War of the Five Kings

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War of the Five Kings (phase I)
Zippo514 the war of five kings.jpg
The Five Kings - by Zippo514 ©

Date 298300 AC
Location Westeros

Decisive Baratheon of King's Landing, Lannister, and Tyrell victory (phase I)

Ongoing, localized hostilities in the north and the stormlands (phase II)
1. House Baratheon of King's Landing.svg The King on the Iron Throne
2. House Stark.svg The King in the North and the Trident
3. House Baratheon of Dragonstone.svg The King in the Narrow Sea (lost his seat)
4. House Baratheon.svg The King in Highgarden
5. House Greyjoy.svg The King of the Isles and the North

The War of the Five Kings is a large, multi-theater conflict fought in Westeros from 298 AC until 300 AC, though some hostilities have resumed as a new claimant to the Iron Throne has arisen as well as a new King of the Iron Islands. As the name implies, over the initial course of the war five men claim the title of king: Joffrey Baratheon, Stannis Baratheon, and Renly Baratheon all claim the Iron Throne, whilst the separatists Robb Stark and Balon Greyjoy attempt to secede their lands from the rule of the Iron Throne, with Robb claiming the titles of King in the North and King of the Trident and Balon claiming to be King of the Isles and the North.

The War of the Five Kings is the principal military conflict depicted in the first three novels of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords, and its aftermath and successor conflicts continue in the latest two novels, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons.


Lord Robert Baratheon of Storm's End was one of the leaders of the rebellion that overthrew King Aerys II Targaryen, the Mad King, ending the Targaryen Dynasty.[1] Following the defeat of the Targaryen forces and Aerys's death in 283 AC, Robert was crowned and reigned as king over all the Seven Kingdoms.[2] Securing his power, Robert wed Cersei of House Lannister in 284 AC following the advice of his foster-father and Hand of the King, Lord Jon Arryn.[3][4][5] Within a few years the royal succession was secured by three heirs: Joffrey (b. 286 AC), Myrcella (b. 290 AC), and Tommen (b. 291 AC).[6] However, whilst Robert and the realm believed Cersei's three children to have been fathered by Robert, they had actually been fathered by Ser Jaime Lannister of the Kingsguard, Queen Cersei's twin brother, with whom she had been having an incestuous relationship for years.[7]

However, King Robert's brother, Stannis, eventually became suspicious of the legitimacy of Robert’s three children. He shared his suspicions with Lord Jon Arryn, still serving as the Hand of the King. Together, they investigated the case and concluded that the children were not Robert's, but the product of incest between Queen Cersei and her twin brother Jaime. Before they are able to address the issue to the King, however, Lord Arryn unexpectedly dies. While King Robert traveled North to appoint a new Hand of the King, Stannis, suspecting that Arryn had been murdered by the Lannisters because of their discovery regarding Cersei’s children, fled to his own stronghold on the island of Dragonstone.

Thus, Robert remained oblivious to these suspicions concerning his children, and traveled with a large part of the royal court to Winterfell to appoint his old friend, Lord Eddard Stark, as Arryn's successor as Hand of the King.[8][9] Lord Eddard had originally considered to turn down the offer, but changed his mind upon the arrival of a secret message from Lysa Arryn, Jon Arryn's widow and the sister to Lord Eddard's wife, Catelyn. Lysa claimed that the Lannisters had murdered her husband, and causing Eddard to feel forced to accept Robert's appointment, as to be able to investigate Arryn's death and the involvement of House Lannister.[10] Upon Robert’s suggestion, Eddard also accepts to a betrothal between his daughter Sansa and Prince Joffrey Baratheon.[9][10]

While the royal court is at Winterfell, Lord Eddard's younger son Bran accidentally witnesses a romantic moment between Queen Cersei and Ser Jaime, and is thrown from a tower window to silence him.[11] Bran's condition is severe, and he lies comatose for several weeks.[12][13] After the royal court (including Bran's father, Lord Eddard, and his sisters Sansa and Arya) have left Winterfell for King's Landing, an assassin attempts to murder Bran in his bed. He is halted by Bran's mother, Catelyn, injuring her in the process, before being killed by Bran's direwolf pet, Summer.[13] To inform her husband of the attempt on Bran's life, Catelyn travels south to King's Landing, where her childhood friend Petyr Baelish claims that the assassin's weapon used belonged to Tyrion Lannister, the younger brother of Queen Cersei.[13][14]

While Lord Eddard begins investigating Arryn's death, Catelyn crosses paths with Tyrion Lannister at the crossroads inn. Deciding to arrest him, Catelyn charges him with the attempt on Bran's life, which leads to the start of conflicts in the riverlands.[15][16]

Meanwhile, in King's Landing, Eddard’s investigation into Arryn's death has eventually independently led him to discover the truth about Queen Cersei's children. He confronts her about the matter, offering her the option to flee, which she refuses.[7] Eddard intends to share his discoveries with the king when Robert returns from his boar hunt. However, Robert returns having been fatally wounded by the boar, in a hunting incident which Cersei had orchestrated).[17] Robert's younger brother and master of laws, Renly, unaware of the illegitimacy of Cersei's children, proposes to Eddard that they take Cersei's children hostage, as to prevent the Lannisters from seizing power after Robert's death. Eddard refuses him, however, and Renly departs the city for Highgarden, the seat of House Tyrell.[18]

After Robert's death, Eddard attempts a coup, sharing with the small council that Robert's brother Stannis, and not Joffrey, is Robert's true heir. He is betrayed by Petyr Baelish and the City Watch, however, and arrested and imprisoned by the Lannisters.[18]


The sigils of the five factions during the War of the Five Kings. From left to right: House Stark of Winterfell, House Baratheon of King's Landing, House Greyjoy of Pyke, House Baratheon of Storm's End, and House Baratheon of Dragonstone
by Garyck Arntzen.

According to Archmaester Benedict, the name of the conflict is incorrect because Renly Baratheon is slain before Balon Greyjoy crowns himself, meaning that there are never technically five kings at once.[19]

War of the Five Kings

The War in the Riverlands

The War of the Five Kings begins as a local conflict when Catelyn Stark seizes Tyrion Lannister for the attempted murder of her son Bran.[15] Although he bears no special love for his son, Lord Tywin Lannister refuses to allow the slight to his family's honor to go unpunished.[20] Tywin masses two hosts at Casterly Rock in preparation for an invasion of Catelyn's homeland, the riverlands, of twenty thousand and fifteen thousand men, respectively.[20][21]

In response to the kidnapping of his younger brother, Ser Jaime Lannister attacks Lord Eddard Stark and his companions in the streets of King's Landing, resulting in the deaths of several House Stark guards and a broken leg for Eddard.[22] Jaime flees King's Landing, traveling to Casterly Rock.[23]

Rather than return to Winterfell, Catelyn brings Tyrion to her sister, Lady Lysa Arryn, at the Eyrie.[24] Tyrion is later released after Bronn is victorious in a trial by combat, however.[25] Tyrion recruits Vale mountain clans while traveling through the Mountains of the Moon.[26]

When Ser Edmure Tully of Riverrun discovers that the Lannisters are raising a host, he demands that Lord Tywin proclaim his intent. When no response comes back from Casterly Rock, the Tully banners are called to Riverrun and Lords Vance and Piper are commanded to guard the main pass between the westerlands and the riverlands at the Golden Tooth.[25][16]

Open hostilities begin when Lord Tywin dispatches his bannerman Ser Gregor Clegane to raid the riverlands disguised as a common brigand. The raids create chaos and force many river lords to return to their own keeps rather than attend the general muster at Riverrun.[16] At the same time, Lord Tywin hopes the raids will lure Catelyn’s husband, Lord Eddard Stark, into the riverlands where he can be captured, bringing a swift conclusion to the conflict.[27] However, Tywin's plan is unknowingly foiled by his son Jaime, whose ambush of Eddard in the streets of King's Landing had resulted in a broken leg for Eddard, preventing him from traveling.[22][23] The wounded Hand of the King thus sends Lord Beric Dondarrion to stop Gregor Clegane in his stead.[16]

