His hair is black, streaked with gray at the temples.
Little is known of Bryne's early life, save he was born in Kore Springs, a small town in Braem Wood in the northeast of Andor. His father was a noble, and House Bryne is an old house, though minor. He joined the Queen's Guard in the 950s or 960s NE and rose to the rank of Captain-General during the reign of Queen Mordrellen Mantear. He served Queen Mordrellen and, after the Third Succession War, Queen Morgase Trakand, ably and well. He is typically referred to as an extremely capable and experienced warrior and influential member of the Andoran government, likely a result of resolution of conflicts unmentioned.
During a dispute over Murandian raids into the Andoran border, he is severely upbraided by the Amyrlin Seat, Siuan Sanche, in front of his men. Years later Siuan explains why Bryne was not allowed to interfere. The White Tower had identified a young Murandy border lord named Dulain who could one day unify all of Murandy. She didn't want Bryne's soldiers to kill him. Unfortunately the young lord is killed a month later by an Andoran farmer during a sheep raid.
He served both Queen Mordrellen and Queen Morgase as First Prince of the Sword, the former after the disappearance of her son Luc, and the latter until her son Gawyn came of age, although before this could happen he was dismissed from service by Morgase on the advice of Lord Gaebril, in 999 NE.
After his dismissal, Bryne headed back to his family's manor in Kore Springs. He stays there with a small group of retainers, taking an active part of the village's affairs, albeit reluctantly. It's there that he had a run-in with Siuan Sanche, Leane and Min, who had caused some damage to a farmer's homestead, and he dealt out their punishment. When they ran away Bryne set out after them, and found them along with the rebel Aes Sedai in Salidar.
He presented himself before the Sisters there and explained why he had come, learning that it is the former Amyrlin Siuan Sanche he had been pursuing. After he was 'given' the runaways so they may fulfill their sentences, the rebel Aes Sedai approached Bryne about building an army for them. He grudgingly agreed, and has developed a growing respect for the Amyrlin Seat of the rebels, Egwene al'Vere. He says that he will follow where she leads, and that his army is hers to command. It is also strongly impled that he is in love with Siuan, and her with him, though their strong wills mean that a love-hate relationship seems to have formed.
With the Salidar Army
He reports to Egwene with the news that an Andoran army led by Pelivar Coelan and Arathelle Renshar with a few Murandy lords and their retainers are on the move to intercept the Salidar army. She sends him away to set up a meeting with them. He then escorts Egwene to the meeting and just about declares his loyalty to her publicly.
Bryne is currently commanding the rebel Aes Sedai army besieging Tar Valon. He accompanies Egwene, when she surveys the area around Tar Valon. He informs her that the siege will be pointless while the rivers remain open.
Bryne reveals his reasons for chasing Siuan about her oaths and gains respect for her when he learns why she broke it. He also manages to deduce that Siuan is still meeting with Egwene while she is in captivity, in Tel'aran'rhiod. Siuan sends him a warning that Elaida a'Roihan's White Tower can now Travel as well. Gawyn leaves the Younglings and asks to meet with Bryne. The two talk and Bryne fills Gawyn in on Elayne taking the Lion Throne and Rand defeating Rahvin. Gawyn leads Bryne to Shemerin, who was hiding amongst the washing ladies. Bryne pushes Gawyn to reveal where the Younglings are so he can muster a force against them. Gawyn refuses which causes Bryne to ask what side Gawyn is on and that he will need to choose one before the end.
During the Seanchan attack on the White Tower, Gawyn and Siuan conscript Bryne into leading a rescue mission for Egwene. Bryne agrees with two conditions, one being that Siuan bonds him as her Warder which she immediately does. The second condition is later revealed that she agrees to marry him. Min's viewing is proved true when Bryne saves Siuan's life from a Seanchan assassin. As the assassin dies he shoots a poisoned dart unseen into Bryne. Siuan remembers Min's warning and carries out a Delving on Bryne. She Heals Bryne and prevents the assassin's poison from killing him. The group then find an exhausted Egwene and take her back to camp. Egwene finally gives Bryne the order to prepare his armies for attack. After everyone is in place Egwene tells Bryne to wait for an hour before attacking the White Tower. When the hour is up Bryne is about to give the signal when a delegation is spotted from the White Tower. They ask Egwene to become their Amyrlin, which halts all thought of bloodshed.
The White Tower General
He comes to Siuan's side when Rand enters the White Tower. Bryne steps to block Rand when he walks over to talk to her. Rand continues his conversation with Siuan around him. Gawyn comes to visit him in his quarters and asks what he should do with his situation with Egwene. Bryne gives him a very ambiguous answer.
The Last Battle
Bryne is present during the signing of the Dragon's Peace. Rand has Bryne sign the document as well, just in case he raises to a position of leadership. At the Field of Merrilor, Elayne sets up an initial war council. Bryne wishing to completely sever ties with Andor, asks to take command of the war-front in Kandor. There he will lead the White Tower faction in battle against the Trollocs. Bryne also insists on the Illianer Companions to be part of their force. With the help of Yukiri Haruna, Bryne has started using gateways as a window to observe the enemy lines. He uses this to also look at his own lines. Egwene confronts him about only using Aes Sedai as a relief force. She wants the Aes Sedai to be more active in attacking the enemy. Bryne already had the plans ready for this and puts them into play.
They are routed when Demandred unexpectedly brings his Sharan's army into battle. In addition, Graendal manipulates Bryne, as she does the other Great Captains, using Compulsion. She forces him to subtly alter his battle plans to force the army to lose to the Shadowspawn. This is detected in time to stop the defeat and Bryne is relieved of command. Bryne continues to fight, until the attack on the command post where Siuan is killed. At that moment he goes berserk, throwing himself into the Trollocs. He is killed and Birgitte recovers his body.
One of Min Farshaw's viewing revealed that he must always be near Siuan Sanche, otherwise one or both of them may die. (fulfilled - Siuan dies when Gareth is not around and he goes into a Warder rage and dies.)
A potted biography of Bryne is given by Gawyn in The Eye of the World, which states he served in Andor's army for the past three queens and was Captain-General and First Prince of the Sword for the last two. This would indicate he joined the army during the reign of Queen Mordrellen's predecessor and became Captain-General and First Prince of the Sword during her reign (which began before 968 NE and ended with her death in 972). This would clash with the information given (in The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time) that one Aranvor Naldwinn served as Captain-General during the Aiel War (976-978 NE) and was killed at the Battle of the Shining Walls. It is possible that the prolonged absence of a large contingent of Andoran troops - 28,000 men - during the war necessitated the temporary appointment of a second Captain-General. The Gathering Storm furthers the confusion by stating that Bryne was only an under-captain during the Aiel War.
Gareth Bryne is based on Sir Gareth, one of King Arthur's nephews and a Knight of the Round Table.