12

Game of Thrones has two kinds of Houses: the main ones and the minor ones.
While the major have control of huge chunks of territory, the minor own little parts of it (such as the Bolton or the Frey), and only under command of their bigger house – or at least that's how it should be.

I am wondering if there was a past time in Westeros' history in which some minor houses had the power of, say, House Stark.

IMPORTANT: note that I'm referring to lore, asking about past events, not about moments which happened after the first episode of the first season. I don't want to convert this question into a spoiler fest, but if you need to in order to support your answer, please use the appropriate tags.

  • What about the middle ones man. – Paul D. Waite Aug 1 '17 at 15:37
27

Yes; there have been many instances of Houses moving up and down within the Feudal ranking system of Westeros. However, these have mostly been among the Lower Houses.

Some changes in the higher ones (at the Level of the Starks) do exist, albeit they were quite ancient.

House Durrandon

House Durrandon's coat of arms img src

House Durrandon was the ruling Major House of the Stormlands (which again was its own kingdom in those days), until Orys Baratheon slew the last "Storm King", Argillac "The Arrogant", and took over.

This was right after Aegon's Conquest in ~1AC.

  • Founded: Age of Heroes, by Durran "Godsgrief"
  • Title: Storm Kings
  • Region: Stormlands
  • Seat: Storm's End
  • Notable members: Durran "Godsgrief", Argillac "The Arrogant"
  • Last head: Argillac
  • Superceded by: House Baratheon

Fun fact, the Baratheons even stole House Durrandon's words: Ours is the Fury

House Casterly

House Casterly was the ruling Major House of the Westerlands (which in those times was a kingdom of its own), before Lann The Clever took it over.

  • Founded: Dawn Age, by Corlos Casterly
  • Title: Lord of Casterly Rock
  • Region: Riverlands
  • Seat: Casterly Rock
  • Notable members: Corlos
  • Last head: Unknown, taken over by Lann the Clever during the Age of Heroes (most likely 10,000 years ago)
  • Superceded by: House Lannister

House Darklyn

House Darklyn's coat of arms img src

House Darklyn were the major rulers of the Crownlands, prior to Aegon's Conquest (although it wasn't known as the Crownlands at the time, rather the Hundred Kingdoms). Until Aegon "united" the lands and took them as his own.

  • Founded: Age of Heroes or Dawn Age by unknown
  • Title: Lord of Duskendale
  • Region: Hundred Kingdoms
  • Seat: The Dun Hold
  • Notable members: Rolland Darklyn (youngest member of the Kingsguard, until Jaime took that title)
  • Last head: Unknown
  • Superceded by: House Targaryen

House Hoare

Hose Hoare's coat of arms img src

House Hoare was the ruling house of the Riverlands, until, you guessed it, Aegon's Conquest.

  • Founded: Age of Heroes or Dawn Age by Harrag Hoare?
  • Title: King of the Iron Isles, King of the Isles and the Rivers
  • Region: Ironlands, Riverlands
  • Seat: Orkmont, Hoare Castle, Fairmarket, Harrenhall
  • Notable members: Harren "The Black" (who built Harrenhall), Harras Hoare (who did the "finger dance" to win the Kingdom)
  • Last head: Harren "The Black"
  • Superceded by: House Tully

House Gardener

House Gardener's coat of arms img src

House Gardener was the ruling Major House of the Reach, until, surprise, Aegon's Conquest.

  • Founded: Dawn Age by Garth Greenhand
  • Title: King of The Reach, Lord of Highgarden
  • Region: The Reach
  • Seat: Highgarden
  • Notable members: Garth "The Greenhand"
  • Last head: Mern IX Gardener
  • Superceded by: House Tyrell
18
+100

In Addition to Mooz's answer which features the now-extinct houses, There are plenty of minor Houses who used to be great once, even royals and still alive.

To clarify, to limit the scope, I will just stick to Houses who used to be Kings once and aren't extinct. If we start discussing houses which fell from Major to minor like House Peake etc, it will be too broad.

Crownlander Houses

House Bar Emmon

enter image description here

They ruled as Kings and fought many wars with rivals in shape of Storm Kings, Massey Kings and Darklyn Kings. It is unclear how they were subdued by Storm Kings. In Aegon's conquest, they sided with Targaryens from the onset and at the war's conclusion, they became vassals of Dragonstone instead of Storm's End. They are a major vassal to Lord of Dragonstone today.

