12

Brandon the Builder, built both, the Wall and Storm's End, and both have "magic powers", as read in the books:

The Others cannot pass through the wall.

Magic cannot be used to pass through Storm's End walls, as seen with Melissandre, that had to enter inside the fortress to free her "shadow son".

Where do this powers come from? Was Brandon the Builder a wizard?

13

I think Brandon "the Builder" Stark is one of those mythical people who lived so long ago, no one is sure he ever existed. He also built Winterfell, as it happens.

The only explanation given on any of these things is that there are "spells" that are still active. Since Starks are not normally gifted with magic ("Three-eyed crow"-Bran being the exception), I think the implication is that he had help from the Children of the Forest. There are not many other who are overtly mentioned as having magic powers.

A connection between Stark and the Children of the Forest is implied in many ways, such as the close relationship between Ned and Howland Reed (who in description sounds like the last remnant of "mainstream CotF" in Westeros), Ned worshipping the Old Gods, and of course (silly spoiler):

the Three-eyed crow keeping track of Bran's abilities.

I don't think we will learn much more about Bran the Builder and his works. I think it is mainly there as a mystery plot device, intended to send tinglings down the reader's spines when they read that Coldhands cannot pass the wall. Although it does beg the question: If Brandon could do such wondrous things with the Wall and Storm's End (what the heck was he doing down there building a castle anyway?), what might he not have done with Winterfell? Is The Ghost of Winterfell perhaps something more than just Toothless Theon?

  • Seriously, man, you might want to add spoiler tags for the proper paragraphs.. – Kalissar May 14 '13 at 13:36
  • @Kalissar Are you guys drunk? Ned & Howland and Ned's worship of the old gods is in AGOT, as is Bran's mentor. The only possible spoiler there is the name, which is easily fixed. – TLP May 14 '13 at 13:52
  • @Kalissar Fair enough, it's a minor mystery thing, but its not relevant to the paragraph so then the better option is to remove it. – TLP May 14 '13 at 14:03
  • 1
    Thank you, I just was very surprised reading this, and just want to avoid the spoil for anyone else who would not have read the whole series. I deleted the above comment to avoid comment-spoilers. – Kalissar May 14 '13 at 14:12
  • @Kalissar It's not actually about the Cotf, just indirectly. When you read ADWD, it will become clear. – TLP May 14 '13 at 14:17
3

We still do not know exactly where these powers come from, but there is a legend that Children of the Forest helped in the construction of the Wall.

This is mentioned on the World of Ice and Fire (p.145). The exact quote is:

[...] These same legends also say that the children of the forest - who did not themselves build walls of either ice or stone - would contribute their magic to the construction. But the legends, as always, are of dubious value.

This kind of magic could be the kind of magic the Wall has. But it is not made clear, since the Maester says it is only a legend.

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