- This article is about Eddard Stark's elder brother, for other uses see Brandon Stark (disambiguation).
- Eddard Stark: "I understand you knew my brother Brandon as well."
- Petyr Baelish: "All too well. I still carry a token of his esteem from navel to collarbone."
- — Eddard Stark and Petyr Baelish's first meeting.[src]
Brandon Stark is an unseen character mentioned in the first season. He is deceased when the events of the series begin. He was scheduled to appear in the first season in flashback in a scene that was filmed, but later dropped for time reasons. Brandon Stark was the heir of Rickard Stark, the Lord of Winterfell. He was killed by the Mad King when he protested the kidnapping of his sister Lyanna Stark by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen.
Brandon Stark was the eldest son and heir of Lord Rickard Stark. Rickard was the head of House Stark and Lord Paramount of the North. The North is one of the constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms and House Stark is one of the Great Houses of the realm. House Stark rule the region from their seat of Winterfell and Rickard also held the title Lord of Winterfell.
Brandon was the older brother of Eddard, Lyanna and Benjen Stark. His father arranged for his betrothal to Catelyn Tully. Brandon defended Catelyn's honor in a duel with Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish. He defeated Baelish and left him with a scar that ran from neck to stomach.Brandon was killed by the Mad King, along with his father, after they protested the kidnapping of Lyanna by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. Lord Rickard was burned alive inside his armor with wildfire, while Brandon was tied to a strangulation device, with a sword mere inches from his hands and strangled himself by trying to reach the sword. This brutal act triggered Robert's Rebellion, the civil war that led to the removal of House Targaryen from the Iron Throne.
Eddard named his son Bran in his elder brother's memory.
Reaching King's Landing, Lord Eddard Stark is greeted by Ser Jaime Lannister in the throne room, who recalls listening to Eddard's father and brother scream as hundreds watched them die at the whim of the Mad King. He suggests his assassination of the Mad King was an act of justice, but Eddard dismisses that as a paltry self-justification for breaking his solemn vows. Shortly afterwards, Littlefinger recounts how Brandon wounded him in a duel. Eddard is unsympathetic to Littlefinger's predicament.
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Behind the scenes
An unidentified actor was cast to play Brandon in a flashback scene. Footage of the scene appeared in the "Fear and Blood" first season trailer but has not appeared in any aired episode of the series. The scene was cut for time reasons.
In the books
Shortly after the confrontation between Brandon and Littlefinger mentioned above, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen kidnapped Lyanna Stark. Brandon and a group of close friends, all sons of powerful lords, rode to King's Landing to seek redress from King Aerys II Targaryen. The Mad King, furious that anyone would question his son's actions, took Brandon prisoner and summoned Lord Rickard to answer for his impertinence. He had both Starks executed: Rickard was cooked alive in his armor by pyromancers led by Wisdom Rossart, while Brandon watched, bound with a leather cord around his neck and a longsword just out of reach, strangling himself trying to get to the sword to save his father.
Brandon's brother Eddard became Lord of Winterfell, married Catelyn Tully in his stead, and raised the banners of rebellion, beginning a bloody civil war that ended with deaths of both Prince Rhaegar and the Mad King.
In the books, Brandon was described as a larger and more handsome man than his younger brother Ned. The TV series makes a departure from this, with Petyr Baelish stating that Eddard is an 'even more impressive specimen' than his older brother.
- Brandon Stark at A Wiki of Ice and Fire (spoilers from the books)
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Stark entry
- ↑ "Lord Snow"
- ↑ "The Complete Guide to Westeros: The Mad King" featurette
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Stark - Brandon Stark entry
- ↑ "Lord Snow"
|Lord:||Prince Bran Stark||Heir:||Rickon Stark|
|Title(s):||King in the North · Lord Paramount of the North · Lord of Winterfell|
|Ancestors:||Brandon the Builder · Rodrik Stark · Karlon Stark · Torrhen Stark|
|Current members:||Sansa Stark · Arya Stark · Benjen Stark · Jon Snow|
|Deceased members:||Rickard Stark · Brandon Stark · Lyanna Stark · Eddard Stark · King Robb Stark · Talisa Stark · Catelyn Stark|
|Household:||Ser Rodrik Cassel · Maester Luwin · Jory Cassel · Vayon Poole · Septa Mordane · Theon Greyjoy · Jeyne Poole · Osha · Hodor · Farlen · Old Nan · Mikken · Varly · Heward · Wyl · Tomard · Tommy · Jacks|