Not long after, Eddard confronts Cersei Lannister, informing her that he has discovered the truth about the parentage of Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen. He offers her a chance to flee,[7] but Cersei does not take it. In the midst of the crisis and chaos, King Robert I Baratheon dies after a drunken hunting accident, naming Eddard Stark as Lord Regent until his supposed son, Prince Joffrey, grows to manhood.[18][17] Eddard secretly changes the king’s will to read “rightful heir,” intending to offer the throne to Robert’s rightful heir, Stannis Baratheon.[17] However, when Eddard attempts to take Joffrey into custody as a false claimant he is betrayed by Petyr Baelish and arrested.[18] By this time, King Robert’s youngest brother, Renly Baratheon, has fled the city to gather his own army.[18]

When word of Lord Eddard’s arrest arrives in Winterfell, Robb Stark calls his father’s bannermen together and marches south with a hastily assembled host of twelve thousand men,[28] gathering more as he moves south.[29] At the same time, Lord Tywin launches his planned invasion of the riverlands.

The Lannisters' riverlands campaign: 1.Golden Tooth, 2.Mummer's Ford, 3.Riverrun, 4.Conquering the riverlands
  • Battle near the Golden Tooth. The Lannister invasion of the riverlands begins when Ser Jaime Lannister descends on the riverlands with fifteen thousand men. Attacking from the west, in the opening battle of the war Jaime easily breaks the men under Lords Vance and Piper guarding the border near the Golden Tooth. Lord Vance is slain and Lord Piper is forced to retreat back to Riverrun with the Lannisters on his heels.[29][20]
  • Battle at the Mummer's Ford. While crossing the Mummer's Ford, Lord Beric Dondarrion's force of around a hundred men, sent to bring Gregor Clegane to justice, is ambushed by Clegane and Lord Tywin. Dondarrion's force is nearly wiped out; Lord Lothar Mallery, Ser Raymun Darry, and Ser Gladden Wylde are all killed, as are most of the Stark guardsmen sent along by Eddard Stark.[29][27] Lord Beric is grievously wounded.[30] Victorious, Lord Tywin closes off the Goldroad and continues his march north into the riverlands. Meanwhile, Thoros of Myr and Alyn of Winterfell rally the survivors and manage to escape.[29][27] Beric, who had been pulled to safety during the battle by his squire, Edric Dayne,[30] dies,[31] but is inadvertently resurrected by Thoros while performing the funeral rites for Beric.[31] They continue to lead the remaining men against the Lannisters, harassing Lord Tywin’s supply lines.[32] When they learn King Joffrey has declared them outlaws, Dondarrion's band forms the core of the outlaw organization called the brotherhood without banners.[27]
  • Battle near Riverrun. After his victory at the Golden Tooth, Jaime Lannister advances to meet the massed power of House Tully outside the walls of Riverrun. The overwhelming number of Lannisters puts the river lords to rout and Ser Edmure Tully and many others are taken captive. However, Lord Tytos Blackwood manages to lead some of the survivors back within Riverrun, forcing the Lannisters to lay siege to the castle.[20]
  • Conquering the riverlands. After defeating Dondarrion, Lord Tywin leads his twenty thousand men northeast toward the ruby ford, conquering much the riverlands around the Trident. With Lord Blackwood besieged in Riverrun, Tywin takes Raventree Hall. Lady Shella Whent surrenders Harrenhal due to a lack of defenders. Meanwhile, Ser Gregor Clegane burns the lands of the Pipers and Brackens.[20] The Lannisters eventually also capture Darry.[33]

With its armies broken and scattered, its seat of power besieged, and its heir Edmure Tully captured, the war is essentially lost for House Tully. Although Ser Marq Piper and Lord Karyl Vance begin guerrilla raids and Lord Jason Mallister falls back to his stronghold at Seagard, the only hope for the Tullys lies with the northmen, who are held in check by the Green Fork and the second Lannister host under Lord Tywin.[20]

The Wolf and the Lion

The Lannisters meet their first real opposition when House Stark enters the war on behalf of House Tully, in response to the arrest of Lord Eddard Stark. After assembling his force on the march, Robb Stark arrives at Moat Cailin with eighteen thousand men, where he is joined by his mother Catelyn and a final fifteen hundred men from White Harbor, bringing his total close to twenty thousand men. Moat Cailin is a formidable defensive position that has defeated countless southron invaders in the past. Here Robb garrisons a small force, consisting mostly of archers, to hold the ruin. Additionally, Robb sends word to Howland Reed to have the crannogmen bleed any Lannister attempt to come north. However, Robb knows Lord Tywin is too smart to try and will stay close to the Trident, taking castles one by one.[29]

Robb has no choice but to move south, but his options are limited. To relieve Riverrun, he must cross the Green Fork either at the Twins (where House Frey has remained decidedly neutral) or at the ruby ford (which Lord Tywin can easily seal off). Eventually, Robb decides to do both. Splitting his horse and foot, Robb sends the foot with Lord Roose Bolton down the kingsroad to engage Lord Tywin, while secretly crossing with his horse at the Twins to race to Riverrun and surprise the besiegers. In exchange for his crossing and the support of the Freys (who provide four thousand men), Catelyn takes two of Lord Walder Frey's grandsons to ward, and Robb agrees to marry one of Lord Walder's daughters.[34]