House Massey

enter image description here

Starting off as vassals of Storm Kings, Masseys eventually broke away and forged their own Kingdom. They were subdued once again by Qarlton II Durrandon who slew King Josua Massey. Josua's daughter however married founder of House Bar Emmon and together they ousted the Stormlanders and restored Josua's son to the throne. They were brought back to Stormlander realm with marriages. After Aegon's conquest, they became direct vassals of the King as part of Crownlands.


Northern Houses

House Bolton

enter image description here

They were Kings once (Called themselves Red Kings) and rivals of Starks for dominance over the North. Numerous wars were fought between the two Kings. Kings Royce II and Royce IV even burnt Winterfell. King Rogar Bolton was last of their royals and submitted to Starks of the Winterfell. From that point, Boltons were reduced to vassals to a Great House. They are still a Major House (Below Royal House/Great House but greater than Minor House). And since ADWD, they're a Great House in their own right.

House Dustin

enter image description here

The ancestors of House Dustin reigned as Barrow Kings. There were numerous conflicts with the Winter Kings of Winterfell which eventually resulted in submission of the Barrow Kings. House Dustin still commemorates that heritage with a Crown in their sigil.

House Umber

enter image description here

House Umber used to be Kings once. It is unclear how did the Starks subdue them. They are today major vassals to Lord of Winterfell.

House Glover

enter image description here

House Glover used to be Kings after the Long Night. It is unclear how did the Starks subdue them but it is mentioned that they were subdued by Starks of Winterfell, not some other house. They are today major vassals to Lord of Winterfell.


Valeman Houses

House Royce

enter image description here

House Royce ruled regions of Vale as Bronze Kings once. Last of their royal line, Robar II, was defeated by Andals under Artys Arryn and bent the Knee. They have since been a vassal of House Arryn.

House Shett

enter image description here

House Shett ruled as "Kings of the True men" in regions of Vale and fought many battles against the Bronze Kings. Last of their Royal line, Osgood III Shett died in battle against Royces. His Crown was then claimed by his Son in Law, Ser Gerold Grafton and the Kingdom was inherited by House Grafton as well. There are now two branches of the house, both minor and vassals to Arryns.

House Grafton

enter image description here

They inherited crown of the Shetts and continued to reign. It is unclear when were they subdued by Arryns. They are now reduced to landed Knights and vassals to Arryns.

House Corbray

enter image description here

They were Andals who conquered the Fingers from First men and began their domain as mere Lords. At a later point they started calling themselves Kings of the Fingers. They eventually bent the knee to Arryns presumably before the Arryn-Royce showdown at Seven Stars. They are now a major House. They are one of the few houses of Westeros who own a Valyrian steel sword.

House Sunderland

enter image description here

House Sunderland briefly reigned as Kings of Sisters when they rebelled against Arryns but the conquest of Aegon soon came their way and they submitted to Targaryens. They are now a minor House.

House Borrell

enter image description here

House Borrel were pirate Kings once until Starks ended their dominion. Borrels are now minor vassals to Arryns.


Riverlander Houses

House Blackwood

enter image description here

House Blackwood used to rule Wolfswood in the North but they were eventually forced into exile by expanding Stark realm. They carved themselves a new Kingdom in Riverlands which fell when the Andals came. They are now a major vassal of Lord of Riverlands.

House Bracken

enter image description here

House Bracken also ruled their parts of the Riverlands as Kings and fought many wars against their rivals the Blackwoods. They allied with Blackwoods when Andals came but lost the war. They are now a major vassal of Lord of Riverlands.

House Vance

enter image description here

House Vance is descended from Armistead Vance, an Andal conqueror who ended the reign of House Mudd on Riverlands. It is unclear how they lost their independence and crown. They are today major vassals of Lord of Riverlands. The House is divided into two branches which are House Vance of Wayfarer Rest and House Vance of Atranta.

House Mallister

enter image description here

House Mallister conquered their domains from the Ironborn and reigned as Kings. They were subdued by House Teague which is now extinct. They are today major vassals of Lord of Riverlands.

House Mooton

enter image description here

Mootons once reigned as Kings of their lands until they were presumably subdued by now-extinct House Justman. They are today major vassals of Lord of Riverlands.

