The Kingdom of the North is a sovereign state, founded over a thousand years ago, now born anew after three centuries as one of the constituent regions of Westeros under the Iron Throne.
The Kingdom of the North emerged from the gradual unification of the early petty kings after the Long Night. The last to be subjugated being the Boltons of the Dreadfort, whose tradition of skinning their enemies built them a sinister reputation. For a thousand years after House Stark ruled as Kings of Winter from Winterfell, the acting Capitol.
King Torrhen Stark bent the knee to Aegon Targaryen 1 AC during the Conquest, but after the final rebellion of the Targaryen Dynasty, King Eddard Stark was able to secure the North’s independence once again through the Acts of Restoration 234 AC. As it stands now it is largest region of the Seven Kingdoms, extending from the border of the New Gift, which is controlled by the Night's Watch, to the southern edge of the Twins far to the south.
Unfortunately, as the reign of the Iron Throne began with fire and blood, so it ended with the Sundering Rebellion, in fire and blood.
Brought on by the abduction of Lyanna Stark by the Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. The rebellion was sparked with the unlawful executions of her father Lord Paramount Rickard Stark, her brother and heir to Winterfell, Brandon Stark, and finally the Lord Hand Tywin Lannister who spoke against their deaths. This gross betrayal of the people by the Mad King Aerys II saw five of the seven kingdoms rise up in revolt. The war would last close to two years, and would see many devastating engagements. From the slaughter of the Reach at Ashford, to the siege of Highgarden by the combined forces of Baratheon and Lannister. From the Reaping of the shield Islands, to the conquest of the Arbor by the Greyjoys. From the slaughter of Bloody Bells, to the beheading of the Crown Prince at the Trident by the Red Wolf Eddard Stark. A long bloody war culminating with the ruination of Kingslanding.
Blackwater bay had been blockaded for months by the Iron Fleet, and after laying siege to the city for half a year, the walls were breached, and Robert Baratheon personally led the host into the city. The entirety of Kingslanding was a wildfire trap. Thousands instantly died in the initial explosions, others from the wildfire raining down on them from above. Lord Robert Baratheon and those who followed him were lost in the flame.
When the fires finally burned out, and the screams of the night had faded, the capitol city was a ruin. Lord Eddard Stark, Lord Jaime Lannister, Lord Hoster Tully, and Lord Jon Arryn survived, as their missions hadn’t yet crossed the wall, but were now left to decide how to proceed. Traveling to Highgarden where Stannis Baratheon was laying siege to the Tyrells, they informed the new lord of Storms end of his brother’s death. With the news that Kings Landing was a smoking ruin, the Tyrells surrendered, and the Reach laid down its arms. The war was over.
The Night of Fire had left it’s mark, and none of the High Lords of the Rebellion were willing to bend the knee to a Targaryen again, nor any who claimed rights through relation. This was eased by the fact the Iron Throne no longer existed, and thus without the symbol, righteousness was lacking. It was then agreed at the first Kingsmeet, that the one kingdom would become seven again. Through the Acts of Restoration, the right to rule of the Targaryens was annulled, and restored it to the Seven High Lords, now the Seven Kings of Westeros.
The new boarders were drawn, the Reach was carved into thirds between the Lannisters, Baratheons and Hightowers. High Garden, went to King Stannis Baratheon and was renamed Stormsreach, becoming the new capitol of the kingdom. King Quellon Greyjoy claimed ownership of the Arbor, making it his new seat, and starting a new line of Arbor Greyjoys, which would only cause trouble later. King Hoster Tully claimed the Crownlands north of the Black Water Rush, and King Jon Arryn was given Dragonstone and the remnants of the royal fleet.
King Eddard Stark wanted nothing in lands, for while convening the Kingsmeet, the remnants of the Kingsguard arrived with the bones of Lyanna Stark, who had died giving birth to a stillborn child. Grieved, the King traveled north after the signing of the Acts of Restoration, gathering his new wife, Cersei Lannister, now Queen Cersei Stark from Riverrun, his two children, the twins Robert and Joanna Stark, and returned home with his army.
The North did no return empty handed, for they held greatest prize, the last remaining Targaryen. After the Night of Fire, the Queen Dowager Rhaella Targaryen along with a smuggler were discovered along the banks of Blackwater bay. The smuggler, the now Lord Davos Seaworth, had been hired to transport the Royal family out of the city and was loading them into his boat when the explosions ripped the city apart. The only survivors were Davos, and the dowager Queen, who at the time was heavy with child.
The fate of the pregnant Targaryen was hotly debated, but as King Eddard had taken them prisoner, she was his to do with as he pleased. He chose to take her to the north, not having the heart to put the woman to death, and saw to use her claim as a deterrent for those who would seek to unite the Seven kingdoms again. Sadly, the Dowager Queen would never make it past Moat Cailin, giving birth to Daenerys Targaryen, and dying soon after.
