Combat at the tower of joy
|Showdown at the Tower of Joy|
|Place||The Prince's Pass, Red Mountains of Dorne|
|Result||Pyrrhic Stark victory|
The Showdown at the Tower of Joy took place at the Tower of Joy in Dorne at the the end of the War of the Usurper. While under the influence of the milk of the poppy because of his broken leg, Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark has a fevered dream of the incident.
According to his dream, Eddard and six of his companions (Howland Reed, Lord Willam Dustin, Ethan Glover, Martyn Cassel, Theo Wull, and Ser Mark Ryswell) approached the tower to recover Eddard's sister, Lyanna Stark. They found it guarded by three members of the Kingsguard: Ser Arthur Dayne, Ser Oswell Whent, and Lord Commander Gerold Hightower.
“I looked for you on the Trident,” Ned said to them.
“We were not there,” Ser Gerold answered.
“Woe to the Usurper if we had been,” said Ser Oswell.
“Far away,” Ser Gerold said, “or Aerys would yet sit the Iron Throne, and our false brother would burn in seven hells.”
“I came down on Storm's End to lift the siege,” Ned told them, and the Lords Tyrell and Redwyne dipped their banners, and all their knights bent the knee to pledge us fealty. I was certain you would be among them.”
“Our knees do not bend easily,” said Ser Arthur Dayne.
“Ser Willem is a good man and true,” said Ser Oswell.
“But not of the Kingsguard,” Ser Gerold pointed out. “The Kingsguard does not flee.”
“Then or now,” said Ser Arthur. He donned his helm.
“We swore a vow,” explained old Ser Gerold.
Ned’s wraiths moved up beside him, with shadow swords in hand. They were seven against three.
Eddard recalls that he and Howland Reed were the only survivors. In the tower Lyanna was dying and claimed a promise from Eddard just before she died. Afterwards, Eddard pulled stones from the tower to make eight cairns for the dead combatants. He brought Dawn to the Dayne castle at Starfall. His sister's body he took back north him so she could be buried with her brother Brandon and her father Rickard in the crypts of Winterfell. Barbrey Dustin, the widow of Lord Willam Dustin, resented that Ned brought Willam's red stallion back, but not Lord Dustin himself. With Ned's execution in King's Landing, Lord Reed is now the only survivor of the skirmish, and the only remaining witness of Eddard's promise to Lyanna.
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