War of the Five Kings
From A Wiki of Ice and Fire
The War of the Five Kings was a large, multi-theater conflict fought in the Seven Kingdoms, from 298-300 AL. As the name implies, at one time during the war five people claimed the title of king: Joffrey Baratheon, Stannis Baratheon and Renly Baratheon all claimed the Iron Throne, whilst the separatists Robb Stark and Balon Greyjoy claimed the title of King in the North and King of the Iron Islands respectively, attempting to secede their lands from the the rule of the Iron Throne.
The War of the Five Kings is the principal military conflict depicted in the first three novels of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, and its aftermath and successor conflicts continue in the latest two novels. According to Archmaester Benedict, the name of the conflict is incorrect because Renly Baratheon was slain before Balon Greyjoy crowned himself, so there never were technically five kings at once.
15 years prior to the break of the conflict, House Baratheon led a popular rebellion, successfully overthrowing the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen. Following the rebellion, King Robert Baratheon reigned over the Kingdoms, securing the succession with three heirs Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen, from his wife Cersei Lannister.
However, the King's Hand, Jon Arryn, and the king's brother, Stannis, became suspicious over the legitimacy of Robert's three children. They investigated and eventually concluded that the children were not Robert's at all, but the product of incest between Cersei and her twin brother, Jaime Lannister. Jon continued his investigations, hoping to produce enough evidence to convince the king. However, before the right time arose to inform King Robert, Lord Arryn was fatally poisoned. Stannis, fearing for his family’s safety and believing Jon was murdered for knowing the truth, immediately returned to Dragonstone and began mustering troops.
Oblivious, King Robert appointed his friend Eddard Stark to the position of Hand. Jon's widow, Lysa Arryn, sent a coded letter to her sister Catelyn, Eddard's wife, claiming that the Lannisters had her husband murdered. Catelyn convinced her husband to go south and investigate as Hand. During the king's trip to Winterfell, Eddard and Catelyn's son Bran had seen the queen and her brother having sex while climbing the walls of the castle. Jaime threw the child from the tower to ensure that the secret died with him, but the boy survived, lingering in a coma. Some days after the King and Hand had left for King's Landing, a hired assassin came to kill the still-comatose lad, but was prevented from doing so by the boy's pet direwolf. Lady Catelyn elected to go south to inform her husband of the attack.
When she arrived in King's Landing, she was met by her old friend, Petyr Baelish, who told her that the hired assassin's dagger had belonged to Tyrion Lannister, another brother of the queen. This was a lie, but neither Catelyn nor Eddard suspected it. Eddard told his wife to return home. While on the return journey, she encountered Tyrion at a roadside inn, and had him arrested for the attack on Bran. She took him to her sister in the Eyrie, where Tyrion faced trial for his alleged crimes. He won his freedom, but the mere fact of his arrest had inflamed tensions between Houses Stark and Lannister.
Eddard also investigated Jon Arryn's death and found out the truth about Cersei's children. Eddard revealed his knowledge to the queen, ordering her to go into exile with her children. Instead, Cersei had Robert given unusually potent wine, while he was on a hunt. While in this inebriated state, he was mauled by a boar. The dying king ordered that Eddard serve as his regent until Joffrey came of age, but Eddard sent a letter offering Stannis the throne, as Stannis was the rightful heir. Sensing a power struggle, Renly Baratheon wished to side with Lord Stark to seize the royal children and crown Renly; Ned refused to crown anyone other than Stannis, so Renly fled King’s Landing with Ser Loras Tyrell to raise his own army. Petyr Baelish betrayed Eddard, bribing Janos Slynt to have the Gold Cloaks support the Lannisters rather than Starks; Eddard was then arrested and imprisoned. Learning of Eddard's arrest, his son and heir Robb Stark called his father's armies together and marched south. Although there was only one king in the realm, the newly-crowned King Joffrey, the War of the Five Kings had begun.
- The King in the Iron Throne: Joffrey Baratheon, succeeded by Tommen Baratheon. Supported by the bannermen of the Iron Throne and the Western lords, later by House Tyrell, the bannermen of Highgarden and the Stormlords and Lords of the Narrow Sea captured at the Battle of the Blackwater. Also supported by House Frey and House Bolton and, begrudingly, the riverlords and northern lords that bent the knee following the Red Wedding and subsequent battles. Nominally supported by House Martell and the Lords of Dorne.
- The King in the North: Robb Stark. Supported by the lords of the North and the Riverlords.
- The King in Highgarden: Renly Baratheon. Supported by the Reach lords and the Stormlords
- The King in the Narrow Sea (later the King at the Wall): Stannis Baratheon. Supported by the Lords of the Narrow Sea, Stormlords the Florents and, briefly, both branches of the Fossoways. Lately gained the support of some Northlords and the Northern mountain clans.
- The King of the Iron Islands: Balon Greyjoy, succeeded by Euron Greyjoy. Supported by the lords of the Iron Islands and ironborn captains.
Course of the war
War in the Riverlands
The war was set as local conflict when Catelyn Stark seized Tyrion Lannister for the attempted murder of her son, Bran. Lord Tywin Lannister bore no special love for Tyrion, but he would not allow such a slight to his house's honor. He made plans to invade the Riverlands, striking at Catelyn's father's house and bannermen, massing two hosts at Casterly Rock. One consisted of 20,000 men to be commanded by himself, with the other 15,000 men to be commanded by his son Ser Jaime. As Tywin began amassing his armies, he sent Ser Gregor Clegane ahead to raid and pillage the Riverlands countryside, creating chaos, containing the river lords to their own keeps. At the same time Tywin hoped to lure Lord Stark himself into the Riverlands and capture him, bringing the campaign to a swift conclusion. However, his plan was unknowingly foiled by Jaime, who after discovering his brother's capture, had his men ambush Eddard in the streets of King's Landing before fleeing for Casterly Rock. The wounded Hand thus sent Lord Beric Dondarrion to stop Gregor Clegane in his stead.