Upon his return, Eddard Stark was coronated under the Weirwood of Winterfell by Leaf, forest child of the Wolfswood, and set to putting the North to rights. He and Queen Cersei Stark proceeded to have two more children, Myranda Stark, Edwyle Stark. To help centralize his power, King Eddard Stark created the Lords Council, where every year every high lord of the Kingdom would meet, feast, discuss issues, and settle disputes. For five years the North was reorganized and it’s many under used resources capitalized upon. New trade agreements were established with the south, and it was through the close relationship with the Westerland Kingdom that the North was able to begin so many projects, and complete a vital one before its first test as a sovereign state. The completion of the West Royal Fleet.
The Kings Peace was part of the Acts of Restoration, stating that the five rebel kingdoms were officially allies, and would come to each’s aid if called for. This was tested five years after it’s creation. With King Quellon’s failing health, Euron Greyjoy murdered his brother Balon, seized the Iron Islands, and invaded the Riverland Kingdom. Planning to only invade the Riverlands, and threaten the other kingdoms to stay out. This failed because of an overzealous commander attacking Lannisport, inadvertently killing Queen Lysa Lannister and her party. The response was quick and brutal. While King Jon Arryn of the Vale, whose wife Queen Catelyn Arryn was sister to the late Lannister Queen, helped repel the Iron Born from the Riverlands along with King Stannis Baratheon, King Jaime Lannister and King Hoster Tully, the West Royal Fleet of the North sailed south, led by Jorah Mormont and invaded the Iron Islands. The Ironborn were ultimately defeated, Euron executed by King Jaime Lannister, and the Iron Born banished from ever setting foot on the Iron Islands again.
The Islands where divided between the Westerland Kingdoms and the North. The North renamed them the Longclaw Islands, after the Mormont Ancestral Sword in honor of their service. Lord Davos Seaworth, still in the service of King Eddard Stark, was made high lord of the Longclaw Islands, and was given command of the Company of the Rose. An Essosi mercenary company founded by Northerners who refused Targaryen Rule, and who had returned upon its regained independence. Longclaw Towers became the main trade hub of the west for the Kingdom, and allowed the establishment of many West coast towns and cities now that constant threat of raiding was lifted. But this was only the second gain by the North as a result of the war.
When the Euron Greyjoy invaded and King Hoster Tully called the banners, many bickering lords did not answer. One of them was the Lord Walder Frey of the Crossing. When King Eddard Stark tried to lead an army through the crossing to join the fight, Walder Frey denied him entrance, hoping to garner favor with Euron. Brynden Tully, brother to King Hoster Tully, was accompanying the Northern host, and was utilized in slipping into the castle and opening the gates. House Frey was destroyed. After the war was done, King Eddard negotiated the transfer of the lands to the north as a necessity to avoid future conflict. King Hoster Tully agreed, as long as his brother was made lord of the Crossing. Lord Brynden Tully begrudgingly agreed, swore fealty to the North, married Morya Frey, one of the last of her surviving family, and created House Blackfish of the Crossing.
These two territories bolstered trade and the economy of the North greatly, furthering the progress of many needed projects. From expansion of the king’s road to every High Lords seat, to the completion of the East Royal Fleet. From the establishing trade throughout Westeros and Essos, to the import of Muskox, bovines that can withstand the harsh winters. The King Eddard Stark and Queen Cersei Stark has had three more children, Jonnel Stark, Tya Stark and the youngest Brandon Stark.
The only true challenge to the Stark's right was the Bolton's Treason. Evidence surfaced that Lord Roose Bolton conspired with several of his vassals to overthrow the Starks, and by marrying his son, Domeric Bolton to the eldest Stark daughter, Joanna Stark, seal his claim to the Winter Throne. Roose and his conspirators where captured, tried and found guilty. The lesser vassals took the black, while the former Lord was beheaded, placed on a spike by the Queen herself where it still sits. Domeric was granted mercy, allowed to take the name Dustin as Lady Barbary's heir through their relation. Her husband dying the year before from a hunting accident, leaving them childless. The High Lordship of the Dreadfort was given to King Eddard's brother Lord Benjen Stark, and his new bride Lady Dacey Stark, formally Dacey Mormont. The Dreadfort forever renamed the Direfort.
King Eddard is universally loved among his people, his judgments fair, and his right to rule respected. Reflect perfectly in the words of the Kindom. "The Strength of the Wolf is the North, and the Strength of the North is the Wolf."
This is the last of my Game of Thrones AU pieces. It was sourced from several different images online and rendered into my own style.
