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Blackfyre Rebellion

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The Blackfyre Rebellion
First Blackfyre Rebellion
Part of Blackfyre Pretenders
Date 196AC
Location Westerlands, the Riverlands, the Reach
Battles Battle of the Redgrass Field
Result Decisive Targaryen victory


Belligerents
House TargaryenHouse Blackfyre
Notable commanders
King Daeron II Daemon Blackfyre
  • Ser Aegor Rivers
  • Ser Quentyn Ball
  • The Blackfyre Rebellion, at times also called the First Blackfyre Rebellion, developed out of a dynastic dispute involving the children of King Aegon IV Targaryen. The conflict was between House Targaryen and the pretenders of House Blackfyre and resulted in open civil war that divided the Seven Kingdoms over the Iron Throne.

    Contents

    Background

    King Aegon IV publicly bestowed the Targaryen sword of kings, Blackfyre, on his bastard Daemon instead of his legitimate son, Daeron Targaryen. Some felt that the sword symbolized the monarchy, as it had been the blade of Aegon the Conqueror, so the gift was the seed from which the Blackfyre Rebellions grew.[1][2]

    Aegon IV legitimised all of his bastards on his deathbed. His noble bastards were called the Great Bastards, the most notable of whom was Daemon, a great warrior and wielder of the Targaryen Blackfyre. He took the name Damon Blackfyre from the sword.

    In 184AC, Aegon IV was succeeded by Daeron II Targaryen. King Daeron was a cultured, scholarly man and reigned over a sophisticated court, attended by maesters and learned men, which was perceived as effete and overly-refined, not pleasing to many of his more martial courtiers and nobles. His marriage to the Dornish princess Myriah introduced foreign influences and manners to the court, further adding to the displeasure with his reign. In addition to the aggravation of the Dornish influences at court, popular rumours held that King Aegon IV's sister-wife Naerys had shared her affections with their other brother, Prince Aemon Targaryen, leading to the possibility that Daeron II was not the son of Aegon IV.

    War

    Open rebellion

    After more than a decade of building tension, open warfare erupted in 195AC. The immediate cause was Daemon Blackfyre's rage over King Daeron II Targaryen betrothing his sister Daenerys to Maron Martell, Prince of Dorne. However, Daemon rebelled so many years after Aegon the Unworthy's death for several reasons. One was his growing resentment at having the status of a bastard, and what it meant. Another was that he gained councillors who urged him to it.[3] Daeron sent the Kingsguard to arrest him, but Daemon escaped with the aid of Ser Quentyn Ball, the master-at-arms of the Red Keep.

    Daemon mustered a sizeable army against Daeron and was joined by his half-brother Aegor "Bittersteel" Rivers, a fellow Great Bastard. Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers, another Great Bastard, remained loyal to the king. On the small council, Bloodraven advocated a hard line against the rebels, winning out over Prince Baelor Breakspear's desire to pardon. Daemon began to mint his own coinage.

    Heavy fighting erupted over the next year, with the Riverlands particularly afflicted. Ser Quentyn Ball, known as "Fireball", attacked the Westerlands, killing Lord Lefford at the gates of Lannisport and then defeating Lord Damon Lannister in turn. At the crossing of the Mander, Ser Quentyn slew all of Lady Penrose's sons except for the youngest, whom he spared as a favour to the lady. A key general, Fireball was slain on the eve of the Battle of the Redgrass Field by an archer.[4]

    The Battle of the Redgrass Field

    Finally, at the Battle of the Redgrass Field in 196AC, Bittersteel and Blackfyre led a strong force against a royalist army commanded by Prince Maekar Targaryen and Lord Hayford, the Hand of the King. The fighting was heavy, with Lord Hayford slain.

    During the battle Blackfyre came face-to-face with Ser Gwayne Corbray of the Kingsguard, wielder of the Valyrian steel blade Lady Forlorn. Their duel was said to have lasted nearly an hour before Blackfyre gained the upper hand. However, by this time a second royalist force was approaching from the south led by Prince Baelor.

    Perhaps even more critical was that Bloodraven and his archers, the Raven's Teeth, captured and assumed a position atop the Weeping Ridge, which overlooked the battlefield and allowed them to rain arrows down among Blackfyre and his commanders. Bloodraven himself slew his half-brother Daemon Blackfyre and Daemon's twin sons Aemon and Aegon. The rebels began to rout, but Bittersteel rallied them by leading a charge that decimated the Raven's Teeth, taking out Bloodraven's eye in the process. However, Prince Baelor's Dornish spearmen gained the battlefield and crushed the rebel army against Maekar's shield wall.[5]

    It is unknown how many men took part in the final battle, but it is known that more than ten thousand died in the engagement, earning it the name Redgrass Field. With Daemon dead and his forces defeated, the rebellion was finished.

    Aftermath

    Singers would later immortalize the Battle of Redgrass Field with the song "The Hammer and Anvil", referring to Baelor and Maekar's strategy.

    Years after the war, Eustace Osgrey, a Blackfyre supporter, lamented that some houses supported both sides, that Manfred Lothston had proven treacherous to Daemon's cause, that storms had delayed the arrival of Lord Bracken with Myrish crossbowmen, and that Quickfinger had been caught with stolen dragon eggs. The timing of those events is unknown, but they probably occurred before or during the Redgrass Field.[5]

    Bittersteel was able to recover the sword Blackfyre from the battlefield and escape to the Free Cities, where Daemon's remaining sons had already fled. In exile, Daemon's descendants continued their struggle for the Iron Throne. Daemon's third son, Daemon II, was captured in the Second Blackfyre Rebellion. The last Blackfyre of the male line, Maelys the Monstrous, was slain during the War of the Ninepenny Kings by Ser Barristan Selmy, presumably ending the Blackfyre threat to the throne.

    Houses by Allegiance

    Loyalist (Targaryen supporters)


    Rebels (Blackfyre supporters)


    Supporters of both sides


    Quotes

    So many ifs, ser ... had any one come out differently, it could all have turned t'other way. Then we would be called the loyalists, and the red dragons would be remembered as men who fought to keep the usurper Daeron the Falseborn upon his stolen throne, and failed.[5]
    - Eustace Osgrey to Dunk


    Some old dead king gave a sword to one son instead of another, that was the start of it.[4]
    - thoughts of Dunk

    References and Notes

    1. So Spake Martin: SF, Targaryens, Valyria, Sansa, Martells, and More, June 26, 2001
    2. So Spake Martin: Targaryen History, April 20, 2008
    3. So Spake Martin: Private Meeting (Santa Fe, NM), May 4, 2004
    4. 4.0 4.1 The Mystery Knight.
    5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The Sworn Sword.

    This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Blackfyre_Rebellion#Blackfyre_Rebellion. The list of authors can be seen in the page history of Blackfyre_Rebellion#Blackfyre_Rebellion. As with A Wiki of Ice and Fire, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

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