Meanwhile in the Riverlands, Ser Edmure Tully found out that the Lannisters were raising a host at Casterly Rock and sent riders to the Rock, demanding that Lord Tywin proclaim his intent. The Tully banners were called to Riverrun, which proved difficult with Tywin's reavers harassing the river lords, and only 4,000 men were sent under the command of Lords Vance and Piper to guard the passage between the Westerlands and the Riverlands at the Golden Tooth, to prevent any Lannister army from entering Tully lands.
King Robert Baratheon died after a hunting accident, naming Eddard Stark as Lord Regent until his supposed son Prince Joffrey grew to manhood. However, Joffrey immediately claims the Iron Throne with the support of his mother's powerful family, the immensely wealthy House Lannister. Eddard tried to take Joffrey into custody as a false claiamant, naming Stannis Baratheon as the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. However, he is arrested instead after being politically outmaneuvered by Cersei Lannister and Petyr Baelish. Following Joffrey's coronation, Renly Baratheon flees from King's Landing, and Robb Stark calls his fathers bannermen at Winterfell, hastily assembling a host of 12,000 men and marching south to Moat Cailin. Tywin invade the Riverlands.
- Battle of the Golden Tooth. Jaime Lannister is tasked to capture Riverrun, the capital of the riverlands and the seat of House Tully. He first marches east to the Golden Tooth. Commanding some 15,000 men, he easily destroys the defensive forces of 4,000 men Lord Vance has stationed there and make directly for Riverrun, where Edmure Tully hastily assembles his house bannermen.
- Battle of Riverrun. Edmure Tully has gathered a force near Riverrun, when Jaime Lannister’s host attacked. Jaime won another easy victory. Edmure was captured along with many of his bannermen and Lord Tytos Blackwood led the survivors into Riverrun as Jaime’s host besieged the castle.
- Battle at the Mummer's Ford, Lord Beric Dondarrion's force, sent by Lord Eddard Stark to put a stop to Gregor Clegane and bring him to justice, are ambushed while crossing the Mummer's Ford. They are attacked by the combined force of Gregor and Tywin and are nearly wiped out. Lord Tywin, victorious, closes off the Kingsroad and marches north. However, Thoros of Myr and Alyn rallied the survivors and managed to escape. Later, Thoros inadvertently resurrected Beric while performing burial services for him. They continued to lead the remaining men against Gregor and the Lannisters. After the death of Eddard, the group became an outlaw organization called the Brotherhood Without Banners.
- Conquering the Riverlands. Tywin Lannister leads an army of 20,000 men north from the Golden Road to travel across the Trident conquering several of the Riverlord’s holdfasts. Tywin took Raventree Hall, as Lord Tytos Blackwood is trapped in Riverrun. Lady Shella Whent yields Harrenhal as she hadn't enough soldiers to defend it. Gregor Clegane leads attacks that burn out the Pipers and Brackens. In this campaign Ser Cedric Payne was killed, therefore leaving Podrick Payne, his squire with Ser Lorimer the Belly.
The North Joins the War
After assembling his force on the march, Robb Stark, arrives at Moat Cailin, where he is joined by his mother, Catelyn and force of 1,750 from White Harbor, to total 18,000 men. Moat Cailin is a formidable defensible position that held countless southron invaders in the past, where he garrisons a small force mostly consisting of archers, to hold the ruin. Additionally, Robb sends word to Howland Reed to bleed any Lannister host that attempts to come north. However, Robb knows that Lord Tywin is too smart to try and will stay close to the Trident taking castles one by one until Riverrun stands alone and with Riverrun under siege, he has no choice but to ride south to meet him.
However, his options are limited as he can cross the Trident either at the Twins (where the Freys remained neutral and unlikely to side with northerners) or the Ruby Ford (which Tywin could easily reach and seal off). Robb's mother Catelyn devises a plan to gain Lord Frey's support. Bolstered by the Freys and Mallisters, Robb splits his horse and foot, sending the foot down the kingsroad to engage Tywin while the horse will cross at the Twins and race to Riverrun and surprise the besiegers.
- Battle of the Green Fork. Lord Tywin’s army met its first real opposition as House Stark entered the war on behalf of House Tully. Roose Bolton marched down the Kingsroad with his force of roughly 16,000 foot men, mostly infantry. He planned a night attack, but Addam Marbrand’s outriders saw them coming and roused Tywin’s army in time to prepare for battle. Tywin’s host won victory but Lord Bolton was able to retreat with the battered remnants of the army to the Twins. Tywin discovered that the battle was only a diversion: surprisingly to him, Catelyn Stark, managed to sway the Freys to the northern cause, allowing Robb Stark to cross the Trident with his cavalry and strike for Riverrun.
- Battle of the Whispering Wood. After gaining the allegiance of the Freys, Robb Stark took command of the cavalry, crossing at the Twins and striking south for Riverrun. On the way he is joined with additional soldiers from Seagard. Robb plans to take Jaime Lannister unawares and lift the siege of Riverrun before Lord Tywin can alert and/or reinforce them. Unaware of the danger, Jaime Lannister rides out on frequent raids with a few hundred men against Ser Marq Piper. Learning of this, Robb prepares his trap, taking Jaime by surprise and capturing him in the Whispering Wood.
