Fighting at Bitterbridge

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Fighting at Bitterbridge
Conflict War of the Five Kings
Date 299 AC
Place Bitterbridge, the Reach
Result House Tyrell victory
Combatants
Stannis sigil coat.png House Baratheon of Dragonstone:

The Reach

House Tyrell.svg The Reach, led by House Tyrell
Commanders
Ser Parmen Crane
Ser Errol Florent
Ser Loras Tyrell
Lord Randyll Tarly
Casualties
Heavy
Ser Parmen Crane (POW)
Ser Errol Florent (POW)

Fighting at Bitterbridge occurs during the War of the Five Kings in the aftermath of the death of King Renly Baratheon and the fall of Storm's End to King Stannis Baratheon.

Prelude

Renly Baratheon holds a great melee at Bitterbridge during his march toward King's Landing.[1] After hearing that his older brother Stannis has besieged Storm's End, Renly leaves his foot at Bitterbridge with his queen, Margaery Tyrell,[2] and rides east with his horse to confront Stannis.[3] Melisandre assassinates Renly with a shadow,[4][5] however, and Ser Loras Tyrell, kills two of his fellow Rainbow Guard, Robar Royce and Emmon Cuy, and another guard in his rage.[2]

Lord Alester Florent bends the knee to Stannis, the first of several of Renly's followers to join their late king's brother.[2] Loras, however, returns to Bitterbridge from Storm's End with a fifth of Renly's knights.[2] Lords Randyll Tarly and Mathis Rowan, who had also accompanied Renly,[3] leave the camp as well.[5]

Fighting

The news of Renly's death reaches Bitterbridge, where near sixty thousand men[5] are encamped and led by lesser lords and commanders of the Reach and the stormlands.[6] The camp falls into confusion and conflict as rival envoys arrive, becoming a collection of feudal levies instead of a unified host. Some men return to their homes.[6]

At some point after Lord Tarly returns to Bitterbridge, a fight breaks out between some who wish to declare for Stannis and some who follow House Tyrell's decision not to. Randyll seizes the stores and puts many men—mainly Florents—to death. Lord Lorent Caswell locks himself inside his castle to avoid the hostilities.[7] Ser Parmen Crane and Ser Erren Florent, two knights sent by Stannis to retrieve the army,[5] are taken prisoner.[8]

Aftermath

Parmen and Erren are taken to Highgarden as hostages.[8] The Rowans and Oakhearts are spotted north of the Mander.[7] Lord Petyr Baelish rides from the Red Keep to Bitterbridge and negotiates an alliance between the Tyrells, Lord Tywin Lannister, and King Joffrey I Baratheon. Most of the men at Bitterbridge join Joffrey,[6] leading to the defeat of Stannis in the Battle of the Blackwater.[9][10]

Quotes

Ser Loras is likely making for Bitterbridge. His sister is there, Renly's queen, as well as a great many soldiers who suddenly find themselves kingless. Which side will they take now? A ticklish question. Many serve the lords who remained at Storm's End, and those lords now belong to Stannis.[2]

- Varys to the small council

References