Brotherhood without banners

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Brotherhood without banners
Brotherhood without banners.svg
Symbol None
Type Outlaw group
Resistance movement
Seat Hollow hill
Region Riverlands
Allegiance King Robert I Baratheon (initially)
Current Leader Lady Stoneheart
Founder Lord Beric Dondarrion
Thoros of Myr
Founded 298 AC
The brotherhood, by Sir Heartsalot ©

The brotherhood without banners,[1] also known as the knights of the hollow hill[1] and the forgotten fellowship,[1] is an outlaw group who initially fights Lannister rule in the name of King Robert I Baratheon. Led by the Lightning Lord, Beric Dondarrion, the group is founded in the riverlands by soldiers and nobles who were sent by the then-Hand of the King, Eddard Stark, to bring Gregor Clegane to justice.[2] After they are ambushed while crossing a ford and nearly defeated, the group continues the fight as a guerrilla group.[3] Their numbers increase as they are joined by defeated soldiers from other battles, deserters, and refugees from the War of the Five Kings and take on the mission of protecting the smallfolk from the depredations of any side of the war. Every man of the brotherhood receives a knighthood from Beric.[1][3]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

The brotherhood without banners. ©FFG

Lady Catelyn Stark takes Tyrion Lannister prisoner at the crossroads inn, believing that the Lannisters had killed Lord Jon Arryn, and that Tyrion had sent an assassin to kill her son, Bran Stark.[4] Tyrion's father, Lord Tywin Lannister, retaliates by sending Ser Gregor Clegane to raid the riverlands, ruled by Catelyn's father, Lord Hoster Tully. Without displaying their banners, the Mountain's men attack the Mummer's Ford, Sherrer, and Wendish Town. Lord Hoster Tully responds by sending Ser Marq Piper, Ser Karyl Vance, and Ser Raymun Darry to King's Landing to demand justice for the towns that have been pillaged. The Hand of the King, Lord Eddard Stark, hears the petition, and sends out a force to stop the marauders and bring them to justice. Lord Stark passes over the impetuous Ser Loras Tyrell, instead granting command to Beric Dondarrion, and tasking the Lord of Blackhaven with killing Gregor in the name of King Robert I Baratheon. Beric, Thoros of Myr, Ser Gladden Wylde, and Lord Lothar Mallery are each to raise twenty men-at-arms, and Eddard provides twenty House Stark guards (including Alyn and Harwin) to fight alongside them.[2] Raymun Darry joins the royal party as well.[5]

Beric Dondarrion, having the command of the party, leads his men into an ambush at the Mummer's Ford, intercepted by forces from House Lannister. In the battle, Beric's men make a fighting retreat, only to be taken in the rear by Gregor Clegane and his men. Beric is killed by Gregor, impaled by his lance. Gregor kills Ser Raymun Darry and his horse with a single blow, and Lord Lothar Mallery drowns in the Red Fork. Ser Gladden Wylde is killed, as are most of Lord Eddard Stark's men.[6] It is later revealed that Tywin's intention with Gregor's raiding was to draw Eddard to them, to be captured and exchanged for Tyrion. However, because Eddard's leg had been broken by an altercation with Ser Jaime Lannister in the streets of King's Landing, Eddard was unable to lead the party himself, and instead entrusted its leadership to Beric.[5]

Despite reports of Beric's death, Tywin tells his son, Tyrion, and his brother, Ser Kevan Lannister, that Thoros of Myr and Beric Dondarrion continue to plague their foraging parties.[7]

A Clash of Kings

As Arya Stark travels through the riverlands, she hears numerous reports of outlaws. There are conflicting reports that Lord Beric has been killed. Gregor Clegane and the Mountain's men, especially the Tickler, torture captives for information on Lord Beric.[8]

A Storm of Swords

Members and associates of the Brotherhood - Gendry, Arya Stark, Anguy, Lem Lemoncloak, Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr, Edric Dayne, Tom of Sevenstreams, and Harwin - by mustamirri ©

