House Bracken

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House Bracken of Stone Hedge
House Bracken.svg
Coat of arms A red stallion upon a gold shield, on a brown field
(Tenné, on an escutcheon or a stallion rampant gules)
Seat Stone Hedge
Lord Jonos Bracken
Region Riverlands
Title Lord of Stone Hedge[1]
River king (formerly)
Overlord House Tully (AGOT)
House Baelish (ADWD)
Cadet Branch House Justman
Founded Age of Heroes[2]

House Bracken of Stone Hedge is an old house from Stone Hedge in the riverlands, one of the main families sworn to House Tully of Riverrun. They blazon their arms with a red stallion upon a golden escutcheon on brown.[3][4] Their words do not appear in the books.

The Bracken lands lie along the Red Fork of the Trident.[5] They rule over wider domains and can field a much larger army than their overlord of House Tully.[6]

History

Age of Heroes

The Brackens have the blood of the First Men in their veins and were kings of the riverlands during the Age of Heroes. They have an old and bitter feud against their neighbors, the Blackwoods. According to the Brackens, they were kings who ruled the Red Fork but were usurped by their vassals, the Blackwoods.[2] According to the Blackwoods, however, the Brackens were petty lords and horse breeders who hired sellswords to usurp the Blackwood kings.[2]

Andal Riverlands

The Brackens and Blackwoods allied together against the coming of the Andals, but the First Men families were defeated in the Battle of the Bitter River.[7] The feud has continued throughout the years, aided by House Bracken's conversion to the Faith of the Seven after the Andal victory.[8] The Blackwoods believe the Brackens poisoned the weirwood at Raventree Hall.[2] Battle Valley and the village of Blackbuckle are part of the disputed land. There have been numerous peaces between the Brackens and Blackwoods, many sealed by marriage, but the feud always restarts.[2] Benedict Rivers was a bastard born from both houses who eventually became King Benedict I Justman.[7]

A Lord Bracken died in the fighting between the Teagues and the Storm King Arlan III Durrandon.[9]

When Lady Agnes Blackwood led the resistance of the river lords to King Harwyn Hoare, Lord Lothar Bracken attacked Agnes's army from behind. It is possible Lothar hoped to become King of the Trident after Harwyn defeated the Storm King Arrec Durrandon, but House Hoare instead took the riverlands for themselves. Harwyn starved Lothar to death when he later rose in rebellion.[7]

Targaryen Era

House Bracken aided Aegon the Conqueror during the Wars of Conquest and rebelled against Harwyn's grandson, King Harren the Black of Harrenhal.[10] The Brackens and the Blackwoods had been weakened by a private war a decade before Aegon's Conquest, however, and Aegon granted the new title of Lord Paramount of the Trident to Lord Edmyn Tully of Riverrun.[11] Queen Visenya Targaryen negotiated a double wedding between the Brackens and the Blackwoods.[12]

Ser Lyle Bracken was one of the seven knights of the Warrior's Sons who were slain during King Maegor I Targaryen's trial of seven in 42 AC.[13] Ser Olyver Bracken and Ser Raymund Mallery, knights in Maegor's Kingsguard, defected to the cause of Prince Jaehaerys Targaryen in 48 AC. Since they had broken their vows to protect Maegor, King Jaehaerys I allowed them to join the Night's Watch after he gained the Iron Throne.[14] Olyver and Raymund led a rebellion of former Faith Militant among the Watch in 50 AC, with Lord Walton Stark beheading Olyver with Ice at Rimegate.[15]

The Dance of the Dragons

Amos Bracken fought a duel with Samwell Blackwood over Rhaenyra Targaryen in 112 AC,[16] but the princess eventually wed Ser Laenor Velaryon.[17]

During the Dance of the Dragons, the Brackens declared for Aegon II Targaryen and the greens against Rhaenyra's blacks. Ser Amos killed Samwell during the Battle of the Burning Mill, only to then be slain by an arrow allegedly fired by Alysanne Blackwood. Ser Raylon Rivers led the Bracken survivors back to Stone Hedge, but Lord Humfrey Bracken had already been captured in the meantime by Prince Daemon Targaryen.[18][19][20] Since Aegon II began punishing lords who had supported Rhaenyra after her death, Humfrey joined the blacks in support of Rhaenyra's son, the future Aegon III Targaryen, in 131 AC.[21]

