According to legend, Bael the Bard climbed the Wall, took the kingsroad, and entered Winterfell as a singer under the name Sygerrik of Skagos. There he sang until midnight for Lord Brandon Stark. Impressed by Bael's skills as a singer, Brandon asked him what he wanted as a reward. Bael answered by requesting the most beautiful flower blooming in Winterfell's gardens. As the blue winter roses were just blooming, Brandon agreed to offer him one. The following morning the single virgin daughter of the lord had disappeared. In her bed was the rose Bael had received from her father.
Lyanna Stark loved the scent of blue winter roses. During the tourney at Harrenhal, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen named Lyanna the queen of love and beauty instead of his wife, Elia Martell, giving Lyanna a garland of blue roses.
A Game of Thrones
Eddard Stark recalls that when his sister Lyanna died, rose petals spilled from her palm, now dead and black. In a fever dream about the combat at the tower of joy, Eddard sees blue rose petals blowing across the sky. In a later dream, the statue of Lyanna Stark in the crypt of Winterfell has a garland of pale blue roses.
A Clash of Kings
After capturing Winterfell, Theon Greyjoy dreams of the feast that Eddard held for King Robert I Baratheon at Winterfell, except the feasters are all dead. Although he never met her, Theon thinks his vision of a slim, sad girl wearing a crown of pale blue roses can only be Lyanna.
—dream of Eddard Stark
Ned remembered the moment when all the smiles died, when Prince Rhaegar Targaryen urged his horse past his own wife, the Dornish princess Elia Martell, to lay the queen of beauty's laurel in Lyanna's lap. He could see it still: a crown of winter roses, blue as frost. Ned Stark reached out his hand to grasp the flowery crown, but beneath the pale blue petals the thorns lay hidden. He felt them clawing at his skin, sharp and cruel, saw the slow trickle of blood run down his fingers, and woke, trembling, in the dark.—dream of Eddard Stark
Ygritte: And she never sung you the song o' the winter rose?
Jon: I never knew my mother. Or any such song.
Now as it happened the winter roses had only then come into bloom, and no flower is so rare nor precious.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 51, Jon VI.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 39, Eddard X.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 48, Daenerys IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 56, Theon V.