A group of outlaws, including Anguy, Lem Lemoncloak, Tom of Sevenstreams, and Harwin, capture Arya Stark, Gendry, and Sandor Clegane, and bring them to a hideout in the hollow hill.[9][10][11][1] Lord Beric Dondarrion is revealed to be alive, but with savage wounds. He puts Sandor on trial for Lannister atrocities, which Sandor denies committing. When Arya accuses Sandor of murdering the butcher boy Mycah, Beric allows him to prove his innocence in a trial by combat. He fights Sandor personally, with a flaming sword. Although Sandor kills Beric, he is resurrected by Thoros again, to the astonishment of Arya.[1] The brotherhood allows Sandor to leave, though they seize his possessions in exchange for a deed promising repayment.[3]

The brotherhood reveal their story to Arya. After Beric's death in the battle at the Mummer's Ford, Beric was accidentally resurrected by Thoros of Myr using the last kiss funeral custom of his religion. The revived Beric swore to uphold his oath to King Robert I Baratheon and resume his quest for Gregor's head. Thoros reveals to Arya that there had been voices within the group that thought they should surrender themselves, but Beric convinced everybody to continue the fight in the name of King Robert, as to uphold the spirit of Robert's decree and protect the people. The brotherhood fought a guerrilla war against the invaders. At first the Lannisters and their allies were their targets, but eventually the brotherhood saw their task as to protect the smallfolk against all who would harm them. Because of this, northern raiders and common outlaws are now also targeted by the brotherhood.[3]

The brotherhood are in high spirits. They believe in the nobility of their cause, and gain much support from the smallfolk, who provide them with information and sometimes food. They are fairly successful in capturing their enemies, and continue to show their faith in the righteousness of their cause by always providing their prisoners with justice; namely a trial. Due to the odds against them, Beric has been killed several more times, but is resurrected each time by Thoros. Some outlaws, such as Harwin[5] and Lem,[3] refuse to acknowledge this magic. According to them, Beric had only been gravely wounded, and Thoros is a competent healer.[3] However, Beric tells Thoros that he has brought him back too many times.[12]

Arya and Gendry accompany Beric's band as they travel through the riverlands. Arya watches as they fight Bloody Mummers in the battle at the burning septry. Gendry joins the brotherhood, and is knighted by Beric.[3] Lord Dondarrion decides to hold Arya until the brotherhood can ransom her to her Tully relatives. Arya escapes from the brotherhood, but is captured by Sandor.[12]

Later, Merrett Frey is sent to Oldstones to ransom the captured Petyr Frey from outlaws. When he arrives, he sees that Petyr has already been hanged. Members of the brotherhood reveal themselves, and question Merrett whether he has seen Arya or Sandor. They also accuse Merrett of participating in the murderous Red Wedding. Although Merrett denies any culpability, the outlaws reveal a witness, Lady Catelyn Stark, who was slain at the wedding, and then tossed into the Green Fork. The undead Catelyn has the outlaws hang Merrett.[13]

A Feast for Crows

Lady Stoneheart became the brotherhood's new leader - by Magajaga ©
Lady Stoneheart hanging men - by Marc Simonetti ©

At the siege of Riverrun, Tom of Sevenstreams serves for a fortnight as a musician in the company of Ser Ryman Frey. Ser Jaime Lannister dismisses Ryman from the siege for incompetence, ordering him to go home to the Twins. Jaime then threatens the captive Lord Edmure Tully, by having Tom sing "The Rains of Castamere".[14] According to a semi-canon source, afterwards Tom informs the brotherhood of Jaime's dismissal of Ryman, allowing the outlaws to ambush and hang Ryman and his escort near Fairmarket.[15]

