The North is the largest region in Westeros. it is a harsh and cold land covered in rivers and plains, with forests and mountains in the northwest; temperate to sub-arctic with swamps in the Neck along southern border. It is the only realm where the dominant culture of that of the Northmen, though a small Andal minority lives in White harbor. The dominant religion in the North is the Old Gods of the Forest, though a small minority worship the Seven. Northern bastards are given the name "Snow".
The North was first inhabited by the Children of the Forest who worshipped the Old Gods and safeguarded the Wild. Eventually the First Men arrived with iron technology and castles were soon built. This lead to a war between the First Men and Children that ended with a peace treaty between the two. In time the First Men adopted the Old Gods as their own. Many Houses and Kingdoms rose and fell during those years, the two most successful ones was House Stark of the Kingdom of Winter and House Bolton of the Red Kingdom.
House Stark Edit
House Stark was founded by Brandon Stark who built the castle Winterfell with the help of giants. He reigned as the first King of Winter and his successors gained numerous vassals including House Mormont of Bear Island, given to them after winning an "Arm-wrestle" against the Ironborn. House Umber for being reliable allies in a Wildling invasion, and House Karstark, a cadet branch of House Stark that was founded when Prince Karlon Stark was granted lordship over his own territories. After finally defeating House Bolton and gaining lordship over them, House Stark became the ruling House in The North and became the Kings in the North, thus was founded the Kingdom of the North.
House Bolton Edit
House Bolton, the other most successful Northern House was almost the polar opposite of House Stark. They ruled as the Red Kings from their castle, the Dreadfort. Their lands were plagued by seemingly never ending rebellions from unsatisfied subjects and invasions from rival houses and Ironborn invaders. This world of violence forged House Bolton into a ruthless House that used fear to keep their subjects in line and terrify their enemies. They primarily did this by skinning their enemies and displaying their corpses. They were even rumored to wear their enemies skins as cloaks. House Bolton waged countless wars against House Stark and both houses claimed victories. But eventually House Stark won over and the final Red King bent the knee and became the second most powerful Northern House.
Andal invasion Edit
The Kingdom of the North became threatened when the Andals invaded from Andalos. The Andals saw the magic of the Children of the Forest and Old Gods as blasphemous to their god, the Seven. The Andals conquored every Kingdom of the First Men and slaughtered the Children of the Forest. Only the Kingdom of the North was able to hold the line, but the northern Children fled.
Aegon the Conqueror Edit
The Kingdom of the North ended when Aegon Targaryean of Dragonstone invaded Westeros with his army and dragons. King Torrhen Stark knew he could not defeat Aegons dragons, and to save his people, bent the knee to Aegon and swore fealty to him. He was forever known after that as The King who knelt. The Starks became Wardens of the North.
Robert's Rebellion Edit
For 300 years the North remained an administrative region of the Seven Kingdoms, founded by Aegon. The Starks remained loyal vassals of House Targaryean of Kings Landing, but when Prince Rhaegar Targaryean kidnapped Lady Lyanna Stark,(Though recent evidence suggest they actually eloped) the North joined Lord Robert Baratheon in the rebellion against the Targaryeans. Robert ultimately won the war and killed Rhaegar. He then became the new King and House Stark swore fealty to him.
War of the Five Kings Edit
After King Robert's death, his supposed son Joffrey assumed the throne, but Lord Eddard Stark discovered that Joffrey was not Robert's real son. For denying that Joffrey was the rightful king, he was executed. When Eddard's son Robb discovered this, he began a war for independence for the North. He was proclaimed King in the North by his bannermen. The North also gained an administrative region in the Riverlands when it's ruling House, House Tully swore fealty to Robb. Robb lead his army to victory after victory against The North's enemies, but Winterfell was taken by the Ironborn and the North was pillaged. As more and more of Robb's bannermen deserted him and ran back home to fight the Ironborn, Robb turned to House Frey of the Twins for reinforcements to reclaim the North. But the Frey's along with the Boltons betrayed Robb and his army and killed them all in the Red Wedding.
House Bolton then returned to The North and reclaimed Winterfell from the Ironborn, and swore loyalty to Joffrey. But House Stark was not extinct. Princess Sansa Stark had been a prisoner of Joffrey, but escaped shorty after Joffrey's assassination in the Purple Wedding. Princess Arya Stark escaped Kings Landing shortly after Eddard's death. Prince Bran Stark and Prince Rickon escaped Winterfell when the Ironborn seized it. While Jon Snow, Eddard's supposed bastard son(But really Lyanna and Rhaegar's son) was at Castle Black with the Night's Watch.
In additon, a new threat in the form of King Stannis Baratheon, the TRUE heir to the throne challenged the Boltons. Stannis gained the loyalties of several Northern Houses hoping to take revenge on the Boltons for betraying House Stark. Stannis is currently about to face the Boltons in battle in the books, but the TV show has a different story.
In the TV Show, Stannis is defeated by the Boltons via a sabotaging strategy that drains his supply and men. Stannis is also killed in the ensuing battle. But Sansa(Who had been married of to Roose Bolton's cruel bastard Son Ramsay) escaped and arrives at Castle Black. She and Jon plan to retake the North with the help of Jon's new allies, Free Folk tribesmen. They gain the loyalties of Houses Mormont, Hornwood and Maizin, but Ramsay's army still outnumbers them. Ramsay even kills a captured Rickon. Jon's army is nearly wiped out, but House Arryn of the Vale who had defected from the Throne arrived and reinforced Jon. Ramsay's army was defeated and Ramsay was executed by Sansa after the battle. With House Bolton defeated and rendered extinct, the North has been liberated and Jon declared the new King in the North, with the Vale becoming a new administrative region of the Kingdom of the North. Jon is currently preparing for war against the White Walkers who are returning to Westeros, while Bran is returning to Winterfell after his training from the Three Eyed Raven. Arya is in the Riverlands having just assassinated Walder Frey who had orchestrated the Red Wedding.