double this. Wyman also brings 300 Mermen Knights to Winterfell as his personal bodyguard when he goes to pledge fealty to Ramsay. I will do a separate video on the various fleets of the seven kingdoms but I don't think it's fair to count his marines, therefore I put the manderly strength at 6800 which makes sense considering the other houses are older and more respected by the Northern people. They rival the Boltons but the Bolton army is more experienced as they fought in Roberts Rebellion and also the Greyjoy Rebellion whereas the Manderlys had just arrived at the Wolf's Den. 

House Umber - The Greatjon is the strongest Northern Warrior and thus the Umbers have a very powerful presence. Even their green boys and greybeards are feared as Ramsay needed their 800 troops to force the Ironborn at Moat Cailin to surrender. Greatjon doesn't state his numbers exactly but as he was able to leave 800 men under his brothers Crowfood and Whoresbane I'd say he brought at least 1000 men south. Ramsay mentions in Season 6 he has 5000 men but 4000 are Boltons so 1000 must come from Karstarks and Umber. We know Arnolf has 450 so the Umbers must have numbered 550. The Umbers warred with the Horned King Beyond the wall so that is why they have lower numbers in recent times but their ferocity is unmatched. Total strength - 2300

House Mormont - Lady Mormont stated that Mormont warriors are worth 3 regular Northern Warriors because they are naturally stronger e.g. Jorah. They are stated to have 62 men equalling 186 regular men as reserves in their castle garrison plus Commander Mormont stated each Northern House has at least 1000 men. Mormonts also join Stannis to fight against the Bolton-Frey army which swells his numbers to 5000 and he previously had 1300 at Castle Black Total strength - 3200

House Glover - House Glover has stood behind House Stark for exactly 1000 years and because of this they have the best armor signified by their sigil, a mailed fist. They send 900 men to Ser Rodrik to help and another key piece of evidence is the Greatjon hates being placed behind them in the March. This means he has more men than the Glovers but they likely have better armor with more defensive capabilities than the Umbers who utilize boilet leather and greatswords. The Glovers rule the castle of Deepwood Motte and the entirety of the Wolfswood is their domain which means they have huge resources to trade meaning they have one of the deepest coffers of the northern houses. They excel at Woodland combat and they have huge defense and specialise in mail. Being a knightly house means they are looked down upon by lords but they are strong enough to keep lords at bay but given they give 900 men to Ser Rodrik that would mean they sent at least 1000 with Robb. They also contributed a few thousand men to Stannis (2000?) and Galbart Glover had 3000 men to attack Duskendale. House Glover total - 5500 - more powerful than Umber yes but Umbers have more prestige with the lordly status. 

Northern Mountain Clans

The Wulls and Norreys are very hard to calculate as Jon says that they have 2-3000 men but this has been the subject of debate. There is no way to know is it 2000 or 3000 but GRR Martin is notorious for discrepencies. Total - 2000-3000

House Hornwood

This is a funny one. We know they are defeated by the Dreadfort Garrison of 600 but we also know the Bolton men can defeat armies many times their size. Rodriks army of 2000 was defeated but Theon stated Rodrik has him 5 to 1 meaning Rodrik had 3000 men which messes numbers up somewhat (where did Rodrik get 1000 more men? Possible Karstarks returning from Riverlands?). I put the Hornwoods at 2000 because the Boltons defeated them very quickly and it took the Manderly fleet to drive them back to the Dreadfort. They also sent men with Robb and in medieval times a muster was normally 27% of all fighters so House Hornwood total - about 2500

House Dustin - The Horselords of the North. They have a massive cavalry called the Winter Wolves consisting of 2000 heavy horse who can defeat Southron Knights with ease as shown in the Butcher's Ball. They excel at icy combat and they can swing swords whilst ahorse to attack or defend. Rodrick Dustin rode a magnificent blood red horse that he would have bred with all of his mens' to give them the fastest horses which means they are even more formidable. Lady Dustin refused to let the Winter Wolves ride as she loved Ned and was bitter about him marrying Catelyn but she sends her Castle Garrison of at least 100 men with Robb who no doubt made a massive difference in the Whispering Wood. Dustin Strength - 2100

House Reed - Arguably the most powerful house due to their alternative abilities. Their soldiers can move through swamps in a way no regular soldiers could. They use poisin arrows and are expert stealth archers. Some Reeds can warg and use greensight due to interbreeding with the Children to control local flora and fauna. They send no men with Robb so they can defend the neck incase Tywin defeated Robb so they are full strength and the only Northern House to not lose a man in the war of the five kings. Total strength - unknown.

