Born the illegitimate son of King Aegon IV
and his 6th mistress Melissa Blackwood in 175 AC, Brynden Rivers developed a distinctive
look among his siblings, with pale white skin, long white hair, red eyes and a wine-stain
birthmark on his neck and cheek, which many came to believe resembled a raven drawn in
blood. And while Bloodraven, was not as tall or muscular as his many male siblings, he
proved a valiant warrior, wielding the Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister and developed into
an expert archer, eventually commanding his own company of bowman known as Raven’s Teeth.
Despite his illegitimacy, he maintained good relations with the Targaryen Court in King’s
Landing, yet he became the bitterest of enemies to his own half brother Aegor Rivers, with
animosity and resentment built into their relationship from the very beginning.
Aegor, was the son of King Aegon’s 5th mistress Barba Bracken, who had been sent away from
King’s Landing in a scandal, replaced by Melissa Blackwood, a woman of a rival house
and the mother of Brynden Rivers. Melissa was so well liked by the court, that even
after she was replaced by a 7th mistress, her son bloodraven was allowed to remain in
King’s Landing. Aegor’s resentment only grew when he became
infatuated with his half sister Shierra Seastar, only to see her develop a relationship with
Brynden Rivers. The animosity between the two would grow over
time leading to a lifelong hatred that would have drastic repercussions for all of Westeros.
In 184 AC, King Aegon IV made a final decree on his deathbed, legitimizing all of his bastard
children, a drastic proclamation, that would raise questions about the succession and open
the door to rebellion. Brynden Rivers, one of King Aegon’s Great
Bastards, now a legitimate son of the former king, would come to serve the heir, his half
brother King Daeron II, taking up a seat on his small council. And when the realm fractured
and went to war, with Daemon of House Blackfyre, another of the legitimized bastards of Aegon
IV, rebelled against the crown, declaring himself king and the rightful heir to the
iron throne, Bloodraven remained loyal to House Targaryen. At the Battle of the Redgrass
field, he lost an eye fighting his hated brother Aegor Rivers, also known as Bittersteel, who
had sided with House Blackfyre. Yet despite his injury, Bloodraven was able to lead Raven’s
Teeth in capturing an area known as Weeping Ridge, and from rained a barrage of arrows
down on Daemon Blackfyre and his son’s, killing them and ending the First Blackfyre Rebellion.
For this action, Brynden was labelled a kinslayer, adding to his already sinister reputation,
with many believing he was a sorcerer and spymaster. A song was even composed about
him, called A Thousand Eyes and One, referring to his one good eye and the thousand eyes
of his many informants. Although Daemon Blackfyre was defeated, Aegor
Rivers survived, escaping with Daemon’s surviving children to Essos, where they would
prepare for their next attempt to replace House Targaryen with House Blackfyre.
In 209 AC, Brynden Rivers was named Hand of the King under his nephew King Aerys I and
would serve for many years facing a number of devastating challenges.
The first major crisis would be great spring sickness which killed Aerys father king daeron
II and thousands of others. With King’s Landing suffering the worst of the illness,
seeing 4 of every 10 residents killed by the plague. In response, Bloodraven ordered that
the bodies of dead be gathered in the Dragon Pit and burned with wildfire until the sickness
at last receded in 210 AC. Yet even as the illness abated, another crisis
emerged, when King’s Landing and much of the surrounding area suffered a terrible drought,
causing many farmers to abandon their work and seek refuge in other parts of the continent.
Bloodraven ordered that the farmers stay on their lands, but few obeyed, and the mass
migration of people increased banditry and theft on the roads.
In 211 AC Dagon Greyjoy and his ironborn fleet began raiding the western coast, attacking
various sites in the reach. The Starks of the North gathered their banners in response
determined to defend their coastline, while the Lannisters of the Westerlands constructed
a fleet to repel their forces. In the capital, Bloodraven had his own worries,
knowing that Aegor Rivers and his Blackfyre rebels were in Tyrosh, eager to invade from
the east and capture the throne. Although many suffered during Dagons raids,
the Targaryens eventually got involved and the Ironborn retreated to their islands.
In the same year the riverlands faced war, with House Blackwood threatening to go to
war with their traditional enemies in House Bracken. Many wished for the Hand of the King
to intervene, but because his mother was a Blackwood, the Bracken’s believed he would
not be a fair arbiter. Yet even during all these challenges, Bloodraven
proved focused on what he considered the greatest threat facing the realm. Learning that Daemon
Blackfyre II was at the Tournament of Whitewalls, gathering support for a second blackfyre rebellion,
he marched to the event with an army, and swiftly arrested the man, defeating his rebellion
before it began. Years later in 219 AC a third Blackfyre rebellion
would see Aegor the Golden Company invade the continent to proclaim Daemon Targaryen’s
fourth son Haegon as the true king of Westeros. The war would see Brynden Rivers once again
fighting in single combat against Bittersteel his hated halfbrother, but in the end, House
Blackfyre was again defeated, with Aegor Rivers arrested, and the would be King Haegon killed.
Although Bloodraven advocated execution for the rebel leader, but he was overruled by
King Aerys I, who sparred his life and banished him to the night’s watch.
Yet the Golden Company remained free and loyal to Bittersteel and House Blackfyre, and so
they attacked the ship carrying their leader to the Wall, and rescued him, taking him to
Tyrosh where he crowned Haegon’s son Daemon Blackfyre III as the true king of Westeros,
biding his time for another invasion. In 233AC Brynden Rivers called for a great
council to decide the matter of succession following the death of Maekar I. Aenys Blackfyre,
the fifth son of Daemon Blackfyre I, reached out to King’s Landing from across the narrow
sea and peacefully made his claim to the throne. Seeing an opportunity to deal another blow
to his hated enemies, Bloodraven extended an invitation to the man promising safe entrance
into King’s Landing so he might argue his case before the great council. Yet the hand
of the king had no intention of honoring that decree and as soon as Aenys entered the city
he was arrested and killed. Aegon V would inherit the throne and in order to protect
the reputation of the crown, his first act as King would be to arrest Brynden Rivers
for murder. Bloodraven was then given the option of joining
the night’s watch and so later that years sailed to the wall, along with 200 men who
would join the watch to serve as his honor guard, some of them veterans of Raven’s
Teeth. In 239 Brynden became Lord Commander and served
for many years, until disappearing in 252, having gone out on a ranging beyond the wall
and never returned. For over 60 years his fate would remain a
mystery to the people of westeros, until young Brandon Stark began to receive visions from
a mysterious 3 eyed crow, and travelled North of the wall with a number of companions, finding
the man once known as bloodraven, as an old decrepit man, living with the children of
the forest, watching the events of the south through his greenseer magic. Brynden Rivers
was the 3 eyed Crow, and he claimed to want to pass his knowledge onto bran, teaching
him to become one of the most powerful beings in the world.