For Millennials. By Millennials.
Everyone knows that Game of Thrones left out a lot of stuff from the books. However, there’s one important character but we never got to know in-depth. I believe that those who watched the show with great love should know more about him. And that character was none other than the Three-Eyed Raven himself. You’ll be surprised to know that he was actually a Targaryen bastard, and served as Hand of the King!
His real name was Brynden Rivers, and his father was a Targaryen King!
It’s really sad to think that a character with such a rich back story wasn’t given enough time by Game of Thrones. But, that’s the case and that is why I’m here to tell you how awesome he really was in The Song of Ice and Fire.
The Three-eyed Raven had a different name once, and his real name was Brynden Rivers. Born in 175 AC (almost 123 years before Game of Thrones), he was the bastard son of King Aegon IV, or popularly known as Aegon the Unworthy, and his mistress Melissa Blackwood. However, he wasn’t his only bastard son. There were more of them than we can count. But, Brynden River’s case was special because his mother had the blood of the old men, while his father had the blood of old Valyria. When these two magical bloodlines combine, they result in some insane powers – just like Jon Snow!
Physical appearance earned him the nickname ‘Bloodraven’
He had a very pale complexion, but the really prominent feature on his face was his birthmark. It was a dark patch of skin on his cheek and neck, which had the shape of a raven and the color of blood. As a result, he was nicknamed Lord Bloodraven. It’s ironic, considering that years later he would be called the Three-eyed raven, right? His skin was sensitive to sunlight, which is why he always wore a hooded cloak. But importantly, he lost an eye in a battle, which he never covered with a patch. Sounds really edgy, right? And not at all like his version in Game of Thrones. But, his story had just begun!
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“How many eyes does Lord Bloodraven have? A thousand and one.” an early birthday gift for @chillyravenart (the perfect excuse for me to draw Bloodraven again 😂) #blackfyrerebellion #bloodraven #bryndenrivers #housetargaryen #got #gameofthrones #asoaif #asongoficeandfire #theworldoficeandfire #greatbastards #grrm #georgerrmartin #illustration #artistsoninstagram
Civil War had gripped Westeros!
On his deathbed, Aegon IV legitimized all of his bastard children, which included Bloodraven. As a result, Westeros was thrown into years of conflict, known as the Blackfyre rebellion. House Blackfyre was at the forefront of these wars, which was founded by Daemon Blackfyre, another bastard of Aegon the IV. In this conflict, Brynden Rivers decided to stay loyal to House Targaryen, and that brought him a lot of power!
Hand of the King
Due to his loyalty and capability shown in the First Blackfyre Rebellion, he was chosen as the Hand of the King and Master of Whisperers in 209 AC for the next 24 years! And throughout this time, he was the most powerful man in Westeros. Ser Duncan the Tall, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard during Aegon V’s rule said that:
How many eyes does Lord Bloodraven have? the riddle ran. A thousand eyes, and one. Some claimed the King’s Hand was a student of the dark arts who could change his face, put on the likeness of a one-eyed dog, even turn into a mist. Packs of gaunt gray wolves hunted down his foes, men said, and carrion crows spied for him and whispered secrets in his ear. Most of the tales were only tales, Dunk did not doubt, but no one could doubt that Bloodraven had informers everywhere.
How was Bloodraven so powerful?
These were the famous tales about Brynden Rivers, but there is truth to it. Now, of course, we know he was the Three-eyed Raven and had the power to tap into Weirwood trees and see everything that was happening. Moreover, he was also a warg and could see through the eyes of different animals, including the infamous Raven. He had these powers because of his magical blood, as he had Targaryen blood as well as the blood of the Old Men (through his mother from House Blackwood in his veins).
This gave him immense power in Westeros and allowed him to maneuver the 7 kingdoms through the Great Spring Sickness, 3 Blackfyre rebellions, and countless other mutinies. He oversaw the rule of 3 Targaryen kings, but it came to an end in Aegon V’s rule of Westeros. He committed the crime of killing Aenys Blackfyre, after offering him safe passage to King’s Landing. As he shared the same blood with Bloodraven, Aegon V saw it as an act of Kin-slaying. Therefore, he was forced to take the black.
Bloodraven was sent to the Wall and disappeared
It’s interesting to know that Bloodraven was sent to the Knight’s watch along with Maester Aemon, in 233 AC. He took with him the Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister as well. He was also elected as the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch in 239 AC and remained so for the next 13 years. However, he disappeared while ranging beyond the wall in 252 AC and was never heard of.
Bloodraven reappeared as the Three-eyed Raven!
After disappearing for almost 50 years, Bloodraven appeared as the Three-Eyed Raven in front of Bran Stark. When he finally met him in the latest book, he was almost 125 years old living in a cave beyond the wall, and the Children of the forest called him the last greenseer. And that is when we see him in Game of Thrones. However, he did not look like Max Von Sydow, and in fact, looked like this:
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Bloodraven #asoiaf #asongoficeandfire #bloodraven #bryndenrivers #threeeyedcrow #threeeyedraven #ravens #asoiafart #digitalart
It’s really a crime on David Benioff and DB Weiss to not have explored Targaryens’ history more. There are many other Targaryens in Westeros other than Daenerys that deserved recognition. And the Three-Eyed Raven, or Lord Bloodraven Brynden Rivers, is one of them.