House Talhart - 3025 - 3000 men who attack Duskendale plus 25 Wild Hares

House Cerwyn - 1225 - 900 men who join Ser Rodrik plus 25 wild hares + 300 with Robb as Tyrion sees the Cerwyn Battleaxe at the Green Fork. 

Flint - The Flints are a tough one to speculate. They control vast lands that are warmer than the Starks but they are constantly at war with the sisterfolk and Ironborn. They may have needed every man to fight at home and Robb needed to move fast so I doubt they gave any men to robb. If they can match the Ironfleet they must be able to field at least 10000 men but this is pure speculation and the real number could be much higher or a little lower. 

I think that is all of them but feel free to let me know if I missed one! 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Mark O'Kane said:

Sorry but I don't think I am? Which part did I make a mistake?

All of it really, these numbers and facts you brought up, never really happened in the books.

Using details from the tv show is not recommended. This is because Dumb & Dumber decided to make shit up as the show progressed.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ramsay won his battle through treachery, not because his soldiers were vastly superior; I mean veterans of what battles for instance? All the Bolton men who had fought so far were still south as everyone was stuck due to ironmen holding the neck. Also Manderly is the strongest house in the North, even moreso than the Starks in terms of raw numbers because they actually have the coin to field their men and have the only city North of the neck. You're counting armies twice as well because the Stark host and later Bolton hosts are pulled from the greater parts of the North aka vassals. There's no way Stark or Bolton lands are fielding more than 5-6k apiece and that's probably pushing it without them really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

 

The 62 men of House Mormont is from TV. There are others in here as well, likely because these got pulled off of a wiki page.

Wiki of Ice and Fire is the book wiki.

Edited by Leonardo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But the Bolton men knew how to defeat men who formed up in sheild walls. They were most likely men who fought in the battle of the bells, trident, greyjoy rebellion etc. Because the Boltons are taxing more they have probably even more money than the Manderlys to equip and train their soldiers. I think we are both right because you have to take all the sources and combine them as the different accounts of all the characters are varying because Reek thought there was 1400 Freys but Cersei said 2000. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nah the Manderlys are faaaaar wealthier than even the Starks, so that means even wealthier than the Boltons.

 

when it comes to numbers we only trust the books, because the tv show doesn’t make sense, and also this is a book forum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok this is full of errors and problems. You've taken data from both modern events and events of over century ago. You've also repeatedly assumed that a mentioned force is entirely composed of the forces of one house where there is no evidence for this.  And show data which is both not to be trusted and this is a book forum.

Instead lets try and get some real numbers.

House Bolton

We can make decent guesses for the Boltons. Assuming after the Blackwater the Boltons take no losses. Roose arrives at the Twins with 3,500 men and sends 200 more to King's Landing. The 3,500 are said to be a mix of Boltons and Karstarks. The Boltons also have a garrison of 600 men plus since Ramsey couldn't leave the Dreadfort undefended when he went to Winterfell with the Garrison. Assuming at most 500 Karstarks and the possibility Boltons took losses at the Greenfork this suggest a Bolton strength of somewhere between 4,000 and maybe 5,000. Perhaps more if a full muster was done. Ramsey was said to be mustering men suggesting Roose's initial force was not a complete muster.

Total: 4-5,000+

House Karstark

The Karstarks took 2,300 men south with them in Robb's Army. The Karstarks also show up again with 450 men to 'help' Stannis during the march on Winterfell. Plus the small number of men that went after Alys and a garrison in Karhold that would suggest 3,000 men is a reasonable muster. They might be able to gather more given time perhaps. Arnolf probably would have wanted men he could trust to at least follow his orders when push came to shove rather than raw inexperienced troops.

Total 3,000 +

The rest of the Winterfell Army

12,000 men were muster at Winterfell. 2,300 are Karstarks and we can guess that at most 4,000 were Bolton. This leave roughly 6,000 for every other house gathered: Hornwood, Glover ,Umber, Mormont, Stark and Cerwyn. Assume the Tallharts were waiting on the Kingsroad instead of at Winterfell. Beyond this everything is pure speculation. Perhaps 2,000 or so Stark and Umber men, 300 each for Mormonts and Glovers and maybe 700 each for Cerwyn and Hornwood.

House Umber

800 Greybeards and Green Boys take part in the fights in Stannis' campaign on both sides but both are clearly the last drags of an Umber muster. It's noted in Clash that the Greatjon took so many men they don't have enough left to gather the Harvest. Perhaps 2,000 men went south with the GreatJon. This would suggest the Umbers could muster 3000 men or maybe a few more.

Total 3,000 +

House Manderly

1,500 men joined the Northern Army at Motte Cailin and 300 men are at Winterfell. He also provided men to retake Winterfell. Given that White Harbour is an important city and would require a larger garrison than a castle of hold on could assume he may have perhaps close to a thousand to hold the city in armed men. This would give him over three thousand or so men at a minimum.

