Now that season 6 is officially underway we finally traveled beyond the wall and met Bran Stark after two long years. We finally saw him train and make better use of the abilities he has. Everything from here on out is new to us book readers as well as the people who just watch the show and I couldn’t be more excited! The man known as the Three-Eyed Raven or Bloodraven, now being portrayed by Max von Sydow, will be the one teaching young Bran how to properly use his abilities.
The Three-Eyed Raven took Bran back to Winterfell, where he saw young Ned Stark, who was with Benjen and Lyanna. We also saw the young Hodor and came to know that his name is Wylis and he used to speak like other people when he was young and the scene was awesome! While I’m sure we’ll get some backstory on Bloodraven himself in the show, lets learn a little more about who he is in our own flashback.
Bloodraven was born Brynden Rivers and was the bastard child of King Aegon IV Targaryen and Lady Melissa Blackwood, King Aegon’s sixth mistress, in Kings Landing. The Blackwood family crest is a tree surrounded by ravens, that and a wine colored birthmark on his face had people calling him, Bloodraven. When King Aegon was on his deathbed he legitimatized both Brynden and Aegor Rivers another one of his bastards. Aegor Rivers, also known as Bittersteel, would prove to be a thorn in Brynden’s side throughout each of their lives though.
Even though Brynden was a great warrior and carried Dark Sister, a Valyrian steel blade, he lost an eye in combat against Aegor during the first Blackfyre Rebellion. Though Brynden carried Dark Sister he preferred his long bow and was better with a bow than he was with a sword and had a group of long bowmen known as the Raven’s Teeth. During the first Blackfyre Rebellion, they rained arrows down onto Daemon Blackfyre killing him and both his twin sons from three hundred yards away, thus ending the first Blackfyre Rebellion. Daemon Blackfyre was also a bastard of King Aegon IV and because Brynden killed him he was labeled ‘kinslayer’.
After the first Blackfyre Rebellion, Brynden would serve as Hand of the King to his nephew, King Aerys I Targaryen. During his tenure as hand under King Aerys, Brynden sew the realm through different twists and turns in the lands. The Great Spring Sickness fell upon the realm in 209 AC (Aegon’s Conquest) and saw tens of thousands of people die including members of Brynden’s own family and the previous king. The bodies piled up in the streets so much that Brynden ordered the pyromancers to burn them in the Dragonpit with wildfire. Around the same time a drought hit the lands lasting little over a year. When people fled their homes, Brynden ordered them back but hardly anyone listened blaming him on their misfortunes for being a kinslayer. Shortly after that Dagon Greyjoy start a rebellion by raiding the west coast of Westeros, it was quickly shut down, however.
Brynden would continue to be hand under his nephew and squash two more Blackfyre rebellions, both started up by his half brother Aegor. Finally when Aegor was captured, Brynden suggested they execute him but was outvoted by King Aerys and Aegor was sent to the wall. Though, on his way to the wall his ship was attacked and Aegor was set free fleeing back to Essos.
When King Aerys died his brother Maekar I succeeded him and Brynden would continue his duty as Hand of the King. Maekar would serve as king for twelve years and after his death Brynden called a Great Council to discuss the matter of the disputed succession. Aenys Blackfyre wanted to peacefully participate in the Great Council and Brynden granted him the notion, but as soon as Aenys entered Kings Landing he was arrested and beheaded by gold cloaks under Brynden’s orders.
After a new king was chosen, Brynden was arrested for Aenys’ murder and was offered the choice of taking the black or death. Brynden would decide to take the black and become a member of the Nights Watch. He would eventually take on the position of Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch in 239 AC, but disappeared while ranging beyond the Wall in 252 AC.
After that no one had seen Brynden till Bran Stark and company arrived at the tree. How did Brynden Rivers end up under that tree? What is the extent of his powers? We clearly know he can control animals and get inside other people’s heads/dreams to try and manipulate them. Hopefully we’ll learn some more about Bloodraven, his powers and how he managed to end up where he is with the Children of the Forest. Until then enjoy season six of Game of Thrones and here’s to the unkown!
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