Hour of the Wolf

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Hour of the Wolf
Conflict Dance of the Dragons
Date 131 AC
Place King's Landing
Result Deaths of Lord Larys Strong and Ser Gyles Belgrave
End of the Dance of the Dragons
Combatants
House Targaryen (Rhaenyra).svg Blacks:

House Stark.svg North, led by House Stark

House Tully.svg Riverlands, led by House Tully

House Arryn.svg Vale of Arryn, led by House Arryn

House Targaryen (Aegon II).svg Greens:
Commanders
House Stark.svg Lord Cregan Stark
House Tully.svg Lord Kermit Tully
House Tully.svg Ser Oscar Tully
House Blackwood.svg Lord Benjicot Blackwood
House Arryn.svg Lady Jeyne Arryn
House Corbray.svg Lord Leowyn Corbray
House Corbray.svg Ser Corwyn Corbray
House Hightower.svg Dowager Queen Alicent Hightower
House Strong.svg Lord Larys Strong
Ser Perkin the Flea
Strength
At least 8,000 northmen
Less than 6,000 rivermen
9,500 valemen (1,500 knights and 8,000 men-at-arms)
Unknown
Casualties
None Lord Larys Strong
Ser Gyles Belgrave

The Hour of the Wolf[1][2] or the Judgment of the Wolf[3] is a term coined by Grand Maester Munkun in his book The Dance of the Dragons, A True Telling.[3] It refers to the six days in 131 AC when Cregan Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, governed in King's Landing, at the end of the Dance of the Dragons.[4]

It is named after the hour of the wolf, which is believed to be the blackest part of nighttime.[5]

Prelude

Despite the death of Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen at Dragonstone in the tenth moon of 130 AC, and the greens retaking King's Landing after the Moon of the Three Kings, Rhaenyra's supporters, the blacks, continued to fight in her name against King Aegon II Targaryen.[6]

Indeed in 131 AC, three blacks army were marching on King's Landing: from Winterfell an army of northmen led by Lord Cregan Stark, from Riverrun an army of rivermen led by Lord Elmo Tully and from Gulltown an army of valemen commanded by Lord Leowyn Corbray and his brother Ser Corwyn Corbray in the name of Lady Jeyne Arryn.[7]

Lord Elmo died during the march, the command of the army was assured by his sons, Lord Kermit and Oscar Tully, as well as the young Lord Benjicot Blackwood. After their victory in the Battle of the Kingsroad against Lord Borros Baratheon, Oscar was knighted and the three young lordlings were called the "Lads" by their men.[7]

As the Lads' rivermen and Cregan's northmen approached King's Landing, King Aegon II Targaryen, who had been urged by his councillors to surrender and take the black, was found poisoned.[7]

The False Dawn

The Lads arrived at King's Landing first, they met with Lord Corlys Velaryon and Prince Aegon Targaryen outside of the Gate of the Gods, who announced them the death of Aegon II. The rivermen were welcomed by smallfolk and the gold cloaks when they enter the city. The remaining loyalists of Aegon II throughout the Crownlands bent the knee to the advancing army of valemen. A strange euphoria took hold of King's Landing, which Grand Maester Munkun coined the "False Dawn".[3]

Judgment of the Wolf

The euphoria quickly wore off with the arrival of Lord Cregan Stark. Lord Cregan brought his army into the city and took control of it. He intended to continue hostilities by carrying out reprisals against the main supporters of Aegon II (Lannisters, Hightowers and Baratheons) in the name of the new king, the son of Rhaenyra, Prince Aegon. However, Lord Corlys had already sent envoys to Casterly Rock, Oldtown and Storm's End in order to negotiate peace. If the terms of peace are rejected, the war can continue, like Cregan wanted. On the other hand, if they are accepted, attacking the former partisans of Aegon II would be considered as perjury and a breach of the King's Peace. Lord Cregan must therefore wait for their answers. The waiting lasted six days, during which Lord Cregan held the court in check thanks to his army. The Three Widows accepted the peace, preventing Lord Cregan from continuing hostilities.[3]

Lord Cregan still intended to do justice, by condemning those who are guilty or let commit the regicide of Aegon II. Lord Cregan arrested twenty-two men, including Lord Corlys Velaryon, Lord Larys Strong, Ser Perkin the Flea and Ser Gyles Belgrave of the Kingsguard. Intimidating the young Prince Aegon, he was named Hand of the King and presided over the trials.[3]

Aegon was convinced by his half-sisters, Baela and Rhaena Targaryen, to restore Corlys to his office. To ensure the edict would stand, Alysanne Blackwood agreed to marry Cregan and Lord Velaryon thus avoided trial. Nineteen of the remaining accused agreed to take the black, while only Lord Larys and Ser Gyles accepted execution. Following the traditions of House Stark, Lord Cregan beheaded them both himself with Ice, the Valyrian steel greatsword of the Starks.[3]

Aftermath

Lord Cregan resigned the day after the executions, having been Hand for only a day. He returned to the North, although not all of his army did. Many were surplus men whose return might cause their families to starve during winter. Widow Fairs in the riverlands helped hundreds of northerners meet women who had lost husbands during the Dance.[2][3][8]

Lords and ladies came from all of Westeros to attend the wedding and coronation of Prince Aegon. On the seventh day of the seventh moon of 131 AC, the High Septon wed Prince Aegon to Princess Jaehaera Targaryen in a ceremony at the top of Visenya's Hill. Later that same day, Aegon was coronated at the Red Keep and proclaimed "Aegon of House Targaryen, the Third of His Name, King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men and Lord of the Seven Kingdoms".[8]

Though officially crowned, Aegon was eleven years old at the start of his reign. A council of regents was established to rule in his place during his minority.[8]

References

  1. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Fire & Blood, Aftermath - The Hour of the Wolf.
  4. The World of Ice & Fire, Aegon III.
  5. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.
  6. Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Overthrown.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.