Riverlands

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The Riverlands with the major strongholds

The Riverlands or riverlands[1] is a central region of the continent of Westeros, consisting of the rich, fertile, and populous[2] areas around the forks of the Trident and the northern Blackwater Rush. It is ruled from Riverrun by House Tully. The Riverlands is not considered one of the traditional Seven Kingdoms, as at the time of Aegon's Conquest the territory was controlled by House Hoare of the Iron Islands.

Because of its central position in Westeros and lack of natural boundaries,[2] the Riverlands has been a frequent battleground. The people of the Riverlands are known as "rivermen"[3][4] and are a mixture of hardy warriors, peaceful fisherfolk and devout smallfolk. Noble bastards born in the Riverlands are given the surname Rivers.

Contents

Geography

The Riverlands encompass a region of plains, forests, hills, and endless rivers. Their northern border is near the swamplands of the Neck, the southernmost region of the North. To the east, the Riverlands extend to the Vale of Arryn's Mountains of the Moon and Crackclaw Point in the Crownlands. A stream forms part of the boundary between the Riverlands and the Crownlands, with the hills of House Wode in the former and the lands of House Hogg in the latter.[5] To the south the Riverlands border the Crownlands and the Reach. The Riverlands extend west to Ironman's Bay and the mountainous Westerlands. The heavily fortified Golden Tooth guards the entrance to the Riverlands but belongs itself to the Westerlands.[6]

The Riverlands is named for the number of rivers which are present. The Red Fork runs from its source in the western mountains to Riverrun where it combines with the Tumblestone and then runs to the east. The Blue Fork flows southeast from its sources near Seagard, while the Green Fork runs south from swamps in the Neck, near the kingsroad. The Red, Blue, and Green Forks come together a short distance from Lord Harroway's Town to form the Trident, which then pours into the Bay of Crabs at Saltpans. The northern Blackwater Rush and a river from the Gods Eye run through the southern Riverlands.

The Riverlands does not contain any major cities, but has a number towns, such as Fairmarket, Harrentown, Lord Harroway's Town, Maidenpool, Saltpans, and Stoney Sept. Its major castles include Harrenhal, Raventree Hall, Riverrun, Seagard, Stone Hedge, and the Twins. Additional noteworthy places in the Riverlands are the old ruins at Oldstones, where in ancient times House Mudd had its castle, and the Gods Eye lake with the Isle of Faces in it. The Lady of the Leaves lives in a village hidden in trees, while a ghost is said to be at High Heart.[7] The Quiet Isle is located at the mouth of the Trident.[8]

People and Economy

The Riverlands are rich and fertile and populous.[2] The numerous rivers that run across its expanse are used for trading and the transport of goods. In times of peace fisherfolk in skiffs and grain barges pole downstream and merchants on floating ships sail on the rivers.[9] With so much trade on the rivers, villagers will haul their grain and other goods to it to see it sold and carried elsewhere by the merchants.[10] Wine can be made from small, tart grapes grown in the Riverlands.[8]

According to a semi-canon source from 2005,[11] the river lords can raise forty-five thousand soldiers.

History

Pre-Targaryen

See also: Dawn Age, and Andal invasion

During the Dawn Age the First Men settled in the Riverlands, coming into conflict with the native children of the forest. After centuries of fighting, a pact was signed at the Isle of Faces, the children withdrew to their forests, while the First Men raised their kingdoms in the lands ceded by the mysterious folk. The Riverlands saw the rise of the Kings of the Rivers and Hills.[12]

During the thousand years that followed, various families ruled the Riverlands. Many dynasties claimed these lands during the Age of Heroes, including the Brackens, the Blackwoods and the Mudds, who were the last of the First Men to claim the Riverlands as their own.[13][14] Their time came to an end with the coming of the Andal invasion. At this time, King Tristifer IV of House Mudd, raised his armies and met the Andal invaders. King Tristifer was said to have won 99 out of his 100 battles against the Andals; in the final battle he was killed. His son and successor, Tristifer V was not as successful as his father and the kingdom fell.[15]

The Andals raised their own petty kingdoms and for a long time the Riverlands were the kingdom of native Andal dynasties, including the Teagues, the Fishers and the Justmans. The sons of a River King were murdered in the Bloody Keep of Pyke in the Iron Islands 700 years before Aegon's Landing.[16] The last native king was killed by Stormland invaders about 360 years before Aegon's Landing. The Storm Kings in turn were defeated by the Iron King, Harwyn Hardhand, who established his own kingdom from the Iron Islands to the Riverlands. Two generations later, Harwyn's grandson, Harren the Black, ordered the construction of an immense castle, Harrenhal, as a display of his wealth and power. Construction of Harrenhal took forty years and a huge amount of resources and money to build. Ironically, the same day the most immense castle in history was finished, Aegon I Targaryen invaded Westeros with his dragons.