Jaime Lannister had once sworn an oath to Catelyn Stark that he would return her daughters, Sansa and Arya Stark. Jaime tasks Brienne of Tarth with completing the oath, and Brienne searches the riverlands for Sansa and Arya. The inn at the crossroads is now an outpost of the brotherhood, held by Jeyne and Willow Heddle and guarded by Gendry, and harboring orphans of the riverlands. When the inn comes under attack from Rorge, Biter, and the Brave Companions, Brienne protects the innocents there, but is greatly wounded.[16] Brienne and her companions, her squire Podrick Payne and Ser Hyle Hunt, are brought by Jeyne and Gendry to a cave, possibly the hollow hill. In the cave, Thoros of Myr treats Brienne's wounds, while waiting for his lady to return from Fairmarket.[17]

After Brienne wakes from her fever, the brotherhood bring her before the undead Catelyn, who is now called Lady Stoneheart. Thoros tells Brienne that after the Red Wedding, the brotherhood found the body of Catelyn. Harwin asked Thoros to resurrect her, but he refused because she had been dead for too long. Instead of Thoros, Beric gave Catelyn the kiss of life, trading his life for hers and resurrecting Catelyn's half-decayed body. Though rendered nearly mute from her slit throat, Catelyn can croak out orders that are barely intelligible. She took the name "Lady Stoneheart", and became the brotherhood's new de facto leader. Under the leadership of the undead Stoneheart, the brotherhood has embarked on a campaign of revenge against those who were their enemies. Participants of the Red Wedding, particularly the Freys, are their targets. According to Thoros, the brotherhood has fallen low, and is now no different from a regular band of outlaws. Many have left the organization since Stoneheart assumed leadership.[17]

Brienne is accused of aiding the Lannisters, since she had deliriously called out for Jaime many times during her recovery, and she also carries the young King Tommen I Baratheon's seal and the Valyrian steel sword Jaime gave her, Oathkeeper. The undead Catelyn recognizes Brienne, but is uninterested in her denials. Brienne is given the choice of "sword or noose" — either prove her loyalty by killing Jaime Lannister, or hang. Brienne refuses to choose, because she had been rescued by Jaime, saved from rape by the Brave Companions, and from a bear at Harrenhal, and so believes him to be a changed man. Lady Stoneheart then gives the command for Brienne to be hanged, along with her companions Podrick and Ser Hyle. At the last moment, when Brienne sees Podrick choking on the noose, she screams a word,[17] "sword".[18]

At Riverrun, Jaime learns that Ryman and his escort have all been hanged by outlaws at Fairmarket. Jaime is bothered by the audacity of outlaws who could kill the heir to the Crossing not far from the Twins. Tom of Sevenstreams does not depart with the Frey army after Riverrun's surrender, and when Jaime asks him why, Tom claims he hopes to replace the singer of Riverrun's new lord, Emmon Frey. Jaime suggests that Tom court the favor of his aunt, Genna Lannister, Emmon's wife.[19]

A Dance with Dragons

Jaime Lannister is at Pennytree when scouts bring a captive Brienne of Tarth to him. Brienne claims that she has found Sansa Stark, but only Jaime can accompany her, or the Hound will kill her.[20] Jaime and Brienne disappear into the riverlands, with no further word of his activity.[21]

Known members



Allies and Sympathizers

Quotes about the brotherhood

When we left King's Landing we were men of Winterfell and men of Darry and men of Blackhaven, Mallery men and Wylde men. We were knights and squires and men-at-arms, lords and commoners, bound together only by our purpose. Six score of us set out to bring the king's justice to your brother. Six score brave men and true, led by a fool in a starry cloak. More than eighty of our company are dead now, but others have taken up the swords that fell from their hands. With their help, we fight on as best we can, for Robert and the realm.[1]

Robert is slain, but his realm remains. And we defend her.[1]

Thoros: We are brothers here. Holy brothers, sworn to the realm, to our god, and to each other.

Tom: The brotherhood without banners. The knights of the hollow hill.
Sandor: Knights? Dondarrion's a knight, but the rest of you are the sorriest lot of outlaws and broken men I've ever seen. I shit better men than you.

Beric: Any knight can make a knight, and every man you see before you has felt a sword upon his shoulder. We are the forgotten fellowship.[1]

We were king's men, knights, and heroes... but some knights are dark and full of terror, my lady. War makes monsters of us all.[17]