Robb's riverlands campaign: 1.Camp at Moat Cailin 2.Advance to the Twins 3.Green Fork 4.Whispering Wood 5.Battle of the Camps
  • Battle on the Green Fork. After parting with Robb at the Twins, Roose Bolton marches down the kingsroad with roughly nineteen thousand six hundred men,[N 1] mostly infantry, to engage Lord Tywin.[34] Ser Addam Marbrand's outriders report to the Lannister camp that the northern army has begun a march south, and the Lannisters prepare for battle, believing Robb Stark to be at least a day away. Roose Bolton marches throughout the night, however, and surprises the Lannisters early the next morning. However, Lord Tywin's army rouses in time for battle, and the Lannisters win an easy victory.[35] When Tywin learns from the prisoners that Robb Stark has tricked him and is riding to relieve Riverrun, he sets a grueling pace back toward Riverrun, rather than pursue the remnants of Bolton's army.[32] This movement allows Bolton to reform his army at the mouth of the causeway.[36]
  • Battle in the Whispering Wood. After secretly crossing at the Twins with his cavalry,[34] Robb Stark rides hard for Riverrun in hopes of surprising Ser Jaime Lannister and lifting the siege before Lord Tywin can reinforce them. Along the way, Robb is bolstered by Mallister forces from Seagard. Unaware of the danger and bored with the sedentary siege, Jaime Lannister frequently rides out on sorties against Marq Piper and Karyl Vance with only a few hundred men. After eliminating the Lannister outriders, Robb baits Jaime with a small force into a trap in the Whispering Wood, north of Riverrun. The ambush is a complete success for the Starks, who capture Jaime and nearly a hundred other knights and a dozen lords bannermen. However, in a last-ditch attempt to turn the battle, Jaime charges Robb and kills several prominent nobles of his bodyguard, including Torrhen and Eddard Karstark, sons of Lord Rickard Karstark.[21]
  • Battle of the Camps. The night after the Whispering Wood, Robb is able to catch the Lannister forces besieging Riverrun completely off-guard.[36] In order to besiege Riverrun properly the Lannister force has been divided into three camps separated by the Tumblestone and the Red Fork, leaving them vulnerable.[32] The attack begins when Ser Brynden Tully leads the Stark vanguard to overrun the north camp. Lord Andros Brax attempts to aid the beleaguered camp, but the Tumblestone carries his rafts into range of Riverrun's walls. Soon most of the rafts are flipped, killing Lord Brax and many others. The west camp then comes under attack with Robb leading the charge. The Lannisters there form a shield wall but are taken in the rear by a sortie from Riverrun led by Lord Tytos Blackwood. Blackwood and his men manage to liberate many prisoners, including Ser Edmure Tully.[36] The remaining camp, containing roughly two thousand spearmen and as many bowmen, is left unmolested and retreats in good order back to the Golden Tooth under the command of Ser Forley Prester.[32]
  • The execution of Eddard Stark. Cersei Lannister's greatest fear at the outbreak of the war is that Stannis Baratheon will capture King's Landing before the Lannisters can consolidate their position. To prevent this, she needs peace with the Starks and is willing to make a deal: if Eddard will confess to treason, order Robb to make peace, and declare Joffrey the true heir, he will be allowed to take the black. To ensure Eddard’s compliance, the spymaster Varys points out that Eddard's daughter Sansa (now a ward of the crown) is also liable to be executed if he refuses.[37] On the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor, Eddard publicly makes his false confession. However, instead of doing as he had been instructed to do,[38] King Joffrey arbitrarily orders that Eddard be beheaded, destroying any chance of peace between Stark and Lannister.[39]
  • Retreat to Harrenhal. News of Eddard Stark's execution, his son Jaime's capture, and Renly Baratheon's coronation is discussed by Lord Tywin at the crossroads inn as he is on the march from his victory on the Green Fork to Riverrun. His army is now in a precarious position: Robb Stark sits to the west across his supply lines, Roose Bolton has reformed his army to the north, and Renly Baratheon in marching up from the south. Meanwhile, Stannis Baratheon lurks on Dragonstone, within striking distance of the capital. In response, Lord Tywin retreats south to Harrenhal and dispatches three raiding parties under Ser Gregor Clegane, Ser Amory Lorch, and Vargo Hoat to set the riverlands afire from the Gods Eye to the Red Fork. To prevent any more political blunders like the execution of Eddard, Tywin dispatches his son Tyrion to King's Landing to serve as Hand of the King in his place.[32]
  • Sack of Darry. The recapture of Darry does not last long. Less than a fortnight after the castle is recaptured, Ser Gregor Clegane attacks with his fierce company. After his victory over the garrison, Clegane has the entire household put to the sword, including the young Lord Lyman, which ends the male line of House Darry.[33]

The Crowning of the Five Kings

With the deaths of King Robert I Baratheon and Lord Eddard Stark, the realm sees the rise of multiple kings trying to fill the void. Robert's supposed son Joffrey Baratheon assumes the Iron Throne in King's Landing. Unable or unwilling to accept Joffrey as king, four rival kings soon arise to contest for power in Westeros. In order of proclamation, the kings are:

  • King Renly Baratheon, the youngest brother of the late King Robert. After failing to convince Eddard Stark to seize power while Robert lies dying, Renly flees to Highgarden.[18] There, with the help of his lover, Ser Loras Tyrell, Renly is able to secure the support of House Tyrell by wedding Lord Mace Tyrell's daughter Margaery.[32][36] With the strength of both the Reach and the stormlands behind him, Renly declares himself Lord of the Seven Kingdoms. He assembles a massive army of a eighty thousand men and begins marching slowly on King's Landing, letting the Lannisters and Starks bleed each other while his new father-in-law Mace continues assembling a reserve host of ten thousand at Highgarden.[40]
  • King Stannis Baratheon, the eldest living brother of King Robert. Having fled to Dragonstone following Jon Arryn's death,[14][44][45] Stannis has been gathering his strength.[46][47] Knowing the illegitimacy of Robert's children, Stannis proclaims himself the rightful heir, believing it is his duty to overthrow all usurpers.[47] Stannis's army is too small to be a threat, though it does contain a considerable portion of the royal fleet. Stannis is counseled by a red priestess of R'hllor named Melisandre, who has prophesied that Renly will die and that his army will flock to join Stannis.[47][48] Encouraged by this prediction, Stannis sails for his brother Renly's seat at Storm's End with his five thousand men.[49]
  • King Balon Greyjoy, Lord of the Iron Islands. As soon as word of unrest within the Seven Kingdoms reaches Lord Balon, he begins calling his banners and seizing every ship in the Iron Islands in preparation for a second rebellion.[41] When his son Theon arrives bearing an offer of alliance from King Robb, Balon dismisses it, declaring that Casterly Rock is too strong. In addition, as Lord Reaper of Pyke and a proponent of the Old Way, Balon will not suffer to be given a crown; he must "pay the iron price" and take it by force. Balon has his own plan: with the northmen fighting in the south their homelands are poorly garrisoned and vulnerable. With his only surviving son no longer a captive of the Starks, there is now nothing to deter Balon from declaring himself King of the Iron Islands.[41][50]

The Rise of the Kraken

Having set his sights on the north, King Balon Greyjoy plans three main strikes for his initial invasion. He sends his brother Victarion with the Iron Fleet to seize Moat Cailin, which has protected the north from southern invasion for thousands of years, in order to cut off the northmen from their lands. He sends his daughter and preferred heir Asha Greyjoy with a dozen ships to take Deepwood Motte. He sends his recently returned son Theon to raid the Stony Shore as a distraction for his main strikes. With these moves, Balon believes the whole western coast of the north will fall into ironborn hands.[50]

Ironborn campaign: in black: the ironmen forces.In blue: Stark loyalists. In Red: Bolton forces. 1.Moat Cailin. 2.Deepwood Motte. 3.Stony Shore 4.Fight at Torrhen's Square 5.Capture of Winterfell 6.Winter town 7.Sack of Winterfell 8.Capture of Torrhen's Square
  • Fall of Moat Cailin. Victarion Greyjoy leads the entire Iron Fleet of a hundred ships up the Saltspear to attack Moat Cailin. By attacking from the north, Victarion is able to bypass the natural defenses of the fortress and easily defeat the northmen. By capturing Moat Cailin, the Greyjoys control the route home for the Stark host, stranding Robb in the riverlands and allowing Balon to execute the rest of his plan.[51][52][53]
  • Harrying of the Stony Shore. Theon Greyjoy, under the supervision of Aeron Greyjoy and Dagmer Cleftjaw, leads eight ships along the Stony Shore to burn fishing villages and take salt wives.[50] These raids prompt Leobald Tallhart to send Benfred Tallhart and his Wild Hares to go deal with them.[55] Theon and his men ambush them, killing all but Tallhart in battle. Tallhart is later killed by drowning as a sacrifice to the Drowned God on Aeron's insistence. The only ironborn to die is Todric, whom Theon accidentally kills after the battle. Feeling the insignificant raids he has been ordered to carry out are beneath him, Theon devises a new plan. He gives Aeron six longships to continue the raiding and sends Dagmer with most of the remaining men to besiege Torrhen's Square, knowing that this attack will draw the levies from Winterfell so that the castle will be defenseless.[56]
  • Fight at Torrhen's Square. On Theon's orders, Dagmer Cleftjaw besieges the small keep of Torrhen's Square in a ruse to draw out Ser Rodrik Cassel and the household guard of Winterfell.[56] As planned, Leobald Tallhart requests aid and Rodrik arrives as planned with six hundred men, as does Cley Cerwyn with another three hundred.[51] Rodrik has the advantage of familiar ground and the ironborn are not disciplined enough to stand a charge by mounted horsemen. Dagmer and his ironmen are easily defeated and driven back to the Stony Shore.[57]
  • Battle at Winterfell and sack of Winterfell. Theon Greyjoy’s occupation of Winterfell hinges on his sister arriving with reinforcements from Deepwood Motte. However, Asha does not bring the requested men. Instead, she berates Theon for attempting to hold a castle so far from resupply by sea and for killing Bran and Rickon Stark rather than keeping them as hostages. Then she urges him to burn the castle and return to Deepwood with her, but Theon refuses.[57] Ser Rodrik Cassel returns from Torrhen's Square to besiege Winterfell with two thousand men. Despite having only seventeen men, Theon delays the attack by threatening Rodrik's daughter Beth until "Reek" (in truth Ramsay Snow, Roose Bolton's bastard son) returns with six hundred Bolton men from the Dreadfort. Believing them to be allies, Ser Rodrik and his men are taken completely by surprise when they are attacked in the winter town. Rodrik, Cley Cerwyn, and Leobald Tallhart are killed and their leaderless host is routed by the Bolton men, who lose only twenty or thirty men. Believing "Reek's" men to be allies, Theon allows him and his men into Winterfell, where they quickly turn on the ironmen as well, killing them all except Theon.[53] The castle is then put to the torch and many inhabitants are killed, including Maester Luwin. Theon, Little Walder, Big Walder, Kyra, Old Nan, and Beth Cassel are all taken back to the Dreadfort as captives.[58]

