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The Wild Wolf.


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#1 The Roaring Bear

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 09:53 PM

I dont have much to say but I felt like making a thread about him.

Does anyone else feel like, aside from Arthur Dayne and maybe Rhaegar, that the character of Brandon Stark (the Wild Wolf) is one that we the reader are greatly deprived of? I mean, its cool that we only kindda hear about him in flashbacks and we get to form our own visions of him, and theres always the mystery of, how close am I? Who was he? What would it be like to read his POV?

I mean, from what we are told, he sounds super interesting, like the perfect mixture of Robert and Ned, impulsive and wild ("He took what he wanted" we are told of him) but willing to sacrafice his own life, strangling himself to try and save someone he loved.

I dont know if I'm making any sense, I just want me some Wild wolf please!

Edited by The Medievalist, 19 June 2012 - 09:54 PM.


#2 BondJamesBond

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:02 PM

It sounded like Brandon was kind of an idiot actually. Robert lied to them about Lyanna being abducted and he not only believed it with no second thoughts or hesitations but then went to KL and started threatening the heir to Westeros in front of a king known to be mad and prone to vile acts. Brandon is wild certainly but he seems surprisingly one dimensional. He seems to be more of a plot device to install Ned as ruler of Winterfell and give Ned the traits of a second son that make him who he is. Of course, I could be wrong, too.

Edit: Robert didn't lie, but his viewpoint is extremely biased and any reasonable person should have done some fact checking before believing him. The correct response would be just to go talk to Rhaegar before going apeshit.

Edited by BondJamesBond, 19 June 2012 - 10:04 PM.


#3 The Roaring Bear

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:12 PM

To be fair, Brandon and Rhaegar were a bit of rivals (Rhaegar having beat Brandon at the tourny at Harrenhal) so it makes sense thatr Brandon would want to take the opportunity to show that Rhaegar may have been better at playing a game, but that he was the true warrior.

Not to mention this is a fairly common plot in a lot of medieval literature, and even medieval laws encouraged such things seemingly for no other reason than to create a 'quest'. For instance: Ladies (nobles) travelling alone were not to be harrassed by passing knights... but, a lady being escorted by a knight, well, it was all fair to challenge said knight and kidnap the lady... its almost as if it was a game in itself (though I'm sure it never played out like that and that there was a lot more rape involved and the women werent all "Ooo yay a game!").

Anyways, my mentioning that was more to point out that Brandon's reaction is the expected one for a young competative Lordling in this setting, and that a calmer approach would have been viewed as weak (even if there is a mad king on the throne).

#4 BondJamesBond

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:22 PM

I'm pretty sure in any midieval story that it doesn't end well when you openly threaten the royal family.

#5 MyLifeIsNotSoPrecious

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:33 PM

It sounded like Brandon was kind of an idiot actually. Robert lied to them about Lyanna being abducted and he not only believed it with no second thoughts or hesitations but then went to KL and started threatening the heir to Westeros in front of a king known to be mad and prone to vile acts. Brandon is wild certainly but he seems surprisingly one dimensional. He seems to be more of a plot device to install Ned as ruler of Winterfell and give Ned the traits of a second son that make him who he is. Of course, I could be wrong, too.

Edit: Robert didn't lie, but his viewpoint is extremely biased and any reasonable person should have done some fact checking before believing him. The correct response would be just to go talk to Rhaegar before going apeshit.

Where are you getting that Robert told Brandon about Lyanna's kidnapping? I'm pretty sure how Brandon knew about Lyanna remains a mystery.

#6 The Roaring Bear

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:34 PM

I'm pretty sure in any midieval story that it doesn't end well when you openly threaten the royal family.


You're able to say this because you, as the reader are given an omniscient view of the stories and are viewing through modern eyes. The characters are influenced by their societal expectations, so to call them stupid is fairly ethnocentric.

Edit: Also, I should mention that things didnt end too badly for LAncelot who threatened the royal family by banging the queen. Arthur dies from wounds sustained at Camlainn, Lancelot becomes a monk... darn.

Edited by The Medievalist, 19 June 2012 - 10:38 PM.


