House Bracken

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House Bracken of Stone Hedge
Bracken sigil coat.png
Coat of arms A red stallion upon a gold shield, on a brown field
(Tenné, on an escutcheon or a stallion rampant gules)
Seat Stone Hedge
Current Lord Jonos Bracken
Region Riverlands
Title Lord of Stone Hedge
Overlord House Tully (AGOT)
House Baelish (ADWD)
Founded Age of Heroes

House Bracken of Stone Hedge is an old house from Stone Hedge in the riverlands, one of the main families sworn to House Tully of Riverrun. They blazon their arms with a red stallion upon a golden escutcheon on brown.[1][2] Their words do not appear in the books.

The Bracken lands lie along the Red Fork of the Trident.[3]


Age of Heroes

The Brackens have the blood of the First Men in their veins and were kings of the riverlands during the Age of Heroes. They have an old and bitter feud against their neighbors, the Blackwoods. According to the Brackens, the Blackwoods were vassals who betrayed the Brackens and usurped their crown.[4]

Andal Riverlands

The Brackens and Blackwoods allied together against the Andal invasion, but they were defeated in the battle of the Bitter River.[5] The feud has continued throughout the years, aided by House Bracken's change to the Faith of the Seven after the Andal invasion.[6] The Blackwoods believe the Brackens poisoned the weirwood at Raventree Hall.[4] Battle Valley and the village of Blackbuckle are part of the disputed land. There have been numerous peaces between the Brackens and Blackwoods, many sealed by marriage, but the feud always restarts.[4] Benedict Rivers was a bastard born from both houses who eventually became King Benedict I Justman.[5]

When Lady Agnes Blackwood led the resistance of the river lords to King Harwyn Hoare, Lord Lothar Bracken attacked Agnes's army from behind. It is possible Lothar hoped to become King of the Trident after Harwyn defeated the Storm King Arrec Durrandon, but House Hoare instead took the riverlands for themselves. Harwyn starved Lothar to death when he later rose in rebellion.[5]

Targaryen Era

House Bracken aided Aegon the Conquerer during the Wars of Conquest and rebelled against Harwyn's grandson, King Harren the Black of Harrenhal.[7] The Brackens and the Blackwoods had been weakened by a private war a decade before Aegon's Conquest, however, and Aegon granted the new title of Lord Paramount of the Trident to Lord Edmyn Tully of Riverrun.[8]

Ser Lyle Bracken was one of the seven knights of the Warrior's Sons who fought against King Maegor I Targaryen in a trial of seven in 42 AC.[9]

A Bracken fought a duel with a Blackwood over Rhaenyra Targaryen in 112 AC, but the princess eventually wed Ser Laenor Velaryon.[10]

During the Dance of the Dragons, the Brackens declared for Aegon II Targaryen and the greens. Prince Daemon Targaryen and the Blackwoods defeated the Brackens at the battle of the Burning Mill and took Stone Hedge.[11][12]

Lord Bracken served as Hand of the King to King Aegon IV Targaryen. His elder daughter Barba was the fifth mistress of Aegon IV and the mother of Aegor Rivers, the Great Bastard known as Bittersteel. However, House Bracken fell from favor after Lord Bracken began talking openly of marrying Barba to Aegon IV after Queen Naerys nearly died in childbirth. Lord Bracken's second daughter, Bethany, was deliberately groomed by her father and elder sister to win back the king's favor by displacing Melissa Blackwood, with whom Aegon IV had replaced Barba as mistress.[13]

Bethany succeeded in displacing Melissa, but found the King's embraces distressing and she sought comfort in Ser Terrence Toyne of the Kingsguard.[13] After the affair was discovered, both Bethany and her father were executed.[13]

According to Ser Eustace Osgrey, Lord Bracken was to sail with Myrish crossbowmen to aid Daemon Blackfyre and Bittersteel during the First Blackfyre Rebellion, but was delayed by storms.[14]

Ser Otho Bracken slew Lord Quentyn Blackwood at a tourney in King's Landing in 206 AC, reinvigorating the feud. Three years later Otho and some Blackwoods participated in the tourney at Ashford Meadow.[15] Ser Steffon Fossoway considered convincing Otho or the Blackwoods to fight for Ser Duncan the Tall in his trial of seven, but decided it would be impossible to make them both fight on the same side.[15] When Lord Bracken lay dying, Septon Sefton explained that Otho would inherit and the Blackwoods would not suffer him, meaning war. Lord Bracken's eldest son and heir had died in the Great Spring Sickness. The then Hand of the King, Lord Brynden Rivers, was half-Blackwood, and thus was considered unlikely to stop it.[14]

Lords Bracken and Blackwood came to Riverrun when Lysa Tully was young to put their feud before Lord Hoster Tully's judgment.[16] Hoster attempted to marry Ser Brynden Tully to Lord Bracken's daughter.[17] The daughter of Elys Waynwood was on her way to marry a Bracken when she was kidnapped by Burned Men and not heard from again.[18]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Three Bracken men-at-arms, Kurleket, Lharys and Mohor, assist Lady Catelyn Tully in arresting Tyrion Lannister at the inn at the crossroads.[19] The three die during the trek to the Vale of Arryn, slain by mountain clansmen.[20]

