In Westeros, much like in Hollywood, you’ve got your A-Listers: The Starks, The Lannisters and The Targaryens. You’ve got your B-Listers: The Baratheons, The Greyjoys and The Tyrells. You’ve got your C-Listers: The Arryns, The Martells, The Freys and The Tullys. But then you’ve got your D, E, and F-Listers.
Westeros is filled with hundreds of smaller houses that serve as bannermen to the large houses of power–like their posses or entourages. Most of these smaller houses don’t garner mention in HBO’s interpretation of Westeros, but the books are filled with them, and perhaps the most important of these smaller families are the Reeds. If you watch Game of Thrones with a magnifying glass or keep track of every character’s family tree you might recognize the name, because we’ve actually met three members of House Reed. Jojen and Meera Reed sort of mysteriously arrived on the scene in season three as Bran, Rickon and Hodor are fleeing Winterfell. They arrive because their father sent them to protect Bran and help escort him North of the Wall to the Three-Eyed Raven. Yadda, yadda, yadda Jojen dies on the way to the cave, Meera survives and has sort of a weird sexual tension with Bran even though he’s now turned into a creepy fortune teller and is last seen leaving Winterfell midway through season seven to go home to her father. But naturally, you might be wondering who is her father? Who is this guy that cryptically sent his only two children on a suicide mission to protect a random kid?
His name is Howland Reed, and he’s the character that us book readers have spent the past twenty years (since the first book was published) waiting for.
We actually got our first glimpse of Howland Reed last season in Bran’s vision at The Tower of Joy. Howland Reed is one of young Ned Starks’s best friends and he rides with Ned to the Tower of Joy to rescue Lyanna Stark. Of the eight men that fight at the Tower of Joy, only two survive: Ned Stark and Howland Reed.