Battle of the Trident

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Battle of the Trident
Conflict Robert's Rebellion
Date 283 AL
Place The Trident
Result Rebel victory
Rebel army of
The North
The Riverlands
The Vale
The Stormlands
Royal army of
King's Landing
Robert Baratheon
Eddard Stark
Jon Arryn
Rhaegar Targaryen +
Lewyn Martell +
35.000 40.000
Unknown Unknown, but larger than the Rebel's

The Battle of the Trident was the battle that ultimately determined the outcome of Robert's Rebellion. The battle was fought between Rebel and Royal troops at the Green Fork of the Trident, across what would thereafter be known as the Ruby Ford. It ended in a victory for the rebels.


After the defeat at Stoney Sept, Aerys II had at last realized that the Rebellion was a major threat to the Targaryens, perhaps the greatest threat to the dynasty since Daemon Blackfyre. Gracelessly Aerys reminded the Martells that Princess Elia was in his power and dispatched her uncle, Prince Lewyn Martell of the Kingsguard, to take command of 10,000 Dornish troops marching up the Kingsroad. At the same time Ser Barristan Selmy and Ser Jonothor Darry were sent to rally the scattered forces of Lord Jon Connington.

Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, who had up to this point in the war been in the south, at last returned to King's Landing. He began assembling an army to counter the rebels, and also persuaded his father to ask Tywin Lannister for help. Though a significant army and navy under command of loyalist lords Mace Tyrell and Paxter Redwyne was laying siege to Storm's End, none of the southron levies were called upon to march north.

The army of the royals numbered some 40,000 men. Under command of Rhaegar they marched to the Trident as is was the route most likely to be taken by the rebels.

Opposing armies

Rebel army

The army of the rebels consisted of:

  • Probably all forces of the northern houses
  • Almost all forces of the Vale, though a few houses had remained loyal to the Targaryens
  • Forces of the Riverlands. The Riverlands had been deeply divided during the war. House Tully and many subject lords had taken the side of the rebels, while other houses, such as Houses Darry, Mooton and Ryger, some with personal ties to the Targaryens, had taken up the royal cause.[1] House Frey, the largest of the banner houses to House Tully, had not committed either way.
  • Some Stormlords. Though Robert Baratheon was lord of Storm's End and a central figure of the rebellion, most of the Stormlords were trapped in the south, and badly bloodied by battles at Ashford and the siege of Storm's End. As such, their contribution to the battle in the north was limited.

Total: Approximately 35,000.

Royal Army

The army of the royals consisted of:

It was said that the royal army was larger, but that the rebels were more battle hardened. It was near 40,000 men, with a tenth of that knights.[2]

The Battle

The Battle took place at the crossing of the Green Fork of the Trident that would later be known as the Ruby Ford. During the battle Robert met Rhaegar in single combat. Though many great lords and knights either lost their lives or made names for themselves in the fighting, the battle was decided when Robert killed Rhaegar with a blow of his warhammer. The blow was so hard that the rubies adorning Rhaegar's armor were shattered free to litter the river, giving the Ruby Ford its name. Leaderless, the Royal army broke and fled.[3]



The victory was the decisive engagement of the war. The way to King's Landing was now open for the rebels, with the only significant loyalist force left was invested in the Siege of Storm's End. Robert had been wounded during the battle and gave Eddard Stark the command of the army. Eddard raced south to find that King's Landing had already been taken by the Lannisters.

References and Sources

  1. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Catelyn
  2. Ser Jorah says that the number of men Rhaegar brought to the battle was similar to the number of riders in Khal Drogo's khalasar, which was 40,000. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 36, Daenerys
  3. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 36, Daenerys