Siege of Riverrun

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Siege of Riverrun
Siege of Riverrun.jpg
by Andrew Johanson © Fantasy Flight Games
Conflict War of the Five Kings
Date 300 ᴀᴄ
Place Riverrun
Result Iron Throne victory
Combatants
Joffrey sigil coat.png Iron Throne/ House Baratheon of King's Landing:

House Frey.svg Riverlands, led by House Frey

House Lannister.svg Westerlands, led by House Lannister

House Stark.svg Kingdom of the North and the Trident/ House Stark:

House Tully.svg Riverlands, led by House Tully

Commanders
House Lannister.svg Ser Daven Lannister
House Frey.svg Ser Ryman Frey
House Lannister.svg Ser Jaime Lannister
House Tully.svg Ser Brynden Tully
Strength
2,000 Freys[1]
  • Unknown non-Frey rivermen
<2,000 Lannisters[2]
Unknown
Casualties
Uunknown Unknown
For the earlier siege, see Battle of the Camps.

The siege of Riverrun takes place near the end of War of the Five Kings. Ser Brynden Tully is besieged at Riverrun by the combined forces of House Lannister and House Frey in an effort to remove House Tully and install the newly-raised House Frey of Riverrun.

Prelude

Thoros of Myr tells Arya Stark he has seen a vision in his flames of Riverrun besieged by House Lannister.[3]

After the Red Wedding and the death of Robb Stark, King of the Trident, the river lords offer terms to the Iron Throne and support for the Stark-Tully kingdom slips away. House Lannister, supported by their new allies, House Frey, besiege Riverrun in an effort to remove the final vestiges of resistance in the riverlands and install Ser Emmon Frey as the new Lord of Riverrun, as the terms of the alliance between the Freys and Lannisters dictate. Ser Daven Lannister, the new Warden of the West, is sent to command the siege.[2] Ser Ryman Frey marches two thousand Freys to Riverrun.[1]

Ser Brynden Tully, Robb's Warden of the Southern Marches, anticipates the siege. He gathers all the foodstuffs and goods he can within the castle, expels all the unnecessary mouths, and prepares for a long siege.[4]

The Siege

Ryman commands a large and disorderly Frey encampment north of the Tumblestone. South of the Red Fork are Lord Emmon, Ser Forley Prester with other westermen, and rivermen who knelt to the Iron Throne after the Red Wedding. Daven commands House Lannister's camp between the Tumblestone and the Red Fork. To prevent Riverrun's defenders from escaping, Ser Manfryd Yew and Ser Raynard Ruttiger command a boom across the Red Fork east of the castle.[4]

Ryman brings out Lord Edmure Tully, who had been captured at the Red Wedding, and daily threatens to hang him unless the castle surrenders. Ryman never goes through with his threat, however, and the siege continues.[4]

Ser Kevan Lannister visits the siege during his journey to Casterly Rock, but he refuses to aid Daven.[4] Ser Jaime Lannister leaves King's Landing with near one thousand reinforcements, but while traveling to Riverrun he leaves the Holy Hundred at Harrenhal[2] and sends Ser Ronnet Connington with some of the Mountain's men to Maidenpool.[2][5] Daven warns Jaime there are still bands of northmen and outlaws near Riverrun, possibly the group led by Beric Dondarrion.[4]

Resolution

Jaime treats with Brynden Tully in an attempt to get him to surrender, but Brynden the Blackfish stubbornly refuses. Jaime points out he outnumbers Brynden twenty to one, but the Blackfish points out that twenty times the men requires twenty times the food—a difficult situation, given the supply shortages and lack of Frey cooperation in regards to food shipments. After the fruitless negotiation, Jaime has Ryman dismissed due to incompetence, and has Edmure brought to him. He explains what would happen should the Lannister forces have to storm the castle.

You've seen our numbers, Edmure. You've seen the ladders, the towers, the trebuchets, the rams. If I speak the command, my coz will bridge your moat and break your gate. Hundreds will die, most of them your own. Your former bannermen will make up the first wave of attackers, so you'll start your day by killing the fathers and brothers of men who died for you at the Twins. The second wave will be Freys, I have no lack of those. My westermen will follow when your archers are short of arrows and your knights so weary they can hardly lift their blades. When the castle falls, all those inside will be put to the sword. Your herds will be butchered, your godswood will be felled, your keeps and towers will burn. I'll pull your walls down, and divert the Tumblestone over the ruins. By the time I'm done no man will ever know that a castle once stood here. Your wife may whelp before that. You'll want your child, I expect. I'll send him to you when he's born. With a trebuchet.[6]

Lord Edmure agrees to talk to his uncle, Brynden. Edmure surrenders the castle the next day but not before letting Brynden escape, which displeases Jaime.[7]

Aftermath

Edmure is sent to Casterly Rock, accompanied by Jeyne Westerling, the wife and queen of the late Robb Stark, who had been within Riverrun when it was surrendered. Brynden escapes, presumably swimming down the Red Fork. The Tully garrison is disarmed and released, although Ser Desmond Grell and Ser Robin Ryger choose to take the black. Ryman is found hanged near Fairmarket, his attackers unknown, though his son Edwyn has several ideas as to who was behind his father's murder. House Frey of Riverrun is established and Jaime sets out to end the siege of Raventree, seat of House Blackwood, by House Bracken.[7]

Quotes

Sweetling, the flames do not lie. Sometimes I read them wrongly, blind fool that I am. But not this time, I think. The Lannisters will soon have Riverrun under siege.[3]


A great grey gallows loomed above the tents, as tall as any trebuchet. On it stood a solitary figure with a rope about his neck. Edmure Tully. Jaime felt a stab of pity. To keep him standing there day after day, with that noose around his neck ... better to have his head off and be done with it.[4]

—thoughts of Jaime Lannister


Jaime: Does it matter how the boy perished? He's no less dead, and his kingdom died when he did.
Brynden: You must be blind as well as maimed, Ser. Lift your eyes, and you will see the direwolf still flies above our walls.[6]


Your uncle is an old man. Valiant, yes, but the best part of his life is done. He has no bride to grieve for him, no children to defend. A good death is all the Blackfish can hope for ... but you have years remaining, Edmure. And you are the rightful lord of House Tully, not him. Your uncle serves at your pleasure. The fate of Riverrun is in your hands.[6]

References