Targaryen Era

King Harren the Black was very unpopular within the Riverlands when Aegon invaded Westeros. Aegon approached a number of lords in the region, convincing them to rebel against Harren; the first to do so was Lord Edmyn Tully, while others included the Mallisters, Brackens, Blackwoods, and Freys.[17] Harren thought if he refused battle Aegon would have to lay siege to the castle. Instead, Aegon let his dragons attack. The heat produced by the dragons was so great that much of Harrenhal burned and melted, killing Harren and his children. After the victory Aegon raised House Tully to dominion over the Riverlands, below the sovereignty of the Targaryens. The Inn of the Kneeling Man on the Red Fork was built where Torrhen Stark, King in the North, is believed to have submitted to Aegon.[10]

When the Dance of the Dragons began, the river lords were notoriously quarrelsome and nominally under the rule of House Tully. Most of the river lords supported Rhaenyra Targaryen and the blacks against Aegon II Targaryen and the greens. Prince Daemon Targaryen quickly took Harrenhal and followed up with victories at the Burning Mill and Stone Hedge. The green army from the Westerlands was defeated by three forces from the Riverlands and the North in the Battle by the Lakeshore. In response, Prince Aemond Targaryen and his dragon, Vhagar, burned much of the Riverlands,[18] but Aemond was eventually killed at the Gods Eye by Prince Daemon. Ser Criston Cole, the Kingmaker, led an army of greens through the Riverlands, but they were hampered by the scorched earth tactics of the river lords. The rivermen and their northern allies crushed Cole and his greens in an ambush south of the Gods Eye.[4]

Robert's Rebellion

See also: Robert's Rebellion

During Robert's Rebellion Hoster Tully, liege lord of the Riverlands, took the side of the rebels; he was already connected with them through the engagement of his daughter Catelyn to Brandon Stark. After Brandon's death, Hoster had Catelyn married to Brandon's younger brother Eddard and his younger daughter Lysa married to Jon Arryn. A number of Lord Tully's vassals remained loyal to the Targaryens, including Darry, Mooton, Goodbrook, and Ryger. Lord Walder Frey arrived late to the Trident in support of the rebels.

The Battle of the Trident, which ultimately determined the outcome of Robert's Rebellion, was fought in the Riverlands.

Recent Events

Main article: War of the Five Kings
Riverlands ravaged by war by Rene Aigner©
Harry the riverlands. © FFG

A Game of Thrones

After Catelyn Tully abducts Tyrion Lannister, Lord Tywin Lannister retaliates by sending Ser Gregor Clegane to raid the Riverlands. The Hand of the King, Lord Eddard Stark, tasks Beric Dondarrion with stopping the raiders. Beric's force is ambushed in the Battle of the Mummer's Ford, however, and Gregor continues killing and plundering. Tywin leads a Lannister army and defeats several castles, including Harrenhal, Raventree Hall, and Darry. The Twins and Seagard are noted to be the only two Riverland settlements largely untouched by the fighting.[19]

Ser Jaime Lannister's army defeats a Riverland army under the command of Edmure Tully at the Battle of Riverrun and besieges the capital of the Riverlands. Because it is surrounded by the Tumblestone and the Red Fork, Jaime has to set up three camps to lay an effective siege. For services rendered to the new king, Joffrey Baratheon, Janos Slynt receives Harrenhal, which previously belonged to Lady Shella Whent.[20]

Meanwhile, Robb Stark gathers the northern bannermen and marches south. At the Twins, he agrees to marry a daughter of Lord Walder Frey in return for crossing of the Green Fork and an alliance with House Frey. Robb sends Lord Roose Bolton southeast. While Tywin defeats Roose in the Battle of the Green Fork, this allows Robb to head southwest toward Riverrun. Robb surprises Jaime's army in the Battle of the Whispering Wood and the Battle of the Camps, liberating Edmure and Riverrun and taking Jaime prisoner. In Riverrun's Great Hall, the gathered northern and river lords proclaim Robb to be king.[21]