The Clash of Kings

In the riverlands, after the Battle of the Camps, Lord Tywin Lannister is content to wait at Harrenhal, providing for his forces by pillaging the riverlands while Ser Stafford Lannister raises a new army near Lannisport.[33] Aware that he lacks the strength to march against Lord Tywin, Robb Stark sends Ser Cleos Frey to King's Landing to offer peace terms.[33] Lysa Arryn, Robb's aunt, refuses to respond to requests for aid, and the Vale of Arryn remains neutral.[40][60] Catelyn Stark, Robb's mother, believes that Renly Baratheon could be the key,[33] and she is sent as an envoy to strike an alliance.[40] Robb, knowing that remaining at Riverrun will make it seem as if he is afraid to take to the field once more,[40] personally leads an army to invade the westerlands with northmen and Freys.[41] Ser Edmure Tully remains at Riverrun to guard his rear.[43]

In Blue: Stannis and allies. In Red: Lannisters and allies. In green: Renly and allies. 1.Siege of Storm's End. 2.Battle at Bitterbridge. 3.Battle of the Fords 4.Battle of the Blackwater
  • Plot to free Jaime Lannister. Taking advantage of Ser Cleos Frey's status as an envoy, Tyrion Lannister has a mummer, a poisoner, a thief and a murderer recruited and disguised as part the Lannister escort that is to accompany Ser Cleos back to Riverrun. All the envoys are welcomed by Edmure Tully and given freedom of the castle. The murderer kills two guards, the thief opens Jaime's cell, and the mummer imitates Edmure's voice to order the River Gate to be opened. The scheme fails, however, and Jaime is imprisoned in the dungeon.[62][43]
  • Siege of Storm's End. King Stannis arrives in the stormlands with his five thousand men and lays siege to Storm's End, the seat of his younger brother, King Renly.[40][62] When the news reaches his camp at Bitterbridge, Renly splits his forces and rides with some twenty thousand cavalry to break the siege.[49] After a failed parlay in which neither brother will yield, the battle is set at dawn.[49] However, that night Renly is killed by a shadow assassin summoned by the red priestess Melisandre.[66] With Renly dead, the majority of the host that had accompanied him swears allegiance to Stannis.[67] House Florent and both branches of House Fossoway also defect to Stannis, but a fifth of Renly's knights returns to Bitterbridge with Ser Loras Tyrell,[67] Renly's lover. Additionally, Storm's End's castellan, Ser Cortnay Penrose, refuses to yield the castle to Stannis[67] because the safety of King Robert's bastard Edric Storm cannot be assured.[48] To end the siege quickly, Ser Davos Seaworth smuggles Melisandre under the castle by boat, where she summons another shadow to assassinate Cortnay.[48] After Cortnay's death, the castle yields, leaving Stannis free to advance on King's Landing.[68][65]
  • Fighting at Bitterbridge. After news of Renly's death reaches the remaining sixty thousand men still camped at Bitterbridge,[48] fighting eventually breaks out between Stannis supporters and Renly loyalists led by the vengeful Loras Tyrell. Parmen Crane and Erren Florent—the two knights sent to retrieve the army for Stannis[48]—are taken prisoner,[54] while Lord Randyll Tarly seizes the supplies and puts many men, mostly Florents, to death.[68] Petyr Baelish, representing King Joffrey I, rides to Bitterbridge[67] and then Highgarden[69] and wins the allegiance of House Tyrell. Riders are sent from Bitterbridge to warn Lord Tywin of Stannis's threat to the capital.[70]
  • Battle of the Fords. Intent on defending his lands from King Robb Stark, Lord Tywin marches west from Harrenhal with his twenty thousand men.[43] This fits perfectly with Robb's plan to lure Lord Tywin away from King's Landing and delay or trap him in the west, while King Stannis attacks the capital from the south. Stannis's victory would mean the end of King Joffrey I, Queen Cersei, and acting Hand Tyrion Lannister, breaking Lannister power.[70] Unaware of Robb's plan,[70] Ser Edmure Tully refuses to allow the Lannisters to cross the Trident without giving battle and places an army of eleven thousand men at the key fords along the Red Fork.[43] Having ordered Roose Bolton to take Harrenhal, Edmure and his river lords plan for Tywin to be trapped between Riverrun and Harrenhal once Robb returns from the west.[43] After several probing attacks, Lord Tywin attempts to force a crossing of the Red Fork in a dozen places. The most heated battle is at Stone Mill where Edmure turns back the Mountain's men. Gregor Clegane is wounded by a dozen arrows and Leo Lefford drowns. The other Lannister attacks are also defeated, during which Robert Brax is killed and Lyle Crakehall is captured. Unable to cross the river, Tywin is forced to retreat.[65]
  • The Lannister-Tyrell alliance. The Battle of the Fords has great influence on the outcome of the war. Edmure Tully's tactical victory soon proves to be a huge strategic loss. Lord Tywin's advance is delayed just long enough for riders out of Bitterbridge to reach him with word of Stannis's threat to King’s Landing. Tywin immediately turns his host south to join up with Lords Mathis Rowan and Randyll Tarly near the headwaters of the Blackwater Rush. From there a forced march takes them to Tumbler's Falls, where Lord Mace Tyrell and his sons wait with their huge host and a fleet of barges. Together, the Lannisters and Tyrells float down the river to disembark half a day’s ride from the capital.[70]
  • Fall of Harrenhal. Having advanced to the crossroads inn along with Helman Tallhart's garrison from the Twins, Roose Bolton occupies the ruby ford.[71][43] With Lord Tywin on the march,[72] Harrenhal is held by one hundred Lannister men[73] and the Brave Companions, under the command of Ser Amory Lorch, who remains behind as castellan.[72] At the ruby ford, Vargo Hoat and his Brave Companions reportedly battle Bolton's vanguard and capture Robett Glover, Ser Aenys Frey, and a hundred other prisoners.[73] In truth, however, Vargo had gone to Lord Roose Bolton to strike a deal, and the arrest of the northmen had been a ruse, part of a plan to take over Harrenhal. This occurs prematurely when the prisoners are freed by Arya Stark, with the help of the criminals Jaqen H'ghar, Rorge, and Biter, shortly after their arrival. The Brave Companions turn on Lorch's men, and together with the northmen take over the castle, which is surrendered to Roose Bolton, who arrives the next day. Lorch is killed when he is thrown in a bear pit after Bolton’s arrival.[73]
  • Battle of the Blackwater. In preparation of the defense of King's Landing, Cersei Lannister arranges for the production of vast amounts of wildfire.[38] To prepare themselves against Stannis Baratheon's advance, Tyrion Lannister commissions a great chain boom across the mouth of the Blackwater Rush.[78] The battle opens when Stannis's admiral, Ser Imry Florent, leads his fleet up the river to engage Joffrey's. However, Tyrion has ordered several ships to be filled with wildfire. The resultant firestorm sets the river afire and destroys nearly every ship in both royal fleets, which cannot escape because the great chain has been raised behind them. Despite this, many of Stannis's troops are able to cross the river on the remaining ships or across a bridge of burning wreckage caught on the chain. A desperate sortie commanded by Tyrion fails and Stannis is on the verge of taking the city when his forces are taken from behind and smashed by the combined Lannister-Tyrell army led by Tywin Lannister and Mace Tyrell. To sow confusion and terror amongst Stannis's men, Ser Garlan Tyrell wears Renly Baratheon's distinctive green armor and antlered helm, which leads many to mistake him for Renly's ghost.[79][80][81][82][83][84] Although Stannis himself is able to escape to Dragonstone, the majority of his army is destroyed.

