Balon Greyjoy

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Greyjoy coat sigil.png
Balon Greyjoy
Greyjoy coat sigil.png
Balon Greyjoy.jpg
Balon Greyjoy by Amok©
Biographical Information
Reign 289AC-289AC
299AC - 299AC
Full Name Balon Greyjoy, the Ninth of His Name Since the Grey King
Alias Balon the Brave
Balon the Blessed
Balon the Twice Crowned
The Kraken King
Other Titles Iron King
King of the Iron Islands and the North
King of Salt and Rock
Son of the Sea Wind
Lord Reaper of Pyke
Captain of the Great Kraken
Died in 299AC, at Pyke
Family
Royal House House Greyjoy
Heir Theon Greyjoy
Successor Euron Greyjoy
Queen Alannys Harlaw
Father Quellon Greyjoy
References
Books A Game of Thrones (Mentioned)
A Clash of Kings (Appears)
A Storm of Swords (Mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (Mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (Mentioned)
Played by Patrick Malahide
TV series Season 2 | Season 3

Balon Greyjoy is the head of House Greyjoy of Pyke and is the Lord of the Iron Islands. He is captain of the Great Kraken.[1] He is a follower of the Old Way of the ironborn and desires to bring them back to prominence. In 289AC he proclaimed their independence from the Iron Throne but was defeated by King Robert Baratheon's forces. In the TV series, Balon is played by Patrick Malahide.[2]

Contents

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Balon Greyjoy

Balon has a personality to match his people: stubborn, fearless, and quarrelsome. He is uncompromising even when it comes to his own family, and his faith in the Old Way is absolute.[3]

Balon had always been thin, but by 299AC he is gaunt with a hard face. He has hard black eyes with long grey hair flecked with white that hangs past the small of his back.[1] See also this collection of images.

History

Early life

Balon is the eldest surviving son of Lord Quellon Greyjoy and a lady of House Sunderly. It is not clear when he was born.

Balon learned to sail when still young and was a very skilled captain. Balon scaled the Flint Cliffs to the Blind Lord's haunted tower when he was ten. By his thirteenth year, he had become an expert oarsman. At fifteen he sailed with Dagmer Cleftjaw to the Stepstones on a reaving, killing his first man and taking his first two salt wives there. By seventeen he captained his own longship.[4] Later he often went raiding and was known for his fierceness and fearlessness.

Balon succeeded his father as Lord Reaper of Pyke when the latter died during a raiding journey. When he returned to Pyke he found out his younger brother, Urrigon, had died of gangrene after being injured in the finger dance. The maester had tried to save the hand of the boy, but his potions had failed and the fourteen-year-old Urrigon lost his life instead. Balon commanded the same treatment be used on the maester, who died along with Balon's stepmother.[4]

Balon is married to Alannys Harlaw, who gave him three sons and a daughter: Rodrik, Maron, Asha, and Theon.

First Rebellion

Main article: Greyjoy Rebellion

In the past the ironborn raided their neighbors and practiced the Old Way. They used to attack, killing any who resisted, taking thralls and salt wives, and leaving before an army could assemble. An ironborn man took pride in not having to pay for jewelery, but taking it from those too weak to hold it ("paying the iron price"). They ruled large parts of Westeros, including the Riverlands, Bear Island and the Arbor. After Aegon's Conquest, however, they lost their independence and were not allowed to raid other territories of Westeros. Balon wished to return to those customs, which he considered a better way for the ironborn.

Balon watched as Robert Baratheon overthrew the Targaryens, taking no part in Robert's Rebellion. Balon was quick to seize the chance to revert to the ways of old when he thought that King Robert's recently-gained rule, through conquest, was unstable. Believing Robert would not have the support, the men, or the will to resist, Balon launched his own rebellion and declared himself King of the Iron Islands.

Balon kneels to Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark

The ironborn won early success when they attacked Lannisport and destroyed its fleet, but Balon's triumph was short lived. His eldest son, Rodrik, died at the walls of Seagard and his fleet and forces were defeated, while his second son, Maron, died while defending Pyke. Balon was forced to accept defeat and bent the knee, re-swearing fealty to the Baratheons, allowing his sole surviving son, ten-year-old Theon, to be taken hostage by Lord Eddard Stark to Winterfell.[1] Balon and his wife, Alannys, grew apart after the deaths of Rodrik and Maron and the taking of Theon.

In 297AC one of Balon's brothers, Euron, seduced the wife of another brother, Victarion. To prevent bloodshed between the brothers Balon sent Euron into exile and swore he would be killed if he returned. To keep his honor Victarion killed his wife.