#7 DurararaFTW

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:42 PM

It sounded like Brandon was kind of an idiot actually. Robert lied to them about Lyanna being abducted and he not only believed it with no second thoughts or hesitations but then went to KL and started threatening the heir to Westeros in front of a king known to be mad and prone to vile acts. Brandon is wild certainly but he seems surprisingly one dimensional. He seems to be more of a plot device to install Ned as ruler of Winterfell and give Ned the traits of a second son that make him who he is. Of course, I could be wrong, too.

Edit: Robert didn't lie, but his viewpoint is extremely biased and any reasonable person should have done some fact checking before believing him. The correct response would be just to go talk to Rhaegar before going apeshit.


Rhaegar didn't exactly reach out, you know. He was a no show for several months while the Realm was at war. When he did reappear, I think he understood that it was a little late to try and make peace.

#8 The Fallen

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:51 PM

He definitely seemed like an interesting character, but I don't foresee any more details of the Wild Wolf forthcoming in the final two books. He and Ned seemed like opposites, so i guess we can draw whatever we want from that.

There have already been numerous discussions about how he handled the Lyanna situation. It'd be kind of interesting if Brandon and Rheagar viewed themselves as kind of rivals.

On another note, I always wondered how was it that Jon Arryn's nephew, and heir, came to be a part of Brandon's inner-circle, to the point that he rode to King's Landing with him?

#9 Helgar

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:58 PM

I think that judging Brandon as stupid is unfair. He was reckless, yes, but he had to defend the honor of his House. He shouted for Rhaegar to come out and die because that's just his style; he taunts. What he basically said was "I challenge you to a duel". Aerys felt threatened and escalated, but... you can't blame Aerys's cruelty on Brandon.

According to the Ned, Brandon was supposed to be the Lord. So apparently, the Ned had seen some qualities in Brandon that a Lord must have. Besides being reckless, he was a great fighter, an alpha male with leadership skills, and fiercely protective and caring towards his family. When Rhaegar took Lyanna, he didn't send an army against Aerys (like Tywin did when Cat took Tyrion), he marched down ther to settle things himself. I say that's courage and strength and not stupidity. And I bet he counted on Rhaegar to come out himself as well. Little did he know, of course, that Rhaegar wasn't even there... but we can't blame that on Brandon, either.

Overall, I think reading this particular series has made the people of this forum a bit cynical. It seems to me that many of you think that anyone who isn't treacherous, cowardly or a sheer opportunist is an idiot. Brandon, Ned, Robert... If everyone in the series was like Varys and Littlefinger, it'd be a horrible series.

Edited by Helgar, 19 June 2012 - 10:59 PM.


#10 Lady Tippy Wolfsbane

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:01 PM

I find it extremely sad that we don't get more of Brandon Stark, but I may be bias, since I'm a Stark loyalist. I bet his POV chapters would be awesome!!!

#11 BondJamesBond

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:01 PM

. its almost as if it was a game in itself


Couldn't totally pin down the argument, but this appears to be brandon's big problem. He thought he was playing a game where he couldn't get hurt but it turned out he was playing the game of thrones. He put himself in a very, very dangerous situation with very little to justify it. At the end of the day, even if he looks weak he still gets to go back to Winterfell, but instead he chose to act out a game in KL. The worst part is that he had no real strategy to win. He just threw his life away without even having a plan or knowing the facts.

#12 Toccs

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:10 PM

I think that judging Brandon as stupid is unfair. He was reckless, yes, but he had to defend the honor of his House. He shouted for Rhaegar to come out and die because that's just his style; he taunts. What he basically said was "I challenge you to a duel". Aerys felt threatened and escalated, but... you can't blame Aerys's cruelty on Brandon.


Walking into the capital city and threatening death to the crown prince can not just be written off as"oh that's just Brandon's way of saying he wants to duel". You don't just do something like that, Aerys was right to feel threatened and he would even have been right to execute Brandon if he had ended it there.
Hoster Tully coucneld him to patience and Brandon ignored it, even Rickard and Ned didn't just charge off looking to kill Rhaegar.