In the aftermath of the Battle of the Blackwater, hundreds of new knights are made and several new lords are created to replace those killed in the battle.[85] All those who fought for Stannis and do not repent are attainted and their lands are given to men loyal to the Iron Throne. In this way, the Lannisters and Tyrells take control of the stormlands with the exception of Storm's End, which holds out for Stannis.

The Lannister-Tyrell alliance is formalized by the betrothal of King Joffrey to Margaery Tyrell, the widow of King Renly Baratheon. As reward for his part in brokering the alliance, Petyr Baelish is promoted to the lordship of Harrenhal and declared Lord Paramount of the Trident.[85]

Turning of the Tides

The Battle of the Blackwater turns the tides for House Lannister. King Stannis Baratheon no longer has the strength to press his claim while King Joffrey I Baratheon's power is cemented by the new Lannister-Tyrell alliance. In addition, Tyrion Lannister, acting Hand of the King, has previously bound Dorne to Joffrey's cause by betrothing Princess Myrcella to Trystane Martell.[62] This brings nearly all Westeros south of the riverlands under the control of the Lannisters and their allies. Tywin Lannister, now in King's Landing as Hand of the King, continues to resist Robb Stark's cause in ways other than battle.

Meanwhile, despite never losing a battle himself, King Robb Stark's cause is faltering. Upon his return from the westerlands, he is faced with the arrest of his own mother,[70] who had freed Jaime Lannister from his imprisonment in the hopes of saving her daughters Sansa and Arya from the Lannisters.[57][86] Catelyn's actions cause frictions amongst Robb's men. Further friction is caused by Robb himself, who returns from his campaign in the westerlands married to Jeyne Westerling, despite his previous promise to marry a girl from House Frey.[70] Consequently, the Frey forces abandon Robb and return to the Twins in protest.[70] Additionally, a large part of Robb's northern homeland and his own castle of Winterfell have fallen to the ironmen of King Balon Greyjoy. All of this causes Robb to change his focus in the war and look north again.

  • Siege of Darry. Ser Helman Tallhart retakes Darry from the Lannister army, which surrenders after a brief siege. A short time later, Lord Roose Bolton sends a letter ordering Helman to put all captives to the sword and the castle to the torch by command of the King in the North, Robb.[76]
  • The beheading of Rickard Karstark. Upon Robb's return to Riverrun, he pardons his mother for releasing Jaime Lannister.[70] Angered and emboldened by this decision, Lord Rickard Karstark attempts to take revenge by murdering two captive Lannister, the squires Willem Lannister and Tion Frey (the sons of Lord Tywin's siblings Kevan and Genna, respectively); while his cavalry abandon Robb's army, with the order to bring him the Kingslayer's head. As a punishment for treason, Robb orders the perpetrators executed and beheads Lord Rickard himself.[60]
  • Capture of Harrenhal. After the victory at the ruby ford, Gregor Clegane and his men double back to retake Harrenhal,[89] which Roose Bolton has left in the hands of Vargo Hoat and the Brave Companions.[76][90] However, by the time they arrive, Vargo has been driven mad by an infected wound and nearly all the Brave Companions have abandoned the indefensible ruin and scattered. A cook opens a postern gate for Gregor's men, who put most inhabitants of the castle to the sword.[91] Vargo is slowly butchered alive and fed to himself and the other prisoners as “roast goat.”[92]

After the fall of several northern seats (including Winterfell) to the ironborn, King Robb Stark sees no other choice than to return north in order to win his kingdom back and avenge the deaths of this brothers, Bran and Rickon, who are believed to be dead.[70] Following the loss of the Karstark forces, Robb seeks to renew his alliance with House Frey, in order to obtain more men.[58]

The Fall of the Kings

The King in the North

Lord Walder Frey agrees to reconcile with Robb on the condition that Robb apologizes in person and that Edmure Tully, now Lord of Riverrun following the death of Hoster Tully, marry his daughter Roslin, in place of the broken betrothal made with Robb.[58] Robb moves north with the thirty-five hundred men who had followed him since the Whispering Wood, leaving Ser Brynden Tully and the river lords to defend the Trident, and plans to meet up with Roose Bolton at the Twins.[95]

  • Fighting at the fords of the Trident. As part of Robb's plan to retake the north, Roose Bolton abandons Harrenhal and marches his forces slowly north, allowing Gregor Clegane to catch up to him. As the northmen are crossing the ruby ford, Clegane overruns their rearguard, where Bolton has placed northmen under Ser Wylis Manderly. Gregor wins an easy victory and captures Manderly. Roose leaves six hundred loyal northmen led by Kyle Condon and Ronnel Stout to defend the ford.[96]
  • The death of Balon Greyjoy. During a fierce storm at Pyke, King Balon Greyjoy falls from one of the rope bridges that connect the towers of his castle. His body washes up two days later, bloated and broken. Within hours, Balon’s exiled brother Euron Crow's Eye sails into Lordsport and seats himself on the Seastone Chair. When Lord Sawane Botley protests, Euron has him drowned in a cask of seawater.[95]
  • The proclamation of Robb Stark's will. With his brothers and youngest sister presumed death, and with the belief that Sansa will be killed by the Lannisters once Tyrion has fathered a son on her, Robb feels it necessary to proclaim an heir in his will. Knowing the danger he is to face at Moat Cailin, Robb makes out a will that, according to a semi-canon source,[100] declares his bastard brother Jon Snow his heir to prevent the Lannisters claiming the north. In addition, he dispatches Lady Maege Mormont and Galbart Glover to find Howland Reed to aid in his planned siege of Moat Cailin.[95]
  • The Red Wedding. At the Twins, Robb is joined by Roose Bolton and his remaining men.[96] Edmure Tully weds Roslin Frey and all seems to be well, but in the midst of the wedding feast Robb is betrayed by the Freys and Boltons. Robb, his mother Catelyn, his direwolf Grey Wind, and most of his loyal bannermen are murdered along with most of his army, who are trapped in burning feast tents. Edmure Tully, Patrek Mallister, and Jon Umber are among those taken captive.[101] In mockery of Robb, the Freys sew Grey Wind's head to his decapitated body and nail a crown to it. Catelyn Stark's mutilated body is stripped naked and tossed into the river in mockery of Tully funeral rituals.[102]
  • The Purple Wedding. On the first day of the fourth century, King Joffrey I Baratheon weds Lady Margaery Tyrell of Highgarden in a lavish affair.[89] Following the ceremony there is a great feast in the throne room of the Red Keep that features a pious seventy-seven courses. Extravagant entertainment is provided throughout, but when Joffrey insists that his uncle Tyrion Lannister join a folly of jousting dwarfs, an argument breaks out. To punish his uncle, Joffrey makes him his cupbearer. Soon after, the young king drinks poisoned wine and collapses, causing chaos to descend on the feast.[89]

After Joffrey's death is confirmed, Cersei Lannister orders the arrest of Tyrion and his wife Sansa Stark,[89] though in truth the poison was supplied by Petyr Baelish via Dontos Hollard and administered by Olenna Tyrell.[103]

Tyrion Lannister is put on trial, with Lords Tywin Lannister and Mace Tyrell, and Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne presiding over him.[104] Sansa Stark has fled King's Landing, preventing her arrest, and is now on her way to the Vale with Petyr Baelish.[103] In truth, the poison used to kill Joffrey had been supplied by Lord Petyr, via Dontos Hollard, and was administered by Lady Olenna Tyrell. Meanwhile, the remnants of Robb Stark's kingdom are left without a king, and the Bolton’s prepare to take their place of power in the North.

