Bastards and naming customs have been a huge part of the Game of Thrones story. The Lords of Westeros strengthen their families by wedding their children to other strong houses they’re allied with. Illegitimate bastards can be acknowledged by their highborn fathers and gain a surname based on their father’s home region (Ramsey Snow was named for the North that Roose Bolton was from, Obara Sand named for Dorne, Oberyn’s home) this way they can be acknowledged as a Lord’s bastard but have no claim to their title or anything that comes with it. Though a bastard can be legitimised by a King or a Queen. This ensures that a house, its titles and land are kept within the families.
There are some special exceptions, most notably Cersei retained her name when married to Robert Baratheon but her children still bore his surname (even if we knew that he wasn’t really their father, she claimed that they were). So even in these exceptions we see that the surname is dependent on the father.
In season 7 we saw house Martell, house Tyrell, house Frey, technically house Tarly (as Sam relinquished his claim upon joining the Watch) and house Baelish join the ever-growing list of extinct houses but there was another that is now doomed to extinction as of the finale and it seems to have slipped under the radar.
House Stark is now functionally extinct. Even if Sansa or Arya marry and have children, they will take their father’s name, as is the custom. Can Bran have children? Would he even want to indulge in such a human action. He’s stated that he’s no longer Bran Stark, so do we accept that he will not continue the line? The last member of the Stark clan is Jon. He could be legitimized by Daenerys and his children could continue the Stark name. There’s just one problem: he’s not a Stark, he’s a Targaryen.
The revelation that Jon is actually Aegon and that he is the result of a loving marriage between Rhaegar and Lyanna not only makes him the rightful heir to the throne (though he’s technically not if the theory we covered in GoT Theories Series part 2 is correct) but with no way to continue the Stark name, except miracle Brandroid babies, this also kills off the Stark line.
What do you think? Did you notice this little fact? Do you think this is the end of the Stark name? Or is there some other way around it? Let us know and be sure to check out some of our other articles including our GoT Theories Series or our upcoming podcast review of the season 7 finale.
GoT Theories Series: