War of the Ninepenny Kings
|War of the Ninepenny Kings |
Part of Blackfyre Pretenders
|Location||Stepstones, Free Cities|
Band of Nine fall from power |
End of Blackfyre line.
The War of the Ninepenny Kings, also known as the Fifth Blackfyre Rebellion, was a conflict involving several of the Free Cities and the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. After the Band of Nine set their sights on Westeros, King Jaehaerys II Targaryen dispatched an army to the Stepstones to defeat them.
Late during the reign of King Aegon V Targaryen, the Blackfyres re-emerged to trouble the Seven Kingdoms. In 258 AC news reached King's Landing that the so-called Band of Nine, a group of ambitious power-seekers in Essos, had come together under the Tree of Crowns, where they vowed to aid one another in achieving their goals. Prominent among them was Maelys Blackfyre, who was said to have consumed his twin in the womb, resulting in a second head growing out of his neck. A few years before, Maelys had won the command of the Golden Company by killing his cousin Daemon and was determined to reclaim his rightful throne as last of the Blackfyre line.
When told of these events, Prince Duncan Targaryen famously quipped that "crowns were being sold nine a penny", and afterwards the Band of Nine became known in Westeros as the Ninepenny Kings. Most men thought that the threat posed by these pretenders would be countered by the might of the Free Cities, but preparations were made to make sure the Blackfyres could not land in Westeros.
When Jaehaerys II Targaryen came onto his throne after the death of his father, King Aegon V, in the Tragedy of Summerhall in 259 AC, he was immediately plunged into war. The Band of Nine had met their goals with initial success, conquering the Disputed Lands and securing the Free City of Tyrosh, setting up Alequo Adarys, the Silvertongue, as its ruler. Second, they secured the Stepstones as a base for operations against Westeros.
Jaehaerys II recognized the threat and sent a large force to the Stepstones to remove the danger before it grew any larger. Although he was willing to command his forces himself, the king was dissuaded from this by his Hand, Lord Ormund Baratheon, who took the command upon himself. The task force included a fleet of one hundred longships led by Quellon Greyjoy, Lord of the Iron Islands, and a force of eleven thousand knights and men-at-arms sent by Lord Tytos Lannister from the westerlands, under the leadership of his younger brother, Ser Jason Lannister. House Martell sent spears from Dorne.
When the Targaryen host landed upon the Stepstones in 260 AC, the fighting began in earnest on land and sea and lasted for most of the year. Lord Ormund was one of the first casualties of the war, dying in the arms of his young son, Ser Steffon. Command then passed to Gerold Hightower, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. After Ser Jason Lannister was killed at Bloodstone, Lord Roger Reyne led the remaining westermen to several victories.
Many young knights and lords distinguished themselves in battle, including Steffon Baratheon, Brynden Tully, Tywin Lannister and his brother Kevan, and Aerys Targaryen. The great-uncle of Lord Willam Dustin participated in the war., as did Meribald and his brothers. In the end it was the young Barristan Selmy who cut a bloody path though the Golden Company's ranks to slay Maelys the Monstrous, the last of the Blackfyre Pretenders in single combat, and ended the threat to the Seven Kingdoms.
With Ormund slain, Steffon Baratheon became Lord of Storm's End. He remained close friends with both the young Aerys Targaryen and Tywin Lannister. It was Tywin who, as a new-made knight himself, received the honor to give Prince Aerys his spurs, after fighting gallantly in the war. Tywin became bitter and hardened, particularly against his ineffectual father Tytos, who had not taken part in the war, rather remaining at home with his mistress. These tensions soon erupted in the Reyne-Tarbeck revolt in 261 AC.
The Blackfyres were extinguished in the male line thanks to Ser Barristan Selmy. When the next opening presented itself, Barristan was named to the Kingsguard, an opening he accepted despite being heir to Harvest Hall and being betrothed.
The war is described in Account of the War of the Ninepenny Kings by Eon and Observations Upon the Recent Blood-Letting on the Stepstones by Pycelle. According to Septon Meribald, many of the smallfolk who fought in the war became broken men.
Hyle: The War of the Ninepenny Kings?
Meribald: So they called it, though I never saw a king, nor earned a penny. It was a war, though. That it was.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Jaehaerys II Targaryen.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon V.
- Unabridged "The Westerlands" chapter from The World of Ice and Fire
- The World of Ice & Fire, Dorne: Dorne Against the Dragons.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Old Way and the New.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands: House Lannister Under the Dragons.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 41, The Turncloak.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 25, Brienne V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 55, The Queensguard.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
- A Game of Thrones RPG and Resource Book, Guardians of Order
- So Spake Martin: US Signing Tour (Half Moon Bay, CA) (November 18, 2005)
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
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