In S07E03, Sansa said

to Bran: "You are father's last living trueborn son, you're Lord of Winterfell now."

She doesn't say that He's King in the North, which implies that she accepts that Jon is KitN and that's final. But at the same time, she believes that the above mentioned character is Lord of Winterfell now.

Historically, KitN have also been Lords of Winterfell but Sansa's statement contradicts that. Are the two considered different entities now? If Yes, Did Sansa consider herself Lady of Winterfell as Eddard Stark's last living trueborn child while Jon remains her Overlord as KitN? If the two offices are different, that seems to be the case apparently. If not her, who holds the title of Lord of Winterfell now? Jon? Sansa at least doesn't think he does. Legally she may have a point, while Jon somehow got elected as KitN and didn't inherit it as he wasn't trueborn, that means Winterfell would pass following the accepted laws of succession which essentially means her.

TLDR, Are KitN and Lord of Winterfell considered different titles in Show-verse now?

PS: I understand that's not how things work/worked in the Books so let's keep it limited to Show-verse.

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    I assumed the King of the North could be anyone - even a leader of another northern house. It's only tradition that has kept the title of Lord of Winterfell held by the same person. Kind of like how Queen Elizabeth is queen of Canada, but that's nothing to do with the fact she's also Queen of Britain. If we have a revolution in the UK, she'd still be head of state of all other Commonwealth countries.
    – Darren
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 13:50
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    @Darren Well the title KitN is forged by Lords of Winterfell (Who reigned as Winter Kings before uniting the North, and continued being styled Kings of Winter afterwards along with KitN), Others reigned as Barrow Kings, Red Kings, Marsh Kings etc., which is why KiTN as in King of United North has always been a Stark. As for Queen Elizabeth being HoS for Commonwealth countries, well there are many republics in Commonwealth who do not recognize her as Head of State. I believe you meant commonwealth realms.
    – Aegon
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 14:01
  • If you are looking for show only answers I think we just have to wait to find out...
    – Skooba
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 14:26
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    This comes dangerously close to our Future Works Policy.
    – amflare
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 14:53
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    “Historically, KitN have also been Lords of Winterfell but Sansa's statement contradicts that.” — It refrains from addressing it. That’s not the same as contradicting it. Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 15:13

2 Answers 2


I'm of the opinion that they've always been separate entities.

But that's been disagreed for various whatever reasons. For those that disagree with the above:

They became separate entities when a Snow became King in the North.

Jon Snow at the end of Season 6 makes it very clear that Sansa is the Lady of Winterfell. Jon never took up the Lordship of Winterfell.

This is visible both here in the script, and on the following clip on youtube.

JON SNOW: I’m having the lord’s chamber prepared for you.

SANSA: Mother and Father’s room? You should take it.

JON SNOW: I’m not a Stark.

SANSA: You are to me.

JON SNOW: You’re the Lady of Winterfell. You deserve it. We’re standing here because of you. The battle was lost until the Knights of the Vale rode in.

Updates with the new episode,

When Arya arrives at wintefell she asks for Jon Snow. When the guards say he's thousands of miles away, she asks who's in charge. The guards say "The Lady of Winterfell is, Lady Stark". This further confirms the above points.

Some quibbles that have come up while discussing this with Skooba.

Sansa did not consider herself Lady of Winterfell.

This is incorrect. In the video above Sansa says Jon should have the lord room. She never objects to being the Lady of Winterfell, if she ever had, she accepted it pretty quick.

Only when Jon leaves does she have any say... any REAL say

Jon puts her in charge. He specifically says "you're in command now" That doesn't mean she's in charge of Winterfell now. What good would that do? Especially when the King and the Hand are gone. He's clearly giving her control of the North. Stand-in King of the North if you will.

The other Lords seem to think they have a say

She never had no say, she respects her half-brother, she's questioned his decision but accepted that he's in charge. In fact, no Lords really had any other say, all of them have no say, at most they question him, but as it was in the most recent episode, the decision is his, an no one else's.

Jon had the kiddie lords swear fealty to House Stark

He did, as that's his family. Swearing fealty to House Stark not only provides the benefit to his sister, the Lady. But also ensures they're in line with his family and allegiances.

You dont get to "choose" to be KitN. The Boltons could do what they did because the Stark line was expected to be extinct, notice how they moved to Winterfell once they took power.

You most definitely could not "choose" to be King in the North. That was something you had to be elected to become. Jon Snow was elected and so was Robb. They both had to be accepted by their Lords (and/or Ladies) to become King in the North.

Impressed with his leadership, the Northern houses have proclaimed him their King.
Official HBO GoT viewers guide - Jon Snow

  • While I'd disagree that they have always been different entities (De-facto), This sufficiently answers that from the onset Sansa had been considered Lady of Winterfell. Now when she says to Bran that he is Lord of Winterfell, she's merely stepping down from her position, with no impacts on Jon's.
    – Aegon
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 6:25
  • Exactly. She's giving the position to the person with the higher claim.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 8:23

They are indeed two different things. The King rules over a bunch of lords, who in turn have their own lands. In some societies it is a polite fiction that the king is also one of the lords, with this idea being that depending on the circumstances, the king can wear another "hat" and have a voice equal rather than superior to the other lords. While Jon Snow may be King, Bran would be the Lord of Winterfell and subject to Jon. It's a difference of scope- Bran would be ruler of the Stark lands, while Jon would be ruler of all of the North.

In the US, think of how the President is ruler of the country, but while they may be located in Washington D.C., the city itself has a mayor.

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    +1. Of course, Bran and Rickon were always destined to serve the elder brother by holding their own lands but as it happened, the Elder brother isn't Robb and his title isn't Lord Paramount of the North. Reckon Jon will have to find himself another seat then, if Bran is taking this one (Theoretically, Bran has already refused the title)? Second thing is, Who has been the Lord/Lady of Winterfell since Jon's crowning till now as the two are different entities? Sansa?
    – Aegon
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 14:18
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    I do not think they were different things... Jon said something like "Winterfell is yours while I'm gone". The situation may change now, but we just currently don't know.
    – Skooba
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 14:38
  • I thought he said the north is yours while I'm gone. Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 16:19
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    Right. Until Bran showed up, Sansa was the legal heir, not Jon. Now that Bran (a male heir) has arrived, he likely needs to renounce his claim to Winterfell to Sansa. Jon was there because it was his home as well as because of its strategic position.
    – Broklynite
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 16:47

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