House of the Dragon's First Season is Over; Who's Cregan Stark and Why Does He Matter?
Right when the war between the Blacks and the Greens is starting to heat up. Rhaenyra recruits Cregan Stark to the cause, bringing the cold of the north.
The finale of House of the Dragon has the civil war ramping up. With that, both the Greens (Alicent) and the Blacks (Rhaenyra) are beginning to make their moves. While Alicent urges her father and small council to try diplomacy first, to let Rhaenyra bend the knee of her own will, everyone knows it will never happen. If only Viserys hadn't rambled on about Aegon's prophecy at that inopportune moment on his deathbed.
But the song of ice and fire might be on Rhaenyra's mind next season when she asks Cregan Stark for help.
Who is Cregan Stark in 'House of the Dragon'?
Cregan Stark, also called the Wolf in the North, is the lord of Winterfell when Rhaenyra's son Jaecarys visits him on dragonback beseeching him to help his rightful Queen overthrow the traitors holding King's Landing. Maybe it's because Jacaerys has brown hair or maybe it's just that the two are both boisterous, but they get along well and make a pact.
However, in the books, the court fool Mushroom makes claims Cregan agreed to help the Targaryens out of honor because Jaecarys married his bastard sister in secret.
How Is Cregan related to Ned Stark?
Cregan Stark lived four generations before Eddard Stark and is his great-great-great-great-grandfather. Described in the books as having grey eyes like a winter storm. Cregan pledged himself to fight for the Blacks, which is a great help to Rhaenyra. While the Southlanders and Alicent's men are all fairly, ehem, 'green' around the gills when it comes to fighting (Viserys was a peacetime king). The hearty Northmen have nothing but grit and the toughness that comes from braving the tundra that is their home.
To put it in perspective, the first force that Stark sends down south are called "The Winter Wolves" led by Roddy the Ruin, all old men who want to die in battle rather than live out the rest of their lives.
Though they're old, their fierceness and disregard for their own life bring them victory after victory. Eventually, the force of old warriors reach their goal and perish. But can the Hightowers really call it a victory? When Rhaenyra asks for more support Cregan Stark pledges to send his actual army of ten thousand soldiers.
Cregan Stark is like Ned. He has flaws; he can be a bit foolhardy, but for all his flaws he is loyal to the end and a man of his word. If he says he'll do something, he sticks to it. Even when he no longer has cause to help the Blacks, he still sends the host of ten thousand to make the Greens rue the day they ever thought to supplant their ruler.
Maybe "The North Remembers" means more than they hold on to grudges, but that they always stay true to their word once given.