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
The lord of the north at this time, Lord Brandon once called Bael a coward. To take revenge of this affront and prove his courage, Bael climbed the Wall, took the kingsroad and entered Winterfell under the name of Sygerrik of Skagos, which means deceiver in the Old Tongue of Skagos. There, he sang until midnight for the lord. Impressed by his skills as a singer, Lord Stark asked him what he wanted as a reward, and Bael only asked for the most beautiful flower blooming in Winterfell's gardens. As the blue winter rose were just blooming, Brandon Stark accepted to offer him one. But the following morning, the single, virgin daughter of the lord had disappeared, and in her bed was the blue winter rose.
Lord Brandon sent the members of the Night's Watch looking for them beyond the Wall, but neither Bael nor the girl were found. Brandon took to his bed and the Stark line was on the verge of extinction, when one day the girl was back in her room, holding at her breast an infant: they had actually never left Winterfell, staying hidden in the crypts. The bastard of Bael and the daughter of Brandon eventually became the new Lord Stark of Winterfell.
About thirty years later Bael became King-Beyond-the-Wall and lead the wildlings' army south, where he fought his own son at the Frozen Ford. There, incapable of killing his own blood, he let himself be killed by his son, the new Lord Stark. Brandon's grandson brought back Bael's head to Winterfell, and Brandon's daughter, who had loved the bard, killed herself from the top of a tower after seeing the trophy.
Time of the events
The books do not mention the exact time of the events, with Ygritte only saying that it was a "long time back". As Brandon Stark and his grandson are both given the title "Lord" instead of "King" this seems to indicate that the story took place after the Starks gave up their kingship in the War of Conquest, around 1 BC. 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 tells 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 (seven hundred years before the War of Conquest).