Howland Reed is the Lord of Greywater Watch and the father of Meera and Jojen Reed. The head of House Reed, he is a loyal vassal of House Stark, ruling over the bog-filled lands of the Neck. According to Bran Stark in a conversation with Jojen Reed, Howland saved Ned Stark's life during Robert's Rebellion. Howland apparently never told his children anything about his part in the rebellion.
While traveling in the Gift, Bran and Jojen talk about Howland Reed and his relation to Ned Stark. Jojen remembers that when he told his father about his visions of what had happened to Ned Stark, it was the first time he saw his father cry.
Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven watch the fight at the Tower of Joy between Ned Stark, Howland Reed, and four other Stark bannermen against two members of Aerys II Targaryen's Kingsguard; Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, and Lord Commander Gerold Hightower. Howland Reed is the first to charge in, receiving a slash across the chest by Dayne. The other Stark bannermen are killed along with Ser Gerold, leaving Ned Stark and Dayne to face each other. The two warriors briefly duel. However, Dayne's superior fighting skills get the best of Ned and he is disarmed. Just as Dayne is about to strike Ned down, Howland - whom Dayne had assumed was mortally wounded earlier in the fight - rushes him from behind and stabs him through the back of the neck. Ned quickly ends Dayne's suffering with a slash to the neck, nearly lopping his head off. Howland is badly injured but survives, rushing to check the bodies of the fallen, while Ned continues on into the tower
Father to Meera and Jojen Reed, Howland fought with Ned Stark during Robert's Rebellion and accompanied him to rescue Lyanna Stark at the Tower of Joy. It was Reed who handicapped legendary warrior Ser Arthur Dayne by stabbing him in the back, a dishonorable move that saved Ned's life and allowed him to finish off Dayne.