Also anyone who actually knew Lyanna especially her family should have known enough to at least question the kidnapping story in the exact same way that nobody who knew Arya actually believed that the butcher's boy was attacking her.

#13 BondJamesBond

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:13 PM

I think that judging Brandon as stupid is unfair. He was reckless, yes, but he had to defend the honor of his House. He shouted for Rhaegar to come out and die because that's just his style


Behaving recklessly is just his style? Threatening to kill people, let alone the king's son is just how Brandon rolls? If he had bothered to investigate, he likely would have been told that rhaegar and lyanna were in love and planning some weird targaryen polygamy and that his house was not even dishonored. So, he gets himself and his dad killed which leads to war. But, we can't criticize? This is the definition of stupidity.

According to the Ned, Brandon was supposed to be the Lord. So apparently, the Ned had seen some qualities in Brandon that a Lord must have.


Ned was pretty young and probably idolized Branson.

Overall, I think reading this particular series has made the people of this forum a bit cynical. It seems to me that many of you think that anyone who isn't treacherous, cowardly or a sheer opportunist is an idiot. Brandon, Ned, Robert... If everyone in the series was like Varys and Littlefinger, it'd be a horrible series.


Even in the best of all possible worlds, Brandon is still a dumb effing moron.

And no, that doesn't detract one bit from the series.

Edit: a Brandon stark POV would prob be like reading the Cersei POV chapters in that you see first hand all the horrible decision-making and bad logic employed that result in disaster for the character. I'm sure GRRM would make it interesting.

Edited by BondJamesBond, 19 June 2012 - 11:22 PM.


#14 The Fallen

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:33 PM

Walking into the capital city and threatening death to the crown prince can not just be written off as"oh that's just Brandon's way of saying he wants to duel". You don't just do something like that, Aerys was right to feel threatened and he would even have been right to execute Brandon if he had ended it there.
Hoster Tully coucneld him to patience and Brandon ignored it, even Rickard and Ned didn't just charge off looking to kill Rhaegar.

Also anyone who actually knew Lyanna especially her family should have known enough to at least question the kidnapping story in the exact same way that nobody who knew Arya actually believed that the butcher's boy was attacking her.


Had Cersei been kidnapped, how would Jaime have reacted? I think you're underestimating the level of power and respect that other major Houses have in Westeros. The fact that the North, the Vale, the Riverlands and the Stormlands started a war against the King shows that Westeros isn't a dictatorship and that the King can't do as he pleases. No dragons means a fragile relationship held together by respect and a tacit agreement between the crown and the other Lord Paramounts. Yes Brandon could've handled it better, but whether Lyanna went willingly or not is irrelevant. It was still dishonorable to the Starks.

A lot of folks say that it was okay for Aerys to kill Brandon. What excuse was there for Aerys to kill Rickard Stark and the others? If the answer is that he had to kill everyone involved with the Starks in order to avoid a rebellion, then Aerys' actions were just as reckless as Brandon's. You do realize that you're defending a crazy individual?

#15 Toccs

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:41 PM

Had Cersei been kidnapped, how would Jaime have reacted? I think you're underestimating the level of power and respect that other major Houses have in Westeros. The fact that the North, the Vale, the Riverlands and the Stormlands started a war against the King shows that Westeros isn't a dictatorship and that the King can't do as he pleases. No dragons means a fragile relationship held together by respect and a tacit agreement between the crown and the other Lord Paramounts. Yes Brandon could've handled it better, but whether Lyanna went willingly or not is irrelevant. It was still dishonorable to the Starks.

A lot of folks say that it was okay for Aerys to kill Brandon. What excuse was there for Aerys to kill Rickard Stark and the others? If the answer is that he had to kill everyone involved with the Starks in order to avoid a rebellion, then Aerys' actions were just as reckless as Brandon's. You do realize that you're defending a crazy individual?



