House Greyiron

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House Greyiron of Orkmont
Greyiron.png
Coat of arms The sea king's head, white with dark green seaweed beard and hair, a black crown on a grey field
(Cendrée, the sea king’s head argent bearded and crined with seaweed vert crowned sable)
Seat Orkmont
Region Iron Islands
Title High King of the Iron Islands
King of the Iron Islands
Overlord Extinct

House Greyiron of Orkmont is an extinct house from Orkmont in the Iron Islands. They ruled as hereditary Kings of the Iron Islands after the kingsmoot era and before the Andal invasion. According to semi-canon sources the Greyirons blazoned their arms with the sea king's head, white with dark green seaweed beard and hair, a black crown on a grey field.[1]

History

Driftwood Kings

The Greyirons of antiquity were rock and salt kings on the island of Orkmont. Urras Ironfoot was chosen as the first High King of the Iron Islands since the Grey King. After the death of Urras, his son claimed the throne as Erich I Greyiron. He stepped down when the prophet Galon Whitestaff threatened him with death for not being chosen by a kingsmoot. For centuries after, the high kings were chosen between the lords and captains of the Iron Islands in kingsmoots. According to Archmaester Haereg, the Greyirons had thirty-eight high kings chosen, twice as many as any other house.[2]

When King Urragon III Greyiron died during the Age of Heroes, his eldest son Torgon had been away raiding along the Mander. His brothers sent him no word of the kingsmoot, hoping that one of them would be chosen. However, Urrathon IV Goodbrother was chosen instead and later had all of Torgon's brothers killed. When Torgon returned he denounced the kingsmoot as unlawful and revolted against Urrathon, with the aid of priests, lords and Urrathon's own captains.[3] Although Torgon the Latecomer was strong, he still lost the Cape of Eagles to House Mallister of Seagard.[4]

Hereditary Kings

Torgon and his son, Urragon IV Greyiron, ruled as high kings without having been chosen in kingsmoots. Urragon IV wanted the crown to pass to his great-nephew, Urron Greyiron, but the drowned men forced a kingsmoot. Urron descended with his axemen among the ironborn assembled on Nagga's Bones, murdering all their opponents and proclaiming himself king five thousand years before the War of the Five Kings.[5][4]

Urron made the shorter title of King of the Iron Islands hereditary, so at his death the Seastone Chair passed to his heir instead of being chosen in a kingsmoot. They also wore a black iron crown instead of the individualized driftwood crowns of the high kings. The rulers of each Iron Island were reduced to lords, while lines that refused to bend the knee were extinguished. Urron Redhand and his descendants dealt with half a dozen major rebellions and at least two major thrall uprisings. Meanwhile, the lords of the mainland took advantage of the disunity among the ironborn, and one by one, the remaining footholds in the green lands were lost.[2]

Nevertheless, the Greyiron dynasty endured for "a thousand years".[N 1] King Rognar II Greyiron was brought down, however, by an alliance of Andal pirates, sellswords and warlords who came to the Iron Islands with the support of the Orkwoods, Drumms, Hoares, and Greyjoys.[6][2] The Greyirons were succeeded by the Hoares[7] after, according to the tale, Harras Hoare won a contest of the finger dance.[2]

Known members of House Greyiron

Notes

  1. Rodrik Harlaw and Yandel claim the Greyirons had ruled "for a thousand years" (A Feast for Crows, The Kraken's Daughter, and The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Arrival of the Andals). It is unknown if this is an exact figure or if George R. R. Martin is being figurative.

References

  1. The Citadel. Heraldry: Houses in the Iron Islands
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Iron Kings.
  3. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 26, The Wayward Bride.
  4. 4.0 4.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: Driftwood Crowns.
  5. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 11, The Kraken's Daughter.
  6. A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  7. The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Black Blood.

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