Who is Cregan Stark in House of the Dragon season 2? (And how is he related to Ned Stark?)

House of the Dragon season 2 will introduce us to a new Lord of Winterfell: Cregan Stark, the Wolf of the North. Here's everything we know about this crucial character, including how he's related to the Starks from Game of Thrones.
Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO
Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO /

At long last, it's time to return to Westeros! The premiere of House of the Dragon is just around the corner, and things are about to heat up in a major way. The first season of HBO's Game of Thrones spinoff spanned decades and featured a number of cast changes as our characters aged. Now that the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons is truly getting underway, season 2 is doing away with the time jumps and hewing much closer to the classic Game of Thrones formula. Expect fire, blood, and betrayal.

With the conflict sprawling out across the map, we'll also be meeting a lot of new characters. Yes, House of the Dragon is about the breaking point of the Targaryen dynasty, but those events affect all the great houses of Westeros in some way or other. That gives the show some wonderful opportunities to bring back houses we all know and love from Thrones, and there's no better example of that than newcomer Cregan Stark, the ancestor of Ned, Arya, Sansa, Bran and the rest of the Starks from the original series. He'll be played by Tom Taylor in House of the Dragon season 2.

Cregan features prominently in George R.R. Martin's book Fire & Blood, so his inclusion in House of the Dragon is no shallow fan service. If the show sticks to the events of the books, Cregan will have a major role to play in the war to come. Before we fall in love with this new member of House Stark, let's take a minute to brush up on what we know about him from Fire & Blood. Beware SPOILERS for the book ahead.

House of the Dragon season 2 Cregan Stark Jacaerys Jace Velaryon
House of the Dragon season 2 /

Everything to know about Cregan Stark in House of the Dragon

At the end of House of the Dragon season 1, Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen's son Jacaerys (Harry Collett) was dispatched to Winterfell in order to gain the support of House Stark on behalf of his mother. Events unfold in similar fashion in Fire & Blood, and once Jace finally arrives in Winterfell, he meets the young lord there, Cregan.

Though Cregan is only 21 when he and Jace first meet in the novel, he's already led a very full life and gone through some turbulent events that make him understandably sympathetic to Rhaenyra's cause. Cregan became the Lord of Winterfell at the young age of 13, when his father Rickon died. (You may recall Rickon; he appeared briefly in the House of the Dragon series premiere, where he swore fealty to a teenage Rhaenyra in the Iron Throne room.)

Following the death of Cregan's father, his uncle Bennard served as a regent until Cregan came of age. However, by the time Cregan turned 16 and was legally allowed to take over rule of the North, Bennard had become "slow to surrender his power." This uncomfortable power dynamic stretched on for around two years as the relationship between Cregan and Bennard soured, until Cregan finally led an uprising which ended with Bennard and his three sons imprisoned.

After that, Cregan was the uncontested ruler of the North. He married his childhood friend Lady Arra Norrey, but unfortunately she died while giving birth to their son a couple of years later. The child, named Rickon Stark after Cregan's father, survived.

In Fire & Blood, the death of Lady Arra Norrey happens the year before Jace arrives at Winterfell. So by the time the young Lord of Dragonstone meets Cregan Stark, he's already overthrown one greedy relative who sought to usurp his position, been married, lost a wife and sired a child. Cregan may only be 21, but people grow up fast in Westeros.

As Martin notes in Fire & Blood, Cregan will one day be known as "the Old Man of the North." But it'll be a long time yet before he's old enough to take on that moniker. During the Dance of the Dragons he becomes known simply as the Wolf of the North. During Jace's time in Winterfell, the two young men develop a friendship, something that Fire & Blood's fictional co-narrator Grand Maester Munkin believes is partially due to Jace reminding Cregan of his own younger brother who had died a decade earlier. "They drank together, they hunted together, trained together, and swore an oath of brotherhood, sealed in blood," Munkin writes in his account of the Dance of the Dragons.

By the time Jace leaves Winterfell, he has signed something which comes to be known as the Pact of Ice and Fire — an agreement that Cregan will march to war to support Rhaenyra and her followers, known as the Blacks. As for what happens after that, we'll have a better idea of how the events of House of the Dragon line up with Fire & Blood once season 2 airs.

Jon Snow - Game of Thrones /

How is Cregan Stark related to Ned Stark and Jon Snow?

If you were a fan of Game of Thrones, an obvious question you may have is how exactly is Cregan related to the Starks we knew from that series, like Eddard and his children? Or Jon Snow, the man who is half Stark and half Targaryen? The short answer is that Cregan is the fourth great grandfather of Ned, or his great-great-great-great-grandfather.

Cregan married three times. His first wife Arra Norrey died in childbirth giving him a son, Rickon, who would eventually die fighting for King Daeron I Targaryen in Dorne following the Dance of the Dragons. His second wife, Alysanne Blackwood, also known as "Black Aly," gave him four daughters during their time together. Cregan outlived Black Aly, and eventually married his distant cousin Lynara Stark. They had five children together. The youngest of them, Brandon, eventually became the Lord of Winterfell and carried on the branch of the Stark bloodline that eventually gave birth to Ned and his immediate family. That includes Ned's sister Lyanna, so Cregan is also the fifth great grandfather of Jon Snow, as well as all of Ned and Catelyn's children.

It's doubtful that we'll see all of Cregan's long life during House of the Dragon, though I'm banking on getting some references to Lady Arra Norrey during season 2. I'm also hopeful that we'll see Cregan meet Black Aly during the show's final season, since it factors into the resolution of the Dance of the Dragons.

You may have guessed from all this information, but yes, Cregan is one of the few characters in House of the Dragon that you can safely expect to survive the show. For once, it's safe to get attached to a Stark! If only Ned had had such luck.

House of the Dragon season 2 premieres on Sunday, June 16. We'll be covering it extensively, so check back for more deep dives as the season gets underway!

dark. Next. To House of the Dragon fans: Sorry, but the Greens are right (even though we love the Blacks). To House of the Dragon fans: Sorry, but the Greens are right (even though we love the Blacks)

To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and Twitter account, sign up for our exclusive newsletter and check out our YouTube channel.