Total 3,000 +

House Stark

We've already given them 2,000 or more for the army marching south. 600 men march to face Dagmar Cleftjaw plus the garrison in Winterfell which was small and 50 men lost in the south before the fighting started. There might also be other garrisons belonging to lesser houses sworn to Winterfell that the Starks might be able to call upon. 3,000 perhaps at a stretch

Total 3,000 or less

House Cerwyn

Guessed 700 or so men deployed to the south. Another 300 march with Rodrick Cassel. Plus a garrison in Castle Cerwyn. Maybe 1,200 men or a few more.

Total 1,200 roughly

Mountain Clans

2-3,000 thousand men are said my Jon to be available. Number probably fluctuated from season to season. Stannis likely gets a large muster given how determined they seem to fight the Boltons. But some probably would have had to stay behind and the Mountain chiefs who attend Castle Black and have 17 men between them.

Total 3,000 +

Beyond this it gets very tricky to figure out. Some houses like the Dustins, Ryswells, both Flints, Hornwoods, Tallharts and Lockes we're never given a firm number to base anything off of at all. Even if we knew how many Dustins and Ryswells fought in Robbs army we know the Dustins, and can assume the Ryswells might have, held men back sending as few as possible. Some houses we can assume the numbers we have are at least a decent chunk of their muster except maybe the Manderlys but they have different circumstances. Half of this is guesses as it is. Beyond that is pure speculation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming the North has a population of 3 to 4 million, then it could field an army of about 30 - 60,000 men at full strength (working on the assumption that a pre-industrial society can field 1 - 1.5% of its population, without the economy crashing).

Robb led 18,000 South, of whom about 4,000 returned, with Roose Bolton.  So the North could now field, at the bare minimum, 16,000 men.  But, you'd add to that number, an unknown number of boys who have reached fighting age since Robb went South.  So, the bare minimum is actually about 20,000.

Logistically speaking, it would be very difficult to field an army of more than 30,000 and keep it supplied with food and fodder, in this world.

Edited by SeanF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I'd figured that too you're right. The North can field 60000 men but it was because that Roose Bolton betrayed Robb that almost half of that army was killed and then the 10000 Karstark deserters and the Frey Betrayal where he lose 5000 men. I wouldn't be surprised if Jon is able to field at least those 60000 swords against the others but he has to convince the Boltons to give up power or else everyone is doomed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If whole Westeros is size of South America then size of the North is almost same than real Europe. There is no way that major lords could have contacted anyone living in that huge area.So North should have a lot of men left. After all Robb took only those men that he could call at arms as soon as possible and he did not wait until all men he could have called came to WF.

Besides only VIPs could afford to hire a maester so there should have been a lot of men living in places that did not had access to ravens. So there is a possibility that a lot of people found out that Robb had called his banners only after when his task force had already marched to south.

Or the North will have as many men left as all-powerful author allows them to have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Mark O'Kane said:

Yeah I'd figured that too you're right. The North can field 60000 men but it was because that Roose Bolton betrayed Robb that almost half of that army was killed and then the 10000 Karstark deserters and the Frey Betrayal where he lose 5000 men. I wouldn't be surprised if Jon is able to field at least those 60000 swords against the others but he has to convince the Boltons to give up power or else everyone is doomed. 

There weren’t 10000 Karstark troops south... you’re still drawing from the show

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty much in summary

Stark - 3600 (+Glover+Tallhart+Cerywn - direct vassels? 1000 each) - 6600

Bolton - 3200

Karstark - 2750

Umber - 2800

Manderly - 6500

Mountain Clans - 3000

Mormont - 1000

Dustin - 4000

Flint (both branches) - 2000

Reed - 300

Hornwood - 2000

Total - 34,150

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Mark O'Kane

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Leonardo said:

There weren’t 10000 Karstark troops south... you’re still drawing from the show

I didn't want to bring it up because it's somewhat of a house secret but the Karstarks actually reproduce via mitosis. Their birth to adulthood only takes a few months.

So Karstark might have ridden south with 2000 infantry and 300 cavalry, but he betrayed Robb with like ~10,618 men, depending on the time of day when the betrayal landed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

I didn't want to bring it up because it's somewhat of a house secret but the Karstarks actually reproduce via mitosis. Their birth to adulthood only takes a few months.

So Karstark might have ridden south with 2000 infantry and 300 cavalry, but he betrayed Robb with like ~10,618 men, depending on the time of day when the betrayal landed.

ffs don't go spilling the secrets of the sunburst bloodline!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...