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One small technical critque to improve any future maps, is that it is a bit difficult to read the names of some of the places. So more bold/larger or a clearer color on the letters is my tip.
Some questions for your timeline:
1) What is the status on Daenerys ITTL?
2) What is the status on the White Walkers ITTL? Any improvement in relation between the Wildlings & The North?
3) What is the position on Dorne ITTL? Any bad blood with the Starks over the death of the Dowager Queen?
4) Where did the Ironborne emigrate to?
Look forward for more from this TL!
1) Daenaerys has been raised by the Starks in Winterfell, and as she has come of age, the burning question is what to do with her. Cersei has raised her along with Eddard, so in a way she has occupied Jon Snow's role as the person on the inside who is an outsider. She is happier than she was in the OTL because she has a place where she belongs, also has a grave for her mother to work out emotional issues. But is still sad that she is the last dragon.
2) I'm on the fence about the White Walkers. If they are pursuing their original goal then that effects the relationship of the North to the Wildlings. I find it reasonable that the White Walkers are opportunistic, being that they would wait till the conditions were right to strike, which allows for them not to return this time around if they felt resistance was strong enough to threaten their success. As for the wildlings, if the original goal is pursued, then I think Eddard would be a more reasonable man. If not, then the same relationship would stand.
3) Like most of westeros, Dorne was shocked by the destruction of the Capitol city. Some believe that The Mad King did it, others think that Robert somehow destroyed the city in his rage. But return of autonomy has allowed bickering factions to keep it as a nation from having a hand in international politics. It is generally agreed that Elia died due to Aerys madness, thus there is no solid call for vengeance.
4) The Ironborn end up in 4 general states. Most emigrate to the Arbor, as Quellon Greyjoys son from his Arbor wife rules there. Some settle in the north, due to the hatred in the south. Some become traders, and lastly the more radical become pirates.
Feel free to ask more, I enjoy answering.
I also like what happened to the Ironborn, are they just going to become a floating migrant population now? Bumming around Westeros and planting little diaspora communities in all the ports? Or are they going to make like the Rhoynar and go find a new home? The Stepstones would be a good spot, outside of the jurisdiction of Dorne, the Stormlands, and all of the Free Cities.
A couple of smaller notes: I don't think Stannis would move the capital to Highgarden. He's all about that tradition. More than likely he'd make Renly the Regent of the Reach when he got older. Also the marriages changing up. What happened that Ned had to marry Cersei rather than Cat? Is Cersei as much of a corrupting influence or has she learnt to love Ned as well?
The Iron Born would have a place on the Arbor with the Arbor Greyjoys, but the more radical would pirate, others would seek settlements in the North since the south is extremely hostile towards them.
Stannis is a pragmatist at heart and would see the need to be based out of the Reach in order to maintain control of the new territory. He makes Renly the regent of Storms End since he has the most support there, and Renly is still a young boy.
As for how Ned and Cersei get together, it's a bit of an in depth arrangement I concocted. As for a corrupting influence, I think of it as a more bewitching, making Ned a little more self centered, but at the same time he makes her a little more loving. Both influence each other.
Thanks for the questions, always enjoy answering them.
I totally forgot about the Arbor, I'd just assumed that was given to Dorne or something. Transplanting a bunch of dirt poor sheep farmers to one of the most hospitable and fertile islands in Westeros is going to have some interesting long term affects on the Ironborn and their culture. Though I always sort of thought that displaced Ironborn could make a good minority population for Westeros, like the Jews or the Irish, the fact that their religion is a Cthulhu knock-off would just add to the mystery.
The Targaryen's subject the Ironborn to an event known as the Scouring of the Isles shortly into into the second century AC and the Harlaws are made the Lord Paramounts.
The Reach is also lead by still surviving Gardners.
The nobilitiy are still powerful but more akin to the nobility of renaissance France or the HRE, they Lord Paramounts are less important given the Crown doesn't delegate as much to them as many rights or as much autonomy. Lesser houses are virtually powerless compaired to canon.
Bridges and proper infrastructure have been developed and used by the crown to amass taxes and there is a true standing army and professional soldiery with the Crown Army been set up in a somewhat pseudo Greeco-Roman manner using knowledge of the old Ghis legions and the Valyrian armies outside of their Dragons. Speaking of which they have gotten smaller but they still have them.
The Free Cities are more like the Delian League of Ancient Greece, there are many more settlements new and old in the former Freehold and the Nine Cities themselves happen to be the largest richest and most powerful and each head/rule a league or alliance of the lesser and weaker cities and towns close to them.
In the Disputed Lands the ever shifting alligences of many of these settlements is what gives rise to the many wars betwen Tyrosh, Myr, Lys and Volantis.