Barra is an infant, the bastard child of King Robert Baratheon and Mhaegen. Mhaeghen is a prostitute working for Petyr Baelish in King's Landing. Barra lives with Mhaegen in one of his brothels. Her name may be a reference to her father's noble House, Baratheon.
Lord Baelish brings Eddard Stark to see Mhaegen at his brothel. She tells him that her daughter Barra is Robert Baratheon's child, one of his many bastards. Jaime Lannister and his men ambush Eddard while he is leaving the brothel where Barra lives.
During a purge of the late King Robert's bastard children carried out by the Gold Cloaks, the brothel is stormed and both Mhaegen and Barra are brought outside. Lord Janos Slynt orders Barra killed, but his men cannot go through with it, prompting Slynt to kill Barra himself before the eyes of her mother and several prostitutes, including Ros. When news of Barra's death (as well as her killer's other actions) reaches the acting Hand of the King, Tyrion Lannister, he has Janos exiled to the Wall.
|Season One appearances|
|Winter is Coming||The Kingsroad||Lord Snow||Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things||The Wolf and the Lion|
|A Golden Crown||You Win or You Die||The Pointy End||Baelor||Fire and Blood|
|Season Two appearances|
|The North Remembers||The Night Lands||What is Dead May Never Die||Garden of Bones||The Ghost of Harrenhal|
|The Old Gods and the New||A Man Without Honor||The Prince of Winterfell||Blackwater||Valar Morghulis|
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Barra is identified as an infant with thin, dark hair. Her mother is 15 years old and her name is never mentioned. When Eddard Stark sees baby Barra, he thinks of how much she resembles her half-sister, the eldest of Robert's bastards Mya Stone, whom Robert fathered at a young age when they were fostered by Jon Arryn at the Eyrie (she has not appeared yet in the TV series).
The brothel where Barra lives is not owned by Littlefinger but by Chataya, a tall and elegant black-skinned woman from the Summer Islands.
Following the bloody brawl with Jaime, Cersei accuses Eddard of being drunk after a night of debauchery in the brothel. Eddard tells Robert he had only gone there to see the baby, Barra. Robert is quite embarrassed to hear that. However, by telling Robert why he was at the brothel, Ned also made Cersei aware of the baby's existence (though Cersei could also have been informed about Barra from her spies, so it is uncertain if Ned indirectly caused the baby's death).
When a dying Robert makes Eddard swear that he will protect and be a second father to his children, it is Barra, Gendry, and Mya Stone that Eddard thinks of when he takes the oath.
Afterwards, Barra is ordered to be killed - though in the books, no mention is made that a string of other bastard children are also killed (it is said that Cersei has had two of Robert's bastards secretly murdered in the past). It is one of the gold cloaks, Allar Deem, instead of Janos Slynt himself, who kills the baby, and her mother as well who tries to protect the child. When Slynt is made Lord of Harrenhal, he recommends Allar Deem to replace him as commander of the Gold Cloaks. However, Tyrion orders that Deem be sent to the Wall with Slynt. Tyrion also sends the captain of the ship that is taking them there a message that if a wave washes Deem overboard it would not be amiss.
When Tyrion discusses Barra's death with Varys, Varys says, looking grief-stricken "There was another bastard, a boy, older. I took steps to see him removed from harm's way... but I confess, I never dreamed the babe would be at risk. A baseborn girl, less than a year old, with a whore for a mother. What threat could she pose?". Tyrion answers bitterly "She was Robert's. That was enough for Cersei, it would seem". While Tyrion genuinely grieves for Barra, it is unclear if Varys is really sorry for her. His excuse for not acting to save Barra is questionable, given that everyone knows the Lannisters and their henchmen are not above killing small children and infants.