War Across the Water

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War Across the Water
Worthless War
Location The Three Sisters and the Bite
Battles Rape of the Three Sisters
Result House Arryn rule over the Three Sisters established and consolidated
House Stark.svg Kingdom of the North/House Stark
House Bolton.svg House Bolton
House Arryn.svg Kingdom of Mountain and Vale/House Arryn
House Sunderland.svg House Sunderland
House Borrell.svg House Borrell
House Longthorpe
House Torrent
Notable commanders
House Bolton.svg Belthasar BoltonHouse Arryn.svg King Mathos II Arryn
House Arryn.svg King Osgood Arryn
House Arryn.svg King Oswin Arryn

The War Across the Water, known to some as the Worthless War, was the war between the Arryn Kings of Mountain and Vale and the Stark Kings in the North over the rule of the Three Sisters in the Bite. The war is described in Archmaester Perestan's A Consideration of History.


The war was the result of the Rape of the Three Sisters two thousand years ago, when the northmen of House Stark occupied the previously independent Three Sisters. In response, the Sistermen bent the knee to King Mathos II Arryn in exchange for the Vale of Arryn's assistance in driving out the northmen.[1][2]

Mathos sailed for Sisterton with a hundred warships. Although he never returned from war, his sons and descendents continued the fight against the northmen for a thousand years.[2]

A northern castle, the Wolf's Den at the mouth of the White Knife, was besieged by King Osgood Arryn and burned by his son, Oswin the Talon.[3] In response, the Starks attacked Gulltown and burned hundreds of ships in the harbor. Control of the Three Sisters changed more than twelve times.[2] King Theon Stark once conquered the islands and landed an army on the Fingers,[4] although it is unknown if this was part of the Worthless War or during a different time.

The war ended when House Stark simply lost interest in ruling the Three Sisters.[2] The control of the triumphant Arryns over the Three Sisters remained tenuous. Some Sistermen still resent northmen for the invasion.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 9, Davos I.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale.
  3. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 29, Davos IV.
  4. The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Kings of Winter.