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

Main article: War of the Five Kings
King Balon sitting on his throne - by Amok ©

Though defeated, Balon Greyjoy never gave up on his desire to become King of the Iron Islands, and at the outbreak of the War of the Five Kings an opportunity presents itself. Balon assembles his fleet and orders all ships which visit the Iron Islands to remain so he will have the element of surprise.

Robb Stark, the King in the North, sends Balon's surviving son, Theon, to Pyke as an envoy with an offer to ally with Balon against the Lannisters.[1] Insulted, Balon spurns the offer and instead he declares himself King of the Iron Islands and the North. Balon sends his brother, Victarion, the Lord Captain of the Iron Fleet, to capture Moat Cailin. The ironborn's taking of the Neck cuts off Robb's army, which has been campaigning in the Riverlands and the Westerlands, from the North. Balon sends other ironborn forces, led by his daughter, Asha, Theon, and Dagmer Cleftjaw, to ravage the western coastline of the North, including the Stony Shore.

The ironborn forces are able to conquer a number of northern castles because most of their soldiers had left with Robb to fight in the south. Amongst these are Deepwood Motte, Torrhen's Square and the seat of the Starks, Winterfell.[5][6][7][8]

A Storm of Swords

Balon styles himself the Ninth of His Name Since the Grey King, King of the Iron Islands and the North, King of Salt and Rock, Son of the Sea Wind, and Lord Reaper of Pyke.[9]

Balon dies in a fall while crossing a bridge during a storm in 299AC.[10][11] Some portents and the timely return of his exiled brother, Euron, lead to speculation that Balon may have been murdered by an assassin at Euron's command.[12][13][14]

Balon standing near Pyke - by Amok ©

A Feast for Crows

When Aeron Greyjoy is informed of his older brother's death, he thinks back to the last time he saw Balon upon returning from the Stony Shore. He recalls while Balon's grey hair had turned half-white and the stoop in his shoulder more pronounced, his King had not seemed ill.[4]

After Balon's death, his daughter, Asha, and his brothers, Victarion and Euron, are among the candidates to succeed him.[4][14][15] His surviving son, Theon, had been taken prisoner by the Boltons and is not able to press his claim.[16][17] Euron "Crow's Eye" returns to the Iron Islands the day after Balon's death, but his claim is vehemently opposed by another brother, Aeron Damphair. Balon's favored successor was Asha, but Aeron does not believe a woman can rule the ironborn. Aeron instead supports Victarion.[4]

The matter is decided during a kingsmoot at Nagga's Hill organized by Aeron.[15] Despite the efforts of Asha and Victarion, amongst others, Euron, Balon's eldest brother, is chosen as his successor after he promises to conquer the whole of Westeros with the power of dragons.[18]

Quotes by Balon

Balon: The pup says nothing about a reward. Only that you speak for him, and I am to listen, and give him my sails and swords, and in return he will give me a crown. He will give me a crown...

Theon: A poor choice of words, what is meant is-

Balon: What is meant is what is said. The boy will give me a crown. And what is given can be taken away. [1]

- Balon to Theon while refusing Robb Stark's offer


I am the Greyjoy, Lord Reaper of Pyke, King of Salt and Rock, Son of the Sea Wind, and no man gives me a crown. I pay the iron price. I will take my crown, as Urron Redhand did five thousand years ago.[1]
- Balon to Theon


Did Ned Stark dress you like that? Was it his pleasure to garb you in velvets and silks and make you his own sweet daughter? [1]
- Balon to Theon

Quotes about Balon

Captain of the Myraham: The way I heard it in Lordsport, there was a blow coming in from the west, rain and thunder, and old King Balon was crossing one of them bridges when the wind got hold of it and just tore the thing to pieces. He washed up two days later, all bloated and broken. Crabs ate his eyes, I hear.

The Greatjon: King crabs, I hope, to sup upon such royal jelly, eh? [10]

- Upon his death


My brother Balon made us great again, which earned the Storm God's wrath. He feasts now in the Drowned God's watery halls, with mermaids to attend his every want. It shall be for us who remain behind to finish his great work.[4]
- Aeron Greyjoy

Family

Lady of House Stonetree
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Quellon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lady of House Piper
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lady of House Sunderly
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Harlon
 
Quenton
 
Donel
 
Balon
 
Alannys Harlaw
 
Euron "Crow's Eye"
 
Victarion
 
Urrigon
 
Aeron "Damphair"
 
Robin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rodrik
 
Maron
 
Asha
 
Theon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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