Fight at the holdfast

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Fight at the holdfast
Conflict War of the Five Kings
Date 299 AC[1]
Place unnamed town by the Gods Eye
Result Lannister victory
Combatants
House Baratheon (King's Landing).svg Iron Throne/ House Baratheon of King's Landing:

House Lannister.svg Westerlands, led by House Lannister

Night's Watch.svg Night's Watch
Commanders
Amory Lorch.svg Ser Amory Lorch Night's Watch.svg Yoren
Strength
300 men[2] Yoren's recruits
Casualties
Unknown Heavy:
Dobber
Koss
Qyle
Woth
Gerren?
Murch?
Reysen?
Urreg?

The fight at the holdfast[3] occurs between House Lannister raiders and recruits of the Night's Watch in the unnamed Gods Eye town during the War of the Five Kings.[4]

Prelude

As the War of the Five Kings begins, Lord Tywin Lannister sends Ser Gregor Clegane, Vargo Hoat, and Ser Amory Lorch to raid the riverlands, each with three hundred horse.[2] Amory's men then hunt the outlaws of Lord Beric Dondarrion.[4]

Yoren, a wandering crow of the Night's Watch, leads a group of recruits from King's Landing toward the Wall. After his party is stopped by gold cloaks in search of Gendry, Yoren decides to avoid the busy kingsroad.[5] The recruits rest at an abandoned town on the southern shore of the Gods Eye.[4]

Battle

While the recruits are sheltering in the unnamed town's holdfast, Amory's raiders arrive during the night and begin burning the town's houses. Suspicious that the holdfast is protecting Beric's outlaws, Amory commands that the gates be opened in the name of King Joffrey I Baratheon. Yoren refuses, however, as the Night's Watch is sworn to take no part in the wars of the Seven Kingdoms.[4]

Amory orders his men to storm the walls, and Woth is quickly killed by a thrown spear. Arya Stark, wielding Needle and disguised as "Arry", and her friend Hot Pie hack and slash at Lannister soldiers who climb the parapets. Koss shoots arrows at four men attacking the gate, Lommy smashes the head of a soldier who stabs Dobber, and a knight kills Qyle with a mace. Arya shouts "Winterfell!" and Hot Pie screams "Hot Pie!" while attacking a soldier who has gained the wall, and Gendry claims the soldier's sword after his own breaks.[4]

As the westermen advance into the holdfast, Yoren orders his recruits to retreat. Koss is killed while attempting to yield. Gendry rescues Weasel as the youths head toward a tunnel hidden within a barn. Since the barn has been set on fire, Arya decides to save Jaqen H'ghar, Rorge, and Biter, dangerous recruits kept within a wagon in the barn. After striking an attacking soldier between his legs with an axe, Arya throws the weapon into the wagon, allowing Rorge to break through the bottom of the prison. Arya and her friends escape into the tunnel.[4]

Kurz, Tarber, and Cutjack defend the lord's towerhouse[4] and pull up the ladder to its second-story door.[4] The Lannisters attempt to burn the tower, but they give up since the stone does not burn.[3]

Aftermath

Arya and her companions return to the town the next night, finding it burned and abandoned. Corpses of Night's Watch recruits and Lannister men-at-arms lie unburied. Arya finds that Yoren was killed by an axe blow to the head, with the corpses of four men-at-arms lying near his body. Arya insists that at least Yoren be buried.[3] The three men who defended the towerhouse join the youths as they depart the town. After Kurz dies from his wounds, however, Tarber and Cutjack loot his possessions and then abandon the orphans.[3]

Arya's party is eventually captured by the Mountain's men and taken to Harrenhal.[6] When Amory arrives at the castle, Arya discovers that Rorge, Biter, and Jaqen have joined his column of raiders.[7]

Quotes

Amory: I command you once more, in King Joffrey's name, to prove the loyalty you profess and open these gates.

Yoren: Don't think I will.
Amory: So be it. You defy the king's command, and so proclaim yourself rebels, black cloaks or no.
Yoren: Got me young boys in here.

Amory: Young boys and old men die the same.[4]

The night rang to the clash of steel and the cries of the wounded and dying. For a moment Arya stood uncertain, not knowing which way to go. Death was all around her.[4]

—thoughts of Arya Stark

References and Notes