How many soldiers lived or were stationed in Winterfell on a regular basis before King Robert came (meaning, before the beginning of the series)?

I don't mean how many Ned Stark gathered for the event of King Robert coming, or how many total he could have gathered if he had called his bannermen.

I want to understand how many soldiers were in Winterfell (either in the fortress itself or nearby surroundings) in the days before the events of Game of Thrones (either book one of the series or the beginning of the TV show).

Basically, on a regular day how many soldiers was Ned Stark responsible of feeding, sheltering, etc. Or if a threat had presented on Winterfell overnight, how many troops he would have had available.

I understand the TV show might not give much insight about this (although I could have missed something when they mentioned those numbers), but the books might, since they are really detailed.

  • 3
    We don't see too many regular days in A Song of Ice and Fire
    – Sekhemty
    Commented Sep 9, 2017 at 8:19

1 Answer 1


Two Hundred (possibly a bit more...)

We can get some general ideas about how large the Stark Household Guard would have been.

  1. Lord Rickard (Ned's father) took 200 men south with him to demand the release of his son Brandon.

    Their grandfather, old Lord Rickard, had gone as well, with his son Brandon who was Father's brother, and two hundred of his best men. None had ever returned.

    A Game of Thrones - Bran VI

  2. Ned brought 50 men with him to King's Landing when he was named Hand of the King, which was 1/4 of his total.

    "How many guards does my father have?" she asked him as they descended to her bedchamber.

    "Here at King's Landing? Fifty."

    A Game of Thrones - Arya III

    Yet to Bran it felt as if they had all died while he had slept … or perhaps Bran had died, and they had forgotten him. Jory and Ser Rodrik and Vayon Poole had gone too, and Hullen and Harwin and Fat Tom and a quarter of the guard.

    A Game of Thrones - Bran IV

Both of these instances are in peace time, and therfore are likely to be from the Starks own guard and men, not banners called.

  • 2
    I feel like it had to be more than 200 during Rickards day, as he would not have left Winterfell without a garrison regardless of the need to March. Also," 200 of his best men" implies that there were enough more that he was hand picking the cream.
    – Paul
    Commented Sep 9, 2017 at 15:55
  • @Paul probably, but i have no evidence to support that.
    – Skooba
    Commented Sep 9, 2017 at 17:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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