The Feasting Crows

The death of Robb Stark is a blow to his young kingdom. The Red Wedding was orchestrated by Tywin Lannister and planned by Lothar Frey and Roose Bolton. For his part Roose is appointed Warden of the North by King Tommen, while his newly legitimized bastard son Ramsay is betrothed to an imposter forced to pose as Arya Stark.[105] Walder Frey is rewarded with several satisfying marriage pacts and the castle of Riverrun for his second son Emmon (who is married to Tywin's sister Genna), but the title of Lord Paramount of the Trident remains with Lord Petyr Baelish of Harrenhal.

The betrayals of House Frey and House Bolton give the Lannisters a power in the riverlands and north. Meanwhile, King Tommen I Baratheon is crowned as successor to his brother Joffrey, with Lord Tywin Lannister ruling as Hand of the King and Regent. The Lannister victory seems secure, but the crucial relationship between the Lannisters and the Tyrells quickly begins to fray after several sudden deaths further upset the balance of power.

Following the deaths of Renly Baratheon and Robb Stark and the defeat of Stannis Baratheon at the Blackwater, nearly all of Westeros submits to the Iron Throne. Houses Tully, Mallister, and Blackwood hold out for a time in the riverlands, but no longer pose a serious threat. Likewise, Stannis remains in possession of Dragonstone and Storm's End, though he lacks the strength for open war.

Meanwhile, Balon Greyjoy's death on the Iron Islands is followed by the return of his exiled younger brother, Euron, the very next day. Euron immediately claims Balon’s throne, but their youngest brother, Aeron, refuses to accept Euron as his king, and calls for a kingsmoot.[106]

  • Trial of Tyrion Lannister. The night of Joffrey’s death, Sansa Stark disappears without a trace to travels with Petyr Baelish to the Vale of Arryn,[103][69] leaving only Tyrion to stand trial for Joffrey's murder. A seemingly endless parade of witnesses comes forward to testify against him, including his own mistress, Shae. Facing sure conviction, Tyrion insists on a trial by battle with Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne as his champion. Oberyn, known as “the Red Viper,” seeks vengeance against the royal champion Gregor Clegane for the murder of his sister Princess Elia, who was the wife of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, during the Sack of King's Landing. The duel is a close one, but in the end Oberyn is killed and Tyrion is condemned to death.[104][107]
  • Death of Tywin Lannister. Unwilling to see his brother executed, Jaime Lannister—who is newly returned to the capital—forces the spymaster Varys to assist him in freeing Tyrion.[108][109] Jaime also reveals to Tyrion that his first wife, Tysha, was not a whore as he had been led to believe. In a rage, Tyrion swears vengeance against his family, Jaime included. Before departing, Tyrion pays a final visit to the Tower of the Hand. There he finds Shae naked in his father’s bed and murders her. Lord Tywin he finds in the privy. When Tyrion asks for Tysha’s whereabouts, Lord Tywin only replies, “Wherever whores go,” and Tyrion shoots him in the groin with a crossbow.[109]
  • The Queen Regent. Following the deaths of King Joffrey and Lord Tywin, the young Prince Tommen Baratheon is crowned king with Cersei as Queen Regent. However, the very deaths which bring Cersei to power also drive her to paranoia. Her chief apprehension is that young Margaery Tyrell, who soon marries Tommen I,[110] is seeking to usurp her authority and seize power. This distrust puts further strain on the crucial Lannister-Tyrell alliance. To ensure her power, Cersei fills the small council with lickspittles.[111] When she offers her uncle, Ser Kevan Lannister, the position of Hand of the King she is surprised to find Kevan has serious doubts about her leadership and feels he should be Regent.[112] Out of spite, Cersei appoints two Lannister cousins to positions that Kevan is better suited for; Daven is made Warden of the West and Damion is named castellan of Casterly Rock.[110]
Lady Stoneheart and the brotherhood without banners seek out their enemies in the riverlands.
  • Siege of Seagard. After the Red Wedding, Black Walder Frey leads a host to besiege the defiant forces of Jason Mallister. The siege is quickly resolved when Black Walder threatens to hang Mallister’s heir Patrek, who was taken prisoner at the Twins.[117] The Mallisters then become prisoners in their own keep.[88]
  • Kingsmoot on Old Wyk. In an attempt to unseat his brother King Euron from the Seastone Chair, the priest Aeron Greyjoy preaches a kingsmoot election at Old Wyk to raise the next king.[106] Several Greyjoys put themselves forward as candidates, including Euron, Victarion, and the late King Balon's daughter, Asha, as well as members of other Houses such as Erik Ironmaker. Despite strong support for both Victarion and Asha, Euron wins the election with his vast wealth and a promise to conquer all of Westeros with the aid of dragons.[118] Victarion, who has been trained for obedience all his life, grudgingly accepts the decision, but Aeron and Asha refuse to do so.
Euron Greyjoy is elected king during the kingsmoot.
  • Siege of Dragonstone. After hearing of the taking of the Shields, Cersei Lannister refuses to release the Redwyne fleet to defend the Reach from ironborn until the siege of Dragonstone is resolved. Desperate to aid his homeland, Ser Loras Tyrell pledges to take command of the siege in order to speed its conclusion.[129] Upon his arrival, Loras launches an immediate attack. Suffering heavy losses, Loras successfully captures both the castle and the keep. Loras himself is reportedly severely wounded and burned with boiling oil during the battle.[133]
  • Siege of Riverrun. Ser Brynden Tully holds the castle of Riverrun in defiance of a large host of Freys, Lannisters, and subjugated river lords. Edmure Tully is displayed daily on a gibbet by Ser Ryman Frey, but Brynden does not surrender and exposes the display as an empty threat.[134] The besiegers bicker and make no progress until Jaime Lannister is sent to expedite the fall of the castle. Brynden Tully refuses to surrender to Jaime as well. Thus, Jaime dismisses Ryman Frey and releases Edmure, but takes the time to threaten that if Edmure does not yield Riverrun the castle will be obliterated and his unborn child killed.[117] Edmure soon surrenders the castle, but not before aiding Ser Brynden in escaping capture. The castle is then left in the care of its new lord, Emmon Frey, with a garrison of two hundred.[116]
  • Siege of Raventree. Having submitted to the Iron Throne, Lord Jonos Bracken is commanded to besiege the castle of his nemesis, Lord Tytos Blackwood, who remains defiant. Fighting is fierce at Raventree Hall and the Brackens are unable to capture it. Tytos Blackwood steadfastly refuses to surrender to Bracken, but agrees to surrender to Jaime Lannister. Jaime offers reasonable terms: Blackwood forfeits several lands to Bracken and gives up his son Hoster as a hostage. However, Jaime also takes a hostage from House Bracken. The surrender of Raventree marks the end of open war in the riverlands.[135]

The War for the North

Both Stannis Baratheon and Roose Bolton attempt to carve out new power bases in the vacuum left by the downfall of House Stark. For his part in helping orchestrating the Red Wedding, Roose is appointed Warden of the North by King Tommen before Tywin Lannister’s death. To cement his position, Roose's bastard son Ramsay Snow is legitimized and betrothed to an imposter forced to pose as Arya Stark. Four thousand men of House Frey march north with him, while three of Lord Walder Frey’s descendants travel to White Harbor to gain the support of House Manderly.

