Combat at the tower of joy

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Showdown at the Tower of Joy
Tower of Joy.jpg
Ser Arthur Dayne, Ser Gerold Hightower, and Ser Oswell Whent - by Amok ©
Conflict Robert's Rebellion
Date 283 AC
Place The Prince's Pass, Red Mountains of Dorne
Result Pyrrhic Stark victory
House Stark House Targaryen
Lord Eddard Stark
Lord Howland Reed
L.C.Gerold Hightower
Ser Arthur Dayne
7 northmen 3 Kingsguard
Lord Willam Dustin
Martyn Cassel
Theo Wull
Ser Mark Ryswell
Ethan Glover
Lady Lyanna Stark
L.C.Gerold Hightower
Ser Oswell Whent
Ser Arthur Dayne

The Showdown at the Tower of Joy took place at the Tower of Joy in Dorne at the the end of the War of the Usurper. While under the influence of the milk of the poppy because of his broken leg, Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark has a fevered dream[1] of the incident.[2]

According to his dream, Eddard and six of his companions (Howland Reed, Lord Willam Dustin, Ethan Glover, Martyn Cassel, Theo Wull, and Ser Mark Ryswell) approached the tower to recover Eddard's sister, Lyanna Stark. They found it guarded by three members of the Kingsguard: Ser Arthur Dayne, Ser Oswell Whent, and Lord Commander Gerold Hightower.

“I looked for you on the Trident,” Ned said to them.

“We were not there,” Ser Gerold answered.

“Woe to the Usurper if we had been,” said Ser Oswell.

“When King's Landing fell, Ser Jaime slew your king with a golden sword, and I wondered where you were.”

“Far away,” Ser Gerold said, “or Aerys would yet sit the Iron Throne, and our false brother would burn in seven hells.”

“I came down on Storm's End to lift the siege,” Ned told them, and the Lords Tyrell and Redwyne dipped their banners, and all their knights bent the knee to pledge us fealty. I was certain you would be among them.”

“Our knees do not bend easily,” said Ser Arthur Dayne.

“Ser Willem Darry is fled to Dragonstone, with your queen and Prince Viserys. I thought you might have sailed with him.”

“Ser Willem is a good man and true,” said Ser Oswell.

“But not of the Kingsguard,” Ser Gerold pointed out. “The Kingsguard does not flee.”

“Then or now,” said Ser Arthur. He donned his helm.

“We swore a vow,” explained old Ser Gerold.

Ned’s wraiths moved up beside him, with shadow swords in hand. They were seven against three.

“And now it begins,” said Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. He unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with light.

“No,” Ned said with sadness in his voice. “Now it ends.” [2]

Eddard recalls that he and Howland Reed were the only survivors. In the tower Lyanna was dying and claimed a promise from Eddard just before she died. Afterwards, Eddard pulled stones from the tower to make eight cairns for the dead combatants. He brought Dawn to the Dayne castle at Starfall. His sister's body he took back north him so she could be buried with her brother Brandon and her father Rickard in the crypts of Winterfell.[2] Barbrey Dustin, the widow of Lord Willam Dustin, resented that Ned brought Willam's red stallion back, but not Lord Dustin himself.[3] With Ned's execution in King's Landing, Lord Reed is now the only survivor of the skirmish, and the only remaining witness of Eddard's promise to Lyanna.

References and Notes