Year of Birth:
approx 935 NE
Dark but greying
Actions During the Story (Spoilers)
Character Summaries (Spoilers)
Gareth Bryne is a moderately tall man in his middle years with a broad face and dark hair that is streaked with grey at the temples. His hair gets more grey as the series goes on. He is described as looking strong and as immovable as a rock. Despite his age, he has the look of a man that is not past his prime.
Gareth Bryne is one of the great Captains of the Westlands. He is a stalwart soldier and commander. He is intelligent, competent, and adaptable. He is said to have a very strong memory. He seems to be a very good judge of character. He is very loyal to those he is serving, and possibly more so to those that are serving under him. He is the high seat of House Bryne, a minor, but a very old house in Andoran nobility.
His personal sigil is a set of three stars set with five rays each. His house sigil is a bull wearing a necklace of rose, indicating loyalty to the Rose crown.
Actions During the Story
Actions Before the Story
Gareth Bryne was born in Kore Springs, in the Northeast of Andor. He joined the Queen’s Guard in the 950’s or 960’s. According to Gawyn Trakand, he has served under three Queens and served as Captain-General, and First Prince of the Sword for two. This is directly contradicted by the companion books, which state that he was promoted to Captain-General following the death of his predecessor, Aranvor Naldwinn, at the battle of Tar Valon during the Aiel War.
During the decades predating the main story, Gareth Bryne was working his way up the ranks of the Andoran military. He has resolved an untold number of conflicts. He is a veteran of many border skirmishes and the Aiel War, as well as a veteran Blademaster.
Gareth does not appear in New Spring, but during that time is fighting in the Aiel War. According to the companion books, Gareth Bryne may have been promoted to Captain-General of the Queen’s Guard when his predecessor is killed at the Battle of Tar Valon.
Actions Between the Books
Between New Spring and the main story, Gareth Bryne lives in Caemlyn and serves as Captain-General, and First Prince of the sword for Queen Morgase Trakand. Gareth Bryne is one of Morgase’s lovers during this time. He teaches Galad to alternate grips while sword fighting and is largely responsible for Galad’s early martial arts’ prowess. He teaches Elayne how to ride a horse, he also instructs Elayne and Gawyn in Military tactics and political posturing.
When Thom Merrilin leaves Caemlyn without the Queen’s knowledge, to help his nephew, Gareth Bryne is sent to find Thom and bring him back to the city in chains.
In 996 NE Suian Sanche, The Amyrlin Seat, and the White Tower had a plan for a minor Murandian Lord to unite all of Murandy. Suian ordered Morgase to yield some land on the Murandy-Andor border. Gareth Bryne asked Morgase to speak to her privately. Suian publicly berated Gareth in front of his Soldiers. Suian tells Morgase if Gareth cannot follow directions, she should find someone who can. The aforementioned Murandian Lord was later killed by an Andoran farmer during a sheep raid.
Eye of the World
Gareth Bryne is present at court, with Queen Morgase, when Rand Al’Thor is brought to see the Queen after falling into the royal gardens. Bryne cannot fathom why a farmer from the Two Rivers would have a heron-marked sword but can tell that the sword belongs with Rand. Gareth advises Morgase to keep Rand locked up until Gawyn, Galad, and Elayne depart with the Aes Sedai on Logain’s transport train to Tar Valon.
We find out from Gawyn, that Gareth Bryne has served under three queens and was Captain-General for the two of them.
The Great Hunt
Gareth Bryne does not appear in this book.
The Dragon Reborn
Gareth Bryne is breifly mentioned by innkeeper Basil Gil when talking to Mat that Gareth Bryne has left Caemlyn because he does not like Lord Gaebril.
The Shadow Rising
Gareth Bryne does not appear in this book.
Fires of Heaven
Gareth Bryne, forced to retire by Queen Morgase at the behest of Lord Gaebril, has moved to his familial estate outside of Kore Springs; of which, he becomes Lord. He passes judgment and sentences on criminals as well as settles personal disputes.
Gareth Bryne is presiding over a hearing concerning Min Farshaw, Suian Sanche, and Leanne Shariff, who are using fake identities. Leanne speaks to the groups’ defense, and lightly flirts with Gareth Bryne. After hearing from both accuser and accused Lord Bryne determines the women are guilty of the crimes they are accused of. Bryne agrees to pay the accuser an amount of money to be determined at a later time. Lord Bryne takes the three women into his service to pay off their oath. They all give their oaths not to run away, in exchange for working in his manor house, as opposed to working in the fields. Gareth tells his driver to take the women back to his estate while he finishes up his official business in town.
