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The Hardy Family

House Hardy
Hold Fast

House History
House Hardy's seat is Holdfast Castle, an ancient edifice partly built during the Age of the First Men, or so it is said. Blood of the First Men runs through the veins of many of Hardy.

Although the Hardys were kings among the first men, they have been loyal allies of the Starks since a cementing marriage ages ago. Lord Hardy, it was said, had no dowry to pay for his daughter's hand to Lord Stark except his eternal loyalty. The Stark's accepted the offer in the spirit it was intended, and have repaid loyalty with loyalty ever since. Rivaly with the Draupauds over the ownership of contested lands between their estates goes back almost this far, matters which the Starks choose to stay out of so long as both Houses don't get too out of hand.

It is rumored that the ancestral Hardy castle predates the era of Bran the Builder.

It is said there has always been a Hardy at the Wall.

During Robert's Rebellion, the Hardys sided with the Starks, and hence Robert. This was quite fortunate, considering how the war concluded, but even if the Starks were to challenge the whole realm, it would be in keeping with their ancient traditions to stand with the Starks and hold their ground until shattered by much larger forces.

Recent personal history is accounted here.

House Personality
The members of House Hardy tend towards stubbornness, fortitude, and willpower.

The Hardys have never been great readers. Wisdom internalized, such as Maesters possess, is valued much more highly than the books they read to get there. The concrete and material are valued highly, and books are seen as ephemeral.

Even compared to other northern lords, the Hardy's 'Hold Fast' to the old gods. While the opinions of individual family members show the usual degree of variance, Septons are not held in high regard. Generally, however, they are smart enough to bite their tongues on this particular subject.

This longstanding devotion for the old gods is reflected in a number of longstanding family traditions:

  • Guestright
  • Prohibitions against kinslaying
  • The offer of sanctuary to the weak "in summer" and the refusal "in winter."
    • In practice, this means they will help the weak when the can, and turn them away when they can't. An overburdened holdfast is a dead holdfast.

When war came to the north, the Hardy's were always ready to hold the most impossible, often suicidal, positions while the Starks rallied reinforcements. Tales are still told of battles in which a small group of Hardy men held a pass, or sometimes a hill or ford, against a much larger force of Southron mercenaries, impossibly large hordes of Wildings, or men from the Dreadfort.

Similar tales circulate around the Wall about last stands of scions who bore the Hardy name, and many Hardys treat all men of the Black Watch as distant cousins.

Some say that Hardy knights will stand atop a hill and hold their ground against dragonfire itself, the quintessential force which breaks the morale of armies. Of course, the Hardy knight always dies in those stories...

House Holdings
Castle Holdfast is the seat of House Hardy.

All Houses must have their sources of income, whether that means Lannister gold or the trade and fishing conducted in the fork by simple men who answer to the Tullys. House Hardy controls lands rich in timber, and the roads from the mines in the nearby mountains run straight to Holdfast Castle. It was from these same mountains, it is said, that the stones for the castle were cut long ago, and there still exist active granite quarries. Trappers also sell their wares near Holdfast, and a fraction of this trade makes its way into the Hardy coffers.

House Position
House Hardy is a banner house to Winterfell and House Stark. They are an extremely old house, with half-remembered tales stretching back to the days of the first men. Some whisper that, like an oak tree which has grown so massive that it splits under the weight of its own limbs, House Hardy is experiencing a slow decline. It remains to be seen whether the current generation will be the vital force which rekindles the strength and glory of an earlier age, or if they are the last gasp of a dying giant.

WinterChillsHouseHardy CastleHoldfast

Page last modified on April 13, 2007, at 08:00 PM