Grey King

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Grey King
Grey King.png
The Grey King upon his throne, as depicted by Arthur Bozonnet in The World of Ice & Fire
Reign During the Age of Heroes
Personal Information
Died watery halls of the Drowned God (alleged)
Culture ironborn
Spouse A mermaid
Issue A hundred sons

The Grey King is a legendary monarch of the Iron Islands who is said to have ruled for 1,007 years[1] during the Age of Heroes.[2] Almost all of the great houses of the isles claim descent from him, including the ruling Greyjoys.[3] The exceptions are the Goodbrothers, who claim descent from the Grey King's leal eldest brother.[2] The Grey King's given name is unknown.


See also Images of the Grey King.

The Grey King is so named because his hair, beard, and eyes were grey as the winter sea, and at the end of his life even his skin had turned grey.[2] He supposedly wore robes of woven seaweed and a tall pale crown made from Nagga's teeth,[1] but he is alternatively said to have worn a driftwood crown.[2]


The Grey King fights Nagga, from Game of Thrones Blu-ray

Legends say the Grey King slew Nagga, after which the Drowned God turned the sea dragon's bones to stone. From these bones was made the Grey King's Hall, which he heated with Nagga's living fire.[4] He took a mermaid[3] as his wife so his children could live on land or in water. The Grey King also wore a crown of driftwood so all who knelt before him would know his power came from the sea and the Drowned God himself.[2]

The Grey King brought fire to the earth by taunting the Storm God into setting a tree on fire with a thunderbolt. He taught men to weave nets and sails. The Grey King allegedly carved the first longship from the pale wood of Ygg, a demon tree which fed on human flesh.[2] [4]

The Grey King's skin turned as grey as his hair and beard as he ruled over centuries. Eventually he cast aside his driftwood crown and walked into the sea to descend to the watery halls of the Drowned God, taking his place at the right hand of the god.[2] The Storm God snuffed out Nagga's fire after the Grey King's death and the sea stole his throne, with Nagga's bones the only remnants of the Grey King's Hall.[1]

The Grey King is said to have had a hundred sons who fought after his death. The sixteen who survived divided the Iron Islands amongst themselves.[2]


Each great house from the Iron Islands claims to be descended from the Grey King, aside from the Goodbrothers.[2]

At a kingsmoot on Old Wyk called by Galon Whitestaff, Urras Greyiron was chosen as the first High King of the Iron Islands and the first monarch to rule all of the ironborn since the Grey King.[2]

Vickon Greyjoy, a descendent of the Grey King, was chosen as the new Lord of the Iron Islands after Aegon's Conquest.[5]


Grey King
A mermaid
House Greyiron.svg
House Greyiron
House Greyjoy.svg
House Greyjoy
House Hoare 2.svg
House Hoare
[Note 1]
House Goodbrother.svg
House Goodbrother
  1. Among the ironborn Houses, the most likely to be direct descendants of the Grey King are: House Blacktyde, House Drumm, House Harlaw, House Orkwood, House Saltcliffe, and House Volmark.


The Grey King was king over all the Iron Islands, but he left a hundred sons behind him, and upon his death they began to quarrel over who would succeed him.[2]

—writings of Yandel


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 1, The Prophet.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: Driftwood Crowns.
  3. 3.0 3.1 A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  4. 4.0 4.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 19, The Drowned Man.
  5. The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Greyjoys of Pyke.