Study Guide

Bran the Blessed

  • Profile

    Bran—also known as "the Blessed," since anyone who meets him is pretty darn lucky—is one handsome fellow. He also happens to be a giant and the king of all Britain. Bran is loyal to a T, which is why he ran over to Ireland to defend his sister, Branwen, when he heard she was being mistreated there. Only one problem: Bran's currently without a head. But, hey, what does that matter?

    Basic Information

    Name

    Bran

    Nickname

    Bran the Blessed, Raven (which is what "Bran" means in Welsh), B

    Sex

    Male

    Current city

    Castell Dinas Bran, Powys, Wales, or my summer house at Harlech

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    King of the Island of the Mighty (Britain); being really, really tall

    Education

    I learned from the best: other giants.

    Beliefs

    Political views

    Monarchy 101: Don't be a king if you can't follow a king.

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    Lir/Llyr, god of the sea; and his mortal boo, Penardun, daughter of the sun god Belenos

    Siblings

    Manannan mac Llyr (a.k.a. Manawydan ap Lir in Welsh), epic sea dude; my sis, Branwen; my half-sibs are Nisien and Efnisien, my mom's kids by her first marriage

    Children

    Caradog

    Friends

    Manannan

    Enemies

    Efnisien (bros don't always come first); Matholwch, king of Ireland and my brother-in-law, who treated Branwen pretty badly

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    Married to a queen whose name I can't remember

    Interested in

    Ladies and battles

    Favorites

    TV Shows

    Brothers and Sisters
    I'm tight with my fam.
    Game of Thrones
    One of the main characters is named "Bran." Gotta love it.
    Modern Family
    Fawlty Towers

    Quotations

    "I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it's such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her."
    – Ellen DeGeneres

    "We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English."
    – Winston Churchill

    "What's the good of news if you haven't a sister to share it?"
    – Jenny DeVries

    "Ravens bring things to people. We're like that. It's our nature. We don't like it."
    – Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place

    Books

    The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
    This book left me myst-ified.
    Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
    Matholwch's horses were beautiful creatures before my annoying brother, Efnisien, slashed at them.
    Wicked by Gregory Maguire
    Who doesn't love a Wicked Witch or two?
    As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
    When I was dying, I didn't write anything like this. I couldn't think, since I had no head.
    Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory
    The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
    Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
    Britain might not have many dolphins, but it's still great.
    I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier
    The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
    I'm ba-ack!
    Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
    Never trust a dude named Brutus.

    Music

    Take Me Home by One Direction
    Born This Way by Lady Gaga
    I was just born a giant. Not my fault I block out other people's views.
    Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? by Bing Crosby
    Ol' Math couldn't spare even a dime for my poor sis.
    Ol' Man River by Paul Robeson
    One by U2
    There's only One king of Britain—me!
    In Your Head by Mohombi
    Not fair… he has a head and I don't.
    I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
    Even though I don't have a noggin, I will keep on slogging… to stay king.
    Stayin' Alive by The Bee Gees

    Movies

    The Raven
    In Welsh, the title would be "Bran." 'Nuff said.
    My Sister's Keeper
    I am Branwen's keeper—or at least her defender.
    Head
    I know this is about the Monkees….but I can't help feeling that it's a slight to me.
    A Child's Christmas in Wales
    This is England
    Tower of London
    The Tower brings back bad memories… that's where my head is buried.
    Son of the Sea
    I'm a kid of the sea god!
    Sleuth

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    Ravens
    Keeping my head screwed on
    Welsh football
    Chivalry
    Magic cauldrons

    Interests

    Military history
    Welsh studies
    Ornithology
    Marine science
    Hypsography (study of measuring heights)

    Groups

    British and Proud
    Against Capital Punishment
    British/Irish Invasion
    Baltimore Ravens

  • Spotter's Guide

    Bran is one of the tallest guys around, so he's pretty easy to spot from afar. You might find him sipping high tea or digging up his head from underneath the White Hill, where it's buried under the Tower of London. He likes kicking around a soccer ball now and then, too, but not with his half-brother/mortal enemy, Efnisien.

    Sex: Male
    Age: Fifty
    Build: Tall. Really tall.
    Complexion: Pale
    Hair Color: Blonde
    Facial Hair: None
    Scars/marks/tattoos: Um, he doesn't have a head, if that counts.
    Jewelry and accessories: None
    Clothing: Tunic and breeches
    Armor: The usual—chain mail, shield, etc.
    Type of Weapon: Standard fare—a sword and spear

    Typical Companions:

    Manawydan
    Pryderi
    Taliesin
    His other soldiers

    Known Hangouts:

    Everywhere in Wales
    Ireland, when he's invading it
    The Tower of London, where his head resides

  • Sightings

    Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

    The Welsh Triads

    Bran may've gotten decapitated, but his head was put to good use. According to this 14th-century document, His noggin lies under the White Hill in London, facing France, so nobody invades Britain.

    Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

    The Book of Taliesin

    The bard Taliesin was BFFs with Bran. Tali recalls grieving over Branny when B died in Ireland.

    Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

    The Mabinogion

    Bran is the hero to his damsel-in-distress of a sister, Branwen. In the Mabinogion, when Branwen's hubby, the king of Ireland, treats her poorly, Bran invades Ireland, but gets his head knocked off in the process.

    Dec 20, 1988

    Merlin

    Lawhead's Merlin loves to reminisce about Britain in the good old days. In some ways, the narrator thinks, Britain hadn't changed much since Bran's days. If only he could see it today…

    Dec 20, 2019

    Jesus: Last of the Pharaohs by Ralph Ellis

    What is it with Bran and Jesus? Ellis hops on the Christianity theory, claiming Bran was one of the first popes of the Catholic Church.