Meanwhile, Stannis Baratheon has set sail from Dragonstone after being informed by his new Hand of the King, Davos Seaworth, of a plea from the Night's Watch. Davos convinces his king to concentrate on his duties, rather than his rights, causing Stannis to take his meager forces north by ship and arrive at Castle Black just as the wildling army of Mance Rayder, the King-beyond-the-Wall, attacks Castle Black.

Following Aeron Greyjoy's call for a kingsmoot, both Victarion and Asha Greyjoy have abandoned their northern conquests, leaving only a token force. After Euron is elected King, Asha flees back north, where she finds herself facing Stannis Baratheon.

Stannis' northern campaign: In Blue: Stannis and allies. In Red: Boltons and allies. 1.Battle beneath the Wall 2.Siege of Moat Cailin. 3.Joint march to Barrowton. 4.Fight by Deepwood Motte 5.March on Winterfell
  • Siege of Moat Cailin. While Victarion is absent to attend the kingsmoot, the ironborn-occupied fortress of Moat Cailin is approached from the north by the army of the now-legitimized Ramsay Bolton and from the south by Roose Bolton. Ramsay sends Theon Greyjoy (whom he has brainwashed to be his faithful servant Reek) to offer terms of safe passage if the ironborn surrender. When they do surrender, Ramsay has all sixty-three flayed alive and impales their skinless bodies on pikes along the road.[139]
  • Fight by Deepwood Motte. Following the kingsmoot, Asha Greyjoy flees back to Deepwood Motte to escape her uncle, King Euron, on the advice of her maternal uncle Rodrik Harlaw. She has not been there long when Stannis Baratheon's forces, bolstered by the mountain clans, attack in the dead of night and return it to House Glover. The ironborn ships are meanwhile burnt by the forces of House Mormont. Several ironborn including Asha and Tristifer Botley escape the castle but are apprehended in the forest soon after.[140]
  • Arrival of Mors Umber. Pledged to serve Stannis, even though his brother Hother is at Winterfell with most of their able men, Mors is set to meet Stannis and his army beneath the walls of Winterfell. He arrives before Stannis does, however. Because the heavy snows make it impossible for the Bolton men on the walls to see what is happening below, Mors has his green boys dig pits in front of the gates.[146]
  • Battle in the ice. When the body of Little Walder Frey is found, tensions at Winterfell erupt. Men loyal to House Frey attack men loyal to House Manderly, and Lord Wyman Manderly becomes injured. Roose orders the Freys and Manderlys out, to bring the battle to Stannis. With the entire castle is chaos due to preparations, Theon Greyjoy and Jeyne Poole attempt to escape. They jump from the walls of the castle when they are discovered,[145] and are found by Mors Umber and his men. When the gates of Winterfell open, the Freys come out. Ser Aenys Frey breaks his neck when he falls into the pit.[146]

The accidents the Freys have suffered due to the trap set by Mors Umber appears to have slowed down the attack. Stannis remains at the crofter's village with his army, and is confident in his chances.[146] At Castle Black, however, Lord Commander Jon Snow receives a letter, in which it is claimed that Stannis's army was defeated and Stannis was killed.[147] The veracity of the letter remains unconfirmed.


The War of the Five Kings results in vast devastation and death. The burning of crops and food supplies by rival armies means that with winter now engulfing Westeros as of 300 AC, many more will starve and die. The riverlands have borne the brunt of the fighting but the north, the westerlands, and the stormlands have been hit hard by the war as well. While the Reach did not suffer land hostilities, its resources have been used to supply the armies supported by House Tyrell and it is now suffering raiding and invasions by the ironborn. The only two regions to so far to stay out of the war and keep their armies and food supplies intact are the Vale of Arryn and Dorne.

New Conflicts Arise (Phase II)

Mbox notice.png
Note: This section does not contain any information regarding battles from the samples chapters both released or read in public by George R.R. Martin
War of the Five Kings (phase II)
Date 300 AC - ongoing
Location Westeros
Result Ongoing
1. House Baratheon of King's Landing.svg The Boy King
2. House Baratheon of Dragonstone.svg The King at the Wall
3. House Greyjoy.svg The King of the Isles and the North
4. House Targaryen.svg Prince Aegon

Landing of the Dragon

In Yellow: Forces of the Golden Company. 1.Arrival from Volantis and the Stepstones. 2.Invasion and conquest of several castles, including Griffin's Roost. 3. March on Storm's End

While Westeros attempts to recover from the War of the Five Kings, hostilities are still ongoing in the court of King’s Landing. Due to Queen Regent Cersei Lannister’s meddling, both Queen Margaery Tyrell and Cersei herself have been arrested by the Faith, leading to Ser Kevan Lannister returning from the westerlands to take the position of regent, and to Lord Mace Tyrell abandoning the siege of Storm’s End in order to have his army present when his daughter faces her accusers in trial.

Meanwhile, the ironborn threat expands when King Euron Greyjoy continues his campaign in the Reach, while his brother Victarion has sailed to Slaver's Bay on Euron’s behalf to seek out the exiled Queen Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons.

At the same time, the long-believed-dead Prince Aegon Targaryen is revealed to be alive. Having been rescued from death by Lord Varys during Robert's Rebellion, Aegon has been trained to be the perfect king ever since. With the Seven Kingdoms weakened by the War of the Five Kings, Aegon gains the support of the Golden Company and sets sail from Essos with his foster-father, the exiled Lord Jon Connington, in order to reclaim the Iron Throne his family had lost. He invades the stormlands, and immediately seeks out the help of his late mother’s family, House Martell.

  • Assassinations of Pycelle and Kevan Lannister. Varys infiltrates the chambers of Grand Maester Pycelle and murders him. Afterward he has one of his "little birds" send for Regent Kevan Lannister and shoots him with a crossbow. Varys admits he seeks to further destabilize the realm after Cersei's poor rule and drive a wedge in the Lannister-Tyrell alliance to prepare the way for Aegon to take the Iron Throne. Varys' "little birds" then kill Kevan.[148]


Renly Baratheon is nothing to me, nor Stannis neither. Why should they rule over me and mine from some flowery seat in Highgarden or Dorne? What do they know of the Wall or the wolfswood or the barrows of the First Men? Even their gods are wrong. The Others take the Lannisters too. I've had a bellyful of them. Why shouldn't we rule ourselves again? It was the dragons we married, and the dragons are all dead. There sits the only king I mean to bend my knee to, m'lords: The King in the North![36]

Jon Umber proclaiming Robb Stark as his king

All sorts of people are calling themselves kings these days.[149]

Robb: I can't release the Kingslayer, not even if I wanted to. My lords would never abide it.

Catelyn: Your lords made you their king.

Robb: And can unmake me just as easy.[33]

I am the Greyjoy, Lord Reaper of Pyke, King of Salt and Rock, Son of the Sea Wind, and no man gives me a crown. I pay the iron price. I will take my crown, as Urron Redhand did five thousand years ago.[41]

Why the oldest son, and not the best-fitted? The crown will suit me, as it never suited Robert and would not suit Stannis.[49]

Gallant, yes, and charming, and very clean. He knew how to dress and he knew how to smile and he knew how to bathe, and somehow he got the notion that this made him fit to be king.[97]

It is not a question of wanting. The throne is mine, as Robert's heir. That is law.[150]

Any man who must say 'I am the king' is no true king at all.[151]

One little dragon could end this great big war.[152]

We should have stayed well out of all this bloody foolishness if you ask me, but once the cow's been milked there's no squirting the cream back up her udder. After Lord Puff Fish put that crown on Renly's head, we were into the pudding up to our knees, so here we are to see things through.