- Battle of the Camps. The night after the Whispering Wood, Brynden Tully led a force against the split Western host besieging Riverrun. Unaware of the danger, they were caught asleep and completely off-guard. Lord Andros Brax led his men in the western camp across the river to aid the other camps, however most of their rafts were destroyed by the defenders of Riverrun - he was one of many killed. Those that reached the northern side were easily defeated by Ser Brynden's men. Robb then attacked the west camp with the remainder of his men. Seeing Robb’s attack, the besieged Lord Tytos Blackwood rode out to join the battle. Ser Forley Prester led the remaining south camp back to Golden Tooth.
The Crowning of Kings
With the death of King Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark, the realm sees rise of multiple kings who trying to fill the void, in order of proclamation: Renly Baratheon, Robb Stark, Stannis Baratheon and Balon Greyjoy. Robert's brothers Stannis and Renly who individually lay claim on the throne, divided House Baratheon three ways, between them and King Joffrey who sits on the Throne. Rob Stark, proclaimed a free North and Balon Greyjoy proclaim independence of the Iron Islands.
King Renly Baratheon, the younger brother of late King Robert. Immediately upon hearing of his brother's death and having failed to win the support of the King's Hand, Eddard Stark, Renly Baratheon fled the city for Highgarden. With help of Loras Tyrell he was able to secure alliance with the Reach, wedding Margaery Tyrell, he declares himself King of the Seven Kingdoms. With the support of the Stormlands and the strength of the Reach behind him. Renly assembles a huge host of 80,000 men and slowly marches towards King's Landing, letting the Lannisters and Starks bleed each other. Meanwhile, Lord Mace Tyrell assembles another host at Highgarden.
King Robb Stark. Following the death of Lord father Eddard, he is proclaimed the King in the North by his bannermen and the riverlords declared for him aswell, after he just saved them from certain defeat by the Lannisters. With the riverlords joining forces with Robb, he commands the combined military strength of both the North and the Riverlands. He hopes to gain the support of House Arryn who remained neutral and alliance with the King Greyjoy and/or King Renly, sending his foster brother Theon Greyjoy to treat with his father, Lord Balon and his mother Lady Catelyn to Bitterbridge to try to reach an alliance with King Renly. Left with no choice he decide to take the initiative and strike the Lannister power base, hoping to receive support from the Greyjoy, who would strike at Casterly Rock, while Robb draws the Lannisters away.
King Stannis Baratheon, Given the illegitimacy of Robert's children, Stannis felt it his duty to take the Iron Throne as the next in-line of succession. Stannis has fled to Dragonstone following Lord Jon Arryn's murder, and has been gathering his strength since. However, his forces are too few to challenge the Lannisters or Renly: only his fleet was of a remarkable strength, mainly due to his position as Master of Ships before the conflict, and his alliance with the Lyseni pirate Salladhor Saan. However Stannis has been swayed by a priestess of the Lord of the Light named Melisandre, who has seen in a vision that Renly will die, and the banners of the Reach and the Stormlands will flock to him. Stannis is declared king by his few bannermen at Dragonstone, and sails with his 5,000 men for Storm's End.
King Balon Greyjoy, Balon has called his banners and has been preparing for war for some time now, seizing every ship on the islands so word cannot spread to the green lands, and to supplement the Iron Fleet. When Theon Greyjoy arrives bearing the alliance offer from King Robb, Balon dismisses it, saying that Casterly Rock is too strong and that Theon has grown soft and forgotten his roots. Balon, Lord Reaper of Pyke, does not want to be given a crown, he wants to take it, paying the iron price like a true Ironborn. Balon has his own plan: with the Northmen fighting down south, their lands are ripe for the taking, with only unsuspecting green boys and old men to hold them, and no defensive fleet to speak of. With his son returned to him from captivity at the hands of the Starks, there is nothing else to hold Balon back.
- Reclaiming the Trident. King Robb gives his Riverlords leave to reclaim their lands. Tytos Blackwood reclaims Raventree as the Lannister men fled and scorched the land. Jonos Bracken reclaimed Stone Hedge after a fierce battle costing the life of his nephew and heir Hendry. Darry knights also reclaim Darry for their young Lord Lyman. Karyl Vance and Marq Piper take raiding parties to attack Lannister foragers. Much later, the other bannermen were also able to reclaim their holdfasts as the Lannisters retreated.
- Sack of Darry Gregor Clegane attacks the castle with his fierce company. After his victory over the garrison, he has the entire household put to the sword, including the young Lord Lyman, which ends the Darry line.
Rise of the Kraken
Balon plans three main strikes. He sends his brother Victarion with the bulk of the fleet to take Moat Cailin, a natural choke point which has protected the North from southern invasion for thousands of years, in order to cut off the Northmen from their lands. He sends his daughter and preferred heir Asha with a dozen ships to take Deepwood Motte, and Theon to raid along the Stony Shore, providing a distraction for his main strikes. With these moves, the whole western coast will be in the Ironborn hands.
- Battle of Moat Cailin. Victarion Greyjoy leads the entire Iron Fleet of a hundred ships up the Saltspear to descend upon the 400 men King Robb left to defend Moat Cailin. By attacking from the north, he was able to bypass the natural defenses of the fortress, and easily defeated the northmen. By capturing Moat Cailin, the Greyjoys blocked the way back for the Stark host, stranding them in the Riverlands without a real chance to take it back, allowing Balon to execute the rest of his plan.
