- “If Robert finds out, he will kill him. You know he will. You have to protect him. Promise me, Ned.“
- ―Lyanna’s final wish for her son Jon Snow to her brother Eddard Stark.
Lady Lyanna Stark is a character in Game of Thrones. She is deceased when the events of the series begin, yet she appears in flashback form in the sixth season. Lyanna Stark is the younger sister of major character Eddard Stark. Herkidnapping by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen contributed to the outbreak of Robert’s Rebellion. She died near the very end of the rebellion, due complications from childbirth, as she gave birth to a baby boy, revealed to be Jon Snow. Before she passed away, she asked Ned to promise her to keep her son safe, in fear of Robert’s wrath should he find out the truth of Jon’s parentage, that he was fathered by Rhaegar.
Lyanna Stark was the only daughter of Lord Rickard Stark, head of House Starkand Lord Paramount of the North. The North is one of the constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms and House Stark is one of the Great Houses of the realm. House Stark rule the region from their seat of Winterfell and Rickard also held the title Lord of Winterfell.
Lyanna had three brothers, Brandon, Eddard, andBenjen Stark. Her father arranged a betrothal between her and Robert Baratheon, Lord of Storm’s End and Lord Paramount of the Stormlands.
Time after the betrothal, Lord Walter Whentorganized a great tourney at Harrenhal, in which Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, the heir to the Iron Throne, was the victor. Afterwards, the Prince rode past his wife, Princess Elia Martell, and placed a crown of winter roses, the crown of the Queen of Love and Beauty, on Lyanna’s lap. This action was considered an outrage because not only was Rhaegar married but Lyanna already betrothed to another man
At some point after these events, Lyanna was abducted by Rhaegar, who took her south and hid her away in Dorne.Brandon, who had been on his way to Riverrun to wed Catelyn Tully, instead went to King’s Landing to demand Rhaegar’s arrest and punishment. King Aerys II Targaryen had him and all his companions charged with treason. He demanded all their fathers, including Lord Rickard Stark, come to King’s Landing and promised they would receive a fair trial. Instead the King had them all burned alive, except for Brandon, who strangled himself trying to save his father.
This incident sparked the uprising known as Robert’s Rebellion. Jon Arryn was commanded to arrest and turn over his wards Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark, but he refused. The three of them rose in rebellion along with Hoster Tully of Riverrun after Eddard and Jon married his daughters, Catelyn and Lysa. The war saw House Targaryen almost completely destroyed and Robert installed as king after he personally slew Rhaegar at the Battle of the Trident. During the war Lyanna died from childbirth in Eddard’s arms, after her rescue. As per her request, she was buried next to her brother Brandon in the crypts at Winterfell. Robert continued to mourn her despite becoming king and marrying Cersei Lannister. Though Eddard was angered at Robert for refusing to hold Tywin Lannister and his army accountable for theSack of King’s Landing, their friendship was rekindled over the mutual grief for Lyanna
Lyanna’s death was revealed to be from complications from childbirth, due to giving birth to her son, Jon Snow, whose father is Rhaegar. Her death was witnessed by Ned and two hand maidens and most likely Howland Reed. Before her death, Lyanna asks Ned to promise in keeping her son and his heritage safe from Robert, who would have the child killed if he finds out. Ned complies with Lyanna’s wish and takes the infant to Winterfell. Fulfilling his promise, Ned passes the boy as his bastard son, and named him Jon Snow. No one knows the truth of Jon’s parentage; with Ned, Howland and the two handmaidens being the only individuals bearing the knowledge.
King Robert Baratheon visits Lyanna’s tomb under Winterfell almost immediately after arriving. As part of their romance, he would bring her feathers from an exotic southern bird. During this visit, he places one in the hand of her statue. Robert says the statue doesn’t do her justice. He becomes emotional and tells Eddard how he relives killing Rhaegar Targaryen again and again in his dreams for what he did to Lyanna. He asks Eddard if it was necessary to bury Lyanna in a cold tomb rather than somewhere in the sunlight, but Eddard responds that she was of the North and of House Stark; this is her place.In King’s Landing, Robert shares a drink with his wife, Cersei Lannister, and they begin to talk about Lyanna Stark for the first time in their marriage. Robert tells her how much Lyanna meant to him, even though now he cannot even remember her face, saying she was the only thing he ever wanted but then someone took her away from him, and even the entire Seven Kingdoms couldn’t fill the hole she left. Cersei reminds him that she once had feelings for him, which he acknowledges. She asks if there had ever been even a moment when he had loved her but Robert says no. He asks her if that makes her feel better or worse. Cersei replies it doesn’t make her feel anything.
When Eddard discovers that Cersei has been having an incestuous affair with her twin brother Jaime, he confronts her. Cersei denies Eddard’s accusation that she always hated Robert, saying she once worshiped him back when she was young and handsome and muscular. All the girls wanted him, and he was hers by oath.
But then that love turned to hate on their wedding night when he came to bed drunk, and afterwards muttered Lyanna’s name in her ear.Bran Stark shows Osha the tombs under Winterfell and gives a quick summary of the events leading to the civil war: how Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna, who was betrothed to Robert Baratheon, and the Mad King then killed Lyanna’s brother and father, triggering the war.
When speaking to Tyrion Lannister, Oberyn Martell expresses anger that, despite Elia Martell’s love and loyalty for her husband Rhaegar Targaryen, he left her for “another woman,” Lyanna Stark.
Sansa Stark, upon returning to Winterfell after being gone for four years, visits her aunt’s statue and lights a candle in the statue’s hand to honor Lyanna as her father used to do. Petyr Baelish finds her there. They discuss what happened at the Tourney of Harrenhal where Rhaegar Targaryen shocked everyone present by passing over his wife Elia Martell in order to crown Lyanna as the Queen of Love and Beauty. Sansa notes how Rhaegar later kidnapped and raped Lyanna, while Petyr said his choices led to the deaths of thousands.
While exploring his Greensight under the tutelage of the three-eyed raven, Bran Stark views an event from his father’s
past, and sees Lyanna showing off her riding skills in front of her brothers, Eddard and Benjen. She later encourages a young Benjen to fight a bout against the young stablehand Wylis, giving Wylis tips on how to beat her brother.
In yet another vision, Bran witnesses another event, this time during the aftermath of Robert’s Rebellion, in which Ned Stark, accompanied by five bannermen including Howland Reed, confront Ser Arthur Dayne and Ser Gerold Hightower of the Kingsguard before the Tower of Joy, in the Red Mountains of Dorne. Before the fight ensues, Ned demands to know where Lyanna is.
Accepting his role as the Three Eyed Raven, Bran travels back in time to the Tower of Joy event. Bran watches as his young father reunites with the dying Lyanna, who is lying in a bed of blood, which is later revealed to be caused by the aftereffects of childbirth. Lyanna talks to him about her struggle to be brave in the face of death, while Ned demands the hand maidens aid his sister. However, Lyanna stops him and whispers to him about her ordeal. As Ned takes in this revelation, a handmaiden drops a newborn child into his arms. It is revealed that Lyanna gave birth to a baby boy, whose father is Rhaegar, and she asks Ned to promise to keep her son safe, fearing that Robert will immediately have the boy killed if he finds out. Ned sadly complies with Lyanna’s wish and holds his newborn nephew, who will later be known as Jon Snow.
|Season Six appearances|
|The Red Woman||Home *||Oathbreaker *||Book of the Stranger||The Door|
|Blood of My Blood *||The Broken Man||No One||Battle of the Bastards||The Winds of Winter *|