Brave Companions

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Brave Companions
Banner Brave Companions.png
Banner A black goat with bloody horns, symbolizing the Black Goat of Qohor.
Current Commander None
Size 100[1]-300
Disbanded 299 AC

The Brave Companions, also known as the Bloody Mummers, are a sellsword company of considerably ill repute. The company comprises criminals and outcasts from many nations.

Led by Vargo Hoat, a tall, gaunt, lisping man from Qohor, the band is often called the "Bloody Mummers" by the Westerosi for its members' brutality and outlandish appearance, though they find this name insulting. They are also called the Footmen for Vargo's practice of cutting off the hands and feet of prisoners. Their standard is a black goat with bloody horns, symbolizing the Black Goat of Qohor.[2]


According to semi-canon sources, the Brave Companions are not as old as other mercenary companies and were established before Vargo Hoat became their leader. Their numbers consist of the scum of the west, and a few from the east and the south. Their previous leader was likely not a Qohorik, and their next might possibly be a Lyseni, a Dornishmen or even an Ibbenese.[3]

Recent Events

The Brave Companions arrive riding zorses. Illustrated by Sidharth Chaturvedi. © Fantasy Flight Games (FFG)

A Game of Thrones

The Brave Companions are employed by Lord Tywin Lannister and let loose upon the riverlands to burn and pillage in an attempt to draw out and capture Robb Stark, so that he can be traded with Jaime Lannister. Vargo Hoat and the other reaver captains each lead 300 cavalry; he may have had other freeriders under his command in addition to the Brave Companions.[4]

A Clash of Kings

Lord Tywin Lannister brings the Brave Companions to Westeros during the War of the Five Kings to forage and terrify the lands of his enemies. They are ordered to fortify Harrenhal in Tywin's absence and are joined by Rorge, Biter and Jaqen H'ghar on the way. Their diverse ranks are said to include copper men with bells in their braids; lancers astride black-and-white horses; bowmen with powdered cheeks; squat hairy men with shaggy shields; brown-skinned men in feathered cloaks; swordsmen with fantastic forked beards dyed green and purple and silver; spearmen with colored scars that covered their cheeks; and many more distinct members, such as Shagwell the Fool, Septon Utt, Qyburn and Urswyck the Faithful.[2]

During their stay at Harrenhal, Vargo Hoat's men quarrel with Ser Amory Lorch's men, causing both to be reprimanded by Tywin. On the night they arrive, a fight breaks out between the company and Lannister men, resulting in the death of Harys Swyft's squire, two wounded Brave Companions who are later hanged, and one of Lord Lewys Lydden's archers who started the fight.[2]

After Tywin leaves Harrenhal, Jaqen, Rorge, and Biter help Arya Stark free the northerner prisoners. With the northmen free, the Companions help slaughter the Lannister garrison and open the castle's gates to Roose Bolton for the Sack of Harrenhal.[5] Vargo becomes Lord of Harrenhal for his service to the North, and Lord Bolton eventually tasks the Brave Companions with rooting out Lannister forces in the surrounding countryside.

Vargo Hoat divides his men into four bands, giving smaller ones to his trusted companions and lieutenants Utt and Urswyck while he leads the largest one himself.[6] He uses his past affiliation with Lord Tywin to fool Lannister garrisons that are unaware of their betrayal, before seizing them and returning with bags of coin as well as baskets of heads.[6]

Several of the bands run into trouble during their foraging and killing. Utt's camp is attacked by a pack of wild wolves, who kill two of their horses.[6] A smaller group hunting Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie falls prey to a wolf pack led by Nymeria, who kills Iggo, an Ibbenese axeman, a Dornish spearmen and a Lyseni archer.[7]

A Storm of Swords

Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr lead the brotherhood without banners in attacking a sept held by a detachment of the Brave Companions which includes, among others, a Myrman, two Ibbenese, three Volantenes, and several Dothraki. Captured Companions, including Utt, are hanged by the brotherhood.[8]

Vargo grows to suspect that his new Bolton allies will join the Lannisters. When several Companions capture Jaime Lannister, Vargo has Zollo chop off Jaime's swordhand to drive a wedge between Tywin and Roose.[9] When Jaime and his escort are leaving Harrenhal, Jaime tells some of the Brave Companions,

Zollo. How kind of you to see me off. Pyg. Timeon. Will you miss me? No last jest to share, Shagwell? To lighten my way down the road? And Rorge, did you come to kiss me goodbye?[10]

Rorge tells him bugger off, to which Jaime answers,

If you insist. Rest assured, though, I will be back. A Lannister always pays his debts.[10]

The ploy to drive a wedge between Tywin and Roose does not work, and Roose soon abandons Harrenhal and leaves it for Vargo. While attempting to rape the imprisoned Brienne of Tarth in Harrenhal, Vargo's ear is bitten off and the wound becomes infected.

With Lannister reprisal looming and Vargo slowly maddening from a fever, most of the Companions desert the group. By the time Gregor Clegane retakes Harrenhal and kills Vargo, the band has dissolved into smaller groups.

A Feast for Crows

In the aftermath of the war, many Brave Companions become bandits and vagabonds. One particular group led by Rorge burns and slaughters during the Sack of Saltpans. Because Rorge wears the infamous helm of Sandor Clegane, these deeds are attributed to the Hound.

When Brienne of Tarth comes across Timeon, Shagwell and Pyg at the Whispers, Timeon tells her that Urswyck was heading towards Oldtown with a small band.[11] The three Companions are killed at the Whispers. Rorge and Biter are later killed in a confrontation with Brienne at the crossroads inn.

Qyburn rises to the position of master of whisperers for Queen Cersei Lannister and is allowed to continue his experiments with people Cersei wants rid of.

A Dance with Dragons

Four of the five known surviving members of the Brave Companions, Urswyck, Zollo, Togg Joth and Three Toes, are on the run throughout Westeros.[12]

Known members

Vargo Hoat, commander of the Brave Companions- by Matt Olson ©


You and your father lost too many battles. We had to trade our lion pelts for wolfskins.[9]

- Timeon to Jaime Lannister

The Brave Companions did not fight in the Battle of the Blackwater, yet they died there all the same.[14]

- Roose Bolton to Jaime Lannister

References and Notes

  1. In A Storm of Swords, Jaime VI, Jaime states that Walton's escort outnumbers Hoat's garrison two to one. That escort was stated earlier in the chapter to consist of two hundred men. This is after the company has taken some amount of casualties, but it is not known exactly how many.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 30, Arya VII.
  3. So Spake Martin: The Drowned God and More, July 14, 1999
  4. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
  5. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 47, Arya IX.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 64, Arya X.
  7. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 3, Arya I.
  8. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 39, Arya VII.
  9. 9.0 9.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 21, Jaime III.
  10. 10.0 10.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 44, Jaime VI.
  11. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 20, Brienne IV.
  12. A Feast for Crows, Appendix.
  13. A Storm of Swords, Appendix.
  14. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 37, Jaime V.

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