Suian, Min, and Leanne escape Lord Bryne’s wagon driver and continue their search for the rebel Aes Sedai. Gareth is absolutely dumbfounded when he finds out the women have betrayed an oath that only darkfriends would break; he does not believe them to be darkfriends but he wants to find them and find out why they broke their oath. Gareth Bryne gathers a party of men, all of whom are solid, dependable Soldiers who have served under him in the past. Gareth leaves control of his estate to Caralin, the one who has taken care of the estate while he was away in Caemlyn.
Gareth’s party enters Luggard, and they learn the women were in the city a day before. One of the men, Joni had spoken with merchant’s guards and found out that Mara (Suian) was trying to find work at a tavern. Joni also tells Gareth Bryne that many men who served under him have been sent away from the Queen’s Guard. Joni also mentions that there is a new group called the White Lions, who report exclusively to Lord Gaebril. Gareth tells Joni that the affairs of the Andoran Crown are no longer their business. It is clear that Bryne is annoyed with the way things turned between him and the Queen. Before departing from Luggard, Gareth reflects on a time when Suian Sanche had chewed him out for not wanting Morgase to blindly follow the will of the White Tower.
Gareth and his group reach Salidar and he sees Min, Suian, and Leanne. Gareth talks to Sheriam who tells him that the women will fulfill their oaths, but not until after the Aes Sedai are done with them. Gareth Bryne agrees to wait, and Sheriam tells him who the women really are.
Since Gareth Bryne is going to be waiting on the women to finish with their Aes Sedai business anyway, the Aes Sedai rope him into training their army. Gareth agrees under three conditions. Firstly, he is in charge of recruiting, promotions and leading the Army. Second, the Aes Sedai must listen to him if he says something cannot be done. Lastly, They must see their mission through until the end; if they choose to accept Elaida after all, he will probably lose his head.
Suian has become Gareth’s laundress. On one occasion, while she is carrying his laundry, Min tells Suian about her viewing. The viewing was that of a bull tearing off its rose collar. Min tells Suian that she knows this means that if Suian and Gareth both want to live, they need to stay close to each other. Min tells Suian that if she and Gareth are too far apart for too long, they will both die.
When Nynaeve, Elayne, Thom, Uno, and Juilin show up in Salidar, Gareth all but ignores Elayne. Gareth recruits Uno to help train the cavalry, stating that Shienarans are some of the best heavy cavalry the world has to offer.
Lord of Chaos
Still in Salidar, Gareth Bryne pays Suian a compliment, Nynaeve notices Suian “snapping his head off” for his efforts. Suian has her stilling healed by Nynaeve. Suian tells Gareth that she is Aes Sedai again and she should not have to do his laundry anymore. When he tries to argue the fact, Suian attempts to lift him with flows of air. Because of her small ability with the power, she is not able to lift him. The pain of losing her warder that returned with her reconnection to Saidar mixed with humiliation in failing to lift Gareth makes Suian begin to weep. She tells Gareth to go away.
During Egwene’s first briefing as Amyrlin Seat, she learns that Gareth Bryne is the commanding officer of their Army. She looks Bryne over, and she can feel that he is strong. Egwene seems pleased to have one of the “Great Captains” leading her Army.
A Crown of Swords
Egwene and Bryne talk about plans for the Army. Egwene asks Gareth if he thinks that he can take Tar Valon. Bryne tells her that it will be a bloody fight, but an assault will yield them the White Tower. Gareth and Egwene discuss the possibility of a siege. Myrelle, who overhears, is disapproving of the siege plans.
While riding with Egwene, Suian, and Myrelle, Gareth tells Egwene about his correspondence with Talmanes, acting commander of the Band of the Red Hand. Myrelle is vocally upset about Gareth meeting with “dragonsworn animals” and insists that he is very close to treason for even meeting with Talmanes. Bryne responds by telling Myrelle that he has an army of ten thousand men to his rear, and he likes knowing what they’re up to and that it is not uncommon for two commanders in the same operational space to be in contact. Egwene tells Myrelle to be quiet and asks Gareth to stop meeting with Talmanes; he agrees. Gareth escorts Egwene to Myrelle’s camp, where Egwene finds out Myrelle and Moiraine conspired to pass Lan’s bond.
