Greyjoy's Rebellion

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Greyjoy's Rebellion
Greyjoy Rebellion.jpg
© Fantasy Flight Games

Date 289 AC
Location Westerlands, Riverlands and the Iron Islands.
Battles Raid on Lannisport
Battle of Seagard
Battle of Fair Isle
Siege of Great Wyk
Siege of Old Wyk
Siege of Pyke
Result Decisive victory of Baratheon of King's Landing
Deaths of Rodrik and Maron Greyjoy
Theon Greyjoy made a ward of House Stark
House GreyjoyIron Throne
Notable commanders
King Balon Greyjoy
Lord Captain Victarion Greyjoy
Euron Greyjoy
Maron Greyjoy +
Rodrik Greyjoy +
King Robert Baratheon
Lord Stannis Baratheon
Lord Eddard Stark
Lord Paxter Redwyne
Ser Barristan Selmy
Lord Tywin Lannister
Iron FleetStormlands
Greyjoy Rebellion.png

Greyjoy's Rebellion[1][2][3] or the Greyjoy Rebellion[4] was an uprising led by Balon Greyjoy against the Iron Throne. It took place in 289 AC, nine years before the beginning of A Game of Thrones. Balon tried to break away from the Seven Kingdoms to secure independence for the Iron Islands and restore their traditions of old, lost almost three hundred years before, during the War of Conquest. The rebellion was crushed and Balon was forced to surrender, cementing the hold of King Robert Baratheon on the Iron Throne.


Lord Quellon Greyjoy of Pyke desired to strengthen the ties of the Iron Islands with the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, but he died in combat at the Shield Islands near the end of Robert's Rebellion. His successor and eldest son, Lord Balon Greyjoy, rejected his father's reforms and desired independence for the ironborn. Over five years he constructed a great fleet known as the Iron Fleet.[5] Since the Greyjoys had remained neutral for most of Robert's Rebellion they did not suffer heavy losses like the other Great Houses.

In 289 AC, six years after Robert Baratheon had overthrown the Targaryens, Balon proclaimed himself King of the Iron Islands and led a rebellion against the Iron Throne. He was crowned beneath Nagga's ribs, by the priest Tarle the Thrice-Drowned with a driftwood crown.[6] Balon believed that King Robert's rule was still insecure, that he lacked support amongst the nobility and would not be able to muster a host against him.[7][8] According to George R. R. Martin,

He (Balon) believed that Robert, as a usurper, might not have the strong support of the other lords the way that a Targaryen king would have. He also thought he could defeat Robert at sea.[8]

The Ironborn Attack

As the houses of the west mustered at Robert's order (including the Starks, Lannisters and Tullys and their bannermen), Balon initiated several early strikes, including the burning of the Lannister fleet at anchor, in a surprise attack on Lannisport planned by his brother Euron and led by another brother, Victarion, Lord Captain of the Iron Fleet.[9] Victarion tossed the first torch onto the flagship of Lord Tywin Lannister.[6]

The victory at Lannisport gave King Balon freedom to launch an assault on Seagard by his son Rodrik as well as many smaller raids along the surrounding coasts of the Sunset Sea. Rodrik was slain by Lord Jason Mallister beneath the walls of Seagard, however, and his reavers were thrown back into the sea in defeat.[10]

Counterattack by the Iron Throne

Balon kneels against Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark

Robert had superior numbers and resources and used them to crush the rebellion. Lord Stannis Baratheon, his brother and the master of ships, along with Lord Paxter Redwyne and other lords of the Reach, was able to catch and smash the Iron Fleet, captained by Victarion Greyjoy, in a significant battle off the coast of Fair Isle. This allowed Robert's forces to cross to the Iron Islands.[11] Aeron Greyjoy was lost at sea during the battle, then captured and spent the rest of the war beneath Casterly Rock.[11]

Stannis also subdued Great Wyk in his brother's name,[12] while Ser Barristan Selmy led the attack on Old Wyk.[13]

Siege of Pyke

See also Siege of Pyke

The main battle was on the island of Pyke, led by Robert himself and his friend, Lord Eddard Stark. The nearby Botley castle was destroyed, as was the town of Lordsport beneath it, before the main attack on the castle of Pyke itself was launched. Robert's forces assaulted the southern wall with siege engines, finally shattering the main watchtower there and bringing parts of the surrounding wall down.[10] Maron Greyjoy, the second of Balon's three sons, was killed in the breach. Thoros of Myr was first through the breach wielding a sword coated in wildfire.[14] Jorah Mormont was not far behind him, and he earned a knighthood for his bravery that day. The fighting in the castle was fierce, but eventually the castle was taken. Balon Greyjoy was forced to swear fealty once more to the Iron Throne, and his surviving son, the nine-year-old Theon, was given into the care of Lord Stark as a hostage to ensure Balon's good behavior.

Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark congratulate Jorah Mormont (as Thoros of Myr looks on) following Greyjoy's Rebellion. © DubuGomdori


Lord Greyjoy surrendered, his two eldest sons were killed, and his last surviving son, Theon, was made a ward of House Stark as hostage. Robert's victory cemented his hold on the Iron Throne, having overthrown the Targaryens six years before. He threw a great tourney at Lannisport to celebrate his victory.[10]

The aftermath of the rebellion resulted in the castle of Pyke being severely damaged and partially rebuilt. For the Faith, it suffered abuse at the hands of fanatics who worship the Drowned God. Baelor Blacktyde, Lord of Blacktyde, was a child when his father died in the war. As a result he was taken away to Oldtown as a hostage following the end of the rebellion. He returned eight years later as a follower of the Seven.


Robert should have scoured the isles after Balon Greyjoy rose against him ... He smashed their fleet, burned their towns and broke their castles, but when he had them on their knees, he let them up again. He should have made another island of their skulls.[15]

- thoughts of Cersei Lannister

References and Notes

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Wars in A Song of Ice and Fire. The list of authors can be seen in the page history of Wars in A Song of Ice and Fire. As with A Wiki of Ice and Fire, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.