- Battle of Deepwood Motte. Asha Greyjoy leads a dozen ships around Sea Dragon Point to attack the small wooden keep of House Glover located just off the coast. The keep was easily overrun by the ironmen, making captives of Sybelle Glover, her young children, and Larence Snow, the ward of Galbart Glover.
- Battle of Stony Shore. Theon Greyjoy, under supervision of Aeron Greyjoy and Dagmer Cleftjaw, leads eight ships in raiding along the Stony Shore, raiding fishing villages, taking salt wives and burning them to the ground. At the news of Ironborn raiding, Benfred Tallhart leads a company he had dubbed the Wild Hares to deal with the raiders. Theon ambushes this band, killing them all, while the only ironmen casualty was Todric, killed by Theon after the battle. Theon feels these insignificant raids are beneath him and devises a new plan: he gives Aeron six longships and commands him to continue the raiding, and gives Dagmer most of their men and sends him to besiege Torrhen's Square, knowing that this will draw levies from Winterfell, while he himself would descend upon the defenseless castle.
- Battle of Torrhen's Square. Dagmer Cleftjaw is commanded to besiege the small keep by Theon in a ruse to draw out Ser Rodrik Cassel and the household guard of Winterfell. Rodrik arrived as planned, easily lifting the siege and driving the ironmen back to the Stony Shore, only to hear that Winterfell had fallen in his absence.
- Battle of Winterfell. Theon descends on the few remaining guards with only twenty men, storming the castle at night and conquering the mighty castle with ease. Theon declared himself the Prince of Winterfell and took Ramsay Bolton, in the disguise of "Reek", as a retainer. Bran Stark, Rickon Stark, Little Walder Frey, Big Walder Frey, Meera Reed, Jojen Reed and Beth Cassel were all kept as hostages. However, Brandon, Rickon, Jojen and Meera escaped. To avoid embarrassment, Theon had Ramsay kill two boys in place of the Starks and announced to the world that they were dead.
The War goes on
- Regroup at the Golden Tooth, after the defeat at Riverrun, the remnants of Jaime Lannister's army have regrouped at the Golden Tooth and Stafford Lannister was put in charge of raising a new Lannister host.
- Battle of Oxcross. King Robb marches west, bypassing the Golden Tooth, after his wolf detects a secret path trough the mountains. He falls on the newly raised Lannister host by surprise, after his uncle Ser Brynden Tully quietly killed the few sentries. The easy victory badly bleeds the Lannister host, which was forced to retreat to Lannisport. Stafford is killed by Lord Rickard Karstark; Rupert Brax is also killed and several bannermen are captured. On the North’s side, Stevron Frey was wounded and dies three days later.
- Siege of Storm's End. Stannis Baratheons arrives with his 5,000 men from Dragonstone and lays siege to Storm's End, the seat of his brother, King Renly. Hearing of this, Renly splits his force encamped at Bitterbridge, taking his mounted forces of 20,000 he rides to Storm's End to deal with his brother. After a failed parlay where neither would yield, the battle was set at dawn. However, the battle doesn't take place, as Renly is assassinated by an animated shadow summoned by the red priestess Melisandre. Many of Renly’s bannermen now swear allegiance to Stannis, with the majority of the Stormlords and some lords of the Reach defecting, such as the Florents and both branches of Fossoways. However, the most important lords of the Reach don't go over, and return to Bitterbridge. Additionally, Storm's End's castellan Cortnay Penrose refuses to yield the castle, partially because the safety of his ward, Edric Storm, a bastard son of Robert Baratheon, could not be guaranteed. Davos Seaworth rows Melisandre past the castle walls, where she summons another shadow that assassinates Ser Cortnay. After his death, the castle submitted to Stannis.
- Scouring the Westerlands After Oxcross, King Robb’s army falls on the nearby keep of Ashemark. The keep is easily sacked and the castellan is killed. Robb Stark and his Riverlands-Northern host continue to scour the Westerlands after sacking Ashemark. Galbart Glover and Rickard Karstark raid along the coast. Maege Mormont captures thousands of livestock and drives them back towards Riverrun. Greatjon Umber captures the gold mines at Castamere, Nunn's Deep and Pendric Hills.
- Battle of the Fords. Tywin Lannister, hearing of King Robb’s victories in the Westerlands, marches his army from Harrenhal, intent on reclaiming his lands. Edmure Tully, not wanting Tywin to cross the Trident un-bloodied, places an army of 13,000 men along key fords of the Red Fork. After sending many small forces trying to test the defenses, Tywin has his men attack in force at a dozen places. The most heated battle is at Stone Mill, where Edmure turns back Gregor Clegane’s men. Gregor is wounded from a dozen arrows and Leo Lefford drowns. The other Lannister forces are also defeated and Robert Brax is killed. Lyle Crakehall, called the Strongboar, is captured, and Tywin stops his assault.
- Sack of Harrenhal. Having taking the Ruby Ford and the crossroads, Roose Bolton is ordered by Edmure to take Harrenhal. With Tywin on the march, the castle is held by Amory Lorch as castellan of 200 men. After joining with Helman Tallhart’s company from the Twins, Bolton's host marches down toward the castle. Vargo Hoat, the commander of the Brave Companions, reportedly gives battle to Roose’s vanguard at the Ruby Ford, capturing its commander Robett Glover, Ser Aenys Frey and 100 lesser prisoners. However, the Northmen were quickly freed by Arya Stark with the help of Jaqen H'ghar, Rorge and Biter. At the same time, the Brave Companions turn on the Lorch men and let Roose Bolton's men into the castle. Amory is captured and later killed for sport in a bear pit. Vargo is rewarded for joining the North with the Lordship of Harrenhal.
