Reyne-Tarbeck rebellion

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Reyne-Tarbeck rebellion
Reyne Tarbeck Rebellion.png
art by RobinF

Date 261 AC[1]
Location Castamere and Tarbeck Hall in the westerlands
Result Elimination of Houses Reyne and Tarbeck
Restoration of Lannister dominance over the westerlands
Belligerents
House Reyne
House Tarbeck
House Lannister
House Banefort
House Marbrand
House Plumm
House Prester
House Stackspear
House Westerling
Notable commanders
Lord Roger Reyne
Ser Reynard Reyne
Lord Walderan Tarbeck
Lady Ellyn Tarbeck
Lord Tion Tarbeck
Ser Tywin Lannister
Strength
~2,500
  • 500 Tarbeck household knights
  • 2,000 Reyne soldiers
~8,000 at Tarbeck Hall, growing to ~16,000 at Castamere[2]
Losses
Complete elimination of the rebellious vassalsMinimal

The Reyne-Tarbeck rebellion was a failed uprising in the westerlands in 261 AC. Houses Reyne and Tarbeck rose against their Lannister overlords due to the perceived weakness of the Lord of Casterly Rock, Tytos Lannister, but were crushed by his heir, Ser Tywin Lannister.[1]

Prelude

There are many factors that led to the Reyne-Tarbeck rebellion, the weak and ineffective leadership of Lord Tytos Lannister being a key one. The early ambitions of Lady Ellyn Reyne of Castamere was another reason for the escalation of the conflict due to her scheming and vindictiveness.

Ellyn was an ambitious and ruthless woman, who desired to marry into the rich Lannister family but also become the Lady of Casterly Rock. Her father, Robert Reyne, successfully arranged a betrothal of her to Tywald Lannister, the heir of Lord Gerold Lannister to the Rock. However, both Ellyn's betrothed and father were slain during the Peake Uprising in 233 AC. Ellyn instead married the the new heir, Gerold's second son Tion, and became the Lady of Casterly Rock in all but name, with Gerold being widowed. Ellyn held a splendid court and used her position to support House Reyne, including her brothers Roger and Reynard. However, she had a fierce rivalry with Lady Jeyne Marbrand, the wife of Gerold's third son, Tytos Lannister.[1]

After Ellyn's husband Tion died in the Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion in 236 AC, Gerold began to prepare Tytos for rule and most of the Reynes departed the Rock for Castamere. Ellyn remained at the Rock, but Gerold had her hastily married to the twice-widowed Walderan Tarbeck, Lord of Tarbeck Hall, after Tytos confessed to his wife Jeyne that Ellyn had tried to seduce him in 239 AC. Maester Beldon wrote of the ugly rivalry between Ellyn and Jeyne, which the fool Lord Toad called the War of the Wombs.[1]

Once the weak-willed Tytos Lannister became Lord of Casterly Rock and Warden of the West, many bannermen of the westerlands and merchants from Lannisport and Kayce borrowed from him without paying their debts. Lady Ellyn Tarbeck used House Lannister's gold to restore the crumbling Tarbeck Hall. Many joked about toothless lions and that the Lion of Lannister was no longer a beast to fear.[1]

During a feast in 252 AC, Tytos announced the betrothal of his daughter Genna to Emmon Frey, the second son of Lord Walder Frey, just to please Walder. Upon the announcement, Lord Roger Reyne left the hall in anger and his sister Ellyn laughed aloud. Tytos's eldest son, Tywin, spoke out against the wedding because he thought it an uneven match.[3] Tytos later sent Tywin to King's Landing to serve as a royal cupbearer at King Aegon V Targaryen's court and another son, Kevan, to Castamere.[1]

During the War of the Ninepenny Kings, Lord Tytos answered the call of his new king, Jaehaerys II Targaryen, and sent eleven thousand westermen under the leadership of his younger brother, Ser Jason. Tytos remained at the Rock with his new mistress.

When Tywin returned from the Stepstones with his brothers, the newly-knighted Kevan and Tygett, Tywin took upon himself the task of restoring House Lannister's dominance, despite the reluctance of Tytos. Tywin demanded repayment of his father's loans and all who could not pay were ordered to send hostages to the Rock. Kevan formed a new company of five hundred veterans to aid Tywin. While Ser Harys Swyft agreed to surrender his daughter Dorna into Kevan's custody, Lord Roger Reyne laughed when he read Tywin's edicts and advised his friends and vassals to do nothing. Lord Walderan Tarbeck wanted to convince Tytos to rescind Tywin's edicts, but Tywin had him imprisoned when he rode to the Rock.

In return, Ellyn Tarbeck seized three Lannisters—two Lannisters of Lannisport, as well as Stafford Lannister, whose sister Joanna was betrothed to Tywin—and threatened them harm unless her lord and husband was returned. Tytos ignored Tywin's suggestion that Lord Walderan should be sent back to his wife in three pieces, one for every Lannister taken. Tytos instead returned Walderan unharmed and forgave the Tarbeck debt to House Lannister.[4][1]

Fall of Tarbeck Hall

In 261 AC less then a year later, the angry Ser Tywin Lannister was determined to defeat the disloyal vassals of House Lannister, and he sent ravens to Tarbeck Hall and Castamere demanding answers for their crimes at Casterly Rock. As Tywin expected, Lord Roger and Ser Reynard Reyne, as well Lord Walderan and Lady Ellyn Tarbeck, rose in rebellion.