Gareth continues to oversee the recruitment and training of the rebel Aes Sedai Army. He implies to Egwene that no matter what, the Army is hers, not the Hall’s, or Sheriam’s.
Path of Daggers
Gareth Bryne visits Egwene in her study and tells of an army of Andorans and Murandians on its way south. He tells her that if the Aes Sedai forces continue on the same route, they will intercept the Andorans and Murandians in two days. She tells him to meet with the leaders of the other force ASAP. While Bryne is leaving, Egwene asks him how long he will need to rest his troops before starting the siege. During the meeting with the Andoran and Murandian forces, Egwene asserts herself as the Amyrlin and flexes her political prowess. The groups strike a deal and go their separate ways.
Gareth and Egwene move their Army through a gateway made by Aes Sedai to an area not far from Tar Valon. The siege is on.
Gareth Bryne continues his role as general of the rebel Aes Sedai Army that is besieging Tar Valon.
Gareth Bryne escorts Egwene on an inspection of the North Harbor. Gareth Bryne notes the current state of the campaign and pushes Egwene to assault the city. Egwene refuses, stating that an assault would mean sure destruction for the White Tower.
Crossroads of Twilight
Gareth Bryne is seen to be riding around camp with Suian Sanche.
Gareth Bryne and Suian Sanche continue their subtle relationship growth.
Knife of Dreams
Lelaine offers to pay off Suian Sanche’s debt to Gareth Bryne, stating that it is not right for an Aes Sedai to do the type of work Gareth makes Suian do. Suian declines Leleaine’s offer. While Suian and Gareth are in his tent, he commends Suian’s improvement in laundering his clothes. Suian is at first upset, thinking him to be poking fun at her. Suian then thinks about how Gareth treats everyone with respect, and praise from him means a job well done. Gareth then asks why she broke her oath. Suian tells him she did not break the oath, as she did not specify when she would fulfill it. He presses her again, not accepting an Aes Sedai answer. Suian opens up to Gareth and tells him of her long term plans for finding Rand Al’Thor, and her knowledge of the Black Ajah. Gareth accepts Suian’s explanation and offers to release her from her oath, but she declines.
Gareth Bryne, while at work in his command tent, responds to a commotion going on outside. Gawyn Trakand is at the entrance to the tent, he had just finished fighting and wounding one of Gareth’s tent guards. Gareth is upset and takes Gawyn aside. Bryne turns to the wounded Sergeant and tells him that if someone states that they personally know Gareth, let him know. Gareth berates Gawyn and the two catch up on their journeys. The two talk about how they have been leading campaigns against the other. Gareth notes that he should have noticed the strategies that Gawyn was using. Gawyn escorts Gareth on one of his guard post inspections, and the two talk about duty and allegiances. Gareth asks Gawyn about Andor, Egwene, and Elayne’s succession situation.
Suian wakes from tel’aran’riod and tells Gareth that Egwene is in danger. A guard comes in and tells of trouble in Tar Valon. Gareth Bryne tells Suian that it must be the Seanchan attack Egwene had warned them about. Suian is adamant about rescuing Egwene, Gareth responds by reminding Suian that Egwene has ordered them not to rescue her. Suian is upset and tells Gareth that if he does not want to help Egwene, she will find someone who will. Suian enlists the help of Gawyn. Gareth and Suian argue over Egwene’s wishes. Gareth Bryne understands that Suian is going to attempt rescue regardless of what he thinks. Gareth agrees to go with her under two conditions. Firstly, Suian must bond Gareth as her warder, and he will tell her his second demand at a later date. Suian agrees. After being bonded, Gareth comments on how every Soldier could benefit from the bond. Gareth puts together a small task force to assist in rescuing Egwene.
The rescue force enters Tar Valon and makes their way to the White Tower. While outside the tower, Gareth fights and kills a Seanchan Bloodknife. As the Bloodknife died, he pricked Bryne in the arm with a poisoned needle. Suian notices the needle in his arm, and heals him, she tells him about Min’s viewing. Gareth, Suian, and Gawyn find Egwene barely conscious in a hallway; they carry her through a gateway back to the rebel camp. Egwene was too weary to tell them of her disapproval.
