From A Wiki of Ice and Fire
The Riverlands is a central region of the continent of Westeros, consisting of the fertile areas between the forks of the Trident. It is ruled from Riverrun by House Tully, the Lords Paramount of the Trident. The Riverlands is not considered one of the traditional Seven Kingdoms, as at the time of Aegon's Conquest the territory was controlled by the Iron Islands.
Because of its central position in Westeros, the Riverlands has been a frequent battleground. The people of the Riverlands are known as "rivermen" and are a mixture of hardy warriors, peaceful fisherfolk and devout smallfolk. Bastards born in the Riverlands are given the surname Rivers.
The Riverlands encompass a region of plains, forests, hills, and endless rivers. The lands extend as far north as the swamp area of the Neck, at the source of the Green Fork, east up to the kingsroad, south to the Blackwater Rush, and west to Ironman's Bay and the hills of the Westerlands. It seems that the Riverlands only has easily defensible borders in the North. Although there are mountains in the east and the west the mountains themselves seem to belong to the Vale and the Westerlands respectively. In the west the heavily fortified castle Golden Tooth guards the entrance to the Riverlands but belongs itself to the Westerlands.
The Riverlands is named for the number of rivers which are present. The Green Fork that runs south from swamps in the Neck, the Blue Fork and the Red Fork, that run from the north from the southwest, come together a short distance from Lord Harroway's Town to form the Trident. 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 and combines with the Trident before pouring into the Bay of Crabs at Saltpans. In the south the Blackwater Rush runs through a part of the Riverlands.
The Riverlands does not contain any major cities, but has a number towns, such as Fairmarket, Lord Harroway's Town, Saltpans, Maidenpool and Stoney Sept. Its major castles include Riverrun, Harrenhal, Seagard, Raventree Hall, Stone Hedge, and the Twins. Additional noteworthy places in the Riverlands are the old ruins at Oldstones, where in ancient times a Riverlands dynasty used to have its castle, and the lake God's Eye with the Isle of Faces in it.
The Riverlands are rich and fertile and populous. 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. 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. Wine can be made from small, tart grapes grown in the Riverlands. 
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.
During the thousand years that followed, various families ruled the Riverlands. Many dynasties claimed these lands, including the Brackens, the Blackwoods and the Mudds, who were the last of the First Men to claim the Riverlands as their own. 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.
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 last native king was killed by Stormland invaders about 360 years before Aegon's Landing. The Storm Kings in turn were defeated by 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 the 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.
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, including Edmyn Tully. 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 Edmyn to dominion over the Riverlands, below the sovereignty of the Targaryens.
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, including Lord Harroway's Town, Lord's Mill, Blackbuckle, Buckle, Claypool, Swynford, Spiderwood, Old Willow, White Willow, Hogg Hall, and Merrydown Dell, 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.
- 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: Darry, Ryger, and Goodbrook. 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.
- Main article: War of the Five Kings
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, however, is ambushed at 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.
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.
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.
A Clash of Kings
Despite the defeat of Jaime, another Lannister army is still in the Riverlands south of the Red Fork and is able to kill and plunder at will. The Twins and Seagard are noted to be the only two Riverland settlements largely untouched by the fighting. In revenge, the army of Robb Stark invades the Westerlands. Catelyn Tully frees Jaime Lannister 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 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.
A Storm of Swords
Arya Stark meets the Brotherhood Without Banners, a band of outlaws led by a revived 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, but has lost the support of the Freys after marrying Jeyne Westerling instead of a daughter of Walder Frey. Hoster Tully, the longtime Lord Paramount of the Trident, 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. Roose Bolton commands the rearguard, which is defeated by 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; 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
References and Sources
- ↑ SSM:Strength of the regions (February 28, 2002)
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 1, Jaime.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 11, Jaime.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 31, Brienne.
- ↑ The Princess and the Queen
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 56, Tyrion.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 14, Catelyn.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72, Jaime.