Without the permission of Lord Tytos Lannister, Tywin marched against the upstart vassals with three thousand men-at-arms and crossbowmen and five hundred knights. While marching, the host was joined by troops from House Marbrand and House Prester, as well as a dozen lesser lords.[5]

When the Lannisters quickly marched on Tarbeck Hall, Lord Walderan Tarbeck responded with only his household knights. A short bloody battle ensued in which the Tarbecks were butchered, including Walderan's surviving son from his first marriage. Although the captive Walderan expected to be ransomed, Tywin ordered all Tarbecks, including Walderan and two sons from his second marriage, and any men wearing their badge decapitated. The Lannister host continued to Tarbeck Hall, with the heads of Lord Walderan and his kin impaled on spears.[5]

Lady Ellyn Tarbeck, trusting the walls of Tarbeck Hall, sent ravens to Castamere appealing for aid from her brothers, Lord Roger and Reynard. Tywin, however, had siege engines prepared in less than a day. A lucky shot from a stone thrower sent a boulder over the walls and on to Tarbeck Hall's aged keep, bringing the castle down upon Ellyn and her surviving son, Tion the Red. All resistance ended and the gates were thrown open. Tywin commanded the castle be put to the torch. For a day and night the flames burned until nothing was left of Tarbeck Hall except a blackened empty shell. According to a semi-canon source,[5] Tywin forced Ellyn's daughters, Rohanne and Cyrelle, to join the silent sisters. Rohanne's three-year-old son, the last Lord Tarbeck, disappeared during the fighting, possibly having been thrown down a well by Ser Amory Lorch.[5]

The Red Lion of Castamere, Lord Roger, arrived with two thousand hastily-gathered men—only a tenth of who were knights—in time to witness Tarbeck Hall still in flames. The Lannisters had between three to five times as many men as the Reynes. Roger led his tired men in a charge against Tywin's host. While the Reynes took the Lannisters by surprise, they lacked the heavy horse to reach Tywin, and the Lannisters' numbers prevailed. Wounded by a crossbow bolt while fleeing from Tywin's counterattack, Roger was carried back to Castamere with half his men dead on the field.[5] The badly-wounded Roger was feverishly weak, so his younger brother Reynard assumed command of the remaining Reynes.

Fall of Castamere

The Reynes took refuge at Castamere, their subterranean seat which had developed from gold and silver mines. With ample food in storage, Ser Reynard Reyne abandoned the surface fortifications once his soldiers were in Castamere's tunnels. Ser Tywin Lannister arrived at Castamere three days after the burning of Tarbeck Hall, his host now doubled with the arrival of Lords Banefort, Plumm, Stackspear, and Westerling. Reynard sent terms stating the Reynes would be loyal vassals again in return for Tywin's brothers serving within Castamere as hostages. Tywin ignored Reynard's terms, as well as Roger's offer of single combat.

Instead, Tywin ordered his force to seal the mine entrances with pick and shovel. All entrances were blocked with tons of stone, earth, and soil so that there was no way in or out. Over the course of three days, Tywin had his men dam a nearby stream and divert it to the mine entrance. Water easily found its way though the tiny gaps in the rubble that blocked the mouth of the entrance. None of the three hundred men, women, and children within emerged from the tunnels. Lannister men stationed at the most distant entrances claimed they could hear faint screaming and shouting, but by daybreak, there was nothing but silence. Tywin commanded that the castle on the surface be set ablaze.[1]

Aftermath

By the end of the campaign the rebellious Houses Reyne and Tarbeck were obliterated and Castamere and Tarbeck Hall were put to the torch by Ser Tywin Lannister. Now Lord of Casterly Rock, Tywin has let the ruined, blackened, and crumbling castles stand empty to this day as a reminder to those who dare scorn the power of the Rock.[6][7] Castamere's mines have remained sealed.[1]

Tywin's actions to restore House Lannister's power are immortalized in the song "The Rains of Castamere".

Quotes

The lion has awoken.[1]
- Harys Swyft regarding Tywin Lannister


Roose: The curse of Tywin Lannister. Our goat should have consulted the Tarbecks or the Reynes. They might have warned him how your lord father deals with betrayal.

Jaime: There are no Tarbecks or Reynes.
Roose: My point precisely.[8]

- Roose Bolton and Jaime Lannister

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 The World of Ice and Fire, The Westerlands: House Lannister under the Dragons.
  2. Tywin started with 3,500 Lannister men, and was then joined by Marbrand and Prester. When Roger arrived at Tarbeck with under 2,000 men he was said to be outnumbered by Tywin's host either three or five to one. After the Reynes were defeated at Tarbeck Hall more vassals flocked to Tywin's host, swelling it to twice its original size to besiege Castamere.
  3. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 32, Cersei VII.
  4. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 44, Jaime VII.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 The World of Ice and Fire: The Westerlands (unabridged). georgerrmartin.com
  6. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 19, Tyrion III.
  7. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 33, Jaime V.
  8. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 37, Jaime V.

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