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"Do you really wish to know?"
Spoilers from the books and/or adaptations to follow!
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Sit at my table and let's drink!
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- King Bran, Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
Audio version:
King Bran voice line

Bran Tuirseach was a monarch of Skellige, the maternal uncle of Crach an Craite and the brother of Eist Tuirseach, with whom he had a friendly relationship and who led his army as Jarl of Skellige. Other than his brother, the king had a good friend and confidante in druid Mousesack.

Biography Edit

Early life Edit

Bran was born into Clan Tuirseach on the Isles and grew up with his brother Eist Tuirseach and at least one other sister, who gave birth to his nephew Crach an Craite. He also developed a friendship with native Mousesack, and this lasted even after one became king and the other gallant druid.[1]

Also possibly around this time he met Birna, not his first wife but the mother of his first born son, Svanrige an Tuirseach.[2]

Reign Edit

They say the seas smashing against Skellige's shores would sooner bow to a ruler than its inhabitants. Yet they bowed to Bran. He united all the clans behind him and held them together in an iron fist until his death. He was seen as a strong and courageous leader and its said that the fewer warriors he led, the more fiercely they fought. He also had selected shield maidens, who served him as his personal guards. They were known to be loyal and defend their king fiercely, fighting through any injury short of death itself.[3]

When Queen Calanthe of Cintra organized Pavetta's 15th birthday feast in 1252, would-be suitors arrived. Bran sent Crach as well as Eist, Mousesack, Draig Bon-Dhu, and thirty seamen as an entourage for his nephew. However events went rather unexpectedly and while Crach didn't get Pavetta's hand, Eist married none other than Queen Calanthe.[1] After this, Bran handed over the crown to him and Eist remained king for 13 years until both Eist and Calanthe died in the Battle of Marnadal and Bran received the crown back.[4][5]

Death and funeral Edit

Tw3 the king is dead

Bran's final voyage

He lived a long life but when he started to feel old and decrepit, he went into the woods to hunt a bear armed with only a knife, leaving the world on his own terms. Unlike his brother who was buried in a traditional tomb next to a cenotaph to his wife, Bran's body was put on a longship by his warriors with all possible things he could need in an afterlife on board. When everybody bid him farewell, his younger lover willingly lay next to his body as the ship was set out to sea and set ablaze by Crach.[2]

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Edit

Journal entry Edit

King Bran, former King of the Skellige Isles, lived a long and storied life. When he finally felt decrepitude taking a hold of him, he went into the woods to hunt a bear armed with only a knife – and thus ended his reign. It was remembered as an honorable and respected one, though some complained he preferred raiding to confronting the Isles' long-term problems, and that he let his wife's tongue wag too freely. Some connected the two, claiming Bran sailed out to fight overseas battles to put off dealing with the ones awaiting him at home.

Associated quests Edit

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game Edit

Bran is a leader in the Homecoming version.

Reward Tree entries Edit

Scroll 1: They say it is easier to tame the seas crashing against Skellige's shores than the Skelligers themselves. Yet Bran did just that. He united the isles and the clans behind him – and long ruled with an iron fist.
Scroll 2: What was his secret? How did he succeed when others failed? Was it courage? Cunning? Intimidation? No, nothing of the sort. Bran tapped into a power previously unknown to the isles' inhabitants – compromise.
Scroll 3: When others would reach for ax and bow, Bran invited his rivals to banquet. With honey-sweet words, purses laden with coin, and barrels heavy with mead, it proved difficult to disagree with Skellige's king for long.
Scroll 4: Despite never slaying an ice giant or raiding the City of Golden Towers, Bran is remembered as a truly great ruler. Though not a hero in his own right, he delivered peace to the Isles, ushering in a period of growth and prosperity for the next generation of Skellige's champions.
Chest 1: Bran's closest advisor and confidant was his wife, Birna. During banquets, she always sat at his side, silent, nearly unnoticeable in the bustle. She could recall every uttered rumor, every knowing wink, every raised eyebrow. Then later, in the bear skin-adorned bed of the royal bedchamber, she would whisper into her husband's ear all that she had learned...
Chest 2: Despite Birna's repeated requests, Bran refused to champion their son, Svanrige, as rightful heir to the throne. He believed if the boy truly deserved the crown, he'd earn it without the king's intercession. If found unworthy, so be it. Bran found the Continent's long history of dynastic rule preposterous. Birna, on the other hand, could not be persuaded to feel the same...
Chest 3: Bran lived a long life – a very long life. When, just after his eightieth birthday, his hands began to tremble and his thoughts began to wander mid-sentence, he set out with a small hunting party. Wearing only delicate linens and armed with only a knife, he departed for An Skellig in search of a bear... And an honorable death.

Trivia Edit

  • brân means "crow" in Middle Welsh.

Gallery Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Last Wish
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  3. Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
  4. Genalogy of Ciri - Eist
  5. Since Sapkowski's work or its adaptations do not contain any information about Bran's death (and he finally appears in The Witcher 3), the reason of Eist's coronation is unknown.

External links Edit

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