Egwene is very upset at being brought back from the tower. She focuses most of her anger on Gawyn and Suian, seemingly giving Gareth a pass. Gareth Bryne tells Suian that his second condition is for her to marry him, but not until after she is done saving the world. Gareth has Egwene’s Army ready to attack Tar Valon with an all-out assault. Moments before Egwene would have given the order to attack, a delegation from the White Tower came to tell Egwene that she is to be raised to Amyrlin Seat.
The Gathering Storm
Gareth is present when Rand visits the White Tower. Gareth talks with Gawyn and tells him that he needs to find something else he wants out of life, other than Egwene.
Towers of Midnight
Gareth Bryne is in the tent during Rand’s meeting to discuss the last battle and the Dragon’s Peace treaty. Rand makes Gareth sign the document, in case he ends up in a position of leadership following the last battle.
Gareth Bryne is chosen to stay with the White Tower’s forces and is placed in command of the Kandori battlefront. Gareth Bryne came up with the idea to use horizontal gateways to survey the battlefield. Egwene is concerned about Gareth only using the Aes Sedai as a reserve force, she orders him to use the sisters more actively.
Gareth Bryne and Suian Sanche survive the initial Sharan attack on the command tent by jumping through the surveillance gateway. Gareth realizes he should have been more aggressive in attacking the trollocs when they assumed a defensive position. Trollocs do not often defend unless they are waiting for something. Gareth understands he should have seen the ambush coming, he is better than what he is showing and cannot ignore his mistake.
Gareth and Suian regroup with Egwene. They decide to defend at the southeastern tip of Kandor because Gareth Bryne says the terrain will give them the advantage. Gareth sends Min to ask Fortuona for cavalry reinforcements. Egwene watches as one of her Cavalry units is decimated by an ambush, she wants to question Gareth on how this was allowed to happen.
Mat, after feeling the pulse of battle demands control of the Seanchan forces, and sends Min to warn Egwene that Gareth Bryne is a darkfriend. Egwene looks for Gareth at the command tent but he is not there. She runs into Uno who tells her the reserve cavalry unit Gareth had promised him never showed up. Uno believes they have been sabotaged. Min reaches Egwene with Mat’s warning and Egwene mostly shrugs it off disbelievingly. Egwene searches for Gareth to question him. Egwene finds out that Davram Bashes has turned on Elayne. When Egwene finds Bryne, she questions him on the poor orders he has given, and orders he failed to give. Gareth gets annoyed at the situation; he is confused and distressed that he doesn’t understand what is happening. He has been giving orders, then seeing the holes in them. Egwene determines that Gareth Bryne is under compulsion and proposes the Hall relieves him of command. Bryne suggests relinquishing command to one of his officers. Egwene decides that there is only one General that they can be sure is not under compulsion: Matrim Cauthon.
Egwene wants Gareth to rest and sit the battle out, but he tells her that even though he cannot be trusted to command, he still has a sword. Egwene sends him to find Gawyn and Suian is sent to talk to Mat and Tuon.
Gareth Bryne runs into Elayne and tells her that Gawyn is missing and no one can find him. Gareth goes berserk when he feels Suian die through the warder bond. He launches himself at the trollocs and is killed. Birgitte later finds his body on the battlefield.
A Memory of Light
Gareth Bryne is a very intelligent military commander. He is recognized along with Pedron Niall, Davram Bashere, Agelmar Jaggad, and Rodel Ituralde as the five Great Captains. Gareth Bryne is a veteran blademaster who is still very capable in battle. He benefits from his warder bond to Suian Sanche.
Gareth Bryne has no notable possessions in the story outside of his manor house and land in Braem Wood in the north of Andor.
Gareth Bryne is one of the five great Captains of the Westlands. He served as Captain-General to the Andoran Queen’s Guard. He served as General to the Army of the White Tower and commanded the Kandori battlefront during the last battle. He was warder to Suian Sedai and was killed by trollocs when he became enraged at feeling Suian die when their bond was broken. Gareth Bryne will be remembered as a competent, confident Military leader who was genuinely humble.
In Other Media
No information has been released yet about the casting of Gareth Bryne in the upcoming Wheel of Time adaptation by Amazon Prime Video.