Bittersteel and Bloodraven

Lord Bracken served as Hand of the King to King Aegon IV Targaryen. His elder daughter Barba was the fifth mistress of Aegon IV and the mother of Aegor Rivers, the Great Bastard known as Bittersteel. However, House Bracken fell from favor after Lord Bracken began talking openly of marrying Barba to Aegon IV after Queen Naerys nearly died in childbirth. Lord Bracken's second daughter, Bethany, was deliberately groomed by her father and elder sister to win back the king's favor by displacing Melissa Blackwood, with whom Aegon IV had replaced Barba as mistress.[22]

Bethany succeeded in displacing Melissa, but she found the king's embraces distressing and so sought comfort in Ser Terrence Toyne of the Kingsguard.[22] After the affair was discovered, both Bethany and her father were executed.[22]

According to Ser Eustace Osgrey, Lord Bracken was to sail with Myrish crossbowmen to aid Daemon I Blackfyre and Bittersteel during the First Blackfyre Rebellion, but was delayed by storms.[23]

Ser Otho Bracken slew Lord Quentyn Blackwood at a tourney in King's Landing in 206 AC, reinvigorating the feud. Three years later Otho and some Blackwoods participated in the tourney at Ashford Meadow.[24] Ser Steffon Fossoway considered convincing Otho or the Blackwoods to fight for Ser Duncan the Tall in his trial of seven, but decided it would be impossible to make them both fight on the same side.[24] When Lord Bracken lay dying, Septon Sefton explained that Otho would inherit and the Blackwoods would not suffer him, meaning war. Lord Bracken's eldest son and heir had died in the Great Spring Sickness. Lord Brynden Rivers, the Hand of the King known as Bloodraven, was the son of Melissa Blackwood and thus was considered unlikely to stop it.[23]

Recent History

Lords Bracken and Blackwood came to Riverrun when Lysa Tully was young to put their feud before the judgment of Hoster Tully, Lord Paramount of the Trident.[25] Hoster attempted to marry Ser Brynden Tully to Lord Bracken's daughter.[26] The daughter of Elys Waynwood was on her way to marry a Bracken when she was kidnapped by Burned Men and not heard from again.[27]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Three Bracken men-at-arms, Kurleket, Lharys, and Mohor, assist Lady Catelyn Stark, the daughter of Lord Hoster Tully, in arresting Tyrion Lannister at the inn at the crossroads.[28] The three die during the trek to the Vale of Arryn, slain by mountain clansmen.[29]

After the death of King Robert I Baratheon, Ser Gregor Clegane burns out the Brackens, laying waste to their fields, slaughtering their smallfolk and leaving Stone Hedge a smoking ruin. Lord Jonos Bracken is listed among the nobles commanded by King Joffrey I Baratheon to do him fealty or be declared traitors.[30]

Jonos arrives at Riverrun after the Battle of the Camps. At the war council at Riverrun, Jonos suggests to pledge fealty to King Renly Baratheon, perhaps only to contradict Lord Tytos Blackwood's previous statement of marching against Harrenhal. After Greatjon Umber speaks, Jonos joins the other river lords in declaring Robb Stark to be King in the North and King of the Trident.[31]

A Clash of Kings

Lord Jonos recovers Stone Hedge from the Lannisters, but he is wounded and his nephew Hendry is killed in the fighting.[32]

A Storm of Swords

Lord Quenten Banefort is held captive by House Bracken.[33] Among those claimed to have been murdered by the Lannisters by the brotherhood without banners was Harry Rivers, the Bastard of Bracken.[34] Brienne of Tarth, Cleos Frey, and Jaime Lannister find the bodies of tavern wenches hanged for associating with Lannister troops while traveling through Bracken lands.[5] Lord Jonos is among the seven nobles who launch Lord Hoster Tully's funeral boat.[35]