A Clash of Kings

The acting Hand of the King, Tyrion Lannister, strips Lord Janos of Harrenhal and exiles him to the Night's Watch.[22] After the defeat of Jaime, Tywin brings his army to Harrenhal instead of King's Landing.[23] Robb Stark, King of the Trident, allows the river lords to leave Riverrun and retake their castles from the Lannisters.[24] Sending Ser Cleos Frey as an envoy, Robb claims the lands watered by the Trident and its tributaries, bounded by the Golden Tooth to the west and the Mountains of the Moon to the east.[24] However, Tyrion rejects Robb's territorial demands.[25] The river lords burn their crops to prevent the Lannisters from taking them, while Tywin has foragers burn villages and slay smallfolk.[25]

Robb takes the northern horse and some of the Freys to raid the Westerlands. While Robb is away, his mother, Catelyn Tully, frees Jaime in the hope that he will free her daughters, Sansa and Arya, who she believes are held hostage in King's Landing. Unknown to Catelyn, however, Arya has been traveling incognito through the war-torn Riverlands.

Roose Bolton is able to recover Harrenhal and other territory in the Riverlands when Tywin leaves to defend the Westerlands from Robb. Tywin marches west, but is turned back by Edmure at the Battle of the Fords. Tywin then heads southeast to King's Landing to defend his grandson, King Joffrey Baratheon, from Joffrey's uncle, Stannis Baratheon. As a reward for negotiating the alliance between House Lannister and House Tyrell, the Iron Throne grants Harrenhal to Petyr Baelish and names him Lord Paramount of the Trident. Petyr remains in King's Landing, however. Ser Lancel Lannister receives Darry, as Lord Lyman Darry was killed in the Sack of Darry.[26]

A Storm of Swords

Arya Stark meets the brotherhood without banners, a band of outlaws led by a revived Lord Beric Dondarrion. In the name of the late King Robert Baratheon, they engage in a guerrilla campaign against House Lannister and the Iron Throne.

Robb returns to Riverrun after successfully raiding the Westerlands,[27] but has lost the support of the Freys after marrying Jeyne Westerling instead of a daughter of Walder Frey. Hoster Tully, the longtime Lord of Riverrun, passes away and is succeeded by his son, Edmure Tully. Soldiers of House Karstark roam the Riverlands in search of Jaime Lannister and abandon Robb when he executes their lord, Rickard Karstark, for treason. In order to return the Freys to King Robb's side, Lord Edmure agrees to marry a Frey.

Leaving Ser Brynden Tully at Riverrun as the Warden of the Southern Marches, Robb leads the bulk of his northmen and rivermen army to the Twins for Edmure's wedding to Roslin Frey. Lord Roose Bolton commands the rearguard, which is defeated by Ser Gregor Clegane at the Battle of the Ruby Ford. Gregor then retakes Harrenhal for the Iron Throne. At the Twins, the Freys and Boltons betray their king in the massacre known as the Red Wedding. Robb and Catelyn are killed, while Edmure is taken captive.

After the Red Wedding most of the river lords surrender to the Iron Throne;[28] for instance, Seagard surrenders to Black Walder Frey. The majority of river lords are welcomed back into the king's peace, but the Tullys are stripped of their titles and lands, with Riverrun being granted to the Freys.

A Feast for Crows

Jaime Lannister travels to deal with the few river lords still in resistance to the Iron Throne. Brynden Tully continues to hold out at Riverrun, despite a siege by House Frey. Jaime negotiates the surrender of the castle with Edmure, with Brynden escaping in the night. Jaime reminds Emmon Frey that although his house possesses Riverrun, lordship over the Riverlands has passed to House Baelish of Harrenhal. Petyr Baelish, Lord Paramount of the Trident, remains in the Vale of Arryn, however, and has not visited his seat at Harrenhal.

Even though the War of the Five Kings has seemingly ended, the brotherhood without banners and broken men still roam the Riverlands, some officially fighting in the name of King Robert, but most killing at will. Led by Lady Stoneheart, the outlaws of the brotherhood engage in a campaign of retribution against House Frey. The town of Saltpans is sacked by survivors of the Brave Companions.