We had one king, then five. Now all I see are crows, squabbling over the corpse of Westeros.[153]

When Robb Stark took up arms against the bastard Joffrey-called-Baratheon, White Harbor marched with him. Lord Stark has fallen, but his war goes on.[154]

Behind the Scenes

According to George R. R. Martin, the War of the Five Kings is partially inspired by the Hundred Years' War and the Wars of the Roses.[155]


  1. Based on Robb's complete number of forces (19,500 men from the north and 4,000 men from House Frey), and the number of men he takes with him to Riverrun (~3,915), Roose Bolton should have around ~19.600 men with him
  2. Roose Bolton leads ten thousand men (A Clash of Kings, Chapter 39), mostly consisting of infantry (A Game of Thrones, Chapter 59) through the riverlands. The men he sends with Robett Glover and Helman Tallhart make up one third of the infantry (A Storm of Swords, Chapter 35).


  1. The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: Robert’s Rebellion.
  2. A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  3. The World of Ice & Fire, The Glorious Reign.
  4. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
  5. See the calculation for Cersei Lannister's wedding to Robert I Baratheon.
  6. See the calculations for Joffrey Baratheon, Myrcella Baratheon, and Tommen Baratheon
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 45, Eddard XII.
  8. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
  9. 9.0 9.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
  10. 10.0 10.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn II.
  11. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 8, Bran II.
  12. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 10, Jon II.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 14, Catelyn III.
  14. 14.0 14.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 18, Catelyn IV.
  15. 15.0 15.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 28, Catelyn V.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 43, Eddard XI.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 49, Eddard XIV.
  19. A Feast for Crows, Prologue.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 56, Tyrion VII.
  21. 21.0 21.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 63, Catelyn X.
  22. 22.0 22.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 35, Eddard IX.
  23. 23.0 23.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 39, Eddard X.
  24. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn VI.
  25. 25.0 25.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 40, Catelyn VII.
  26. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 42, Tyrion VI.
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 17, Arya III.
  28. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 53, Bran VI.
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 29.4 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 55, Catelyn VIII.
  30. 30.0 30.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 43, Arya VIII.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 39, Arya VII.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 32.4 32.5 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 33.5 33.6 33.7 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 59, Catelyn IX.
  35. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 62, Tyrion VIII.
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 36.4 36.5 36.6 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
  37. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
  38. 38.0 38.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 3, Tyrion I.
  39. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 65, Arya V.
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 40.4 40.5 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 22, Catelyn II.
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 41.3 41.4 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 11, Theon I.
  42. 42.0 42.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 32, Sansa III.
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 43.3 43.4 43.5 43.6 43.7 43.8 43.9 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 39, Catelyn V.
  44. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
  45. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
  46. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 32, Arya III.
  47. 47.0 47.1 47.2 A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 48.3 48.4 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 42, Davos II.
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 49.3 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 31, Catelyn III.
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 50.3 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 24, Theon II.
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 46, Bran VI.
  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 50, Theon IV.
  53. 53.0 53.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 66, Theon VI.
  54. 54.0 54.1 54.2 A Storm of Swords, Appendix.
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 35, Bran V.
  56. 56.0 56.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 37, Theon III.
  57. 57.0 57.1 57.2 57.3 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 56, Theon V.
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 58.3 58.4 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 35, Catelyn IV.
  59. 59.0 59.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 76, Jon XI.
  60. 60.0 60.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 20, Catelyn III.
  61. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 14, Arya IV.
  62. 62.0 62.1 62.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 25, Tyrion VI.
  63. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 17, Tyrion IV.
  64. 64.0 64.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 41, Tyrion IX.
  65. 65.0 65.1 65.2 65.3 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 45, Catelyn VI.
  66. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
  67. 67.0 67.1 67.2 67.3 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 36, Tyrion VIII.
  68. 68.0 68.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 44, Tyrion X.
  69. 69.0 69.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 68, Sansa VI.
  70. 70.00 70.01 70.02 70.03 70.04 70.05 70.06 70.07 70.08 70.09 70.10 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 14, Catelyn II.
  71. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 30, Arya VII.
  72. 72.0 72.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 38, Arya VIII.
  73. 73.0 73.1 73.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 47, Arya IX.
  74. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 55, Catelyn VII.
  75. 75.0 75.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
  76. 76.0 76.1 76.2 76.3 76.4 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 64, Arya X.
  77. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 31, Jaime IV.
  78. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 15, Tyrion III.
  79. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 58, Davos III.
  80. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 59, Tyrion XIII.
  81. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 60, Sansa VI.
  82. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 61, Tyrion XIV.
  83. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 62, Sansa VII.
  84. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
  85. 85.0 85.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 65, Sansa VIII.
  86. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 1, Jaime I.
  87. 87.0 87.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 19, Tyrion III.
  88. 88.0 88.1 A Feast for Crows, Appendix.
  89. 89.0 89.1 89.2 89.3 89.4 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 60, Tyrion VIII.
  90. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 44, Jaime VI.
  91. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime VII.
  92. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime III.
  93. 93.0 93.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 9, Brienne II.
  94. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 14, Brienne III.
  95. 95.0 95.1 95.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 45, Catelyn V.
  96. 96.0 96.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 49, Catelyn VI.
  97. 97.0 97.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 6, Sansa I.
  98. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 16, Sansa II.
  99. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 28, Sansa III.
  100. George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Robb Stark.
  101. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 51, Catelyn VII.
  102. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 58, Tyrion VII.
  103. 103.0 103.1 103.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 61, Sansa V.
  104. 104.0 104.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 66, Tyrion IX.
  105. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72, Jaime IX.
  106. 106.0 106.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 1, The Prophet.
  107. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 70, Tyrion X.
  108. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 8, Jaime I.
  109. 109.0 109.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 77, Tyrion XI.
  110. 110.0 110.1 110.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 12, Cersei III.
  111. 111.0 111.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 17, Cersei IV.
  112. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 7, Cersei II.
  113. 113.0 113.1 113.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 42, Brienne VIII.
  114. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 65, Arya XII.
  115. A Storm of Swords, Epilogue.
  116. 116.0 116.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 44, Jaime VII.
  117. 117.0 117.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 38, Jaime VI.
  118. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 19, The Drowned Man.
  119. 119.0 119.1 119.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 16, Jaime II.
  120. 120.0 120.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 30, Jaime IV.
  121. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 31, Brienne VI.
  122. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 37, Brienne VII.
  123. 123.0 123.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 25, Brienne V.
  124. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 4, Brienne I.
  125. 125.0 125.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei V.
  126. 126.0 126.1 126.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 28, Cersei VI.
  127. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 43, Cersei X.
  128. 128.0 128.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 29, The Reaver.
  129. 129.0 129.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 32, Cersei VII.
  130. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 45, Samwell V.
  131. The Winds of Winter, The Forsaken
  132. 132.0 132.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 61, The Griffin Reborn.
  133. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 36, Cersei VIII.
  134. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 33, Jaime V.
  135. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 48, Jaime I.
  136. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 73, Jon X.
  137. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 79, Jon XII.
  138. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 17, Jon IV.
  139. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 20, Reek II.
  140. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 26, The Wayward Bride.
  141. 141.0 141.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 42, The King's Prize.
  142. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 32, Reek III.
  143. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 37, The Prince of Winterfell.
  144. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 46, A Ghost in Winterfell.
  145. 145.0 145.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 51, Theon I.
  146. 146.0 146.1 146.2 The Winds of Winter, Theon I
  147. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 69, Jon XIII.
  148. A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
  149. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 2, Sansa I.
  150. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos IV.
  151. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
  152. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos V.
  153. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 11, The Kraken's Daughter.
  154. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 19, Davos III.
  155. So Spake Martin: (Toronto, Canada; August 28-September 1), August 28, 2003

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