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Regions of Westeros

Territories and their rulers:
House Stark, the North (green);
House Arryn, the Vale of Arryn (dark blue);
House Tully, the Riverlands (dark grey);
House Greyjoy, the Iron Islands (dark yellow);
King of the Andals and the First Men, the Crownlands (light brown);
House Lannister, the Westerlands (dark red);
House Blackwater, the Reach (yellow);
House Blackgard, the Borderlands (white);
House Baratheon, the Stormlands (tan);
House Baerley, Dorne (orange);
Free Folk, Beyond the Wall (light blue);
Night's Watch, the Gift and the Wall (black)

The Great Houses are the most powerful of the noble houses of the Seven Kingdoms. They exercise immense authority and power over their vassals and territories and are answerable only to the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, King of the Andals and the First Men.

Before the Targaryen Conquest, each of the Seven Kingdoms was ruled independently by a powerful royal family. During the Conquest these families were either destroyed and replaced, or defeated and forced to swear allegiance to King Aegon, reigning from the Iron Throne in King's Landing.

The GardenersHoares, and Durrandons were slain and replaced by the TyrellsGreyjoys, and Baratheons respectively, while the Lannisters, Rylens,  Arryns, and Starks surrendered peacefully and were allowed to remain in control of their lands. In addition, Aegon raised up the Tullys to rule over the Riverlands, which had been under ironborn occupation prior to his arrival. After a long civil war in the Borderlands and the Stormlands, King Aenys I, Aegon's son and heir, elevated House Blackgard to a Great House, as well. Only House Martell of Dorne resisted his armies, but was later brought into the fold through a peaceful marriage-alliance some two centuries later.

Each Great House has a large number of vassal houses serving it, most of whom in turn have smaller vassals under them, extending all the way down to farmers and landed knights. Each Great House rules over its territory and is responsible for collecting taxes and, in times of war, raising troops to fight for the king. Otherwise they are largely left to operate autonomously to simplify the bureaucracy and governance of the realm.

Robert's Rebellion ended in the exile of the last Targaryens, with House Baratheon replacing them on the Iron Throne. In exchange for their services in aiding the rebellion, House Rylen was granted independence from the Seven Kingdoms and once again became the royal house of the Tiger Islands.

The War of the Five Kings has seen changes amongst the Great Houses. House Baratheon, including both of its rival branches House Baratheon of King's Landing and House Baratheon of Dragonstone, has become extinct. The Riverlands and the titles of House Tully, defeated in the war and exiled, have been given to its former vassal House Frey, though the other Tully vassals remain in open rebellion against the Freys. With the coronation of Queen Cersei I Lannister, the Crownlands are now held by House Lannister, the de facto royal house. Although defeated early in the war and stripped of lands and titles, House Stark has regained control of the North with its victory against its former vassal House Bolton. After Ellaria Sand's coup in Dorne wiped out the last of the legitimate Martell line, House Baerley was elevated as the new sovereign Great House of Dorne. With the extinction of House Baratheon, House Harrigon of Smithestone ascended as the new ruling Great House of the Stormlands diplomatically through a Stormmoot. After Lord Tybalt Lannister's failed attempt to rebel against

Cersei Lannister's rule and his subsequent death during the Day of Daggers, House Montrose was elevated to the new Great House of the Westerlands via a royal edict. Following the Massacre at Ebonheart, Steffon Blackgard killed Eddin Blackgard and elevated House Blackgard to a Royal House when declared the Borderlands a sovereign state, with himself as the self-styled Black King of Ebonheart. When the Tyrells are exiled following the Sack of Highgarden, the Tarlys briefly took over as the new Lords of the Reach. However, their line was nearly extinguished following Randyll and Dickon Tarly's deaths. As a result, House Mallory took over as the Wardens of the South, although they lost their position after Highgarden was bought by Ser Bronn of the Blackwater.

The Great Houses

Current Great Houses

Former Great Houses

Extinct Great Houses

  • House Casterly - rulers of the Westerlands until they were swayed away from their home by the legendary trickster Lann the Clever.
  • House Durrandon - rulers of the Stormlands. Asterion the Black, the founder of House Blackgard, was a distant cousin of Durran Godsgrief, thus House Blackgard descends from the male line of the House. Orys Baratheon, founder of House Baratheon, married the daughter of the last king of House Durrandon, thus House Baratheon descends from the Durrandons through the female line.
  • House Mudd - rulers of the Riverlands until their bloodline was extinguished by Andal invaders.
  • House Justman - rulers of the Riverlands until they were exterminated by House Durrandon.
  • House Gardener - rulers of the Reach. House Tyrell claims descent from House Gardener through the female line, and House Florent is actually a cadet branch of House Gardener, with a better claim to rule based on lineage than the Tyrells. Several other Houses from the Reach also descend from House Gardener.
  • House Hoare - rulers of the Iron Islands and (through conquest) the Riverlands. After their defeat, Aegon Targaryen commanded the ironborn to select a new family from among their number to rule over the rest, under the Targaryens. They selected House Greyjoy.
  • House Oswin - rulers of the Grove until they were driven to extinction by House Hoare. Original occupants of Oswin's Peak.
  • House Karth - self-proclaimed rulers of the Borderlands from Karthmere until they were exterminated by House Blackgard.
  • House Largus - a line of lesser kings from the Borderlands. Driven to extinction by House Blackgard.
  • House Nonvul - a line of lesser kings from the Borderlands. Driven to extinction by House Blackgard.
  • House Baratheon of Dragonstone - rulers of the Stormlands from the castle of Dragonstone, claiming the Iron Throne. Extinct as of the Battle of Winterfell.
  • House Baratheon of King's Landing - rulers of the Crownlands from the castle of the Red Keep in King's Landing, and the former royal house. Extinct as of King Tommen's suicide following the destruction of the Sept of Baelor.
  • House Martell - rulers of Dorne from the castle of Sunspear. Wiped out by the Sand Snakes in their coup d'état, though due to the Sand Snakes all being bastard children to Oberyn Martell, the bloodline is technically still alive.

Heads of Great Houses in the TV series

Heads of Great Houses at the beginning of the TV series

Just prior to the death of Hand of the King Jon Arryn, which set the narrative in motion, the original heads of the Great Houses in the Seven Kingdoms were:

Heads of Great Houses after the Red Wedding

Current heads of Great Houses in the TV series

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