Brandon Stark - by acazigot ©
|Alias||The Wild Wolf|
|Born||In 261 AC, at Winterfell|
|Died||In 282 AC, at King's Landing|
A Game of Thrones (Mentioned)|
A Clash of Kings (Mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (Mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (Mentioned)
Appearance and Character
Brandon was in appearance and character very different from Eddard. He was rather hot-blooded, something his younger brother described as coming from the wolfblood. He shared this trait with his sister. Eddard believes this led them both to an early death. Brandon was tall and handsome, and was an excellent swordsman and jouster.
Brandon was fostered at Barrowton with Lord Dustin, father of Willam Dustin, but he spent most his time riding in the Rills. Brandon and his sister Lyanna both loved to ride; Lady Dustin compares them to "a couple of centaurs". Brandon also enjoyed practicing sword-play, and loved his sword. In his youth, he took the maidenhead of Barbrey Ryswell, who was infatuated with him. When he was fifteen, he was promised to Catelyn Tully of Riverrun, who was twelve at the time. Barbrey claims that Brandon never wanted to marry Catelyn and that the match was made at the behest of Lord Rickard.
Brandon was present at the Tourney at Harrenhal. After Brandon's sister Lyanna found Howland Reed being bullied by three young squires, she took the injured man back to her "lair," (probably a tent), bounding his wounds, and introduced the guest to her brothers: Eddard ("the quiet wolf"), and Benjen ("the young pup"), and finally to Brandon ("the wild wolf"), the leader of the pack. Lyanna persuaded Reed to attend the feast marking the start of the tournament; he consented and ate at the same table as the Starks. During the feast, Brandon asked Ashara Dayne to dance with his younger brother Eddard (who was too shy to ask her himself). It is also implied (but not confirmed) that Brandon later bedded Ashara Dayne and got her with child. Meanwhile, Lyanna had recognized the three squires who bullied Reed. One serving a pitchfork knight (House Haigh), one serving a porcupine (House Blount), and the last boy serving a knight of two towers (House Frey). She pointed them out to her brothers. During the first two days of the tournament, the porcupine knight, pitchfork knight, and the knight of the two towers each won a place among the champions. But then the Knight of the Laughing Tree appeared; he challenged and defeated all three of them, winning custody over their horses and armor. When the defeated trio sought to ransom back their former property, the Knight declared his terms: that they ought to teach their squires honor. The trio proceeded to chastise their squires sharply. It is uncertain whether Reed, Lyanna, or one of the other Starks hid behind the mask of the Knight. Brandon later entered the lists himself, but was unhorsed by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen.
When Catelyn and Brandon's betrothal was announced, Petyr Baelish, a ward of Catelyn's father, challenged Brandon to a duel for her hand. They fought in the lower bailey at Riverrun. Brandon easily won their duel, but did not kill Petyr, in concession to Catelyn's pleas. He then departed Riverrun, promising to return soon.
Brandon was on his way back to Riverrun to wed Catelyn when word reached him of Lyanna's supposed abduction by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. Brandon, along with his squire Ethan Glover, Kyle Royce, Elbert Arryn, and Jeffory Mallister, rode to King's Landing immediately, while Hoster Tully became incensed, thinking it a rash action. Upon entering the Red Keep, Brandon shouted for Rhaegar to "come out and die". Rhaegar was not there to answer the challenge; they were arrested by King Aerys and charged with plotting Rhaegar's murder. Their fathers were called to court to answer the charges. Brandon was forced to watch as his father was cooked alive in his own armor. He was bound with a leather cord around his neck and a longsword just out of reach, and he strangled himself trying to get to the sword to save his father. He was twenty years old at the time.
A bloody sword is a beautiful thing.
Quotes about Brandon
The gallant fool.
– Hoster Tully, upon learning of Brandon's plans to ride south
Brandon was never shy about taking what he wanted.
References and Notes
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 45, Catelyn V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 22, Arya II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 41, The Turncloak.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 24, Bran II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 18, Catelyn IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 40, Catelyn VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 55, Catelyn VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn II.