Brave Companions

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Brave Companions
Brave Companions.svg
Banner A black goat with bloody horns, symbolizing the Black Goat of Qohor
Former commander Vargo Hoat
Size ~100[2]
Disbanded 299 AC

The Brave Companions are a sellsword company of considerably ill repute from Essos.[3] The company comprises criminals and outcasts from many nations.[4]

Led by Vargo Hoat of Qohor, the band is often called the Bloody Mummers for their 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 and the Toes of the Goat for their standard, which depicts a black goat with bloody horns, symbolizing the Black Goat of Qohor.[4]

Unlike most soldiers, the vile and violent Brave Companions are considered to be malignantly cruel;[1][5] their reputation is even worse than that of the Second Sons under Mero.[6]


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 Dornishman or even an Ibbenese.[7]

Their diverse ranks are said to include copper men with bells in their braids;[4] lancers astride black-and-white horses;[4] bowmen with powdered cheeks;[4] squat hairy men with shaggy shields;[4] brown-skinned men in feathered cloaks;[4] swordsmen with fantastic forked beards dyed green and purple and silver;[4] spearmen with colored scars that cover their cheeks;[4][8] Myrish crossbowmen,[8] pale Lyseni;[9] and dark Dornishmen.[9]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Following the Battle of the Camps, Lord Tywin Lannister sends Vargo Hoat, Ser Gregor Clegane, and Ser Amory Lorch to pillage the riverlands near the Gods Eye and the Red Fork with three hundred horse each.[10]

A Clash of Kings

The Brave Companions arrive riding zorses, by Sidharth Chaturvedi © Fantasy Flight Games

The Brave Companions are reported to have slain Lord Beric Dondarrion during the War of the Five Kings.[4]

Arya Stark observes the sellswords' arrival at Harrenhal, where they are housed in the Widow's Tower.[4] Vargo's men quarrel with Amory's garrison, 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 deaths of Ser Harys Swyft's squire, two wounded Brave Companions who are later hanged, and one of Lord Lewys Lydden's archers who started the fight.[4]

After Tywin leaves Harrenhal, Vargo secretly aligns with Lord Roose Bolton in support of Robb Stark, King in the North. The Brave Companions bring northmen led by Robett Glover and Ser Aenys Frey into Harrenhal as prisoners with the intention of freeing them to attack Amory's garrison from the inside. Separately, Jaqen, Rorge, and Biter help Arya Stark free the northerner prisoners, and Rorge tells Robett that the three men have joined the Brave Companions. With the northmen freed early, the Companions help slaughter the Lannister garrison and open the castle's gates to Roose after the fall of Harrenhal.[11]

Lord Bolton tasks the Brave Companions with rooting out Lannister forces in the surrounding countryside.[12] Vargo, who is to be granted the castle as Lord of Harrenhal after Roose's eventual departure, divides his men into four bands, giving smaller ones to his trusted captains while he leads the largest one himself.[12] 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.[12] Septon Utt's camp is attacked by a pack of wild wolves which kills two of their horses.[12]

A Storm of Swords

Iggo, an Ibbenese axeman, a Dornish archer, and a Lyseni hunt Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie after they flee Harrenhal, but the four Companions fall prey to a wolf pack led by Arya's direwolf, Nymeria.[9] Mummers forage as far south as Stoney Sept.[13]

Within the hollow hill, Sandor Clegane offends the brotherhood without banners by calling them "brave companions".[14] Beric and Thoros of Myr lead the brotherhood 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 after this battle at the burning septry.[8]

Following the Battle of the Blackwater, Vargo grows to suspect that his new Bolton allies will join the Lannisters. After Urswyck's group captures Ser Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth, Vargo has Zollo chop off Jaime's sword hand to drive a wedge between Tywin and Roose.[15] Qyburn, a former maester, treats Jaime's stump.[16] The ploy to drive a wedge between Tywin and Roose does not work, however, and Roose soon departs for the Twins and leaves Harrenhal with Vargo. While attempting to rape the imprisoned Brienne in Harrenhal, Vargo's ear is bitten off and the wound becomes infected.[1]

In the aftermath of the Red Wedding, Lord Tywin offers to spare any castle which yields, with the exception of Harrenhal; a vengeful Tywin instead orders Ser Gregor Clegane to put the Brave Companions to the sword.[17] With Lannister reprisal looming and Vargo slowly maddening from a fever, most of the Companions desert the group. By the time Gregor retakes Harrenhal[18] and kills Vargo, the band has dissolved into smaller groups.[19]

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 raid on Saltpans. Because Rorge wears the infamous helm of Sandor Clegane, these deeds are attributed to the Hound.[20]

When Brienne comes across Timeon, Shagwell, and Pyg at the Whispers, Timeon tells her that Urswyck was heading towards Oldtown with a small band. The three Companions are then killed by Brienne.[21] Rorge and Biter are later killed in a confrontation with Brienne at the crossroads inn.[22] Zollo, Togg Joth, and Three Toes remain on the run throughout Westeros.[23]

Qyburn rises to the position of master of whisperers for Queen Cersei Lannister[24] and is allowed to continue his experiments with people Cersei wants rid of.[25]

Known members

Vargo Hoat, by Matt Olson ©


They're sellswords, Weasel girl. Call themselves the Brave Companions. Don't use them other names where they can hear, or they'll hurt you bad.[4]

Timeon: You and your father lost too many battles. We had to trade our lion pelts for wolfskins.

Urswyck: What Timeon means to say is that the Brave Companions are no longer in the hire of House Lannister. We now serve Lord Bolton, and the King in the North.

Jaime: And men say I have shit for honor?[15]

The Brave Companions did not fight in the Battle of the Blackwater, yet they died there all the same.[27]

Bringing the Brave Companions across the narrow sea was not one of Father's better notions.[3]

I told your father I would forage for him, but he refused me. Some tasks are fit for lions, he said, but foraging is best left for goats and dogs.[28]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 44, Jaime VI.
  2. Walton's escort of two hundred men out of Harrenhal outnumbers the Brave Companions two to one.[1] Prior to this, the company has taken some amount of casualties, though it is not known exactly how many.
  3. 3.0 3.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 77, Tyrion XI.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 30, Arya VII.
  5. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime III.
  6. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 42, Daenerys IV.
  7. So Spake Martin: The Drowned God and More (July 14, 1999)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 39, Arya VII.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 3, Arya I.
  10. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
  11. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 47, Arya IX.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 64, Arya X.
  13. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 29, Arya V.
  14. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 34, Arya VI.
  15. 15.0 15.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 21, Jaime III.
  16. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 31, Jaime IV.
  17. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
  18. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 60, Tyrion VIII.
  19. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime VII.
  20. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 31, Brienne VI.
  21. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 20, Brienne IV.
  22. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 37, Brienne VII.
  23. A Feast for Crows, Appendix.
  24. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 17, Cersei IV.
  25. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 36, Cersei VIII.
  26. A Storm of Swords, Appendix.
  27. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 37, Jaime V.
  28. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 33, Jaime V.

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