- At Bitterbridge. Garlan Tyrell, commanding the remaining 60,000 men of Renly’s army, is joined by the returning bannermen from Storm’s End as well as Mace Tyrell’s host of 10,000 men from Highgarden. Stannis sent Parmen Crane and Erren Florent with the hope of winning the armies there. After the news went through the camps, several fights broke out between those that wanted to aid Stannis and those who remained loyal to Renly and/or House Tyrell. Many returned to their homes, while some quickly traveled to join Stannis’s host as he marched toward King’s Landing. Lord Randyll Tarly seizes Renly's stores and puts many men to death, mostly Florents. Parmen Crane and Erren Florent, two knights sent to retrieve men for Stannis, are taken prisoner by Loras Tyrell. Soon after, Petyr Baelish, representing the Iron Throne, wins the allegiance of House Tyrell, and riders are sent north to warn Tywin Lannister of the danger to the capital. Tywin joins his near-20,000 men to Mace Tyrell's remaining 50,000 men to march against Stannis.
- Battle of the Blackwater. Cersei Lannister arranges for the creation of vast amounts of wildfire, to be used in the defense of King's Landing, and Tyrion has a long metal chain prepared across the Blackwater. Imry Florent, commander of Stannis’s fleet, leads nearly all of Stannis's ships into Blackwater Rush to engage the remainder of the Royal Fleet. However, Joffrey's ships are unmanned and filled with wildfire. The ships are set ablaze while the chain is raised to cut off any retreat. Trapped in a river of fire, some of Stannis' ships managed to transport the remainder of his 20,000 troops across the river, where they met the city's defenses of 5,000 Goldcloaks. Despite his many setbacks, Stannis took two of the city gates and was near victory when his rearguard was attacked by the combined Lannister-Tyrell host of 70,000 men, securing victory for the Iron Throne, which now controlled the whole south and west. However, Stannis and many of his most loyal men are able to retreat and return to Dragonstone.
The war winds down
The victory at the Battle of the Blackwater decides the outcome of the war. Stannis is beaten, the Lannister-Tyrell alliance is secure, and Tyrion Lannister, acting Hand, has bound Dorne to the Iron Throne by the betrothal of Myrcella Baratheon to Trystane Martell. The whole south and west are now controlled by the Lannisters and their allies. In the North, King Robb has lost control of parts of his homeland, with his own castle Winterfell held by ironmen. His allies begin to splinter after he executes Rickard Karstark and betrays his promise to the Freys by marrying Jeyne Westerling. Robb needs to restore his power and returns home, however his way is blocked by the ironborn at Moat Cailin.
- Siege of Darry. Ser Helman Tallhart retakes Darry from the Lannister army, which surrenders after a brief siege. A short time later, Lord Bolton sends a letter to Ser Helman ordering him to put all captives to the sword and the castle to the torch by command of the King In The North.
- Sack of Winterfell. Rodrik Cassel returns to besiege Winterfell with 2,000 men. By threatening Rodrik's daughter, Theon delays the northmens' attack until Ramsay Snow arrives with 400 men from the Dreadfort. Believing them to be allies, Rodrik's men were taken completely by surprise when they attacked. Rodrik and his officers are killed and the leaderless northern host is routed by the Bolton men, who lose only 20 of their own. Theon allows Ramsay's men into the castle, where he quickly turns on the ironmen as well, killing them all except Theon. The castle is put to the torch and many of the Stark household are killed, including Maester Luwin. Theon, Little Walder Frey, Big Walder Frey, Kyra, Old Nan and Beth Cassel are all taken back to the Dreadfort as captives.
- Sack of Torrhen’s Square Dagmer Cleftjaw returns to the keep after Rodrik and Leobald Tallhart depart for Winterfell. The sparsely defended keep is easily stormed by the ironmen. They kill the castellan and take the Tallhart household captive.
- Battle of the Crag. Robb’s continues his campaign in the Westerlands. Moving west he falls on the half-ruined Westerling castle the Crag, conquering it with ease. During the storming of the Crag, Robb took a minor wound and needed some time to recover. When news reaches him of Theon's supposed murder of his brothers, he seeks comfort in the arms of Jeyne Westerling. Robb marries her the next day, thus breaking his promise and marriage betrothal with House Frey. Consequently Lord Walder Frey's forces withdraw their support of Robb in protest and leave. Having lost his Frey bannermen, parts of the North, his seat and Moat Cailin, Robb abandons his campaign in the Westerlands and marches back east.
- Battle of Duskendale. With Robb Stark on the march back east, Roose Bolton puts Robett Glover in command of 3,000 loyal northmen in Harrenhal, commanding them to move south and take the town of Duskendale and its keep, the Dun Fort. This command was falsely given, however, as Roose Bolton had heard news of Tywin’s great victory at the Battle of the Blackwater and plotted to switched sides to join the Lannisters. Robett's force arrived at Duskendale to find Randyll Tarly’s larger force waiting, and was easily defeated. Robett leads the survivors back towards Harrenhal and encounters another army led by Gregor Clegane. Robett and Lord Harrion Karstark are captured, while Ser Helman Tallhart is killed.
- Beheading of Rickard Karstark. Lord Rickard Karstark takes out his revenge against the Lannisters by murdering the captives Willem Lannister and Tion Frey when he heard that Catelyn Tully had released Jaime Lannister. Robb Stark holds Rickard and a handful of his men responsible and they were executed. Robb beheaded Rickard himself for the crime of murdering prisoners. This act drives the Karstark forces away from Robb's army.
