Dragen mini-shield
Dragen mini-shield

"Ramsay: Should I kill him?
Roose: No. A Dragen is dangerous. Even for you"
―Ramsay and Roose Bolton, deciding how to deal with the Dragens
Garth Dragen, also known as The Snake Lord, the eponymous Father of the Dead, was a major character in the first, second, third, fourth and fifth seasons, debuting in the series premiere. Garth Dragen was the Lord of Helgen and the head of House Dragen. He was the father of Lucius, Erik, Domeric and Mira Dragen.

Intelligent, calculating, kind and thoughtful, Garth was one of the most powerful men in the North. His driving force was to secure his legacy and that of the Dragen name, and he would do whatever he considered necessary to protect the family. Garth was often at odds with his son, Lucius, who he considered ruthless. Garth was a close friend of Lord Eddard Stark and King Robert Baratheon and often visited them in the Eyrie with his father, Lord Harkon Dragen.

Garth's father Harkon was also intelligent and calculating, but ruthless and intimidating. He often hated his father on the way he handled his people. After Lord Harkon's death, his brother, Ser Jaran Dragen was supposed to become the new Lord of Helgen but he left Helgen to join the Night's Watch, for reasons unknown. Surprisingly and suddenly, Garth had become the new Lord of Helgen. After Ned Stark called the North's banners to join Robert's Rebellion, Garth did not hesitate to raise House Dragen's banners as well.

During the War of the Five Kings, Garth Dragen joined Robb Stark to avenge Lord Stark's death. After his death, Garth sworn to avenge the Starks on behalf of the North. Because of that, Garth was assassinated by the Boltons.




Garth in his younger years.

Garth Dragen is the head of House Dragen, a powerful vassal family to House Stark of Winterfell. He is the Lord of Helgen and the son of the late Lord Harkon Dragen. He also has a bastard brother named Ethan Snow. He quickly became the Lord of Helgen unexpectedly at a young age. Garth fought for Lord Eddard Stark during Robert's Rebellion.

Garth Dragen has three sons as well as a bastard brother and a daughter. His firstborn, Lucius Dragen took over Garth's position as Lord of Helgen and head of House Dragen. Although Garth has held little love for his firstborn.


Garth fighting a member of the Kingsguard

At the end of Robert's Rebellion, Eddard Stark, Howland Reed, Garrick Grayburn and Garth rode to Dorne in an attempt to rescue Lyanna Stark from Rhaegar Targaryen. Arriving at the Tower of Joy, Ned, Howland, Garrick, and Garth faced Arthur Dayne and several members of the Kingsguard who were protecting Lyanna on Rhaegar's orders. The four defeated the Kingsguard and entered the tower only to find Lyanna lying in a bed of blood. After this event, Garth suffered from frequent nightmares.

Season 1

Lord Garth visits Winterfell with his family on Eddard Stark's invitation. As Ned Stark leaves Winterfell, he gives Garth higher authority over the North.

Garth Dragen swears his fealty to Robb Stark when Jon Umber proposes for northern independence.

Season 2

Garth fights for King Robb Stark in his decisive victory at the Battle of Oxcross. The following morning Garth reports that they killed five Lannister men for every casualty they suffered. He expresses concern over the volume of prisoners they have taken, saying that they are struggling to feed their own men. Robb insists that the prisoners be treated well and rejects Garth’s suggestion that they torture the officers. Garth warns Robb that he does not trust one of his bannermen, Roose Bolton. Robb counters that he is treating his prisoners as he hopes the Lannisters will treat his sisters, as well that he does not feel suspicious towards Lord Roose.

Season 3

Garth sends a raven to his son, Lucius who is acting Lord of Helgen. He writes that he wants to give Lord Duncan, Castellan of Helgen, higher rule in Helgen as he doesn't trust Lucius. This infuriates Lucius but against his will, he does what his father commands.

Garth and his men are present during Rickard Karstark's execution. Garth advises Robb not to kill him, as it will anger the Karstarks and Robb will lose almost half of his bannermen. Robb executes Lord Karstark anyway, which upsets Garth. This leads to Robb having to marry Edmure Tully to Roslin Frey. This concerns Garth even more, he states: "This shall not go well for the North."


The Snake Lord

During the infamous Red Wedding, Garth is heavily wounded and his men retreat back to Helgen. Garth is furious and he says that he will uphold House Stark's name. Unbeknownst to him, this will lead to severe consequences.

Season 4

Garth fights a war with House Bolton. Against his will, he allows Lucius to do as he pleases to the Bolton prisoners stationed at Helgen. While Tywin Lannister tries to bring House Dragen to its knees, without any success.

Garth agrees to support Carmine Grayburn in his mission to avenge Robb Stark and help liberate the North, providing him with a sizable number of soldiers from his household guard. He originslly wanted Lucius to be one of Carmine's advisors, but Carmine, wary of Lucius' personality and reputation, declines this offer.

