War of the Ninepenny Kings

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War of the Ninepenny Kings
Part of Blackfyre Pretenders
Barristan Selmy fights Maelys Blackfyre during the War of the Ninepenny Kings, as depicted by Jose Daniel Cabrera Pena in The World of Ice and Fire

Date 260 AC
Location Stepstones, Free Cities
Result Band of Nine fall from power
End of Blackfyre line.
Seven Kingdoms Band of Nine
  • Tyrosh
  • Golden Company
  • Jolly Fellows
  • Spotted Tom's sellswords
  • Liomond Lashare's sellswords
  • Old Mother's pirate fleet
  • Samarro Saan's pirate fleet
  • Notable commanders
    King Jaehaerys II Targaryen
    Lord Ormund Baratheon
    Ser Gerold Hightower
    Lord Quellon Greyjoy
    Ser Jason Lannister
    Lord Roger Reyne
    Maelys I Blackfyre
    Samarro Saan
    The Old Mother
    Xhobar Qhoqua
    Liomond Lashare
    Spotted Tom the Butcher
    Ser Derrick Fossoway
    Nine Eyes
    Alequo Adarys
    Ser Jason Lannister
    Ormund Baratheon
    Maelys I Blackfyre

    The War of the Ninepenny Kings (also known as the Fifth Blackfyre Rebellion) was a conflict involving several of the Free Cities, started by a group of ambitious men known as the Band of Nine. After the Band set their sights on Westeros, Jaehaerys II dispatched an army to defeat them.[1][2]


    Late during the reign of King Aegon V Targaryen, the Blackfyres re-emerged to trouble the Seven Kingdoms. In 258 AC news reached King's Landing that the so-called Band of Nine, a group of ambitious power-seekers in Essos, had come together under the Tree of Crowns, where they vowed to aid one another in achieving their goals. Prominent among them was Maelys Blackfyre, who was said to have consumed his twin in the womb, resulting in a second head growing out of his neck.[3] A few years before, Maelys had won the command of the Golden Company by killing his cousin Daemon and was determined to reclaim his rightful throne as last of the Blackfyre line.[3] When told of these events, Prince Duncan Targaryen famously quipped that...

    "crowns were being sold nine a penny".[3]

    Afterwards the Band of Nine became known in Westeros as the Ninepenny Kings.[3] However most men thought that the threat posed by these pretenders would be countered by the might of the Free Cities. Nonetheless preparations were made to make sure the Blackfyres could not land in Westeros.[3]


    When Jaehaerys II Targaryen came onto his throne after the death of his father, King Aegon V, in the Tragedy of Summerhall in 259 AC, he was immediately plunged into war. The Band of Nine had met their goals with initial success, conquering the Disputed Lands and securing the Free City of Tyrosh, setting up Alequo Adarys, the Silvertongue as its ruler. Second, they secured the Stepstones as a base for operations against Westeros.[2]

    Jaehaerys II recognized the threat and sent a large force to the Stepstones to remove the danger before it grew any larger. Although he was willing to command his forces himself, the king was dissuaded from this by his Hand Ormund Baratheon, who took the command upon himself.[2] The task force included a fleet of one hundred longships sent by Lord Quellon Greyjoy of the Iron Islands, and a force of eleven thousand knights and men-at-arms sent by Lord Tytos Lannister of the Westerlands.[4] When the Targaryen host landed upon the Stepstones in 260 AC, the fighting began in earnest.[2][5]

    Lord Ormund was one of the first casualties of the war, dying in the arms of his young son, Ser Steffon.[2] Command then passed to Gerold Hightower of the Kingsguard.[2] This was the last time prior to the War of the Five Kings that the regional warden titles were activated. Several young Knights and lords distinguished themselves in the battle, including Brynden Tully, Steffon Baratheon, Tywin Lannister and Aerys II Targaryen.[6] But in the end it was the young Barristan Selmy, who cut a bloody path though the Golden Company's ranks to slay Maelys the Monstrous, the last of the Blackfyre Pretenders in single combat, and ended the threat to the Seven Kingdoms.[7][8][9]


    It took another six years before the Band of Nine's holdings in Essos were lost. Alequo Adarys was eventually poisoned by his queen and the Archon returned to power.[2]

    Steffon Baratheon became Lord of Storm's End, after his father died in the war. He remained close friends with both the young Aerys Targaryen and Tywin Lannister. It was Tywin who, as a new-made knight himself, was given the honor to give Prince Aerys his spurs, after fighting gallantly in the war.[6] Tywin himself became bitter and hardened, particularly against his ineffectual father Tytos Lannister, who had not taken part in the war, rather remaining at home with his mistress. These tensions would soon erupt in the Reyne-Tarbeck revolt in 261 AC.[10]

    Lord Hoster Tully became acquainted with Lord Baelish during this event which subsequently led to Hoster taking Baelish's son, Petyr, on as a ward.[11]

    The Blackfyres were extinguished in the male line thanks to Barristan Selmy. When the next opening presented itself, Selmy was named to the Kingsguard,[12], an opening he accepted, despite being heir to Harvest Hall and being betrothed.[13]


    1. George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Jaehaerys II Targaryen.
    2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys II.
    3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon V.
    4. Unabridged "The Westerlands" chapter from The World of Ice and Fire
    5. The World of Ice and Fire, The Iron Islands: The Old Way and the New.
    6. 6.0 6.1 The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
    7. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 55, The Queensguard.
    8. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
    9. A Game of Thrones RPG and Resource Book, Guardians of Order
    10. The World of Ice and Fire, The Westerlands: House Lannister Under the Dragons.
    11. So Spake Martin: US Signing Tour (Half Moon Bay, CA) (November 18, 2005)
    12. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
    13. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.

    This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Wars in A Song of Ice and Fire. The list of authors can be seen in the page history of Wars in A Song of Ice and Fire. 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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