House Charlton

enter image description here

House Charlton reigned as Kings once. It is unclear how they lost their independence and crown. They are today major vassals of House Frey.


Ironborn Houses

Ironborn generally choose their Kings unlike other Westerosi so there have been plenty of Kings from numerous Houses, some of whom are still alive.

House Blacktyde

enter image description here

Their ancestor Joron I ruled as High King of Iron Islands. The House is still alive and a major vassal to House Greyjoy.

House Drumm

enter image description here

Their ancestor Ragnar Drumm ruled as High King of Iron Islands. The House is still alive and a major vassal to House Greyjoy. They are one of the few houses of Westeros who own a Valyrian steel sword.

House Harlaw

enter image description here

House Harlaw gave two Kings of Iron Islands, Erich V and Harron I. The senior branch of the House is now a major vassal of House Greyjoy and has four cadet Branches who are minor vassals.

House Goodbrother

enter image description here

Their ancestor Urrathon IV reigned as King of the Iron Islands. The House now has five cadet branches in addition to the senior branch located in Hammerhorn. All are vassals to Greyjoys. All are minor except the senior branch.


Westerlander Houses

House Crakehall

enter image description here

House Crakehall used to be Kings of their domains before the Lannisters subdued them. After that, Aubrey Crakehall reigned briefly as King of the Iron Islands. The House is now a major vassal to Lannisters.

House Banefort

enter image description here

They used to be Kings of their domains. Last of their Royal line, Morgon Banefort was subdued into vassal by King Loreon I Lannister after a bloody twenty years war. They have since been a major vassal to House Lannister.

House Broom

enter image description here

They used to be Kings of their domains. It is unclear how were they subdued by Lannisters. They are a major vassal to Lannisters.

House Farman

enter image description here

They used to be Kings as well until the ever-expanding Lannisters knocked on their doors. King Tommen I Lannister forced them into submission when he raised a great fleet to take their Island Kingdom. He married daughter of King Farman and the Farmans became vassals from Kings. They are a major House in service of Lannisters since then.

House Foote

enter image description here

They used to be Kings of their domains. It is unclear how were they subdued by Lannisters. They are a major vassal to Lannisters.

House Greenfield

enter image description here

They used to be Kings of their domains. It is unclear how were they subdued by Lannisters. They are a minor vassal to Lannisters.

House Hawthorne

enter image description here

They used to be Kings of their domains. It is unclear how were they subdued by Lannisters. They are a major vassal to Lannisters.

House Moreland

enter image description here

They used to be Kings of their domains. It is unclear how were they subdued by Lannisters. They are a major vassal to Lannisters.

House Plumm

enter image description here

They used to be Kings of their domains. It is unclear how were they subdued by Lannisters. They are a major vassal to Lannisters.

House Westerling

enter image description here

They used to be Kings of their domains. It is unclear how were they subdued by Lannisters. They are a major vassal to Lannisters.

House Yew

enter image description here

They used to be Kings of their domains. It is unclear how were they subdued by Lannisters. They are a minor vassal to Lannisters.

House Lydden

enter image description here

Not technically Kings, but when King Gerold III Lannister died without a male heir, his only daughter's husband, Ser Joffrey Lydden was elected to the throne and crowned as Joffrey Lannister. All current Lannisters are descended from Joffrey Lydden AKA Joffrey Lannister.


Reachman Houses

House Hightower

enter image description here

House Hightower reigned as independent Kings for much of the early days. They fought many wars with the Gardener Kings of Highgarden, the Dornish and Ironborn raiders. Last of their royal line was King Lymond Hightower who put down his crown and accepted suzerainty of High Garden with marital alliance with King Garland II of High Garden. They are today one of the most richest families in the realm and a major vassal to House Tyrell. They are also among the few families who possess Valyrian steel swords.

House Redwyne

enter image description here

House Redwyne ruled as Kings of Arbor until their last unnamed King was lost at sea and the throne passed to his cousin, King Meryn III Gardener of Highgarden. They're today one of the greatest naval powers of Westeros and major vassals to House Tyrell.


Stormlander Houses

House Tarth

enter image description here

House Tarth used to rule their Island as Kings once. They accepted suzreinity of now extinct House Durrandon when King Durran the Fair of Storm's End married daughter of the last unnamed Tarth King. They are today a major vassal of Storm's End.


