#CK2: A Game of Thrones #3 – The Short Reign of Brandon Stark

The early days of Lord Paramount Brandon Starks days were just as uneasy as the last days of Torrhen’s reign. The glory days of the once-peaceful Kingdom of the North were long gone.

Weeks after he was installed by his vassals as the Lord of Winterfell and Lord Paramount of the North, he received the first contentious orders from Aegon the Conqueror. A raven arrived declaring Rickon Stark, Master of Moat Cailin to be a traitor and enemy of the realm for failing to appear in King’s Landing to answer for crimes committed.

The Stark Lord had no previous knowledge of any crimes committed but was commanded as Lord Paramount to march on Moat Caitlin and imprison his youngest brother in the name of the king or share the same fate. This obviously didn’t sit well with Lord Brandon or his court, who were at odds over what to do. On one side, they didn’t want to turn over a Stark to the Dragon, but they also didn’t have more than a couple thousand able-bodied fighters to call upon and couldn’t sustain a drawn-out conflict again.

In a tough decision that would shatter the two brothers’ relationship, Lord Brandon made the decision to call the banners to surround Moat Caitlin while he led a force of 1,500 men in. The younger Stark could only call upon 350 of his own levies as resistance to Brandon, and within three weeks the banners had the castle surrounded and Rickon Stark in chains. Rickon Stark would take the black and spend the rest of his days in the Night’s Watch.

His brother in Aegon’s custody, another raven arrived to announce that the Warden of the North, the commander of Aegon’s Northern troops, would be Orys Baratheon, his only friend and one who had never once set foot in the North, an insult to the Lord Paramount. If the realm went to war, the Great House that sat on the Northern Throne would not be able to command the troops they had historically commanded in previous conflicts.

Lord Brandon was at one time in charge of a faction reported to have been aiming at deposing King Aegon, but nothing ever came of it, and following two years of failure to garner support against the dragon king, he quietly backed down.

The reign of Lord Paramount Brandon came to an end a mere four years after he assumed the throne. He died a natural death at the age of 54 in the year 8033, predeceasing his own father, Torrhen the Just, by five weeks.

His was a reign that, looking back in history, will probably be forgotten as insignificant. The aging Stark long resented the fall of the Kingdom of the North, and he spent his years at odds with the Targaryens and with his own lords, who he’d often conspire to have kidnapped, killed, or arrested and fed to boars for whatever treasonsĀ his tyrannical stain could think of.

His oldest son, 18-year-oldĀ Edrick Stark of Moat Cailin, third born ahead of two daughters, assumed the title of Lord Paramount of the North.

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