Barbrey Dustin

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House Ryswell.PNG
Barbrey Dustin
House Dustin.PNG
Title Lady of Barrowton
Allegiance House Dustin
House Ryswell
Spouse Lord Willam Dustin
Book(s) A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons

Barbrey Dustin is the Lady of Barrowton. She is the younger[1] daughter of Lord Rodrik Ryswell and is the widow of Lord Willam Dustin.[2]

Character and Appearance

Barbrey Dustin has wrinkles around her mouth and eyes, but she is still tall, unbent and handsome. Her hair is equal parts brown and grey, wearing it tied behind her head in a widow's knot. While intelligent, she has grown into a bitter woman over the years. Barbrey's personal banner flying over the keep of Barrow Hall quarters the spiked crown and crossed longaxes of House Dustin with the golden horsehead of her father, Rodrik Ryswell.[1]


In her youth Barbrey was infatuated with Brandon Stark, who took her maidenhead. She claims Brandon never wanted to marry Catelyn Tully and that the match was made when Lord Rickard Stark's maester put the idea in Rickard's head. Lady Dustin is extremely distrustful of maesters in general and refers to them as "grey rats."

When her husband Willam rode off to war, Barbrey gifted him with a fine red steed, the pride of her father's herd. Lord Willam swore he would return to her mounted on the horse.

After the war Lord Eddard Stark returned the steed to Barbrey, but not her lord husband, who died at the Tower of Joy. She bears an intense grudge against Eddard for not bringing her husband's bones north with him so she could bury him at his ancestral home. Barrowton is staunch for House Bolton largely because of this grievance.[1]

Recent Events

A Dance with Dragons

Barbrey is present at the Bolton wedding of Ramsay Bolton and the fake Arya Stark.[3][4] She explains much of her history and story to Theon Greyjoy.[5]

Barbrey cannot abide the presence of Ramsay Bolton[1] as she suspects that Ramsay had a hand in the death of her nephew Domeric, the son of her older sister Bethany.[1] While she appears to be loyal to House Bolton, she bears a grudge against House Frey due to the fact that several of her own men were killed at the Red Wedding. She points this out to Aenys Frey when several suspicious deaths occurred in Winterfell and states:

The North remembers, Frey.[6]

Although Barbrey is astute and has good political savvy, she fails to see through Wyman Manderly's behaviour during Ramsay's wedding. She is offended by Manderly's apparent capitulation despite his son Wendel dying at the Red Wedding and dismisses Manderly to Theon Greyjoy as craven to the bone - just after Manderly serves his pies. Theon Greyjoy is not so certain.

Barbrey resents that Eddard Stark did not return her husband Willam's bones to her. She orders Theon to show her the Stark crypts at Winterfell. To spite Eddard's shade, Barbrey tells Theon that if Eddard's bones, which were heading north before Moat Cailin was seized by the ironborn, are discovered she will ensure they are never put to rest in the crypts.



Quotes about Barbrey

Lady Barbrey is a woman who knows how to nurse a grievance. Be grateful for that.[1]

- Roose Bolton, to Ramsay Bolton

Quotes by Barbrey

If I were queen, the first thing I would do would be to kill all those grey rats.[7]

Lord Wyman is not the only one who lost kin at your Red Wedding. Do you imagine Whoresbane loves you any better? If you did not hold the Greatjon, he would pull out your entrails and make you eat them, as Lady Hornwood ate her fingers. Flints, Cerwyns, Tallharts, Slates...they all had men with the Young Wolf...Even Dustins out of Barrowton...The north remembers, Frey. [6]

- Barbrey Dustin to Aenys Frey

The bride weeps...Dressing her in grey and white serves no good if the girl is left to sob. The Freys might not care, but the northmen...they fear the Dreadfort, but they love the Starks...Not me...but the rest, yes. Old Whorsebane is only here because the Freys hold the Greatjon captive. And do you imagine the Hornwood men have forgotten the Bastard's last marriage, and how his last wife was left to starve, chewing her own fingers? What do you think passes through their heads when they hear the new bride weeping? Valiant Ned's precious little girl...Lady Arya's sobs do us more harm than all of Lord Stannis's swords and spears. [8]

References and Notes