Brandon Stark (the daughterless)
Bael the Bard and Brandon's grandson face off
Art by Roman Papsuev
|Title|| Lord of Winterfell|
Warden of the North
|Book(s)||A Clash of Kings (mentioned)|
- For other articles sharing the same title, please see this disambiguation page.
Legend of Bael the Bard
According to the stories as told by the free folk, Lord Brandon once called Bael the Bard a coward. To take revenge of this affront and prove his courage, Bael climbed the Wall and traveled to Winterfell by the kingsroad. Calling himself Sygerrik of Skagos, which means deceiver in the Old Tongue, he was allowed into Winterfell. There, he sang for Brandon, who was so impressed by Bael's skills that he allowed him a reward. When Bael asked only for the most beautiful flower blooming in Winterfell's gardens, Lord Brandon sent for the most beautiful blue winter rose from his glass garden as payment. The following morning, Lord Brandon's maiden daughter and only child was gone, and the blue winter rose was found in her bed.
Lord Brandon sent the members of the Night's Watch looking for his daughter and her kidnapper. After almost a year, neither Bael nor Brandon's daughter had been found. Brandon fell ill, his line on the verge of extinction. One day, he suddenly heard a child crying, and when he followed the sound found his daughter nursing her child by Bael in her room. According to the story, Bael had never left Winterfell, but hidden with Brandon's only child in the crypts of the castle. The bastard Brandon's daughter had birthed eventually became the new Lord of Winterfell.
There are questions as to whether Bael truly existed. While the wildlings say he did, crediting many songs to his name, the old chronicles of Winterfell do not mention him. Additionally, the time frame of Lord Brandon's existence is unclear as well. Ygritte claims Brandon lived "a long time back". As both Brandon and his grandson are given the title "Lord" instead of "King" this seems to indicate that the disappearance of Brandon's daughter took place after the Starks had given up their kingship during Aegon's Conquest. Additionally, the Kingsroad is mentioned, implying it took place during or after the reign of Jaehaerys I Targaryen, during whose reign the Kingsroad was build. On the other hand, the story states that Bael's son was killed by one of his own lords who wore his skin afterwards. The habit of flaying an enemy and wearing his skin was practiced by the Boltons, but they are said to have given up the practice "a thousand years ago".