The Iron Fleet is the largest grouping of longships from the Iron Islands. They number one hundred, and unlike other ironborn ships they belong to the Seastone Chair. It is one of the three most powerful fleets of Westeros, along with the royal fleet of the crownlands and the Redwyne fleet of the Arbor.
Each ship of the Iron Fleet is captained and crewed by people of various islands. The ships, while smaller than the war dromonds of the mainland, are three times the size of a standard longship of the Isles. The fleet's commander, the Lord Captain of the Iron Fleet, is Victarion Greyjoy.
Quellon Greyjoy, Lord of the Iron Islands, desired stronger ties with the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, but he died in Robert's Rebellion. His son, Lord Balon Greyjoy, reversed Quellon's reforms and instead desired independence for the Iron Islands. Over five years Balon constructed the Iron Fleet, which consisted of ships closer in size to galleys than the ironborn's smaller longships. Their decks were armed with scorpions and spitfires.
At the start of Greyjoy's Rebellion, the Iron Fleet burned the Lannister fleet at anchor at Lannisport. Balon's fleet was later defeated in a sea battle off Fair Isle, however, which allowed the Baratheons to invade the islands and force into submission Balon, would-be King of the Iron Islands.
A Clash of Kings
When Lord Balon Greyjoy declares himself King of the Iron Islands and attacks the north, he sends Lord Captain Victarion Greyjoy with the Iron Fleet to sail up the Saltspear and the Fever River. From there the ironborn can march on Moat Cailin.
A Feast for Crows
After hearing that King Balon has died and that Aeron Greyjoy has called a kingsmoot, Victarion returns from Moat Cailin to the Iron Fleet, which has been in the reeds and willows of the Fever River. Nine-tenths of the Iron Fleet sails to Nagga's Cradle in a column reaching back many leagues, losing a ship along the way to rough seas and fickle winds.
The fleet leads the other ships of the Iron Islands in the taking of the Shields. Six ships are lost in the ensuing naval clash, including Hardhand of the Iron Fleet. The new king, Euron Greyjoy, commands Victarion to take the Iron Fleet to Slaver's Bay and return with Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons.
A Dance with Dragons
The small number of ironborn ships left behind in the Fever River are torched by the Ryswells and Dustins. Theon Greyjoy convinces the surviving ironborn raiders under siege at Moat Cailin to surrender to Ramsay Bolton, but Ramsay has them executed afterward.
Meanwhile, the 93 remaining ships of the Iron Fleet sets sail for Essos from the Shield Islands. During the voyage they capture a merchant ship, the Noble Lady, taking its cargo and adding the ship to the fleet. In the Redwyne Straits and along the Dornish coast they capture five other ships—three cogs, a galleas and a galley—making the Iron Fleet number ninety-nine. After taking on supplies at the Stepstones, Victarion splits the fleet into three squadrons and sails for Slaver's Bay, with the squadrons to reunite at the Isle of Cedars. At Volantis Victarion learns that the Volantene fleet will soon sail against Daenerys. The Lord Captain orders his squadron to set sail immediately after they purchase food and water.
By the time the three squadrons meet at the tip of the Isle of Cedars, however, only forty-five ships have arrived. These include twenty-two of Victarion's squadron, fourteen of Ralf the Limper's bigger and slower squadron, which had sailed by Lys, and only nine from Red Ralf Stonehouse's swift squadron, which had sailed to the Basilisk Isles. Several straggle back, but some are lost to storms. The Iron Fleet captures nine additional ships, but these are merchant vessels and fishing boats not built for war. The damaged Shark is left at the Isle of Cedars to alert stragglers that the rest of the fleet has continued toward Meereen. The fleet numbers fifty-three to this point minus the Shark.
The fleet continues its voyage, capturing more cogs and galleys along the way. With Moqorro, a priest of R'hllor, now aiding the fleet, the ships make faster progress and should reach Meereen before the fleet of Volantis. The Iron Fleet currently number sixty-one.
Ships of the Fleet
Known ships of the Iron Fleet.
- Dagon's Feast, lost during the voyage east
- Forlorn Hope
- Grey Ghost
- Hardhand, lost in the taking of the Shields
- Iron Kiss
- Iron Lady
- Iron Vengeance
- Iron Victory
- Iron Wind
- Iron Wing
- Headless Jeyne
- Kraken's Kiss
- Lord Dagon
- Lord Quellon
- Lord Vickon
- Maiden's Bane
- Reaper's Wind
- Red Jester
- Red Tide, lost during the voyage east
- Seven Skulls
- Thrall's Bane
- Warrior Wench
- White Widow
Known captured ships added to the fleet.
- Dove renamed Shrike
- Ghiscari Dawn renamed Red God's Wroth
- Noble Lady, a great cog
- A Ghis galley renamed Shade
- A Ghis galley renamed Ghost
- Willing Maiden renamed Slaver's Scream
Lord Balon's Great Kraken and the warships of the Iron Fleet were made for battle, not for raids. They are the equal of our lesser war galleys in speed and strength, and most are better crewed and captained. The ironmen live their whole lives at sea.
- So Spake Martin: The Lannister Fleet (September 26, 1999)
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 56, The Iron Suitor.
- A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Old Way and the New.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 24, Theon II.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 1, The Prophet.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 32, Cersei VII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 18, The Iron Captain.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 29, The Reaver.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 15, Davos II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 20, Reek II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 63, Victarion I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Appendix.