|Alias||The Wild Wolf|
|Born||In 262 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
- See also: Images of Brandon Stark
Brandon was in appearance and character very different from Eddard. He was rather hot-blooded, something their father, Lord Rickard, described as coming from "the wolf blood". Brandon shared this trait with his sister, Lyanna. Eddard believes this led them both to early deaths. 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; Willam's widow, Lady Barbrey 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, then a Ryswell, who was infatuated with him. He was eventually 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 Stark.
Brandon was present at the tourney at Harrenhal in 281 AC. After Brandon's sister Lyanna found the crannogman Howland Reed being bullied by three young squires, she took the injured man back to a tent, binding 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). Brandon later entered the lists, 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.
Death and burial
From Riverrun, Brandon left to join his father's wedding party, coming down from the north. They were on their way again back to Riverrun, so Brandon could wed Catelyn, when word reached Brandon 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 Lord 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 II Targaryen 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.
Brandon was buried in the crypts beneath Winterfell. Bran Stark notes that only the kings and lords of Winterfell are supposed to have statues in their likeness, not their family members, but Eddard wished to honor his beloved siblings and had them made anyway.
A Clash of Kings
Theon Greyjoy has a nightmare involving a feast of the dead at Winterfell. Many of the dead men and women attending are people that Theon knew personally or were slain by his own hand and/or command. Yet he also notices faces that he had never known in life. Among them is Brandon, standing with his father and sister.
When Bran, Rickon, Osha, Hodor and the Reeds escape the crypts after the Sack of Winterfell, Bran takes with him the sword of Brandon's statue, from the crypts. As he does so, he notes the relevance of using the steel of his namesake.
A Dance with Dragons
A bloody sword is a beautiful thing.
- Brandon to Barbrey Ryswell
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. I am old now, a dried-up thing, too long a widow, but I still remember the look of my maiden’s blood on his cock the night he claimed me. I think Brandon liked the sight as well. A bloody sword is a beautiful thing, yes. It hurt, but it was a sweet pain.
References and Notes
- The World of Ice & Fire, Aerys II.
- 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.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 55, Catelyn VII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 56, Theon V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 69, Bran VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn II.