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House of the Dragon just introduced its first Stark - eight generations before Ned

Cregan Stark plays a pivotal role in The Dance of Dragons, upon which House of the Dragon is based

Image credit: HBO

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Heads up, potential spoilers for House of the Dragon, season 2 follow. Proceed at your own risk.

House Targaryen may be the titular House of the Dragon, but they're certainly not the only powerful family in Westeros. The ancestors of all the major players in Game of Thrones are kicking around in this part of the world's history, and at the beginning of the series's second season, we finally got to meet one.

Here's what you need to know about Cregan Stark.

Who is Cregan Stark

Cregan Stark is a patriarch of the Stark family, which also means he's Lord of Winterfell. Cregan took the role of Lord very early in life, as his father died when Cregan was just thirteen. He is an iron-fisted ruler, going so far as to imprison his uncle and three cousins, as they all had eyes for the throne.

As you can guess from the fact that House of the Dragon is a prequel, Cregan is the ancestor of the Starks we know and love (?) from Game of Thrones. Specifically, he is eight generations ahead of Eddard Stark, nine before Jon Snow. If you're counting, that makes him Ned's grandfather with six "greats" before it.

What does Cregan Stark do in Fire and Blood?

Alright gang, here's where those spoiler warnings really count. We're about to get into House of the Dragon's primary source material, the novel Fire and Blood, which means we may cover plot points that have yet to happen on the show. If you're ok with that, read on.

In the conflict between Queen Rhaenyra and King Aegon II of House Targaryen, known as the Dance of Dragons, Cregan would side with the Queen. This was a significant development since, up until that point, House Stark had not taken an official position in matters dealing with other Houses. Cregan would supply men to Rhaenyra's cause and, though I won't go into how the war ends here, would live past the conflict, continuing a relationship between Houses Stark and Targaryean.

Who plays Cregan Stark in House of the Dragon?

Bringing the character of Cregan Stark to life for the first time in live action is actor Tom Taylor, who is known for his roles in The Dark Tower and BBC's Doctor Foster. And before you ask, comic readers - no, this is not the same person who is currently writing Nightwing at DC. We do have an interview with that guy, though.

House of the Dragon season 2 is currently airing on HBO, and is available to stream on Max.

Thanks to HBO, Popverse is back in the Westeros spirit, and we've got more Game of Thrones articles than could fit on a spiky chair. We'll tell you how to watch through the Game of Thrones/House of the Dragon saga in order, or if you're so inclined, read through it. We've dug through and exhumed the biggest differences between the two HBO shows set in Westeros, and gotten an inside look at them from House of the Dragon's prop designers. We've covered the history of Westeros's greatest houses & families, talked you through every single dragon in House of the Dragon so far, and peered into the future regarding A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, HBO's upcoming GoT spinoff, and we've got much, much more on the way.

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Grant DeArmitt avatar
Grant DeArmitt: Grant DeArmitt (he/him) likes horror, comics, and the unholy pairing of the two. As Povperses Staff Writer, he crisscroses the pop culture landscape bringing you the news and opinions about the big things (and the next big things). He has written for Nightmare on Film Street and Newsarama, despite their better judgement. He lives in Brooklyn with his partner, Kelsey, and corgi, Legs.
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