A Dance with Dragons

Jaime Lannister resolves the Siege of Raventree, with Lord Tytos Blackwood the last river lord to submit to the Iron Throne. He disappears with Brienne of Tarth at Pennytree.[29]

Houses

Baelish(Harrenhal)CoA.png House Baelish of Harrenhal.
House Unknown House Bigglestone.
House Blackwood.png House Blackwood of Raventree Hall.
BlanetreeCoA.png House Blanetree.
Bracken sigil coat.png House Bracken of Stone Hedge.
House Butterwell.png House Butterwell of Whitewalls.
House Unknown House Chambers.
Charlton.png House Charlton.
House Unknown House Cox of Saltpans.
House Darry.png House Darry of Darry.
House Unknown House Chambers.
House Unknown House Deddings.
Erenford.png House Erenford.
Fisher.png House Fisher.
House Frey.png House Frey of the Crossing.
House Unknown House Frey of Riverrun.
House Goodbrook.PNG House Goodbrook.
House Grell.PNG House Grell.
House Unknown House Grey.
Haigh.png House Haigh.
Harroway.png House Harroway of Harrenhal.
Hawick.png House Hawick of Saltpans.
Hoare.png House Hoare of Harrenhal.
House Justman.PNG House Justman.
KeathCoA.png House Keath.
Blasonlancel.png House Lannister of Darry.
House Lolliston.PNG House Lolliston.
House Lothston.PNG House Lothston of Harrenhal.
LychesterCoA.png House Lychester.
House Mallister.png House Mallister of Seagard.
House Mooton.PNG House Mooton of Maidenpool.
MuddCoA.png House Mudd of Oldstones.
House Unknown House Nayland of Hag's Mire.
House Paege.png House Paege.
House Unknown House Perryn.
House Piper.png House Piper of Pinkmaiden.
Qoherys.png House Qoherys of Harrenhal.
Roote.png House Roote of Lord Harroway's Town.
RygerCoA.png House Ryger of Willow Wood.
Shawney.png House Shawney.
House Slynt.PNG House Slynt of Harrenhal.
Smallwood.png House Smallwood of Acorn Hall.
House Strong.PNG House Strong of Harrenhal.
House Teague.PNG House Teague.
House Terrick.PNG House Terrick.
House Towers.PNG House Towers of Harrenhal.
House Tully.PNG House Tully of Riverrun.
House Vance of Artranta.PNG House Vance of Atranta.
House Vance of Wayfarer's rest.PNG House Vance of Wayfarer's Rest.
Vyprin.png House Vypren.
House Wayn.PNG House Wayn.
House Whent.png House Whent of Harrenhal.
House Wode.PNG House Wode.


Quotes

North of here the kingsroad ran along the Green Fork of the Trident, through fertile valleys and green woodlands, past thriving towns and stout holdfasts and the castles of the river lords.[3]
- thoughts of Catelyn Tully


Tell them I want to see the riverlands afire from the Gods Eye to the Red Fork.[1]
Tywin Lannister to Kevan Lannister


The land was gentle enough, rolling hills and terraced fields interspersed with meadows and woodlands and little valleys where willows crowded close to slow shallow steams ... Here farmland gave way to forest, the villages and holdfasts were smaller and farther apart, the hills higher and the valleys deeper.[30]
- thoughts of Arya Stark


From what Jaime had seen of the riverlands, scarce a field remained unburnt, a town unsacked, a maiden unspoiled.[5]
- thoughts of Jaime Lannister

References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 So Spake Martin: Strength of the Regions
  3. 3.0 3.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 28, Catelyn.
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Princess and the Queen.
  5. 5.0 5.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime.
  6. The Lands of Ice and Fire.
  7. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 22, Arya.
  8. 8.0 8.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 31, Brienne.
  9. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 1, Jaime.
  10. 10.0 10.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 11, Jaime.
  11. A Game of Thrones RPG and Resource Book, Guardians of Order
  12. A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide
  13. So Spake Martin: Blackwood-Bracken Feud and Coinage
  14. So Spake Martin: Bywater, River Kings, and Dornish Heraldry
  15. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 45, Catelyn.
  16. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 11, Theon.
  17. So Spake Martin: Chicon 7 Reading
  18. Aemond and Vhagar attacked Darry, Lord Harroway's Town, Lord's Mill, Blackbuckle, Buckle, Claypool, Swynford, Spiderwood, Old Willow, White Willow, Hogg Hall, Merrydown Dell, Stonyhead, Sweetwillow, Sallydance, Bowshot Bridge, Old Ferry, Crone's Mill, and Bechester.
  19. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 56, Tyrion.
  20. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa.
  21. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn.
  22. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 8, Tyrion.
  23. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 2, Sansa.
  24. 24.0 24.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn.
  25. 25.0 25.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 20, Tyrion.
  26. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 65, Sansa.
  27. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 14, Catelyn.
  28. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72, Jaime.
  29. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 48, Jaime.
  30. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 9, Arya.
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