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The Kingswood Brotherhood was an infamous outlaw organization during the reign of King Aerys II. Operating out of the Kingswood, the Brotherhood gained recognition by kidnapping several nobles and evading early attempts to capture them. Ultimately, they became such a nuisance that King Aerys sent a detachment of soldiers led by notable members of the Kingsguard to destroy them. Lord Sumner Crakehall and his two squires, Jaime Lannister and Merrett Frey, were also part of the retinue.
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Ser Gerold Hightower was injured in an earlier raid by the Brotherhood, when they attacked Princess Elia Martell's escort through the woods. The king's detachment was led by Ser Arthur Dayne instead.
Resolution of the Brotherhood
The Brotherhood was sheltered by the smallfolk of the Kingswood, preventing the royal forces from finding and ending the outlaws. However, Ser Arthur Dayne gained the confidence of the smallfolk, who had believed that the only ones protecting their rights was the Brotherhood. Arthur petitioned the king for better rights for the smallfolk, and he made sure the royal forces paid for any items they took from the peasantry. Arthur's actions swung the allegiance of the smallfolk to the royal forces, who could now hunt the Brotherhood, as the outlaws could no longer walk around with impunity in the forest.
In a notable clash, the young Jaime Lannister, Ser Arthur Dayne, and Ser Barristan Selmy faced off against several notable outlaws, including the Smiling Knight and their leader, Simon Toyne. Barristan killed Simon, while Arthur killed the Smiling Knight. Jaime regards the battle, in which he crossed swords with the Smiling Knight, as one of his fondest memories.
Other members of the Brotherhood included Wenda the White Fawn, Oswyn Longneck the Thrice-Hanged, Big Belly Ben, Fletcher Dick and Ulmer. All members are presumed dead except Ulmer, who joined the Night's Watch to avoid execution.
There was a song written about the Brotherhood. Some lyrics are:
- No man's gold was from them,
- nor any maiden's hand.
- Oh, the brothers of the Kingswood,
- that fearsome outlaw band.
There is also another song about Big Belly Ben and the High Septon's goose. It is a silly song.
Known members of the Brotherhood
- Simon Toyne
- The Smiling Knight
- Wenda the White Fawn
- Oswyn Longneck the Thrice-Hanged
- Big Belly Ben
- Fletcher Dick