Battle by the Lakeshore
|Battle by the Lakeshore/The Fishfeed|
|Conflict||Dance of the Dragons|
|Place||Western Gods Eye, the riverlands|
|Result||Victory for the blacks|
The Battle by the Lakeshore, called the Fishfeed by its participants, was a battle along the shores of the Gods Eye in the riverlands during the Dance of the Dragons. It was the bloodiest land battle of the entire war.
During the Dance of the Dragons, House Lannister of the westerlands supported the greens, while House Stark of the north and most of the disorganized lords of the riverlands supported the blacks. Lord Jason Lannister led an army eastward in support of Aegon II Targaryen, but Jason was killed by Pate of Longleaf in the Battle at the Red Fork and Ser Adrian Tarbeck was later slain by Ser Harry Penny. The Lannister army continued slowly because of the age and infirmity of its wounded new commander, Lord Humfrey Lefford.
When the westermen reached the western shore of the Gods Eye, Lord Lefford discovered he was opposed by Lord Roderick Dustin with two thousand Winter Wolves, Lord Forrest Frey with two hundred knights and six hundred infantrymen, and Robb Rivers with three hundred archers from Raventree Hall. The westermen were quickly faced with another threat from the south, when Ser Pate of Longleaf arrived with survivors from previous battles in the war, as well as Lords Bigglestone, Chambers, and Perryn. The cautious Humfrey sent ravens to nearby Harrenhal to seek assistance from Prince Aemond Targaryen, but Red Robb shot down the dozen ravens.
The army of westermen were attacked at dawn the next morning. The Winter Wolves led the attack, charging the Lannister spearmen five times. Attacked by the blacks from three sides, the Lannister soldiers were forced into the Gods Eye. Hundreds died fighting amongst the lake's reeds, and hundreds of others drowned while trying to escape.
Two thousand soldiers were killed in the Battle by the Lakeshore, making it the bloodiest land battle of the war; the high number of casualties led to it being called the Fishfeed by its participants. The blacks lost Lords Frey, Bigglestone, and Charlton, and two-thirds of the northern soldiers were killed or wounded. The greens lost their commander, Lord Lefford, as well as Lords Swyft and Reyne and the knights Clarent Crakehall and Emory Hill. Young Lord Blackwood wept when he saw all of the dead.
The Lannisters' main army was totally destroyed in the battle, the flower of knighthood from all the Westerlands cut down in a single day. With only skeleton forces left to defend their home territory, Dalton Greyjoy opportunistically allied with Rhaenyra so the ironborn could plunder the coasts of the Westerlands, sacking Lannisport but failing to take Casterly Rock itself. Despite their disproportionate victory, the black armies in the riverlands were also badly mauled in the bloodbath.
In response to the greens' crushing defeat, Prince Aemond and Ser Criston Cole abandoned Harrenhal, with Aemond waging guerilla war atop Vhagar and Criston heading south to find Lord Ormund Hightower. The victorious rivermen avoided facing Criston's host directly, but wore him down with ambushes and scorched earth tactics, which included arranging the bodies of fallen soldiers from the Fishfeed in gruesome displays to frighten Criston's host (causing many to desert). The rivermen (and few surviving Winter Wolves) eventually cornered Criston's depleted army in the Butcher's Ball.