After the outbreak of the War of the Five Kings, Ser Gregor Clegane burns out the Brackens, laying waste to their fields, slaughtering their smallfolk and leaving Stone Hedge a smoking ruin. Lord Jonos Bracken is listed among the nobles commanded by King Joffrey I Baratheon to do him fealty or be declared traitors.[21]

Jonos arrives at Riverrun after the battle of the Camps. At the war council at Riverrun, Jonos suggests to pledge fealty to King Renly Baratheon, perhaps only to contradict Lord Tytos Blackwood's previous statement of marching against Harrenhal. After Greatjon Umber speaks, Jonos joins the other river lords in declaring Robb Stark to be King in the North and King of the Trident.[22]

A Clash of Kings

Lord Jonos recovers Stone Hedge from the Lannisters, but he is wounded and his nephew Hendry is killed in the fighting.[23]

A Storm of Swords

Lord Quenten Banefort is held captive by House Bracken.[24] Among those claimed to have been murdered by the Lannisters by the brotherhood without banners was Harry Rivers, the Bastard of Bracken.[25] Brienne of Tarth, Cleos Frey, and Jaime Lannister find the bodies of tavern wenches hanged for associating with Lannister troops while traveling through Bracken lands.[3] Lord Jonos is among the seven nobles who launch Lord Hoster Tully's funeral boat.[26]

Following the death of King Robb Stark in the Red Wedding, Jonos surrenders to the Iron Throne and receives a royal pardon.[27] The Brackens then fight House Blackwood, who remain loyal to House Stark, on behalf of House Baratheon of King's Landing.[28]

A Feast for Crows

Dead soldiers bearing the colors of House Bracken have washed up on the Quiet Isle. According to the Elder Brother, they are buried next to their Blackwood enemies.[29] The Brackens besiege the Blackwoods at Raventree Hall.[30]

A Dance with Dragons

Lord Tytos Blackwood refuses to surrender to Jonos Bracken, leading Ser Jaime Lannister to attempt to resolve the siege of Raventree. Lord Jonos desires to gain the east bank of the Widow's Wash, from Crossbow Ridge to Rutting Meadow, Grindcorn Mill, Lord's Mill, Muddy Hall, the Ravishment, Battle Valley, Oldforge, Buckle, Blackbuckle, Cairns, Claypool, Mudgrave, Waspwood, Lorgen's Wood, Greenhill, Barba's Teats, and Honeytree. However, Tytos only agrees to transfer Woodhedge, Crossbow Ridge, Buckle, Lord's Mill, and Honeytree. Jaime orders Jonos to send one of his daughters to serve Queen regent Cersei Lannister in King's Landing.[4]

It is also revealed a dozen Bracken men were killed in the Red Wedding.[4]

House Bracken at the end of the third century

The known Brackens during the timespan of the events described in A Song of Ice and Fire are:

With unspecified familiar relationship to the main branch of the house there is also:

  • {Harry Rivers}, the Bastard of Bracken, the natural son of a member of House Bracken, claimed to be Lord Jonos's son.
  • Lord Bracken's daughter. One of the possible matches for Brynden Tully in his youth. Possibly a sister of Lord Jonos.[22]

Lady Bracken
Harry Rivers

Historical Members


We've had a hundred peaces with the Brackens, many sealed with marriages. There's Blackwood blood in every Bracken, and Bracken blood in every Blackwood. The Old King's Peace lasted half a century. But then some fresh quarrel broke out, and the old wounds opened and began to bleed again. That's how it always happens, my father says. So long as men remember the wrongs done to their forebears, no peace will ever last. So we go on century after century, with us hating the Brackens and them hating us. My father says there will never be an end to it.[4]

Hoster Blackwood to Jaime Lannister

References and Notes

  1. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 33, Jaime V.
  2. The Citadel. Heraldry: Houses in the Riverlands
  3. 3.0 3.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 1, Jaime I.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 48, Jaime I.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands.
  6. So Spake Martin: Blackwood-Bracken Feud and Coinage
  7. So Spake Martin: Chicon 7 Reading (September 02, 2012)
  8. The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands: House Tully.
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Sons of the Dragon.
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Rogue Prince.
  11. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
  12. The Princess and the Queen.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon IV.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 The Sworn Sword.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 The Hedge Knight.
  16. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 80, Sansa VII.
  17. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 71, Daenerys VI.
  18. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 41, Alayne II.
  19. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 28, Catelyn V.
  20. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 31, Tyrion IV.
  21. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
  22. 22.0 22.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
  23. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
  24. A Storm of Swords, Appendix.
  25. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 34, Arya VI.
  26. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 35, Catelyn IV.
  27. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72, Jaime IX.
  28. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 74, Arya XIII.
  29. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 31, Brienne VI.
  30. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 38, Jaime VI.
  31. The World of Ice & Fire, The nine mistresses of Aegon IV, the Unworthy.