Did Eddard Stark have the ability to warg or skin-change? Some of his children have one or both of those skills, so maybe he did too.

Please provide answers from the books. Answers from the TV series are okay.

  • If he could, as of this point in the books, it's never been mentioned.
    – onewho
    Sep 1, 2017 at 19:58
  • Related: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/48056/…
    – Skooba
    Sep 1, 2017 at 20:25
  • Honourable mention for the fan theory that Ned Stark warged into a pigeon during his execution, and Cersei Lannister is going to die at the hands of an angry pigeon swarm army thing?
    – DariM
    Sep 4, 2017 at 0:00

1 Answer 1


Nothing in the books or shows leads us to believe Eddard Stark had skin-changing abilities.

A small point of clarification first... a warg is a subset of skin-changer, one who can control wolves or dogs. So, all wargs are skin-changers, but not all skin-changers are wargs.

Skin-changing is rare and is said "One man in a thousand is born a skin-changer". Even untrained skin-changer can enter the an animal subconsciously a particularly strong bond exists between man and animal (e.g. the Stark children and their dire wolves).

Since Ned is a POV character in the books we are able to see his inner thoughts. We never see the "wolf dreams" that Bran, Jon, and Arya are all shown to have. Granted, Ned has never had a faithful animal companion like his children have, however since Ned is older it stands to reason that if he had had any signs of skin-changing he would have mentioned it.

We known of the following character with skin-changing capabilities:

  • Bran Stark: known to enter his direwolf, Summer.
  • Arya Stark: known to enter her direwolf, Nymeria.
  • Jon Snow: known to enter his direwolf, Ghost.
  • Orell: known to enter an eagle.
  • Varamyr Sixskins: known to enter three wolves, a bear, and a shadow cat.
  • Haggon: unkown entries, but was Varamyr's mentor.
  • Borroq: known to enter a boar.
  • Briar: known to enter a shadow cat.
  • Grisella: known to enter a goat.
  • Brynden Rivers: known to enter crows and ravens.
  • 1
    In addition to her direwolf, Arya enters a stray cat during her training with the faceless men.
    – RedRenard
    Sep 4, 2017 at 21:55
  • It makes sense for the Stark children to have gotten their warging ability from their Stark parent. My pet theory is that this trait is much more common in the North than people think but only manifests for all of them due to their strong bond with their direwolves. Robb is not a POV character, so we can't tell for him, but Ned never had a direwolf and Sansa loses hers early on, and neither ever shows any signs of being able to warg.
    – Llewellyn
    Sep 6, 2017 at 18:48

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