Barba Bracken, as depicted by Magali Villeneuve in The World of Ice & Fire.
|Born||In 155 AC|
|Lover||King Aegon IV Targaryen|
Appearance and Character
When the Princesses Daena, Rhaena, and Elaena Targaryen were confined to the Maidenvault in the Red Keep, they were accompanied only by maidens who had been sent to court by lords and knights who wanted to gain favor with King Baelor I Targaryen. Near the end of Baelor's reign, one of these maidens was Barba Bracken, daughter to Lord Bracken of Stone Hedge. When King Baelor I died in 171 AC, King Viserys II Targaryen released the princesses from their confinement, and sixteen-year-old Barba met Prince Aegon Targaryen, who became entranced with her.
When King Viserys II died in 172 AC, Prince Aegon ascended the throne as King Aegon IV Targaryen, named Barba's father his Hand of the King, and openly took Barba as his mistress. Barba gave birth to a bastard son of Aegon, Aegor Rivers, only a fortnight before Queen Naerys Targaryen nearly died in childbirth. With Naerys lingering near death, Barba's father began to speak openly of Barba marrying King Aegon IV. However, Queen Naerys recovered, and talk about Barba marrying the king became a scandal. Princes Aemon and Daeron Targaryen forced King Aegon to send both Barba and her bastard son away from court. They returned to Stone Hedge, where Barba raised her son Aegor.
After Barba, King Aegon IV took Melissa Blackwood as his mistress. In response, Barba and her father began grooming Barba's younger sister, Bethany, to replace Melissa, which eventually worked in 177 AC. However, in 178 AC Bethany was caught abed with the handsome knight of the Kingsguard, Ser Terrence Toyne, and both Bethany and Lord Bracken were executed.
In 172 AC, King Aegon IV Targaryen was visiting Stone Hedge when he saw the hills called the Mother's Teats, and renamed them Barba's Teats on account of their resemblance to his buxom mistress's breasts. After Barba was sent from court, Aegon took a new mistress, Melissa "Missy" Blackwood; Missy was slender, and Barba was heard to say that she was flat as a boy. When Aegon heard how Barba had disparaged his mistress, he renamed the hills Missy's Teats, and granted them to House Blackwood. The Blackwoods still call the hills Missy's Teats, and the Brackens still call them Barba's Teats.
A Dance with Dragons