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Characters / A Song Of Ice And Fire House Dustin

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This is a listing of the members of House Dustin and it's vassals who appear in the Fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. Visit here for the main character index.

For the main Northern entry, see here.

House Dustin of Barrowton

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/a459dcf6ee9d7d3d5024700ba973e7d9.jpg
"Fear is what keeps a man alive in this world of treachery and deceit. Even here in Barrowton the crows are circling, waiting to feast upon our flesh."
Roose Bolton
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A powerful Northern noble house seated at Barrow Hall in the town of Barrowton, from where they rule over the Barrowlands. During the Age of Heroes they ruled as Barrow Kings, styling themselves Kings of the First Men, until they bent the knee to House Stark. They have a few smaller house sworn to them, including House Stout. Their arms portray two rusted longaxes with black shafts crossed, a black crown between their points, on yellow. Their words are not known.

Tropes related to House Dustin:

  • Demoted to Dragon: The Dustins ruled as Barrow kings before becoming Stark vassals. The black crown in their sigil is a reference to their past kingship.
  • Heroic Lineage: The Dustins claim descent from The First King. According to one legend, the Great Barrow upon which Barrow Hall is built contains the grave of the First King. A book called Passages of the Dead by Maester Kennet claims a curse was placed on the Great Barrow allowing none to rival the First King and that those who tried, including the Dustin's Barrow Kings, would be made weakened and corpselike.
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  • Theme Naming: Everything they rule has "barrow" in the name.

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    Lady Barbrey Dustin 

Lady Barbrey Dustin (née Ryswell)

"The day I learned that Brandon was to marry Catelyn Tully, though... there was nothing sweet about that pain. He never wanted her, I promise you that. He told me so, on our last night together... but Rickard Stark had great ambitions too. Southron ambitions that would not be served by having his heir marry the daughter of one of his own vassals."

Current head of House Dustin and Lady of Barrowton. Daughter of Lord Rodrik Ryswell and a close ally of Roose Bolton (being his sister-in-law). Her personal sigil is the quartered sigil of House Dustin with the golden horsehead of her father Rodrik Ryswell