Dornish Houses

House Blackmont

enter image description here

House Blackmont ruled as Kings in the early days. They were subdued by House Martell (Officially Nymeros-Martell) after Princess Nymeria of Rhoynar landed in Dorne and forged a marital alliance with House Martell. Last of their Kings was Benedict Blackmont who was sent to the wall by Nymeria. They are major vassals to House Martell today.

House Dayne

enter image description here

House Dayne ruled as Kings of the Torrentine.They were subdued by House Martell (Officially Nymeros-Martell) after Princess Nymeria of Rhoynar landed in Dorne and forged a marital alliance with House Martell. Last of their Kings was Vorian Dayne who was sent to the wall by Nymeria. They are major vassals to House Martell today. Their ancestral sword Dawn is just as famous, if not more, as Valyrian steel swords of Westeros despite not being a Valyrian sword.

House Jordayne

enter image description here

House Jordayne ruled as Kings of Tor and at one point, forced House Martell into submission. They were eventually subdued presumably by House Yronwood, who in turn were subdued by House Nymeros-Martell. They are today major vassals to House Martell.

House Fowler

enter image description here

House Fowler reigned as Kings of Stone and Sky. At height of their power, they attempted an invasion of Reach which was repulsed by King Garth VII Gardener of High Garden. They were subdued by House Martell (Officially Nymeros-Martell) after Princess Nymeria of Rhoynar landed in Dorne and forged a marital alliance with House Martell. Last of their Kings was Garrison Fowler who was sent to the wall by Nymeria. They are major vassals to House Martell today.

House Manwoody

enter image description here

House Manwoody ruled as Kings in the early days. They were subdued by House Martell (Officially Nymeros-Martell) after Princess Nymeria of Rhoynar landed in Dorne and forged a marital alliance with House Martell. Last of their Kings was Albin Mandwoody who was sent to the wall by Nymeria. They are major vassals to House Martell today.

House Yronwood

enter image description here

House Yronwood, the Bloodroyals, ruled over greater half of Dorne. They often vied for dominance with Storm Kings, Martells and Reachmen. When Princess Nymeria landed and married Mors Martell, initiating a war of subjugation, Yronwoods proved to be the fiercest opponents. King Yorick V Yronwood personally slew Prince Mors Martell, leaving Nymeria a widow and guardian of her children with the Prince. After 11 years of bitter fighting, Martells prevailed and Nymeria sent Yorick Yronwood to the Wall. They are today major vassals to House Martell.

There is also this absurd union of different minor Houses who used to elect a self-proclaimed "High King of Dorne" but I haven't added them to keep things from getting way out of hand (They have already gotten out of hand :P, I may add them in future.)

I'll end this answer with "Sic transit gloria mundi".

  • 5
    tl;dr: Basically, every house that ever existed had claimed to be kings once – Möoz Aug 2 '17 at 0:00
  • I think it's a bit of an eyesore to have 5 digits and below each it says the exact same thing. Maybe consider grouping ones that were kings but have an unknown defeat together? – Edlothiad Aug 2 '17 at 12:18
  • 1
    @Edlothiad No I believe current grouping is fine wrt their geographical regions. Just because there's no info yet doesn't mean there won't be info in future and when there's, It'd be easier for me to edit it in. – Aegon Aug 2 '17 at 12:21
  • 1
    FIY: Text for Glover uses exactly the same Umber specific text immediately above it. – Binary Worrier Aug 2 '17 at 12:42
  • 1
    @BinaryWorrier Thanks, I hadn't noticed that :) Corrected now. – Aegon Aug 2 '17 at 12:44
0

Well technically not changing its lower house status, it is worth noting that House Hightower at one time had more power (wealth, political status, renown, etc.) than House Tyrell (which were technically their Great House). They even married into the Royal bloodline. They might have grown powerful enough to usurp house Tyrell but the Dance of the Dragons happened, which led to a decline of House Hightower.

  • 2
    House Tyrell was nothing more than Stewards until the Dragons came. They're like House Poole in service of Starks. Compare them to House Gardener instead – Aegon Jul 26 '17 at 15:25
  • And House Hightower wasn't going to usurp High garden. Lord Tyrell supported the High Towers and their nephews the Blacks in the civil war. IIRC they used to be Kings too until Gardeners subdued them. Need research will do when i get to reach – Aegon Jul 26 '17 at 15:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.