Greyjoy's Rebellion

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Greyjoy's Rebellion
Greyjoy Rebellion.jpg
© Fantasy Flight Games

Date 289 AC
Location Iron Islands, riverlands, westerlands
Battles burning of the Lannister fleet
storming of Seagard
sea battle off Fair Isle
siege of Great Wyk
siege of Old Wyk
siege of Pyke
Result decisive victory of Baratheon of King's Landing
deaths of Rodrik and Maron Greyjoy
Theon Greyjoy made a ward of House Stark
House GreyjoyIron Throne
Notable commanders
King Balon Greyjoy
Lord Captain Victarion Greyjoy
Euron Greyjoy
Maron Greyjoy
Rodrik Greyjoy
King Robert I Baratheon
Lord Stannis Baratheon
Lord Eddard Stark
Lord Paxter Redwyne
Ser Barristan Selmy
Lord Tywin Lannister
Iron Islands
Iron Fleet
royal fleet
Redwyne fleet
Oldtown warships
House Mallister
Greyjoy Rebellion.png

Greyjoy's Rebellion[1][2][3] or the Greyjoy Rebellion[4] was an attempt at secession by Balon Greyjoy against the Iron Throne in 289 AC, nine years before the beginning of A Game of Thrones. Balon tried to break away from the Seven Kingdoms to secure independence for the Iron Islands and restore the Old Way, lost almost three hundred years before, during Aegon's Conquest. The rebellion was crushed and Balon was forced to surrender, cementing the hold of King Robert I Baratheon on the Iron Throne.


Quellon Greyjoy, Lord Reaper of Pyke, desired to strengthen the ties of the Iron Islands with the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, but he died in battle at the Mander near the end of Robert's Rebellion. His successor and eldest son, Lord Balon Greyjoy, rejected Quellon's reforms and desired independence for the ironborn. Over five years Balon constructed a new fleet of one hundred war galleys, the Iron Fleet.[5] Since House Greyjoy had remained neutral for most of Robert's Rebellion they did not suffer heavy losses like the other Great Houses.

In 289 AC, six years after Robert I Baratheon overthrew House Targaryen, Balon proclaimed himself King of the Iron Islands and led a rebellion against the Iron Throne. He was crowned beneath Nagga's ribs, by the priest Tarle the Thrice-Drowned with a driftwood crown.[6] Balon believed that King Robert's rule was still insecure, that he lacked support amongst the nobility and would not be able to muster a host against him.[7][8] According to George R. R. Martin,

He (Balon) believed that Robert, as a usurper, might not have the strong support of the other lords the way that a Targaryen king would have. He also thought he could defeat Robert at sea.[8]

Lannisport and Seagard

Hoping to control the Sunset Sea, Balon began his rebellion with the burning of the Lannister fleet at anchor, a surprise attack on Lannisport in the westerlands planned by his brother Euron and led by another brother, Victarion, Lord Captain of the Iron Fleet.[9] Victarion tossed the first torch onto the flagship of Lord Tywin Lannister.[6]

The victory at Lannisport gave King Balon freedom to launch an attack against Seagard in the riverlands by Rodrik, his eldest son. Rodrik was slain by Lord Jason Mallister during the storming of Seagard, however, and his reavers were thrown back into Ironman's Bay in defeat.[10]

Germund Botley claimed a gilded breastplate from a Lannister captain,[6] and the father of Podrick Payne was killed at some point during the war.[4]

Counterattack by the Iron Throne

Robert used superior numbers and resources to crush the rebellion. His brother Stannis Baratheon, Lord of Dragonstone and the master of ships, joined the royal fleet with the Redwyne fleet from the Arbor and ships from Oldtown. They caught and smashed Victarion's Iron Fleet in the Straits of Fair Isle. The husband of Gwynesse Harlaw was killed in this sea battle off Fair Isle,[11] while Aeron Greyjoy was captured and spent the rest of the war beneath Casterly Rock.[12] Stannis's victory over Victarion near Fair Isle allowed Robert's forces to cross from the green lands to the Iron Islands.[12]

Robert was supported by Eddard Stark, his Warden of the North, and Tywin Lannister, his Warden of the West.[5] Ser Gregor Clegane was part of Tywin's forces.[13] Stannis subdued Great Wyk in his brother's name,[14] while Ser Barristan Selmy, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, led the attack on Old Wyk.[15] Orkmont was also invaded.[5]

Siege of Pyke

See also Siege of Pyke

The final battle was on the island of Pyke, led by Robert and his childhood friend, Eddard. The nearby Botley castle was destroyed, as was the town of Lordsport beneath it, before the main attack on the castle of Pyke was launched. Robert's forces assaulted the southern wall with siege engines, shattering the main watchtower and bringing parts of the surrounding wall down.[10] Maron Greyjoy, the second of Balon's three sons, was killed in the breach. Thoros of Myr was first through the breach wielding a sword coated in wildfire.[16] The fighting in the castle was fierce, but eventually the castle was taken. Lord Jorah Mormont, who was shortly behind Thoros,[17] and Jacelyn Bywater, who lost a hand during the fighting,[18] earned knighthoods from Robert for their bravery. Old Nan's grandson was killed during the siege.[19]

Balon, brought before Robert in chains, bent the knee and was forced to swear fealty once more to the Iron Throne. His surviving son, the nine-year-old Theon, was given into the care of Lord Stark as a hostage to ensure Balon's good behavior.

King Robert I Baratheon and Lord Eddard Stark congratulate Ser Jorah Mormont (as Thoros of Myr looks on) following Greyjoy's Rebellion. © DubuGomdori


Balon Greyjoy surrendered, his two eldest sons Rodrik and Maron were killed, and his last surviving son, Theon, was made a ward of House Stark as hostage. Robert I Baratheon's victory cemented his hold on the Iron Throne, having overthrown the Targaryens six years before. He threw a great tourney at Lannisport to celebrate his victory.[10]

The rebellion resulted in the castle of Pyke being severely damaged and partially rebuilt. The Faith of the Seven suffered abuse in the Iron Islands at the hands of fanatics who worship the Drowned God. Baelor Blacktyde, Lord of Blacktyde, was a child when his father died in the war. As a result he was taken away to Oldtown as a hostage following the end of the rebellion. He returned eight years later as a follower of the Seven.[6]


Balon: You may take my head, but you cannot name me traitor. No Greyjoy ever swore fealty to a Baratheon.

Robert: Swear one now or lose that stubborn head of yours.[5]

- Balon Greyjoy and Robert I Baratheon

Robert should have scoured the isles after Balon Greyjoy rose against him ... He smashed their fleet, burned their towns and broke their castles, but when he had them on their knees, he let them up again. He should have made another island of their skulls.[20]
- thoughts of Cersei Lannister

References and Notes

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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