Following the death of King Robb Stark in the Red Wedding, Jonos surrenders to the Iron Throne and receives a royal pardon.[36] The Brackens then fight House Blackwood, who remain loyal to House Stark, on behalf of House Baratheon of King's Landing.[37]

A Feast for Crows

Dead soldiers bearing the colors of House Bracken have washed up on the Quiet Isle. According to the Elder Brother, they are buried next to their Blackwood enemies.[38] The Brackens besiege the Blackwoods at Raventree Hall.[39]

A Dance with Dragons

Lord Tytos Blackwood refuses to surrender to Jonos Bracken, leading Ser Jaime Lannister to attempt to resolve the siege of Raventree. Lord Jonos desires to gain the east bank of the Widow's Wash, from Crossbow Ridge to Rutting Meadow, Grindcorn Mill, Lord's Mill, Muddy Hall, the Ravishment, Battle Valley, Oldforge, Buckle, Blackbuckle, Cairns, Claypool, Mudgrave, Waspwood, Lorgen's Wood, Greenhill, Barba's Teats, and Honeytree. However, Tytos only agrees to transfer Woodhedge, Crossbow Ridge, Buckle, Lord's Mill, and Honeytree. Jaime orders Jonos to send one of his daughters to serve Queen regent Cersei Lannister in King's Landing.[2]

It is also revealed a dozen Bracken men were killed in the Red Wedding.[2]

House Bracken at the end of the third century

The known Brackens during the timespan of the events described in A Song of Ice and Fire are:

With unspecified familiar relationship to the main branch of the house there is also:

  • {Harry Rivers}, the Bastard of Bracken, the natural son of a member of House Bracken, claimed to be Lord Jonos's son.
  • Lord Bracken's daughter. One of the possible matches for Brynden Tully in his youth. Possibly a sister of Lord Jonos.[31]
  • Unnamed Bracken, betrothed to one of Elys Waynwood's daughter.[27]


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unknown
 
Jonos
 
Lady Bracken
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unknown
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Harry Rivers
 
Barbara
 
Jayne
 
Catelyn
 
Bess
 
Alysanne
 
Hendry
 


Historical Members

Quotes

We've had a hundred peaces with the Brackens, many sealed with marriages. There's Blackwood blood in every Bracken, and Bracken blood in every Blackwood. The Old King's Peace lasted half a century. But then some fresh quarrel broke out, and the old wounds opened and began to bleed again. That's how it always happens, my father says. So long as men remember the wrongs done to their forebears, no peace will ever last. So we go on century after century, with us hating the Brackens and them hating us. My father says there will never be an end to it.[2]

References

  1. A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 48, Jaime I.
  3. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 33, Jaime V.
  4. The Citadel. Heraldry: Houses in the Riverlands
  5. 5.0 5.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 1, Jaime I.
  6. Fire & Blood, Aftermath - The Hour of the Wolf.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands.
  8. So Spake Martin: Blackwood-Bracken Feud and Coinage
  9. The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands.
  10. So Spake Martin: Chicon 7 Reading (September 02, 2012)
  11. The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands: House Tully.
  12. Fire & Blood, Three Heads Had the Dragon - Governance Under King Aegon I.
  13. Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Fire & Blood, Prince into King - The Ascension of Jaehaerys I.
  15. Fire & Blood, A Surfeit of Rulers.
  16. Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - A Son for a Son.
  17. The Rogue Prince.
  18. Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Gold.
  19. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
  20. The Princess and the Queen.
  21. Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon IV.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 The Sworn Sword.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 The Hedge Knight.
  25. 25.0 25.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 80, Sansa VII.
  26. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 71, Daenerys VI.
  27. 27.0 27.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 41, Alayne II.
  28. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 28, Catelyn V.
  29. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 31, Tyrion IV.
  30. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
  31. 31.0 31.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
  32. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
  33. A Storm of Swords, Appendix.
  34. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 34, Arya VI.
  35. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 35, Catelyn IV.
  36. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72, Jaime IX.
  37. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 74, Arya XIII.
  38. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 31, Brienne VI.
  39. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 38, Jaime VI.
  40. The Sons of the Dragon.
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 41.3 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons — The Red Dragon and the Gold.