Siege of Storm's End (299)

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Siege of Storm's End
Conflict War of the Five Kings
Date 299 AC
Place Storm's End, the stormlands
Result Stannis Baratheon victory
House Baratheon of Dragonstone House Baratheon of Storm's End
King Stannis Baratheon
Ser Davos Seaworth
King Renly Baratheon
Ser Cortnay Penrose
Ser Loras Tyrell
Lord Randyll Tarly
Lord Mathis Rowan
5,000[citation needed]
Shadow assassin
20,000[citation needed] mounted troops
Storm's End garrison
none 16,000[citation needed] defect
Renly Baratheon
Cortnay Penrose
Robar Royce
Emmon Cuy
For other articles sharing the same title, please see this disambiguation page.

The siege of Storm's End is a short engagement featuring a regicide during the War of the Five Kings. This siege leads directly to the largest battle of the conflict, the Battle of the Blackwater.



Stannis Baratheon is one of the first members of the small council of his brother, King Robert I Baratheon, to harbor suspicions of the parentage of the king's children, and to discover that they were born of incest between Queen Cersei Lannister and her brother, Ser Jaime. Taking his suspicions and what proof he could muster, in the form of Robert's numerous bastard children, to Lord Jon Arryn, Stannis hopes to convince the Hand of the King, one of Robert's oldest and most trusted friends, of the Lannisters' treason. When Jon dies under suspicious circumstances shortly thereafter, Stannis flees to Dragonstone, his seat of power. Rallying what strength he can, with but few houses sworn to Dragonstone, he closes the port and its surrounding waters, hiring sellsails and pirates of the Free Cities to augment his forces. As the lord of an island domain and the sitting master of ships, Stannis's naval power is considerable, but the sparse population of the rocky, volcanic islands surrounding Dragonstone leave him without the strength to risk openly contesting House Lannister controlling the Iron Throne.[1][2]

After Robert dies and is succeeded by Joffrey I Baratheon, Stannis presents his claims through letters distributed throughout the Seven Kingdoms, proclaiming Joffrey and his siblings the fruit of incest, and claiming the crown as Robert's eldest surviving brother and rightful heir. With neither proof, nor the support or love of nobles and commons alike, his proclamation ends as little more than tavern gossip.[2]

Battling Renly

Even before Stannis's ravens take wing with his claim, his younger brother Renly had ridden from King's Landing to Highgarden, where he wed Margaery Tyrell, the daughter of Lord Mace Tyrell, and claimed the crown for himself. For Stannis, this is blatant treason. Moreover, Stannis is infuriated with the knowledge that the stormlands have thrown in with Renly, despite the fact that Stannis, as the elder son of House Baratheon, should have held claim to the loyalty of his House's ancestral seat, Storm's End. Unwilling to let such treachery pass, when Stannis at last sets out from Dragonstone to war, he makes not for King's Landing, but Storm's End.[3]



Stannis sails for Storm's End, encircling it with his meager land host and blockading it from the sea with his superior naval force.[4][5] Renly cannot let an army take him in the rear, so he rides to Storm's End with all his knights and lords, leaving his infantry encamped at Bitterbridge. During the parley, during which a peach is offered, Stannis and Renly threaten each other but agree that battle will take place at dawn the next day. However, before the battle can take place, a shadow being slays Renly in his tent. A raging Ser Loras Tyrell kills Ser Emmon Cuy and Ser Robar Royce for failing to protect Renly;[6] Brienne of Tarth, who fled with Catelyn Tully, is blamed for the king's murder.[5]

The Garrison

Upon Renly's death, four fifths of the mounted force that had accompanied him to Storm's End go over to Stannis. First among them is Lord Alester Florent, the uncle of Stannis's queen, Selyse Florent. In the end, nearly all of the storm lords and several Reach lords join Stannis's cause. However, some influential nobles, including Ser Loras Tyrell, Lord Mathis Rowan, Lord Randyll Tarly, and Lady Arwyn Oakheart refuse to join Stannis. Ser Cortnay Penrose, Renly's castellan inside Storm's End, continues to hold out, refusing to hand over the castle. During a parley beneath the walls, Cortnay offers single combat with a champion of Stannis's choosing, but is rebuffed by the king. Stannis wants Robert's bastard, Edric Storm, but Cortnay refuses to surrender him.[7]

In order to coerce Ser Cortnay, several ideas are proposed, among them storming the castle, leaving a force to mount a protracted siege, or threatening to kill Cortnay's father, Lord Penrose. Stannis refuses all of these options. Instead, he turns to Davos Seaworth to smuggle Melisandre beneath Storm's End, as its walls are warded against magic. In a cavern under the castle Davos witnesses Melisandre birth a shadow being, indicating she also created Renly's murderer.[7] Cortnay soon falls from a wall and Lord Elwood Meadows, who is Cortnay's second, surrenders the castle.[8] Stannis leaves Ser Gilbert Farring as his castellan, with Elwood as his second and 200 men at his command. After burning the godswood as an offering to R'hllor, Stannis marches north towards King's Landing as his fleet prepares to join him in an amphibious assault.



After the fall of Storm's End, Stannis collects enough men to mount an attack on King's Landing. When news of Renly's death arrives at Bitterbridge, fights break out between those who want to support Stannis and those who wish to follow House Tyrell once Lord Mace has decided his next move. The two knights Stannis dispatches to recruit Renly's infantry, Ser Erren Florent and Ser Parmen Crane, are captured by Ser Loras Tyrell. Lord Randyll Tarly seizes Renly's stores and puts many men-at-arms to death rather than see them go over to Stannis's cause, many of them Florents. Mace Tyrell plans his next move with his sons and bannermen, the greatest of whom have stayed on his side. Meanwhile, the men of the Reach receive a visit from Petyr Baelish, who makes an offer of alliance with House Lannister. The Tyrells join with Tywin Lannister on his march to King's Landing, arriving in time to meet Stannis's own forces in the Battle of the Blackwater.


Your Grace, I see no need for battle here. The castle is strongly garrisoned and well provisioned, Ser Cortnay Penrose is a seasoned commander, and the trebuchet has not been built that could breach the walls of Storm's End. Let Lord Stannis have his siege. He will find no joy in it, and whilst he sits cold and hungry and profitless, we will take King's Landing.[5]
- Mathis Rowan to Renly Baratheon

Bring on your storm, my lord, and recall, if you do, the name of this castle.[7]
Cortnay Penrose to Stannis Baratheon

References and Notes

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