Fight by Deepwood Motte

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Fight by Deepwood Motte
Conflict War of the Five Kings
Date 300 AC
Place Deepwood Motte and the wolfswood
Result

House Baratheon of Dragonstone victory

Combatants
House Greyjoy.svg Ironborn led by Asha Greyjoy House Baratheon (Dragonstone).svg House Baratheon of Dragonstone:

The Reach

Crownlands

Stormlands

House Stark.svg Northern mountain clans


House Mormont.svg House Mormont
Commanders
House Greyjoy.svg Asha Greyjoy
House Greyjoy.svg Quenton Greyjoy
House Baratheon (Dragonstone).svg King Stannis I Baratheon
House Mormont.svg Alysane Mormont
Strength
~200
4 longships
Total ~3,900:
unknown Mormont forces
Casualties
all killed or captured[N 1] unknown

The fight by Deepwood Motte[1] occurs in the late stages of the War of the Five Kings during Stannis Baratheon's attempt to gain the northmens' allegiance by driving the invading ironborn out of the region.

Prelude

Asha Greyjoy, who had captured Deepwood Motte when House Greyjoy entered the War of the Five Kings, returns to Deepwood after the kingsmoot. She has four longships and near two hundred men at Deepwood and the strand of the Bay of Ice.[2]

Stannis Baratheon, under the advice of Jon Snow, goes west from Castle Black to free Deepwood. While moving through the northern mountains, Stannis wins the support of the mountain clans Flint, Wull, Norrey and Liddle, who remain loyal to the legacies of Lord Eddard Stark and Robb Stark, the King in the North.[3][2][1]

Fight

Stannis, now with three or four thousand men,[2] attacks Deepwood Motte. Five men, including a Flint, climb Deepwood's eastern wall in an attempt to open the gate, but they are defeated by Asha's guards. Sybelle Glover and Deepwood's maester fail to convince Asha to surrender. From the watchtower Asha spots northmen camouflaged as trees. Seeing she is outnumbered, Asha decides to retreat back to her longships under cover of darkness. As Stannis's men attack the north gate with a battering ram, the Greyjoys escape out the south gate on foot and on horse and venture into the wolfswood. Hagen the Horn is struck by an arrow.[2]

Initially traveling south and southwest, the ironborn then head west and intend to travel north to their beached longships only once the sun comes up. They march all night and light no fires and cover, they think, good ground. However, the retreat is slowed due to the unfamiliar territory and darkness. The northmen by comparison know the wolfswood well and are not hindered in the same way.[2]

The northmen sneak up on the ironborn, slaying Rolfe the Dwarf and closing in around them. The ironborn fight back fiercely, but they are surrounded and outnumbered. Grimtongue strikes down at least nine northmen. Hagen's daughter fights naked. Quenton Greyjoy saves his cousin Asha from a spearman, but he is then killed by an axe. Eventually, all ironborn in the wolfswood are killed or captured, with Asha being defeated by Morgan Liddle.[2][1]

Meanwhile, Alysane Mormont hides fighters in Bear Island's fishing sloops. They sneak up on the longships off the strand, capturing or burning them. The ironborn at the Bay of Ice are slain or surrender.[4]

Aftermath

Stannis Baratheon frees Lady Sybelle Glover and returns Deepwood Motte to House Glover. This wins Stannis much popular support in the north, with House Glover and its vassal houses as well as House Mormont declaring for him afterwards.[1] Stannis ransoms many of the most notable ironmen,[4] and only nine remain when he departs Deepwood.[1] Stannis brings Asha Greyjoy with him during the king's march on Winterfell, leaving the other captives behind.[1]

Cromm eventually dies of his wounds.[5] Tycho Nestoris, an envoy of the Iron Bank of Braavos, later ransoms Tristifer Botley, Fingers, Grimtongue, Qarl the Maid, Roggon Rustbeard, and Rook from Sybelle's dungeon. Tycho has the six remaining ironmen escort him to Stannis at the crofters' village.[5]

Quotes

If I must die, I will die with an axe in my hand and a curse upon my lips.[2]

—thoughts of Asha Greyjoy

Tris, don some mail, it's time you tried out that sweet sword of yours. Splash some blood upon the moon with me, and I promise you a kiss for every kill.[2]

We are fighting shrubbery, Asha thought as she slew a man who had more leaves on him than most of the surrounding trees.[2]

—thoughts of Asha Greyjoy

Greyjoy's longships are burned or taken, her crews slain or surrendered. The captains, knights, notable warriors, and others of high birth we shall ransom or make other use of, the rest I mean to hang ...[4]

Notes

  1. Only 9 Ironborn survived the battle: Asha Greyjoy, Tristifer Botley, Qarl the Maid, Grimtongue, Cromm, Roggon, Fingers, Rook and the unnamed ninth survivor.

References