- Battle of the burning septry. The Brotherhood Without Banners attack a town near Harrenhal held by the Brave Companions, cornering most of them inside a septry which they put to flames, causing the sellswords to try to escape. The Brotherhood is victorious and liberates a group of brown brothers that had been taken captive. They also find Utt, the child-killing Septon, whom they hang.
- Battle of the Ruby Ford. Roose Bolton retreats from Harrenhal and marches his forces slowly to the North, allowing Gregor Clegane to advance on him, striking at Bolton's rear guard while his forces were crossing the ford. This may have been a calculated move on Bolton's part, allowing Gregor Clegane to dispose him of another 2,000 loyal northmen led by Wylis Manderly. Gregor won an easy victory, taking Wylis captive. To defend the ford, Roose left some 600 loyal northmen led by Kyle Condon and Ronnel Stout.
- Retaking of Harrenhal. After the victory at the Ruby Ford, under orders from Tywin, Gregor Clegane and his men double back and retake Harrenhal, which Roose Bolton had left in the hands of Lord Vargo Hoat and his Brave Companions. However by the time they arrived, most of the Brave Companions garrison had fled, allowing them an easy victory. Gregor then butchered Vargo Hoat.
- The Red Wedding. King Robb, hearing of Balon Greyjoy’s sudden death and how many ironmen had returned to the isles to choose a new king, planned to quickly retake the North. On his way he receives word that Lord Walder Frey would reconcile on the condition that he apologize in person and Ser Edmure marry one of his daughters at the Twins. Robb moves north to the Twins, leaving the riverlords to defend Riverrun and the surrounding holdfasts. He sends Maege Mormont & Galbart Glover by ship to find Howland Reed to aid their retaking of the North. Robb is soon joined by Roose Bolton and his remaining men at the Twins. Unknown to him, the wedding feast is a trap, during which Frey and Bolton men turned on Robb and his men, killing him, his mother Catelyn, a large number of his noble allies and virtually annihilating the Northern armies and the Stark male line (with Robb's heirs Bran and Rickon presumed dead). For his part in the slaughter, Roose Bolton is appointed Warden of the North by the Iron Throne.
With three of the five kings dead and Stannis too weak to be a threat, the whole south and west was under control of the Iron Throne and most of the Lords of the Trident yielded except Tully, Mallister and Blackwood. King Joffrey’s and the Lannisters' victory seem secure, but it did not last long: the sudden deaths of Joffrey (poisoned at his own wedding) and his hand Tywin (murdered by his son) proved severe blows to House Lannister. In their stead the young Prince Tommen was crowned, with his mother, Cersei Lannister, as regent.
However, the conflict is far from over: Euron Greyjoy succeeds Balon Greyjoy and his ironborn remain in control of large areas of the North, whilst Stannis is still alive, and following his arrival at the Wall and assisting the Night's Watch in repelling the wildling horde, attempts to establish a new power-base there, to seize control of the North and use it to renew his fight for the Iron Throne.
- Attacks of Lady Stoneheart. After the Red Wedding, Beric Dondarrion discovered Catelyn Stark's corpse and sacrificed his life to resurrect her. The mutilated Catelyn took control of the Brotherhood as "Lady Stoneheart" and led them on an even more aggressive vendetta against the Freys and Lannisters. The band kidnapped and executed several Freys present at the Red Wedding.
- Battle of Castle Black. Davos Seaworth, after receiving a plea from the Night's Watch, convinced Stannis Baratheon to help them. Stannis decided that he wanted to concentrate on the king's duties, rather than his rights, which meant first and foremost to defend the realm. Stannis, took his remaining forces north and arrived at the Wall just in time to crush a wildling assault at Castle Black. Having defeated the main force of Wildlings, who were now either scattered or allied with the Watch, Stannis decided to rally the support of the Northern Lords. Jon Snow suggested that Stannis could win the support of the Northern mountain clans as they would be awed by seeing a real King and would rally to save "The Ned's girl" and secondly, to fight the Ironborn who invaded the Northern shores.
- Sack of Saltpans. After the fall of Harrenhal and the death of Vargo Hoat, the Brave Companions disband and scatter in lesser bands. One group led by Rorge, who has taken the helm of Sandor Clegane, sack and burn the town of Saltpans, while Ser Quincy Cox cowers inside his castle. A dozen woman are raped, including a twelve years old girl. The raid is attributed to Sandor Clegane, due to Rorge wearing the Hound's helm, and the Brotherhood Without Banners.
- Siege of Seagard. Black Walder Frey leads a host to besiege Jason Mallister's forces. However at the threat of his son and heir Patrek’s hanging, he quickly conceded. The two become prisoners of their own keep.
- Battle of the Shield Islands. The newly elected King Euron Greyjoy of the Iron Islands begins a campaign to conquer all of the Seven Kingdoms, beginning by sailing 1,000 ships to attack the Shield Islands, where a fleet guarded access to the mainland of the Reach. Sending two ships up the Mander River to draw away most of the fleet, the remaining defenders find themselves vastly outnumbered as Victarion Greyjoy leads an attack. Euron stormed Hewett Castle on Oakenshield. Ser Harras Harlaw was given Grimstone after defeating seven knights of House Grimm in single combat on the Isle of Greyshield. The other Islands of Greenshield and Southshield were also taken. Ser Talbert Serry is killed by Victarion and Lord Moribald Chester was also killed. Garlan Tyrell breaks off his plans to take Brightwater Keep and marches to Highgarden to defend the Reach should the ironmen sail upriver.