  • Always Second Best: She was scorned from marrying Brandon Stark. She married Willam Dustin and her sister Bethany married Roose Bolton, so she switched her allegiance to the second most powerful house of the North.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Or, at least, very, very bitter.
  • Arranged Marriage: To Willam Dustin. They had been married less than half-a-year when Willam went to fight in Robert's Rebellion. She did not make herself illusions regarding her short marriage to Lord Willam, she argues that they would have been happy had they had the time... but he went South when Ned called the banners.
  • The Baroness: Of the Rosa Klebb type.
  • Les Collaborateurs: One of the few voluntary supporters of the Bolton regime.
  • Create Your Own Villain: She would have been loyal to the Starks due to her love of Brandon Stark if Eddard Stark had simply brought her husband's bones back to the North instead of burying him in Dorne.
  • The Dark Chick: For Roose Bolton's forces in Winterfell.
  • Due to the Dead: A twisted version. She means to feed Ned's bones to her dogs because he brought his sister's bones north but not her husband's. She considers this fair retribution.
  • Enemy Mine: She switched her allegiance from the Starks to the Boltons (their historic rivals) due to the fact that Ned Stark left her husband's remains at Dorne with a half-assed explanation and showing no intention of ever going to retrieve them.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Hates Ramsay Snow, suspecting him in the death of her nephew, Domeric Bolton. Though they are allies, she's not a big fan of Roose either. She also dislikes the Freys, having lost men at the Red Wedding, and reminds them that "the North remembers".
  • Evil Is Petty: She vows to make sure that Ned's bones are never buried in Winterfell out of spite that he did not bring Willam's bones back North with him, only the horse she had given him. She plans to feed Ned's bones to her dogs if she ever finds them:
    Lady Barbrey: Ned Stark returned the horse to me on his way back home to Winterfell. He told me that my lord had died an honorable death, that his body had been laid to rest beneath the red mountains of Dorne. He brought his sister's bones back north, though, and there she rests... but I promise you, Lord Eddard’s bones will never rest beside hers. I mean to feed them to my dogs.
  • Evil Wears Black: Always dresses in black, and is Roose's one true supporter in the North who would stay with him if the truth ever came out about his participation in the Red Wedding and Ramsay Snow sacking Winterfell.
  • Freudian Excuse: Her hatred of the Starks stems from her previous desire to be a Stark by marrying Brandon Stark, only to have that denied to her despite them being lovers due to Lord Rickard Stark's southern ambitions requiring him to marry Brandon to Catelyn Tully. This was compounded by her eventual husband's bones not being returned to her by Ned Stark, despite him bringing his sister Lyanna's bones back from the south.
  • High Collar of Doom: Several of her outfits are mentioned to have this.
  • Ice Queen: Utterly cold and haughty, she is extremely unapproachable and feared.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: She wanted to be a Stark; she was devoted and loyal to them and she was a good suitor... but they screwed her over again and again. It reached a point where they could not ever make amends with her (and they didn't even try), so she turned away from them never to look back.
  • Iron Lady: According to Theon, Lady Dustin is still a very beautiful woman, though she is the only person in Winterfell who treats him in accordance to his name and office; while she is respectful and graceful, this does not mean that she is a kind woman.
  • Irrational Hatred: She really hates maesters, convinced they are part of a grand conspiracy and are the ones truly in charge of many lords' actions. This stems from Lord Rickard Stark's maester Walys proposing the marriage of Brandon Stark to a Tully. In the series' usual irony, she's right... just not for the reasons she thinks, as the maester's grand conspiracy has more to do with controlling cultural perspectives than governments and not all maesters are keen on it.
  • Kick the Dog: You are removed from the person you love and he is given away to a Southern lady; you marry another man, a decent man, and you enjoy six months of marriage; he travels South to avenge the death of your original lover, his lord father and the kidnapping of his sister when their brother calls for the banners; your husband is killed in battle rescuing the sister; this brother of your original lover says that your husband did a terrific job and that he left his remains waaaay south where they can basically never be found while giving no reason whatsoever for not bringing them... while carrying your original lover's and kidnapped sister's remains. And no, he's never going south to bring them for you. No wonder Lady Dustin hated Ned Stark.
  • Not So Above It All: She has spent a lifetime being heartbroken and sorrowful of the fact that she was not allowed to be part of the Stark family. Also, Barbrey might be Roose Bolton's closest ally, but she certainly didn't like losing Dustin and Ryswell men at the Red Wedding; not only that, but she also fiercely hates Ramsay, who she suspects killed her nephew Domeric and she is livid at the fact that Roose did nothing about it.
  • Parental Substitute: To her nephew Domeric Bolton. As she remained a widower, Barbrey came to think of Domeric as her own son. Her anger at Roose (other than losing men at the Red Wedding) comes from the fact that Roose basically sat on his hands doing nothing when Ramsay killed Domeric.
  • Pet the Dog: Treats Theon Greyjoy far better than anybody else during the events of A Dance With Dragons, even referring to him as lord at some points. This stems from their once mutual desire to be Starks.
    Barbrey: Why do you love the Starks?
    Theon: I... I wanted to be one of them...
    Barbrey: And never could. We have more in common than you know, my lord.
  • The Resenter: She blames Rickard Stark and his maester for taking her love, Brandon Stark, away from her. She also hates Ned Stark for burying her husband in Dorne and not the North.
  • The Un-Reveal:
    • It's still not clear why Rickard Stark pursued in betrothing Brandon to Catelyn Tully as suggested by Maester Walys, spurning Barbrey, as she argues that Brandon loved her back and that she was socially not that far below Brandon to warrant being rejected.
    • Also, it's also not known why Ned Stark did not bring Lord Dustin's remains back to the North after the incident at the Tower of Joy at Dorne, eliciting the ire of Barbrey.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Yup, she's hit the nail on the head: the Citadel isn't as neutral as it claims to be, and many individual maesters follow personal agendas that all too often do include picking sides they technically shouldn't support. She's just wildly wrong with how and why. And, forgets that personal pride usually plays some part, rather than institutional schemes or familial ties: after all, they're just a bunch of people.
  • Slasher Smile: Gives one to Aenys Frey when reminding him that all of the Northern houses lost men at the Red Wedding, including hers, and that they will never forgive or forget that.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Claims she and Brandon Stark were this, with him even having taken her maidenhead, and that he had not wanted to marry Catelyn Tully.
  • Widow Woman: And it has made her very spiteful.
  • Woman Scorned: The Starks have unwittingly done everything possible to undermine her and her position, as she has been the unintended victim of their political and logistic decisions. Her main motive for anger is the rejection of her betrothed with Brandon Stark.

    Lord Willam Dustin 

Lord Willam Dustin

The former head of House Dustin, killed during Robert's Rebellion.


