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Brandon Stark (Son of Rickard)

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Stark mini shield
Stark mini shield
This article is about Eddard Stark's elder brother, for other uses see Brandon Stark (disambiguation).
Brandon Stark
Brandon Stark
1, 4
First seen
Last seen
Appeared in
Mentioned in
Also known as
The Wild Wolf
Deceased, slain at the order of Aerys II Targaryen
Date of birth
{Rickard Stark} - father
{Eddard Stark} - brother
{Catelyn Stark} - sister-in-law, formerly betrothed
{Lyanna Stark} - sister
Benjen Stark - brother
{Robb Stark} - nephew
Sansa Stark - niece
Arya Stark - niece
Bran Stark - nephew
Rickon Stark - nephew
Jon Snow - nephew
Portrayed by


"Your Uncle Brandon. Your handsome, arrogant, cruel Uncle Brandon. He almost killed Petyr in a duel. And your mother loved him anyway."
Lysa Arryn to Sansa Stark[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, and the older brother of Eddard, Lyanna and Benjen Stark. He was killed by the Mad King when he protested the kidnapping of Lyanna by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen.



Rickard arrest

Rickard and Brandon are arrested by Targaryen guards.

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.[1]

Brandon's father arranged for his betrothal to Catelyn Tully. Brandon defended Catelyn's honor in a duel with Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish. He defeated Baelish easily, nearly disemboweling him in the process, but Catelyn begged Brandon to spare his life. The maesters were able to save Baelish and he eventually recovered, but he was left with a deep scar running from his stomach to his collarbone (under his clothes), a "token" from Brandon that Baelish would always carry with him.[2]

Aerys Rickard Brandon

Brandon strangles himself trying to save his father.

Brandon was killed on the order of the Aerys Targaryen, 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.[3] This brutal act triggered Robert's Rebellion, the civil war that led to the removal of House Targaryen from the Iron Throne.[4]

Eddard named his son Bran in his elder brother's memory.

Season 1

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.[5]

Season 4

Lysa mentions Brandon while speaking to Sansa at the Eyrie. She clearly resents him for being arrogant and cruel. Lysa hates how Brandon nearly killed Petyr in a duel, but Catelyn still loved him anyway.[6]

Family tree

Lord Stark tree
Rickard Stark
Lady Stark
Brandon family tree
Brandon Stark
Catelyn Tree
Catelyn Stark
née Tully Tully-small
Eddard tree
Eddard Stark
Unknown tree
Lyanna tree
Lyanna Stark
Benjen Tree
Benjen Stark
Night's Watch Night's-Watch-sigil
Robb fam tree
Robb Stark
Family tree Talisa
Talisa Stark
née Maegyr
100px-Tyrion tree
Tyrion Lannister Lannister-small
100px-Sansa tree
Sansa Stark
Arya family tree s3
Arya Stark
Bran fam tree
Bran Stark
Rickon fam tree
Rickon Stark
Jon Snow family tree image
Jon Snow
Night's Watch Night's-Watch-sigil
Ygritte tree

Behind the scenes

Brandon's execution

King Aerys II Targaryen watches as Brandon Stark strangles himself.

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.


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]

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Brandon 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.

In his youth, 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 when Lord Rickard's maester, Walys Flowers, put the idea in Rickard's head.

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 - though it's possible that Littlefinger meant that Eddard was also a much better partner for marriage (Brandon had a fiery temper and was known as the "Wild Wolf", while Eddard was reserved and dignified).

See also


v  d  e
Lord: Prince Bran Stark Heir: Prince Rickon Stark
Seat: Winterfell (formerly) Lands: The North
Title(s): King in the North · Lord Paramount of the North · Lord of Winterfell
Ancestors:Brandon the Builder · Brandon the Breaker · Rodrik Stark · Karlon Stark · Torrhen Stark · Cregan 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} · Jeyne Poole · Osha · Hodor · Farlen · {Old Nan} · Mikken · Varly · Heward · Wyl · Tomard · Tommy · Jacks

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