Histories and Lore – House Bolton


BOLTON: Like the Starks, the blood of House Bolton
runs back to the First Men. -(BATTLE SOUNDS)
-Singers call those times the Age of Heroes. A mask for a savage world
that bred savage men. The Lannisters swindled their enemies, the Storm Kings hammered them, and the Starks cut off their heads. In such company as this,
were the Boltons really so indelicate? Unlike some other houses,
my ancestors owned the Bolton words, “Our blades are sharp.” They passed down not a Valyrian greatsword,
but a knife, honed and thin enough to fit between
the topmost layer of skin and the tissue below. And peel. For as we all learned as children, “A naked man has few secrets.
A flayed man, none.” In those dark days, they say
that some of my more willful forbearers would even wear
their enemy’s skins as cloaks. But no such tokens remain,
if they ever existed. Certainly not hanging in some
secret room in the Dreadfort, as old wives and fools insist. I suspect my house itself was responsible
for spreading such rumors in the first place. Few weapons are as effective as terror,
and this was an age of war. House against house,
brother against brother. The ironmen were on the rise
and never far from our shores. We must have seemed ripe for the taking. Too busy fighting each other to deal with
the raiders as they deserved. Thus, the Starks took it upon themselves
to unify the North under them. They drove the pirates out of White Knife
and claimed the eastern coast, and married
the Marsh King’s daughter for the Neck. A Stark wrestled for Bear Island and won. Or so they say. Silly stories. Blood and steel won the North,
and the Starks had the most of both. After years of war, my ancestors gave up their barbaric practices
and bent the knee to their new kings. Thus, House Bolton became
what we are today, loyal bannermen
and staunch ally to the Starks, and the second-greatest house in the North.

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