  • Always Second Best: Invoked. He married Barbrey Rysweel after she was rejected as Brandon Stark's betrothed; Brandon dies at King's Landing she ended up losing Willam to the Starks as well, earning them her anger.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Ned Stark never disclosed why he left the remains of Lord Willam at Dorne nor why he never brought them back to the North. This was seen as a slight by Barbrey Ryswell, who switched her allegiance to the Boltons.
  • Arranged Marriage: To Barbrey Ryswell. They had been married less than half-a-year when Willam went to fight in Robert's Rebellion.
  • Cool Horse: A great red stallion given to him by House Ryswell as a wedding gift. He rode it to war in the south, and it was the only thing which Ned brought back North to return to Barbrey.
  • The Faceless: Ned Stark has trouble remembering his face.
  • It Began with a Twist of Fate: His death and the whole situation regarding his remains led to his widow Barbrey to switch the allegiance of the houses Dustin and Ryswell to the Bolton side against the Starks.
  • Last of His Kind: Barbrey never had children with him and no other Dustins have been mentioned in the books, so his keep and lands will most likely become House Ryswell's property. He is at the very least the last Dustin of the house's main line.
  • Posthumous Character: He died years before the series began, but is mentioned by several characters and appears in one of Ned's dreams.
  • Pride: When Ned called his banners, Willam could have sent some of his relatives to fight. Instead, his honor made him go himself.
  • True Companions: With Ned and the other warriors who went to the Tower of Joy.

Historical Dustins

    Lord Roderick Dustin 

Lord Roderick Dustin

Roddy the Ruin

"Best make an end to these lions before the dragons come."

Lord of Barrowton during the Dance of the Dragons, he sided with Rhaenyra Targaryen and became one of her top generals.


  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The highest ranked Northern lord who fought in the Dance, and he was one of the most feared and capable commanders on the side of the Blacks.
  • The Berserker: He and his Winter Wolves were known for throwing themselves headfirst into the worst part of the battle, screaming war cries as they cut through the enemy with little regard for their own lives.
  • Blood-Splattered Warrior: By the end of his final battle Roderick was covered in his own blood and the blood of many foes.
    Archmaester Gyldayn: As the singers tell it, Lord Roderick was blood from head to heel as he came on, with splintered shield and cracked helm, yet so drunk with battle that he did not even seem to feel his wounds.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: At the First Battle of Tumbleton, his shield arm was cut off by Ser Bryndon Hightower, but Roderick retaliated by killing Bryndon and then Lord Ormund Hightower before dying of his wounds.
  • Four-Star Badass: Commanded 2,000 Northmen who were known as the Winter Wolves, who won several critical battles during the war.
  • Frontline General: As per the norm for Northerner commanders, he fought alongside his men.
  • If You Thought That Was Bad...: Relax, sit back and imagine what would have happened if Cregan Stark had sent more Northmen under the command of Lord Dustin.
  • Long Dead Badass: He has been dead for nearly around 170 years by the time of A Song of Ice and Fire.
  • The Paragon: One of the greatest military commanders in the history of Westeros and he isn't from a house that is close to second in the North; the amount of mayhem he gave to the Greens was borderline absurd. Lord Roderick gives a prime example of what a Northern army, even a relatively small one, can accomplish with the right commander and the right drive.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Staunchly refuses to fight Ser Criston Cole in single combat, as the Kingsguard was a sizable opponent; instead, Dustin orders him shot down with arrows.
  • Screaming Warrior
  • Straight for the Commander: His strategy at Tumbleton, where he charged at Ormund and killed him and Bryndon. Despite dying himself, Roderick's strategy works since Ormund's army doesn't last long past his death.
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Vassal Houses

     House Stout 

House Stout of Goldgrass

A petty noble house sworn to House Dustin. Their seat is Goldgrass, a small keep near the eastern gate of Barrowton.

Tropes related to House Stout:

  • The Ghost: Ronnel Stout, a warrior who served under Roose Bolton during the War of Five Kings.

Lord Harwood Stout

The grizzled old Lord of Goldgrass.


  • An Arm and a Leg: Missing one arm.
  • Mouth of Sauron: As Lady Dustin has barred Ramsay from Barrow Hall and suspects he poisoned his trueborn half-brother Domeric, it falls to Lord Harwood to host Ramsay at Goldgrass.
  • Satellite Character: In A Dance with Dragons.

Ser Wynton Stout

An elderly knight of House Stout who serves in the Night's Watch.

See the Night's Watch Rangers page.

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