- The Fall of Moat Cailin. The Ironborn-occupied Moat Cailin is approached from the North by the army of Ramsay Bolton and from the south by the forces of Roose Bolton. Ramsay sends Theon Greyjoy to offer terms and safe passage to the Ironborn if they surrender unarmed. When they do surrender Ramsay has all sixty three flayed alive and impales their skinless bodies on pikes along the route of the moat.
- Rebirth of the Faith Militant. In the aftermath of the War of the Five Kings, religious fervor in the Seven Kingdoms sees an increase. Many pilgrims and refugees, often called Sparrows, congregate to the Great Sept of Baelor in King's Landing. In exchange for calling off the crown's debt, Cersei Lannister allows the Faith of the Seven to rearm, leading to the rebirth of the Warrior's Sons and Poor Fellows. The faith later imprisons Cersei Lannister and Margaery Tyrell for alleged crimes of treason and adultery. The reborn army of the Faith of the Seven makes them now a formidable force in the Seven Kingdoms.
- Siege of Storm’s End. Mace Tyrell is commanded to take the castle. Shortly after arriving, he hears of his daughter Margaery's imprisonment at the Great Sept of Baelor. Leaving a token force, he marches on King's Landing after ordering Randyll Tarly to march south from Maidenpool and join him there.
- Siege of Dragonstone. Loras Tyrell pledges to take command of the siege after hearing of the Battle of the Shields. In return, Cersei Lannister allows the Redwyne fleet to sail west and defend the Reach after the fighting. Upon arrival at Dragonstone, Loras launches an immediate attack. After suffering many losses, the Tyrell army forces the defenders to retreat to the inner keep. Loras again leads a fierce attack and successfully captured the keep, but at a high cost. Loras himself was reportedly burned with boiling oil and severely wounded during the battle.
- Siege of Riverrun. Ser Brynden Tully holds the castle of Riverrun in defiance of a large host of Freys, Lannisters and defeated Riverlords camped outside. Edmure Tully is displayed daily on a gibbet, but Brynden does not surrender and exposed the display as an empty threat. The lords outside bickered and could make no progress. Jaime Lannister was sent to the castle to expedite the fall of Riverrun. Jaime releases Edmure Tully and threatened that if he, as heir to Riverrun, did not yield the castle, then Jaime would sack it and kill Edmure's unborn child. Edmure surrenders the castle but not before aiding his uncle in escaping capture. The castle was left in the care of its new lord, Emmon Frey, with 300 guards.
- Sack of Ryamsport. Following the conquest of the Shield Islands, the ironborn sack the port town of Ryamsport.
- Invasion of Vinetown and Starfish Harbor. Following the conquest of the Shield Islands, the ironborn also invade Vinetown and Starfish Harbor and take them for their own. They begin using both towns as bases to prey on ships bound for Oldtown.
- Attack on the Cinnamon Wind.: An ironborn longship attack the Cinnamon Wind as she approached Whispering Sound. Kojja Mo and her archers manage to drive it away.
- Siege of Raventree. Lord Jonos Bracken is commanded to besiege the castle of his nemesis, House Blackwood. Jonos had only sided with the Lannisters in the first place because the Blackwoods had stayed loyal to King Robb. Fighting was fierce at the castle and neither side triumphed. Tytos Blackwood, however, surrendered to Jaime Lannister upon his arrival (as Blackwood would never have surrendered to Bracken), with Blackwood forfeiting several lands to Bracken and giving Jaime his son, Hoster Blackwood, as a hostage. Tytos also suggested to take a hostage from House Bracken as well. The surrender of Raventree represented the unoffical end of the War of the Five Kings in the Riverlands.
- Retaking of Deepwood Motte. Stannis Baratheon's forces, bolstered by the mountain clans, attack the ironborn-held Deepwood Motte and return it to the Glovers. Several Ironborn are captured including Asha Greyjoy and Tristifer Botley.
- Siege of Winterfell. The army of northmen under Stannis Baratheon march to take Winterfell from Roose Bolton. According to a letter sent to the wall by Ramsay Snow the army of Stannis was defeated and Stannis was killed, it is unknown however if the letter (or certain parts of it) was a lie or not.
- Landing of the Golden Company. Aegon Targaryen and Jon Connington cross the narrow sea with the ten thousand strong sellsword company the Golden Company. The Company has landed in Tarth, Estermont, Rainwood and several other Stormlands territories. The company has taken several castles already such as Griffin's Roost and next plan to take Storm's End to use as a base of operation. Their goal is to crown "Aegon VI."
While conflicts continue to engulf the Seven Kingdoms, the War of the Five Kings resulted in vast devastation, the burning of crops and food supplies by rival armies means that with Winter now engulfing Westeros as of 300 AL, many more will starve and die. The Riverlands bore the brunt of the fighting, but the North, Westerlands and Stormlands were hit heavy by the war also. While the Reach did not suffer land hostilities, its resources were used to supply the armies supported by House Tyrell, while it is suffering raiding and invasions from the ironborn. The only two regions to so far to stay out of the war and keep their crops and food supply intact are the Vale and Dorne.
The time period during the War of the Five Kings is noted as containing other conflicts and campaigns that were directly or indirectly related, although not part of the conflict proper. The two principal theaters are Daenerys Targaryen's eastern campaigns against the Ghiscari and the Night's Watch renewed conflict with forces beyond the Wall.
Beyond the Wall
- Main article: Conflict Beyond the Wall
While the War of the Five Kings raged in the south of Westeros the Night's Watch was engaged in heavy fighting not only against resurgent Wildling forces but their ancient enemy, the Others, who had reawoken after centuries. While the conflicts at and north of the Wall cannot be characterized as a campaign or war by any one side it can be viewed as a three-sided conflict between forces each pursuing their own goals at the expense of the others.
