First Battle of Tumbleton

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First Battle of Tumbleton
First Battle of Tumbleton.jpg
  First Battle of Tumbleton as depicted by Douglas Wheatley in Fire & Blood.
Conflict Dance of the Dragons
Date 130 AC
Place Tumbleton
Result Victory for the greens
Rhaenyra Targaryen.svg Blacks Aegon II Targaryen.svg Greens
Ser Garibald Grey
House Dustin.svg Lord Roderick Dustin
House Footly.svg Lord Footly
House Hightower.svg Lord Ormund Hightower
House Targaryen.svg Prince Daeron Targaryen
Ser Ulf White (switched)
Ser Hugh Hammer (switched)
Tumbleton garrison (<40 men)
Between 6,000 and 12,000 (including the Winter Wolves)
Significantly more than 9,000
Daeron on Tessarion
Hugh on Vermithor (post-betrayal)
Ulf on Silverwing (post-betrayal)
Ser Garibald Grey
Lord Roderick Dustin
Ser Pate of Longleaf
Ser Merrell the Bold
Lord Footly
All the Tumbleton garrison
Thousands of townspeople
Lord Ormund Hightower
Ser Bryndon Hightower

The Battle of Tumbleton,[1] First Battle of Tumbleton,[2] or simply First Tumbleton[2] was a battle fought between the greens and the blacks at Tumbleton in the Reach during the Dance of the Dragons. It was known for the Treasons of Tumbleton, in which the Two Betrayers burnt the town with dragonfire, and the ensuing sack of Tumbleton by the victors. It was followed by another battle, the Second Battle of Tumbleton.


Lord Ormund Hightower led an army of greens from the Reach toward King's Landing, which at the time was held by Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen and the blacks. Ser Ulf White and Ser Hard Hugh Hammer were sent with their dragons, Vermithor and Silverwing, to Tumbleton, the seat of House Footly and the last stronghold of Rhaenyra's between the capital and Ormund's advancing army.[1]

The blacks defending the market town including thousands from House Caswell of Bitterbridge, House Merryweather of Longtable, and lands farther south. Ser Garibald Grey, Ser Pate of Longleaf, Red Robb Rivers, and the Winter Wolves of Lord Roderick Dustin arrived victorious from the Butcher's Ball. Other defenders came from the Blackwater Rush, including Moslander of Yore, Ser Garrick Hall, Ser Merrell the Bold, Ser Roger Corne, and Lord Owain Bourney. Total numbers vary between six thousand and twelve thousand, with True Telling using nearly nine thousand.[1]

The greens greatly outnumbered the blacks. Some greens infiltrated the town as refugees, and Roger and Owain were secretly loyal to King Aegon II Targaryen.[1]


At the start of the battle, Ser Garibald Grey led six thousand blacks against the troops of Lord Ormund Hightower, whose archers thinned Garibald's ranks. The bowmen of Robb Rivers defended Garibald's men as they retreated from Ormund's heavy horse. Lord Roderick Dustin then lead the Winter Wolves out a postern gate against the Hightowers. Although the northmen were outnumbered ten-to-one, the Winter Wolves managed to reach the commander of the greens. Roderick slew Ormund and his cousin, Ser Bryndon Hightower, before succumbing to his wounds.[1]

The appearance of the dragon Tessarion, mount of Prince Daeron Targaryen, across the field did not dismay Tumbleton's defenders, as Tessarion was smaller than Vermithor and Silverwing. The defenders of Tumbleton thought the battle was won when the Hightowers were killed, but the Two Betrayers, Ser Hugh Hammer and Ser Ulf White, turned their dragons upon the town.[1]

Buildings throughout Tumbleton burned to ash, and thousands burned to death or drowned trying to cross the Mander.[1] Outside of the walls, Ser Pate of Longleaf was unhorsed and trampled, while Garibald was burned by Tessarion's dragonflame. Ser Roger Corne's men opened Tumbleton's gates to the greens, and Lord Owain Bourney betrayed Ser Merrell the Bold within the town's castle. Lord Footly's men yielded, but they were then bound and beheaded by the greens.[1]


The battle was followed by a chaotic and lengthy sack of Tumbleton by the victorious green soldiers, who were left leaderless with the death of Lord Ormund Hightower. Women throughout the town were raped, including crones and girls as young as eight, and not even septas and silent sisters were spared. Drunken soldiers killed every male they found, including old men and boys. Homes and shops were looted by bands of greens, and wealthy townspeople were tortured to reveal hidden fortunes. Even babies were impaled upon spears.[1] Ser Jon Roxton killed Lord Footly and claimed Lady Sharis Footly as a "prize of war",[1] and Ser Ulf White allegedly raped three maidens each night.[1]

Prince Daeron Targaryen urged the most senior Hightower at Tumbleton, Ser Hobert, to bring the soldiers under control, but the unremarkable Hobert was unable to. Other nobles squabbled amongst themselves, and Lord Unwin Peake killed Lord Owain Bourney during a war council.[1]


After hearing of the Battle of Tumbleton and the blacks' defeat, Dowager Queen Alicent Hightower is said to have laughed, promising, "All they have sowed, now shall they reap."[1]

Many in King's Landing tried to flee, fearing that the fate of Tumbleton would happen to the capital, but Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen had the gold cloaks seal the city's gates.[1]

Remaining at Tumbleton instead of continuing on to King's Landing, the green army diminished daily as men deserted with their plunder.[1] Disapproval of the Two Betrayers led to the formation of the Caltrops by highborn nobles,[3] and the greens then faced Ser Addam Velaryon and an army of rivermen in the Second Battle of Tumbleton.[3]


It was the Field of Fire writ small, Grand Maester Munkun wrote.[1]

—writings of Gyldayn

Seldom has any town or city in the history of the Seven Kingdoms been subject to as long or as cruel or as savage a sack as Tumbleton after the Treasons.[1]

—writings of Gyldayn


  1. 1.0 1.1 House Peake and House Roxton are not directly mentioned at this battle. However, they are known to have been part of the Hightower host at the Battle of the Honeywine and the Second Battle of Tumbleton. Therefore it can be assumed that Peakes and Roxtons were present at this battle.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Overthrown.