During the war, House Mollen decides to break their oath to House Dragen and to join up with the Lannisters. Duncan states that Lord Garth was "angry" to put it kindly. He orders Lucius to march on Riften and to destroy the city and its house. Lucius succeeds in less than a fortnight.

Season 5

During Garth's war with House Bolton, he is betrayed by a Dragen household member and given to the Boltons. On the Kingsroad, Garth is assassinated by Walton "Steelshanks", Master-at-arms of the Dreadfort


Garth is known for his stoic, extremely intelligent, and calculating demeanor, but also his cold, manipulative, and often unfettered attitude towards his enemies. He has a very calm and calculating personality, never publicly expressing anger, happiness, or sadness. Garth insists that all he does is for the sake of his family. Garth's own father Harkon was not so generous and caring but was also a deceptive leader, almost cruel. Garth didn't want to rule as his father did. Garth's cold realism often clashed with Robb's idealism.

Garth is a cunning strategist, both on and off the battlefield. His rise as Lord of Helgen was sudden and unexpected.

Garth suffers from a nightmare disorder. After Robert's Rebellion, Garth had trouble sleeping, as he receives frequent nightmares where he sees King's Landing burning in the distance, and seeing the corpse of the Mad King turn into the dragon Balerion. Garth also experienced a dream where he sees The North completely covered in snow and an ice dragon melting the snow, creating summer. From the snow, blue winter roses appear covered in Targaryen blood.


Season One appearances
Winter is Coming The Kingsroad Lord Snow Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things The Wolf and the Lion
A Golden Crown You Win or You Die The Pointy End Baelor Fire and Blood


Lord of Helgen
Harkon Dragen 267 AL - 302 AL Lucius Dragen

Family tree

Lady Dragen
Harkon Dragen tree
Harkon Dragen
Unknown tree
Unknown Blacksmith's wife
Jaran tree
Jaran Dragen
Garth tree
Garth Dragen
Alise tree
Alise Dragen née Glover Glover mini-shield
Ethan tree
Ethan Dragen
Arrena tree
Arrena Harrigon HHarrigon-Banners
Lucius tree
Lucius Dragen
Larinna tree
Larinna Harrigon HHarrigon-Banners
Erik tree
Erikar "Erik" Dragen
Anaya Dragen
née Berrow House-Berrow-Banner
Mira tree
Mira Dragen
Domeric tree
Domeric Dragen
Merei Whitesnow
Warron Dragen
Melina Dragen
Kenden Dragen

Image gallery

Behind the scenes

In the Season 4 Blu-ray, Garth narrates Histories & Lore video "House Dragen"


Spoken by Garth

"Some battles are won with swords and spears, others with quills and ravens."
―Garth, to Lucius
"Thousands of people died left and right. From the slums of Flea Bottom to the Sept of Baelor entire streets covered in blood. When I close my eyes I can still hear the screams of men, women and children in my ears. But the most haunting moment of it all, was when I walked with Ned, Garrick, and Howland into that "Tower of Joy" and seeing Lyanna lying bleeding to death, and seeing Ned cry for the first time. They died and I didn't. Guess that makes me a war hero"
―Garth, revisiting Robert's Rebellion
"There is a tool for every task, and a task for every tool."
―Garth, to Erik
"Garth: People fear you.
Lucius: Good.
Garth: You are mistaken. It is not good. No tales were ever told of me. Do you think I would be sitting here if it were otherwise? Your amusements are your own, I will not chide you on that count, but you must be more discreet. A peaceful land, a quiet people. That has always been my rule. Make it yours."
―Garth to his son, Lucius

Spoken about Garth

"Deep down, my father is a good man. And deep down, I'm not."
"The son is just the shadow of the father."
Rylen Mollen
"Men say Garth never smiled, but he smiled when he wed your mother, and when Riften came crashing down on Lady Mollen, Duncan claimed he smiled then, and he smiled at your birth, Lucius, I saw with my own eyes."
―Maester Vahaelor
v  d  e
Lord: Lord Ethan Dragen Heir: Warron Dragen
Dragen banner icon
Seat: Helgen Lands: The North
Title(s): Lord of Helgen · Lord Defender of the North · Blooded King (pre-War of Conquest)
Ancestors:Evan Dragen · Darron Dragen · Melina I Dragen · Jon Dragen · Veron Dragen · Tregar Dragen · Anthor Dragen
Current members:Alise Dragen · Mira Dragen · Domeric Dragen · Larinna Dragen · Anaya Dragen · Jaran Dragen · Kenden Dragen · Arrena Storm · Merei Whitesnow · Melina Dragen ·
Deceased members:Garth Dragen · Harkon Dragen · Erik Dragen · Lucius Dragen
Household:Duncan Catell · Maester Vahaelor · Coren Brewlan · {Josmus Snow} · Rylen Mollen (hostage) · Grond · Noro · Drayro Tollo · Maut · Ontley
Overlord:House Stark

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