In the East
Whilst the War of the Five Kings raged in Westeros and the Night's Watch battled for its survival, several other conflicts erupted on the eastern continent. Many of these wars were minor: the Dothraki mounting their usual heavy raids on the lands of the Lhazareen, another brewing war between Myr and Lys for control of the Disputed Lands and so forth. However, one was major and significantly shifted the balance of power. This war would also later directly impact on affairs in Westeros.
After the War of the Usurper, the eight-year-old Viserys Targaryen and the newborn Daenerys Targaryen took refuge in the Free Cities. When she was nearly fourteen years of age (ca. 298 AL) Daenerys was sold to the Dothraki Khal Drogo in return for the use of his forty thousand bloodriders in placing Viserys on the Iron Throne. However, Viserys proved impatient and unwisely insulted Khal Drogo, resulting in his death at Drogo's hands. Drogo eventually perished from a wound taken in battle and his khal was divided up amongst his old lieutenants. Daenerys and a small entourage of the remaining, made up largely of the old, sick or young were left to die in the red wastes, but eventually found safety in the city of Qarth on the Jade Sea. During this time three ancient eggs belonging to House Targaryen and restored to Daenerys by her ally Illyrio Mopatis hatched into dragons. After attempts on her life in Qarth, Daenerys was able to return to Pentos on ships sent to rescue her by Mopatis.
- Sack of Astapor. After taking the three merchant vessels of Illyrio Mopatis, Daenerys followed the council of Jorah Mormont to buy Unsullied soldiers from Astapor for her conquest of Westeros. She traded her dragon Drogon for 8600 Unsullied and immediately used them to take the city, taking back her dragon as well. She freed the slaves of Astapor, including her Unsullied, and left a council of freedmen to rule the city, led by a healer, a priest, and a scholar. With her new army, Daenerys marched north on Yunkai. Many Astapori freedmen followed her.
- Battle of Yunkai. The Yunkai'i met her three leagues from the city with a host of five thousand, including two sellsword companies of five hundred each, the Stormcrows and the Second Sons. The bulk of the host consisted of slave soldiers. However, Yunkai's specialty was sex slaves, and one of Daenerys's captains dismissed its soldiers as 'bedboys armed with spears.' Daenerys treated with the captains of the enemy contingents, giving Yunkai three days to surrender. She attacked that night and the Stormcrows betrayed the Yunkai'i. The rest of the host was scattered or captured. The Second Sons joined Daenerys after the battle. The Yunkai'i surrendered several days later, releasing all their slaves.
- Siege of Meereen. Meereen, the northernmost city of Slaver's Bay, was also the best-fortified. The Meereenese used a scorched earth defense against Daenerys's army and nailed up slave children pointing the way to the city. A champion, Oznak zo Pahl, emerged to challenge the invaders, and was slain by Daenerys's eunuch bodyguard Strong Belwas, a former gladiator in Meereen. Daenerys broke up her ships for timber in preparation for a siege. To avoid an extended campaign, Ser Jorah, Barristan Selmy and Strong Belwas led a small force through the city's sewers. They released the gladiator slaves of the fighting pits and used the ensuing chaos to open the city's gates. In contrast to the previous Ghiscari cities, Daenerys lingers at Meereen and rules it as queen. This was because at this time, she received word that her ruling council in Astapor had been overthrown by a dictatorial butcher, resulting in much suffering. Not wanting to let this happen to Meereen, she decided to stay.
- The Shadow War. An organization known as the Sons of the Harpy have been performing night attacks killing lone freemen, Shavepates and Unsullied. A shadow war is being fought in Meereen since Dany decided to stay and rule Meereen. They draw a bloody harpy near the bodies of those they slay. They have grown bolder and their attacks more vicious as time goes by, and the number of nightly killings has slowly increased.
- Siege of Astapor. The armies of Yunkai and several hired sellsword companies besiege Astapor. The armies of the new Butcher King attack the besieging army in a dawn attack and almost succeed in overrunning the ill prepared Yunkish nobles. If not for the sellsword companies the Yunkai'i would have lost. The Butcher King and the entire city is put to the sword. Several freemen manage to escape and flee to Meereen, bringing with them the Pale Mare, a disease that spreads quickly.
Daenerys desperate for peace marries Hizdahr zo Loraq and temporary peace is established. Yunkai and Meereen sign a treaty. The fighting pits are reopened to celebrate the wedding. Drogon drawn to the smell of blood and the noise arrives and is almost slain. Daenerys seeing her "child" in peril runs to him. Drogon takes Dany on dragonback away from the city, many believe her dead. The peace is fraying, The Yunkai demand the dragons be put down. Ser Barristan Selmy learns that the Yunkai are planning to re-enslave the former slaves Daenerys freed and Hizdahr is possibly in on the plot. He seizes control and captures Hizdahr. Volantis is sailing its fleet to Meereen to aid the Yunkai. Selmy prepares for war.
The Iron Fleet
The Iron Fleet under Victarion Greyjoy sails to Meereen to bring Daenerys and her dragons to Westeros. His fleet conduct several raids capturing dozens of ships. While the fleet is anchored near Volantis to take supplies, Victarion learns the Volantis fleet is sailing to Meereen to end the reign of Daenerys Targaryen. Victarion has the Iron Fleet sail to Slaver's Bay and it is most likely the Iron Fleet will arrive before the Volantis Fleet.
|“||One little dragon could end this great big war. ||”|
References and Notes
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