I'm not defending anybody and I never said that Aerys was right to kill Rickard. You realize that you're trying to defend Brandon by saying that it is exactly how Jaime would have acted if Cersie was kidnapped? I agree completely and it only proves that both of them are reckless morons.
The fact is that Hoster Tully said they should be patient and assess the situation before acting. Rickard Stark, Ned Stark, Jon Arryn even Robert "kill em all" Baratheon all heeded this councel, but Brandon rushed straight to King's Landing and without even finding out if Rhaegar was there loudly threatend death to him. Yes I do believe that Aerys was well within his rights to have Brandon imprisoned and executed for this and as I said, if he had ended it there then the situation may well have been salvageable.

Edited by Toccs, 19 June 2012 - 11:41 PM.


#16 The Roaring Bear

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:48 PM

I'm not defending anybody and I never said that Aerys was right to kill Rickard. You realize that you're trying to defend Brandon by saying that it is exactly how Jaime would have acted if Cersie was kidnapped? I agree completely and it only proves that both of them are reckless morons.
The fact is that Hoster Tully said they should be patient and assess the situation before acting. Rickard Stark, Ned Stark, Jon Arryn even Robert "kill em all" Baratheon all heeded this councel, but Brandon rushed straight to King's Landing and without even finding out if Rhaegar was there loudly threatend death to him. Yes I do believe that Aerys was well within his rights to have Brandon imprisoned and executed for this and as I said, if he had ended it there then the situation may well have been salvageable.


The fact that Jaime would have done it just shows the expectations of the society and how the act may not have necessarily been stupid. Yes, as the reader we know the outcome, we know not everyone follows any sort of chivalric code et cetera et cetera, but clearly, in Westeros, this is a legitimate way to react to the kidnapping of your sister. You're judging based on your own standards and not that of the culture.

#17 Toccs

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:52 PM

The fact that Jaime would have done it just shows the expectations of the society and how the act may not have necessarily been stupid. Yes, as the reader we know the outcome, we know not everyone follows any sort of chivalric code et cetera et cetera, but clearly, in Westeros, this is a legitimate way to react to the kidnapping of your sister. You're judging based on your own standards and not that of the culture.


I'm judging that it is stupid and not at all "how he was expected to react to a kidnapping of his sister" because Brandon was the only idiot that did it. If this was the expected reacion then Lord Rickard Stark would have called his banners and gone to King's Landing himself.

Everyone in the inner circle of Rickard's Grand Alliance all had the attitude of "let's see how this plays out first" except for Brandon who said "screw that, I'm going to King's Landing".

I'm judging him based on the actions and standards of his peers.

Edited by Toccs, 19 June 2012 - 11:53 PM.


#18 The Roaring Bear

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:54 PM

I'm judging that it is stupid and not at all "how he was expected to react to a kidnapping of his sister" because Brandon was the only idiot that did it. If this was the expected reacion then Lord Rickard Stark would have called his banners and gone to King's Landing himself.

Everyone in the inner circle of Rickard's Grand Alliance all had the attitude of "let's see how this plays out first" except for Brandon who said "screw that, I'm going to King's Landing".


Theres a big difference between an eldest son go out on an adventure by himself to save his sister from a rival that he has competed against than a father declaring open war on his King.

What peers do you think judged him harshly? His father, his uncle, they arent his peers, they're full Lords with proper responsibility. His peers would be Jaime Lannister, Robert Baratheon, etc. and I think they would have approved.

Edited by The Medievalist, 19 June 2012 - 11:57 PM.


#19 Toccs

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:59 PM

Theres a big difference between an eldest son go out on an adventure by himself to save his sister from a rival that he has competed against than a father declaring open war on his King.


So you're saying it's just "boys will be boys"? This wasn't going out on an adventure, he went to the King's Court and threatened death to the crown prince.

Have you seen the movie Thor? You know at the start where the Frost Giants break into Asgard Odin kills them and then wants to asses the situation. But reckless Thor gathers his friends, and against Odin's wishes goes to Jotunhiem and confronts the Frost Giants which starts a chain of events that lead to all out war? Well that's what Brandon did, only he didn't have someone like Loki manipulating him into it.

#20 The Roaring Bear

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:59 PM

Also notice that he did not go alone but had other young knights with him, and not just his own bannermen but men from the Vale etc. Showing again, how this was seen as acceptable.